In all honesty, the way the Vancouver Canucks played in that first period should have seen them lose that game. They would have been full value for having an ass whoopin’ laid on them, but thanks to small mercies, it was the Ottawa Senators who put up 24 freakin’ shots on them in the first 20 minutes and had just one goal to show for it. Thatcher Demko was absolutely brilliant, and kept them at evens heading into the 2nd period.
And in that middle frame, the Lotto line showed up for work, and the Canucks, to their credit put the hammer down and responded with 20 shots on goal and when the smoke cleared, they have a 4-1 lead. Elias Pettersson looked like his former self. The power play looked downright scary. J.T. Miller made you feel like he could score every time he was on the ice. And as insane as that first period seemed, the second was a little more grounded in reality.
Add in another Tyler Motte goal (giving him 5 on the year and moving him into an 8 way tie for 3rd in NHL goal scoring!), and that was the end of it, but much like last game, the score made it seem far worse for Ottawa than it actually was. If not for Demko, this could have easily been a Sens win. And that is why we’re having trouble getting too excited about these two wins. Yes, it’s great that they’ve scored 12 goals. It’s awesome that they’ve only allowed 2. But until they do this to teams that are at least at their level or better, they’ve proved all they can overcome so far is their own faults and failures.
You want me to stand up and applaud? Do this on Saturday night in Winnipeg. That would impress the shit outta me. Until then, I will continue to doubt this team has what it takes, because it is fairly obvious that the way they play defence as a whole is unsustainable for success. Real teams eat them alive, as we saw with the Montreal Canadiens last week. If the Canucks can rattle off a couple wins in La Belle Province next week, I will be the first one to say that maybe I’m wrong, but we haven’t seen anything to indicate why they can do that apart from a hot goaltender and/or scoring themselves out of trouble. Other than Ottawa, other teams have been able to score and score a lot on the Canucks, and I am not sure this roster can actually alter this path.
AROUND THE NHL
Just one other game last night, as the Nashville Predators needed Big Top Gary’s Trickshot competition to beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 2-1.
Jim Rutherford has resigned as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, citing personal reasons.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 27, 2021
Patrik Allvin, the team's assistant general manager, has been promoted to interim GM, and the search for a new GM will begin immediately.
Details: https://t.co/VMYNzYkXcX pic.twitter.com/d846dWrpIC
In case you missed it, a bit of shocking news out of Pittsburgh yesterday as GM Jim Rutherford abruptly announced he was stepping down. We’re still awaiting details on the why of all this, and it’s been reported it’s not anything health related...
There’s a whopping 14 games on the schedule tonight, including the 3rd game of this visit from the Ottawa Senators. We’ll have pregame coverage up this afternoon.