It’s not often you catch a goaltender like Carey Price on a night like this, as the Canucks pumped 5 past him and the Montreal Canadiens last night, including going an impressive (and relieving) 3 for 6 on the power play. All you need is for your goaltender to be better than that and you’re good, right? And Braden Holtby was not, so they found themselves heading to OT which is too short and solved nothing, so instead this game had to be solved with the Canucks first edition of Honest Gary’s Trick Shot Contest.
It almost didn’t make it that far, as Tyler Toffoli, determined to write a predictable script notched the hat trick goal late in the 3rd for a 5-4 lead. J.T. Miller had other ideas, and off the rush used his 3rd assist of the night to set up Brock Boeser for his 2nd goal of the contest to tie it all up at 5-5.
There were a lot of positives in this game, for sure. The power play looked far less disjointed, and getting one early really seemed to settle the Canucks down. You can also see just how much they missed Miller early on, as he now has 4 assists on the season. They also got a bottom 6 goal on a nice transition rush from Tyler Motte, who continues to prove his worth. That was all almost overshadowed by a sub par night from Holtby though, who got bailed out in the shootout by Miller and Bo Horvat, with the Gary Bettman Hat Trick to snap the Canucks losing streak at 3 games. And as very not good as Holtby was, he did manage to stop all 6 Habs shots in OT to get them to the shootout. Small victories? Sure, we’ll take it at this point.
These two teams meet again tonight and then Saturday before a 3 game visit from the Ottawa Senators next week.
AROUND THE NHL
Leon Draisaitl had the winner for the Oilers as they took down the Leafs in a 3-1 snoozer in Toronto last night that did not live up to the hype.
Tomas Hertl had the shootout winner as the San Jose Sharks beat the St Louis Blues 2-1 in St Louis last night.
And in case you missed this yesterday, the NHL came down hard on the Washington Capitals for COVID protocol violations:
Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov are all on the NHL COVID Protocol Related Absences list— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 21, 2021
Not a good look for the Caps or the players involved.