A better, closer, more disciplined game from the Canucks wasn’t enough to stop the slide on Tuesday night against Colorado. The Canucks became the final team to hit the three losses in a row mark this season – a testament to how this year has gone for them, and also a solid mark of adversity for them to overcome. If you’re interested, here are your highlights:
That was a much better effort from the boys on Tuesday night. Even though they didn’t come away with the victory, it was a game in which they could have. A couple bounces for the Avs, and an inability to finish for the Canucks… sometimes you play well and don’t win. It was encouraging to see the response – especially against a great home-ice team like Colorado – and it should bode well for them to get out of this funk. Tocchet thought as much:
“I thought we played a good game,” he said. “Probably deserve better, but they made the plays at the end. Did a nice job against [MacKinnon’s line], [Cale] Makar. Those guys are special players, and I thought we did a really nice job against them. It was hard. It's one of those things that we just couldn't score to get the equalizer.”
The Canucks generated a lot of pressure and open looks, but just couldn’t finish their chances. On the whole of the season things have generally gone their way, but it seems like last night (and the few before) the pendulum swung the other direction. Once again, a powerplay goal would have been pretty impactful, but the top unit seems listless and static.
“Got to be more decisive,” Tocchet said about the powerplay after the game. He’s right, but he also is the one in charge of the unit, so he shoulders some of the responsibility in getting it back on track.
Overall, it was just a good hockey game.
“We played some good hockey; they played good hockey,” captain Hughes said. “We had a chance at the end there. The goalie made a really good save on that one late in the third, and then we had a chance on the power play.”
Even the other side of the bench saw that. Game recognize game.
“It's a really good team, and we had to play really well,” Avs coach Bednar said. “That was a good hockey game. It was intense, and both teams were disciplined. It was hard fought. When you're playing a really good team like that and both teams are dialed in, it's going to be a battle. And that's what it was. Tonight, we came out on top.”
It was also the first NHL game for local rookie Arsdeep Bains – who was undrafted in both Junior and the NHL. So a huge milestone for him! And, he didn’t look out of place. He finished -2 on the night, with three hits, and took a penalty, but was creating in the offensive zone and trustworthy enough that Tocchet played him more in the third than the fourth line.
“I think throughout my whole life, I kind of just try to put my foot in the door every level I get to,” Bains told Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy before the game. “It's no different here. It's been a heck of a journey so far, and I'm pretty excited to see where it goes.
“I think it's every kid's dream to play for their hometown team.”
I had that dream, and I didn’t even play hockey growing up.
The Canucks look to stop the slide in Seattle on Thursday night against a well rested Kraken team.