Once again, the Canucks showed just how slim the line is on how they can play and not have the game get away from them. A 2-0 lead in the first became a 3-2 deficit by the 3rd period, as two familiar refrains came out: giveaways and poor second periods from the Canucks. While it was encouraging to see the power play connect twice, and that short handed goal from Boeser was outstanding, it’s still frustrating to see how this team literally can’t make a mistake, because when they do, it ends up in the back of their net.
And while there’s been some good stories, like the amount of point production from the back end so far this season, the defence is still an ongoing concern. We were told that Nate Schmidt was going to be an upgrade to the Canucks defence this season, but so far he’s been anything but. Maybe it’s just an adjustment period, but so far he’s been nothing like what we saw of him in Vegas, and this is not good news for a team who struggled with the defensive side of the game.
One more time against the Flames tomorrow, this time over in Calgary before they return home to host the Jets on Friday night. They’ll round out the month of February with another tilt with Winnipeg Sunday, then the Oilers visit on Tuesday and Thursday of next week. We’ll have our game preview tomorrow, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at the other action around the NHL last night, starting with the other North Division teams in action:
If you decided to change the channel after Austin Matthews 2nd period PPG made it a 5-1 game for the Leafs, you probably felt comfortable in doing so. So a few seconds later, when Nick Paul got a shorty to make it 5-2 just before the buzzer in the 2nd, you likely weren’t worried. In the 3rd period, the Pesky Sens were back, scoring 3 times to send it to OT, when Evgeny Davidov, who got the tying goal sealed the deal giving the Sens the win over the Leafs.
Alex Chaisson and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice for Edmonton but Blake Wheeler’s 3rd period marker snapped a 5-5 tie to give the Jets the victory. Nik Ehlers scored his 10th of the season for the Jets in this one.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the winner in the 2nd as the Isles took down the Sabres last night in Buffalo.
Jordan Staal and Brock McGinn each notched a pair as the Canes continue to roll in the Central, in that 3 way tie for 2nd place with Florida and Chicago, who are all sitting one point back of Tampa Bay. Carolina is now 10-3-0 on the season.
Are the Florida Panthers for real? It might be a little early to be trotting this out, but they are definitely one of the biggest surprises of the season, as they improved their record to 9-2-2 with a big win over their upstate rival. How cool is it that the Battle of Florida is actually a thing now?
Dominik Kubalik’s 2nd of the game was the OT winner for the Hawks, who kept pace with Florida and Carolina with this victory. Malcolm Subban picked up the win in this one, as Chicago, picked by many to struggle this season have been maybe catching a few teams not taking them as serious as they should.
Logan Couture’s goal midway through the 2nd would hold up as the Sharks took down the Ducks in the Shark Tank last night. San Jose improved to 6-7-1 on the year.
ARIZONA COYOTES 1 ST LOUIS BLUES 0
Clayton Keller’s 2nd period goal was all the Desert Dogs would need as they shutout Jordan Binnington and the Blues last night. The win helped Arizona leapfrog Anaheim and Colorado into 3rd place in the West Division.
And speaking of the Coyotes, the awesome Katie Strang has a story out on the Athletic ( I don’t think this one is behind the paywall) about the absolute shit show that franchise has continued to be even after another ownership change. You really should read this one...