Canucks Weekly Fares: Week 22 Recap

By: Trent Leith and Brayden Fengler / March 12, 2023  

In week 22 of the Vancouver Canucks’ season they would go a perfect 3-0 and collect six points in the standings, for good or ill. Regardless of if you are cheering for wins or losses, the Canucks certainly put on a show.

Game 61: March 6th vs. The Nashville Predators

Monday evening the Canucks would play the longest game of hockey of all time (probably). The Cancucks would start Arturs Silovs in net for the fifth time in his career. Pettersson would open the scoring with what might be the best goal of his career, and this is saying a lot because that goal was his 30th of the year. It also happened to be his 300th point in the NHL.

Pettersson would find himself alone in the faceoff dot and with all the time in the world and he make no mistake waiting for the right moment and letting his wrist shot fly. Juuse Saros was beaten clean over his left shoulder. Pettersson went off the crossbar and then into the net.

Colton Sissons would waste no time getting it all back to evens, putting in a rebound that came off the far post only 27 seconds after Pettersson opened the scoring. Podkolzin would score the third goal of the game after a strong entry from him to start the play. The play would end with a tip goal off a Kyle Burroughs snapshot. It’s always nice when a player like Podz scores after a hard-working shift.

JT Miller would get into a fight he didn’t start. Cole Smith pulled Miler out of the scrum and they started fighting. Miller may not have thrown the first punch, but he certainly threw the last one with a decisive win. Dakota Joshua would score the 3-1 goal after Nils Aman drew two defenders in on the two-on-two rush and made a pass to Joshua who made no mistake getting the puck on his forehand and scoring his thirteenth of the season.

Luke Evangelista would score his first NHL goal off a rebound and the Preds would start the comeback, he would complete the comeback with a tip from Tyson Barries’s shot from the point. Not a bad way to start your goals column in the NHL.

The game would require extra time going to OT. Pettersson would try a nifty move to cut to the middle early in overtime but he would end up losing the puck. But, as we all know, Pettersson is relentless, he recovered the puck and ended up putting a hail marry backhand on the net. The desperation attempt beat Saros, but unfortunately not the post.

The game would require a third straight shootout to settle the meeting of these two teams. No one would score until the final frame where Pettersson would score five-hole on Saros. Silov’s would save the third and final shoot-out shot against him to win his first-ever NHL shoot-out. Pettersson opened the scoring and closed it as the Canucks took a full two points from the declining Predators.

Game 62: March 8th vs. The Anaheim Ducks

On Wednesday night Thatcher Demko would return to the crease against the Ducks. Demko would have one put past him early as Troy Terry would score a back-hand goal to open the scoring for the night. Vitali Kravtzov had a breakaway shortly after but was stone-walled by rookie goaltender Lukas Dostal.

The Canucks would tie the game while Miller scored yet another short-handed goal. Elias Pettersson used his incredible hockey IQ to read a play and pick the puck out of the air from Dostal and feed Miller streaking up the middle of the ice for another short-handed goal.

In the second period, it would be nearly 15 minutes until we got our next goal. Kuzmenko made a strong set-up pass across the crease for Pettersson, but the pass didn’t make it to Pettersson because the puck went off Mason McTavish’s skate.

This marks Kuzmenko’s 30th goal. He joins Pettersson as the only two (current) Canucks to reach that landmark so far this season.

Brock McGinn would score 20 seconds later off a rebound to bring things back to square one, to thwart any momentum created by the Canucks.

The Canucks entered the third period tied 2-2 but up 20-15 in shots. Eight minutes into the period Quinn Hughes took a deflected shot in the face and he went right down the tunnel. This is the second time in recent days that a defender has taken a puck off the face. The other is Ethan Bear who remains out of the lineup still as a result. Thankfully though Quinn would return a few shifts later letting Canucks fans breathe a sign of relief.

Just like the last game, this game would require extra time. JT Miller would decide the 7:22 puck drop was past his bedtime and win the opening face-off just score to on the first shot of overtime. It would only take 20 seconds for a bow to be tied around this game. JT Miller now has the third most overtime goals in Canucks history with 7.

If the Canucks are going to win again against another team at the bottom of the standings, they may as well make sure their opposition gets a loser point.

Game 63: March 11th vs. The Ottawa Senators

The game started off with a bang, there were a few big hits thrown by both teams, and the Senators rang an early shot off the post with vengeance. Giroux had a breakaway shortly after and almost made the game 1-0 for the Senators just a few minutes into the first frame.

The Senator’s initial streak of luck would run out however as Pinto would earn himself a tripping call, drawn by Elias Pettersson, sending the Canucks on an early powerplay. The Canucks looked dominant on this first powerplay chance, they controlled the zone as if they quite literally owned that side of the ice, and treated the senators like they were just lucky to be there. However, despite strong setups and a 92mph one-timer bomb by Elias Pettersson, the Canucks first powerplay could not produce the first goal of the game.

Later in the period, Pettersson would be the victim of another questionable act as Austin Watson took a jab at his lower back after the two players crossed paths at centre ice. Kyle Burroughs would not let that stand, and in an effort that will no doubt speak to something that Rick Tocchet likes to see, Burroughs challenged Watson to a fight, a fight that Burroughs would ultimately lose, but it’s the thought that counts.

The Canucks first goal would come late in the period from who else but Andrei Kuzmenko, as with an effortless deke, Kuzmenko opened the scoring for the evening.

Early in the second period Miller would do what he’s been doing best and earn his club another surprising shorthanded marker. It feels like all the Canucks can do once they’re down a man is score.

After this goal the pace of the game picked up, in fact, it picked up so much speed that there wasn’t a stoppage of play for nearly six minutes. An amount of time usually unheard of in the regular flow of NHL games, but yet over a quarter of the period was eaten away by back-and-forth hockey with no whistle and nothing to show for it from either club.

The Canucks would put themselves on the board once again thanks to a nice finish by Nils Aman and an even nicer play by Dakota Joshua. Joshua made a move similar to the one that Kuzmenko made to kick off the scoring for the club, but despite Joshua leaving Sogaard in his dust, the puck escaped from Joshua after one too many moves but was thankfully put home by Aman, who was in the right place at the right time.

The third period was kicked off by an uncharacteristic Kuzmenko miss as Andrei was fed the puck for a one-timer opportunity while stationary near the Sens net, yet Kuzmenko set the puck high and wide and the game would remain 3-0.

Canucks would see another powerplay, with no result, and would also be tasked with a penalty kill, after some commotion in front of the Canucks. Brady Tkachuk had an opportunity to score that ended in Tyler Myers roughing call.

Before the period would reach its halfway mark, Sheldon Dries would further add to the Canucks goal total off of a sharp shot made possible by a very controlled Canucks breakaway, which gave Dries a lot of time to pick his spot.

Nils Aman would take a fairly weak holding penalty near the middle of the frame, but thanks to a very poor Ottawa powerplay, they could not get any decent chances generated on their man advantage. Unfortunately for the Canucks, Ottawa would eventually build some momentum after their powerplay. With just over six minutes left to play Giroux would clean up on a garbage goal opportunity and make it 4-1 Canucks, ruining Demko’s chances of a shutout.

And that wouldn’t be the last goal to get by Demko, as a waved-off icing would lead to an Ottawa possession and ultimately an Ottawa goal by the means of a picked corner by Nick Holden.

That would be the end of Ottawa’s late scoring spree as even though it wasn’t for a lack of trying on Ottawa’s part, the game would end 5-2 after a Kuzmenko empty-net goal and the Canucks would take an important win away from the east coast team.