It was a strange one in Philadelphia, but the Canucks came away with two very hard-earned and deserved points as they spoiled the Flyers home opener, taking it 5-4 in Uncle Gary’s Fantastical Trick Shot Competition.
The big stories of the night? Well let’s start with Vasily Podkolzin. After beginning the game on the first line, and not finding some instant chemistry, he got bumped down to the fourth line with Justin Dowling and Juho Lammikko in the second. It didn’t take long for him to kickstart a huge period for the Canucks.
A couple things here: First, let’s appreciate the second effort from Tyler Myers to stay on his feet and keep this rush alive, setting up a wide open Podkolzin on the wing. And the best part? Keith Jones’ line “Podkolzin puts goals in” is bloody awesome. And I would just like to point out that someone pretty much called this one...
Next up? Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller with multi-point nights. The Canucks are at their best when they get big nights from their best players, and Miller especially is off to a fantastic start offensively. While neither of their goals were highlight reel markers by any stretch, getting that first one out of the way is always huge, especially for Pettersson after missing the last 30 games of the season last year.
And like he was in Edmonton, Thatcher Demko was outstanding, especially in the first, where the Canucks had to withstand a ferocious push from the Flyers out of the gate. I think looking at the score might have you thinking this was an off night for him, but the majority of Flyers goals were lucky bounces and bad luck.
I suppose you can look at last night’s game in Philadelphia and fret about the Canucks coughing up a 2 goal lead late in the game, sending it to overtime. Yeah, they need to not be doing this on the regular, and that’s something Travis Green will need to fix. That being said, the Philadelphia Flyers certainly got a nudge from the officiating crew in getting this game beyond regulation time.
From a questionable game management call on Oliver Ekman-Larsson to get the Flyers within one on the ensuing PP to a simply wrong icing call that directly led to the Claude Giroux goal to tie it, the officials had a massive impact in the waning moments of that third period. Still, the Canucks have to get better at holding onto that lead, even when stuff like this happens.
From there, it was Pettersson and Miller exposing Carter Hart’s flaws in the shootout and the Canucks move into first place in the West with a whopping three points.
In other action last night, the Blackhawks managed to tie things in the last minute, but the New Jersey Devils won 4-3 in overtime thanks to Jack Hughes’ second goal of the game. I have to say, if I am a Hawks fan, I am pissed about Patrick Kane taking a casual skate on that goal. I don’t care how many goals he scores, that’s an embarrassing lack of effort on the backcheck by Kane. The game featured a tribute to Jimmy Hayes, who passed suddenly earlier this summer.
And in the only other game last night, Marcus Foligno’s goal with less than eight seconds left in the third period was the winner as the Minnesota Wild won their home opener against the Anaheim Ducks 2-1.
Tonight, it’s on to Detroit to take on the Red Wings, who will be without their best player. Dylan Larkin will serve a one game suspension for this roughing call on Mathieu Jospeh. I am stunned that it’s Larkin who ends up with the suspension here, because that was an absolutely dirty hit by Joseph on Larkin. I could accept both of them, but not Larkin alone. Anyway, we’ll have our game preview coming up later today.