Imagine Wings fans getting mad about that Garland hit like Niklas Kronwall didn’t do that every damn night— Nucks Misconduct (@nucksmisconduct) October 17, 2021
Yeah, I said it. Sure, it sucked that the Detroit Red Wings probably got the best game they’ll ever get out of Thomas Greiss last night, stealing a win against the Canucks. But the outrage from the team and fans over Conor Garland is comical at the absolute least. And it’s not just the hit on Filip Zadina, either. Their fury about Garland tucking in the puck on that embarrassingly blown offside call is another one of those silly ‘code’ things like crossing the redline during the warmup skate. It’s silly and childish. And yeah, that offside wasn’t even close. The officiating is setting a pretty ominous tone so far this season.
I have to say that while Garland’s offensive talents are why I was excited when he came over in the deal, his ability to offend other teams is going to (if it hasn’t already) make him a fan favorite here in Vancouver. His effort level on every shift is downright inspirational, and it speaks volumes that I can be this optimistic after a loss. Garland has quickly become the straw that stirs this team’s drink, and it takes some of the focus off guys like Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller and (when he returns) Brock Boeser. That will only bring about good things. In the meantime, we can just shrug our shoulders about a game where they deserved better and look forward to really giving it to Tyler Bertuzzi when the Wings visit in March. Oh, wait a minute... Get vaccinated, you idiot.
Overall, not a bad game in spite of the outcome. Jaroslav Halak was a little shaky at times but kept them in it. Defensively the Canucks performed decently, and let’s face it, the Wings were in shutdown mode from the moment they opened the scoring. What a dreadfully boring system they play. But hey, some teams have to get by when they can’t actually roll with how the NHL is these days I guess? The bottom line here is if they can continue to bring this kind of effort in the tail end of back to backs, wins will come. Not every team is going to be able to have their goalie swipe two points when getting so thoroughly outplayed like we saw last night.
Moving on to other games last night...
The Buffalo Sabres are undefeated. Still. Yeah, it’s early, but this is the Sabres we’re talking about. Dustin Tokarski got the win as the Sabres moved to 2-0-0 in a 2-1 SO win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Canucks can be the one to snap this streak with a win on Tuesday in Buffalo.
The Islanders, picked by some to be a Cup contender this year are 0-2-0 to start the year as they got pasted 5-1 by the undefeated Florida Panthers. Sam Bennett had a hat trick for Florida in this one.
Brad Marchand scored twice including a penalty shot goal leading the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win in their season opener over the Dallas Stars.
The Leafs got some revenge on Ottawa with a 3-1 win at the Scotiabank Arena last night. Alex Kerfoot had the GWG for the Buds in this one as Toronto moves to 2-1-0 on the season.
After making it to the Stanley Cup Finals this spring, the Habs have started the season 0-3-0 as Alexis Lafreniere’s winner helped the New York Rangers spoil Montreal’s home opener 3-1.
The Blackhawks rough start to the season and the Marc-Andre Fleury era continues, as they dropped a 5-2 decision to Pittsburgh. The Penguins had 4 goals in the first, and that was enough for Fleury to be pulled at the 11:25 mark.
Alex Ovechkin got his 3rd of the season, but it was Steven Stamkos’ 3rd goal of the 2021-22 campaign that gave Tampa a 2-1 OT win over the Washington Capitals.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have opened the season with two straight wins following a 2-1 OT win over the Seattle Kraken. Patrik Laine had the GWG in this one, and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 19 of the 20 Kraken shots he faced for his second straight W.
Teuvo Teravainen’s late third period goal stood up as the winner in a 3-2 Carolina Hurricanes win over the Nashville Predators.
The St Louis Blues opened their 2021-22 season with a big win over division rivals the Colorado Avalanche, taking this one 5-3. David Perron’s second of the game was the decider for the Blues.
The Jets dropped their second straight to start the season, as San Jose begins their campaign with a 4-3 win at home over the Jets. Rudolfs Balcers had the GWG for the Sharks in this one.
Minnesota won its second straight to start the year in a 3-2 victory over the Kings in Los Angeles last night.
And finally, the Battle of Alberta was renewed, and it went pretty much according to script as Connor McDavid’s hat trick spoiled Calgary’s season opener in a 5-2 Oilers victory. The Flames have now lost their season opener in 12 straight years. Mike Smith stopped 45 of 47 Calgary shots because the Oilers defence is pretty bad.
Just one game today, as the Dallas Stars are in Ottawa to take on the Senators.
The Abbotsford Canucks played their first game of the AHL season last night, and unfortunately despite a goal from Danila Klimovich, the baby Canucks dropped a 5-3 loss to the Bakersfield Condors. Former Canuck Adam Cracknell was the villain here, scoring twice including the winner for Bakersfield. They’re back at it today, taking on the Ontario Reign (the Los Angeles Kings farm team) at 5pm, and a reminder that AHL TV is free this weekend so you can catch that game tonight if you don’t have a subscription. Abbotsford’s home opener is this Friday as they take on the Henderson Silver Knights. Also, congrats to Katie Guay, who became the first female referee to officiate a game in the AHL last night. Katie is one of ten female on-ice officials who will call games in the AHL this season.