By: Brayden Fengler and Trent Leith / February 12, 2023
Are you too heartbroken to watch the Canucks now that cap’n Bo has left the team? Don’t worry we have you covered. In this article, StadiumChinatown.ca presents the weekly fares on and off the ice for the Canucks. You don’t have to watch every game to stay in the loop.
Game 48: February 6th vs. The New Jersey Devils
The first game of a new era. After returning from the All-Star break, the team would be without its captain for the first time. Bo Horvat has been traded. The lines are different, the powerplay looks different and everything is different. But the wheel keeps turning.
The Canucks would take on the New Jersey Devils and Kuzmenko would kick things off the scoring with a silky deke to fool Dougie Hamilton, split the defenders, and snipe one in the back of the net.
With 2:12 left in the first period, Jack Hughes would do what he does best, he scores. The period would end tied at one.
Pettersson would be sprung for a breakaway about a minute and a half into the second period, with all the time in the world. His wrist shot unfortunately beat Blackwood, but not the post. Pettersson would then swipe at the rebound but ultimately be left looking skyward after coming close to taking the lead.
At 10:33 Hamilton shot from the Blueline and Palat redirected the puck for the go-ahead goal.
And go ahead the Devils would. By 9:43 remaining the score would be 4-1 in favour of the Devils. Palat would score again after an onslaught of offence from himself, Bratt, and Hischier making the game 3-1. Hughes (the Devils one) would score again. That’s three goals against the Canucks in less than a minute. Yikes.
Luke Schenn would start to rally the comeback with a half-slapshot that found its way to the net with seeming ease to bring the game within two. Colin Delia would make a sprawling save and the Canucks would rush the puck back up the ice where Curtis Lazar would score with less than thirty seconds left in the period, bringing the game back within one. There were five goals scored in the second period.
The only goal in the third period came from Phil Di Guiseppe scoring his first goal as a Vancouver Canuck with a partial two-on-one. He would telegraph a pass the whole way but ended up doing it himself going top corner. The Canucks would force OT tied 4-4, and guarantee themself at least a point in the standings.
Halfway through OT Jack Hughes would get a breakaway from centre ice and his older brother, Quinn, would chase him down, while Jack got a shot off, Quinn was able to lean into him ruining Jack’s chance. It was exciting to see a play in the NHL that probably happened countless times growing up as kids. However, the excitement was long-lived as Bratt would score to win the game on the man advantage leaving the Canucks with the lonesome point.
Game 49: February 8th vs. The New York Rangers
Then on Wednesday, the Canucks took on the Rangers a team neck and neck with New Jersey in the Metropolitan Division standings. Just as the Canucks managed to do in the end against the Devils, Vancouver kept their contest against the Rangers close, but this time, throughout the entire game.
The Rangers were both first and second on the board that night, with a goal from Chris Kreider and Filip Chytil, holding the team from New York to a two-goal lead for most of the period. It wasn’t until a sole break-in by Quinn Hughes topped off with a quick snip from Garland, did the Canucks finally get on the board late in the first period.
The second was a closer nit affair, with the two teams trading goals to bookend the period. But what was most notable about the Ranger’s efforts in the second frame was that they were constantly trying to catch the Canucks sleeping, in the form of long bomb pass attempts from the Ranger’s zone. New York was sending pucks all the way down the ice from deep in their zone, to Rangers’ players ready for a quick and sneaky break-in to the Canucks zone. This method for the home team wasn’t super effective, but try it they did.
The third period saw more excitement, maybe too much excitement for #43, as Barclay Goodrow lifted a puck that ended up connecting with Quinn Hughes, breaking his nose and banishing him to play the rest of this game and subsequent games with a bubble cage.
In terms of the score sheet the Rangers and the Canucks traded goals once again this period, with Mike Zibanejad scoring early in the frame and then Elias Pettersson grinding out a follow-up goal for the Canucks only 11 seconds later.
Unfortunately for Petey and his team, that goal would be the Canucks’ last on the night, and the game, although close, would end in a somewhat predictable 4-3 Rangers win. Vancouver was close for most of the night, but sadly, that’s all they were, close.
Game 50: February 9th vs. The New York Islanders
Thursday, February 9th would be the first time the Canucks would take a face-off against Bo Horvat. The long-time Canuck was traded to the islanders prior to the All-Star Break. The same goes for Anthony Beauvillier and the New York Islanders.
The first period would be an exciting and fun game for fans of both sides, but not one for either goalie. Despite only 15 shots total, there would be two goals a piece. Scoring would open off a wrist shot from Kyle Palmieri. OEL would score next off a wrist shot and a Beauvillier screen. The jury is still out if Beauvillier got a piece of it for his first goal as a Canuck.
Boeser would give the Canucks the leading goal off of a one-timer. Miller would have some strong board work to draw in the opponent to give Boeser space for a one-timer in the slot.
The period would end tied 2-2 from a beautifully placed shot from Brock Nelson on a two-on-one.
The second period would be opened with a powerplay and Horvat would score off a redirect for his 33rd of the season. But the goal would be called back for goaltender interference from Anders Lee. Horvat would go back to 32 goals on the season, but the Islanders would get one back right away off a one-timer from Barzal.
Inside the last five minutes, Bo Horvat would finally get one that counted. A classic Horvat play. Barzal would dance and dangle behind the net and throw a backhand pass up to Bumpin’ Bo who would score his patented goal from the slot with a one-timer from one knee. A “Horvat” chant would ring through the arena on Long Island as the broadcast cut to a close-up of Bo with a smirk on his face. Bo has found himself a playmaking winger in Barzal and a hockey-crazed market to call home.
Aman would score his second career goal on a gritty hardworking rebound goal in front of the net to bring things back within one.
Pettersson would complete the comeback with a one-timer from the blue line on the man advantage. The hardest shot champ would put a slapshot nearly 95 MPH through a crowd into the back of the net.
Pettersson would score another goal off a rush started by Ethan Bear. Boeser would receive the breakout pass and give Pettersson a nifty pass to take the game to 5-4. Anthony Beauvillier would redirect a Boeser shot to complete the “traded guys scoring on their former team trend in the evening.
The Islanders would score one more time with the goalie pulled, but the Canucks would win the game despite being down 4-1 early in the second period. It is also worth mentioning that Boeser had four points on the night. It’s funny how that happens after you get time on PP1 and get time with Pettersson at even strength. If you’re trying to build up his value, this is how you do it.
Game 51: February 11th vs. The Detroit Red Wings
Saturday’s early morning game against the Detroit Red Wings proved at least one thing, Vancouver can still lose to bad teams, and quite easily I might add. Despite Vancouver peppering on the shots over the course of the game, and ending the 60-minute campaign with nine more shots on net, more hits, and more faceoff wins, Detroit came out on top.
Dylan Larkin may have lost his touch when it comes to the fastest skater contest at the All-Star game, but he can still score, as he wasted no time putting one in the back of the net, scoring the game’s first goal just 68 seconds in.
Jonatan Berggren would earn one of his own for Detroit not long after, and from this point on, the writing was on the wall.
In the second period, new Canuck Anthony Beauvillier would at least get Vancouver on the board thanks to a quick release in the slot, off the back of decent Canucks possession in the Detroit zone.
This goal however would prove to be the last goal the Canucks would score until halfway through the third period when Elias Pettersson would earn an ultimately inconsequential goal assisted by none other than Beauvillier, to make it 5-2 Canucks,
Not only could the Canucks as a whole not catch a break in the third period, but poot Ethan Bear specifically, had a nasty run-in with the boards, after Dakota Joshua sent him on what was and could’ve stayed as a nice break away. That is of course if Filip Hronek didn’t trip Bear, sending him spinning awkwardly into the boards.
Ethan bear would leave the ice with the help of trainers, but would ultimately return to the game. It’s always “cool” to see hockey players feel like they need to stick it out for their team and return to play, Hughes with his nose, Bear after his high-speed crash into the boards. But If the team you play for happens to be the 2023 Vancouver Canucks, maybe it’s okay if you rest up a bit more. This team doesn’t need any heroes right now.