Canucks Weekly Fares: Week 18 Recap

By: Trent Leith and Brayden Fengler / February 19, 2024  

Game 51: February 13th vs. The Chicago Blackhawks

The Canucks were once again set to face off against the juggernaut that is the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday evening. Still, with no Bedard, no Taylor Hall, no Corey Perry, and no hope.

The Canucks came out of the gate flying. They were all over the Blackhawks, which isn’t saying much. That’s like saying “The Canucks won their race against a child on a scooter while they were in their Ferrari.” It isn’t much of an accomplishment.

What was an accomplishment however was going through the entire first period with only one shot against. To make that even more remarkable, the Canucks were shorthanded twice in the first period.

One of those situations was caused by Sam Lafferty when he clearly interfered with the Chicago netminder.

You know what, I actually don’t see it. Regardless, no harm, no foul.

The only goal of the period came from a beautiful passing play from Dakota Joshua and Conor Garland for Garland’s 10th goal of the season.

Garland opened the scoring in the second period when he got nailed by a hard Hronek shot that trickled into the net behind him. It wasn’t exactly a beautiful goal, but it was a goal nonetheless.

Tyler Johnson got the next goal bringing the mighty Chicago Blackhawks within one goal. This is the goal we will all look back on as the goal that brought back the dynasty. As soon as Johnson scored this goal, Bedard punched a Chicago medical staffer in the gut and told them to clear him for play.

Wait no never mind. Höglander scored next, the Blackhawks are still really bad.

Höglander scored a cheeky goal marking 3 straight games with a goal from The Big Hög. Get this man on PP2 and never let him leave the top six.

Will the third Line ever be stopped? Some say they won’t. Dakota Joshua scored next to make it 4-1 in favour of the Canucks.

Dakota Joshua wasn’t done there. Coming to Garland’s immediate difference after a big hit. Joshua dropped the gloves. It was a half-decent scrap. However, if you watch closely, Joshua lands a punch against the helmet and is immediately in some discomfort.

Game 52: February 15th vs. The Detroit Red Wings

Well, Wyatt called it.

Dakota Joshua was unavailable on Thursday night due to an “upper-body injury”.

His hand, he hurt his hand. It was clear when it happened.

With Joshua out, in practice before the game, we saw Höglander practicing at the net front on PP2.

The Canucks opened the scoring with a JT Miller shot that beat Lyon cleanly and was only the game’s third shot. Miller was gifted a slice of pizza, as if his 3rd-grade class was well-behaved all month and got a pizza party on the last Friday.

Next up, Lindholm scored from a similar distance as Miller and also beat Lyon cleanly. Rumour has it Patrick Kane tricked Lyon pre-game into thinking the hockey game was canceled and they were playing dodgeball instead to mix things up.

About seven minutes into the third period, Zadorov scored in his return to the ice from his two-game suspension for a hit on the Detroit Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond.

To Lyon’s credit on this goal, there is no chance he can see that puck through that many bodies. Zadorov did a great job of making sure that the puck made it through the crowd and onto the net.

The Red Wings pushed back with a goal of their own not long after Zadorov scored. Compher got his 100th career goal on the play.

Thatcher Demko was remarkable in this game keeping the Canucks with a firm grasp on the contest despite it being closer than the score may have impled. For example, here is a great save from Thatcher Demko on Patrick Kane.

Here is another save from Demko. Inexplicable really.

Anyways that’s enough non-goals. Vancouver scored in a strange fashion to put the Canucks up 4-1 in the third period. Pettersson was on a two-on-one with Nils Höglander. Pettersson whiffed on his pass to Höglander but he stuck with the play and made a desperate, but perfectly placed pass for Lindholm to score his second of the night.

Lindholm has four goals and five points in only six games in a Canucks uniform. He seems to fit in just right.

Zadorov was making the most of his return and taunting Walman by doing a fly-by griddy. Needless to say, Walman was very grumpy this game.

Near the end of the game the Canucks had over four minutes shooting on the empty net and let me tell you, it was exhausting to watch. Lindholm hit the post on the empty net to prevent the hat trick, Pettersson was too generous and overpassed trying to get Lindholm to score his third, Garland nearly scored, Boeser scored, but Miller was offside and it was called no-goal, but most gutwrenching was Demko’s attempt on net.

Perfectly weighted.

Perfectly placed.

But some big jerk was playing defence and stopped the goal. Kick him out of the league.

The Canucks ended up winning 4-1. At the end of the game, all the players went to the centre of the ice and hit the griddy pointing at Walman.

Okay, they didn’t do that, but in my head they did. What they did win, was another two points.

Game 53: February 17th vs. The Winnipeg Jets

Hot off the heals of three straight wins, with their last one coming against Detroit in their first home game of the month, the Canucks were looking to show Winnipeg what they can do.

Before last night’s game, the Winnipeg Jets sat an even 10 points behind the Canucks in the league-wide standings, sitting in third place in the Central Division. All of this to say, the Jets are one of the few teams in the league that are expected to hold and candle against this Canucks team.

The game started off slow with the first shot from either side coming nearly a full five minutes into the frame when Pius Suter found himself net front with a bobbling puck and tried to earn the Canucks their first goal of the game.

Minutes later the Jets had their own close call in front of the Canucks net, Mark Scheifele received a cross-crease pass on a Jets break-in and quickly fired a point-blank shot on Demko. Momentum from the play caused Demko to slide nearly all the way back into the net, yet somehow the puck was determined to never have crossed the line.

Both teams traded a few other respectable chances in the opening period, but after 20 minutes of play fans in attendance still needed to wait a little longer to witness the game’s first goal.

The wait ended farley early in the second period. Even without Dakota Joshua on the ice, Garland’s line was still deadly for the Canucks. Off of the rush into the Jet’s zone Conor Garland centered a puck that looked to be intended for Teddy Blueger. But with Blueger being tied up in front of the net it was the trailing Noah Juulsen who cleaned up the garbage, making the score 1-0 Vancouver.

The Canucks were able to enjoy this lead for a quarter of the period until a Nils Hoglander roughing call against Neal Pionk put the Canucks on the penalty kill. While short-handed and stuck in their zone the Jets made the Canucks pay curtsey of Gabriel Vilardi’s goal scored from insight around Demko’s nearside.

With the game tied at the halfway mark of the contest things then took a turn for the ugly as the game’s regular plays was put on pause for some hands to be thrown. While leaving the Canucks zone with the puck Nils Åman was hit hard into the boards by the Jets’ Adam Lowry at high speed. This prompted an immediate response from Phil DiGiuseppe. Regrettably, for the Canucks’ momentum it looked as though DiGiuseppe lost the tilt pretty handily, and ended-up leaving for the box with the extra instigator penalty.

The Jets capitalized on this man’s advantage immediately, off of the face-off a tic-tac-toe play found the puck in the back of the Canucks net, scored by Sean Monahan in the slot.

Closing in on the end of the period the Canucks had a sizable lead on the Jets with regards to shots on a net and overall chances. However, Winnipeg was simply doing a grade-A level job at converting their fewer opportunities.

The Canucks did get the last laugh in the frame thankfully for the home team. In an utterly possessed display of individual skill Tyler Myers intercepted a cross-ice breakout pass from the Jets’ Vilardi, walked in around 2-3 Jets players, and backhanded the puck cleanly past Connor Hellebuyck while in close. A display that put the game back at two a side, while defying all I know about Tyler Myers.

The third period had the Jets begin to close the gap on their total number of shots compared to the Canucks. After over two minutes of play in the third period, the Jets were controlling the bulk of the chances, keeping the puck in the Canucks’ end.

Eventually, Vancouver woke up a bit, realizing there was still more hockey to play, and near the halfway mark of the third period had begun to push back and develop some chances of their own.

Just before the 13-minute mark, a skillful break-in by Elias Pettersson resulted in multiple shots on the net in short succession. Unfortunately, though Hellebuyck had to prove, why like Demko he is also one of the best goalies in the league.

Jet’s break in around the 12-minute mark resulted in a cross-crease play that saw Vilardi make up for his Myers giveaway earlier in the game and score the Jet’s next goal to make it 3-2 Winnipeg. Ironically it was Tyler Myers who was the last man back on the two-on-one that earned Vilardi his goal.

Minutes later in a nearly identical fashion, the Canucks gifted the Jets another two-on-one chance which resulted in another glove-side goal on Thatcher Demko, this time from Mark Scheifele.

Sadly this was the last goal scored in the game, and even though Vancouver was either equal or leading in regard to overall chances on the night, they fell apart in the final period and it cost them the whole contest.