Connect with us


Canucks Drop 2-1 Thriller

Photo Credit Darryl Dyck

For many their first part of the day was catching the action of the  Winter Classic played in Hamilton that saw the Sabres defeat the hometown Maple Leafs albeit just up the QEW a short driving distance.

For those who were fortunate enough to grow up in a part of Canada where you could actually play on outdoor rinks this was like reliving the past, bringing back memories of yesteryear.

Reflecting back this was an era where any issues were put “on the back burner” and was simply a friendly game of shinny playing in some cases by the moon light and heaven forbid the one who lost the puck in the snow bank.

On a night when the Canucks were playing host to Tampa strangely enough this was actually part of the conversation at the supper table served up by the exceptionally friendly staff at Rogers Arena.

With the game getting close to puck drop there was lots of conversation with many of the attending scouts on hand with some sorting out the topic of who the Canucks should move out and who they should keep.

It was interesting that for the pre-game announcements they were handled by 10-year old Max Andrews, son of local announcer Don Andrews who was filling in for Al Murdoch who was in Hamilton at the Winter Classic.

This alone was quite the topic of conversation, not just from the scouts but also various media on hand all solving the issues they feel are facing the Canucks.

Regardless as the clock moved ever so close to game time and given the fact that some are still sorting out the time change, moving forward it was time to watch the first class game promo both on the scoreboard as well as displayed on the ice.

The Canucks return to Rogers Arena taking on Tampa Bay for the first time since December 18th, 2018 which is the second and final meeting between both Vancouver and Tampa Bay this season with the two previous ones Jan. 13 (4-2 L) and a home match-up Mar. 13th.

Overall Vancouver’s record currently sits at 20-14-2-2 all-time record against the Lightning, including a 10-4-2-2 record at home against Tampa Bay.

One key for the Canucks is managing to block shots keeping the game within reach from the opening draw.

The Canucks are managing 2.86 while Tampa are collecting 3.38 per game compared to the PP of  21.7 for Vancouver matching 20.0 for Tampa.

Entering the game one might think that the Canucks would have the upper hand in part due to the fact that Tampa flew in earlier in the day, while Vancouver should be more rested.

Tampa comes to town on a four game losing streak and the last time they faced a situation like this was in the 2019-20 given that they were coming to town after a 4-1 drubbing by the Oilers.

Tonight’s match-up is more of a battle between two of the league’s top goaltenders, namely the Canucks Thatcher Demko who has a GAA of 2.67 and aS% of .916 through 47 games played.

 Tampa’s Andrei Vasilevshiy on the other hand has a GAA of 2.43  anda  SV% of .917 through 45 games..

One area the Canucks face is allowing the opposition to control the opening period and if we look back they have only been able to manage 30 goals in the past 59 games in the opening period which has them in 30th in the league.

Continuing to play a solid role was Canucks Miller who came to the Canucks following a trade with Tampa in 2019 when they felt that they were more focused on dealing with Bradem Point for his impressive 93 point season.

Missing from the line-up was Elias Pettersson who has 7 goals, 11 assists for 18 points in his previous 17 games played and is out with an undisclosed upper body injury.

The Canucks were focused for the game, but got off to a slow start allowing two goals in the first with the first at 3:26 and the second at 5:06 both even strength markers by Ross Colton and Victor Hedman.

Miller got the Canucks on the board in the third getting his 24th of the season and with the play around the net Garland continued to play managing to put it in, tying the game at two.

While everyone has a different view from the officials positioning he obviously felt it was frozen and while it was pushed in the net, it was waved off keeping it a 2-1 game and according to Garland he never heard the whistle.

The Canucks came out on the short end in this game, but let’s not forget who they were playing against and question what you will, this is far from the team last November, which is a breath of fresh air.

Following the game during the media press conference Garland told the media “Obviously, not a good start knowing how hungry they were going to be and to not come out the way we should was disappointing. It was good to see the push and we know the character we have in the room and we don’t ever feel like we’re out of it.”

He continued “We have to have better starts and that’s what is killing us right now. If we play like we did in the second and third, we’re going to win a lot of games. But good teams close games out and they’ve won two Cups and you can’t win them without closing games. It’s too good a team to give them that start.”

Wrapping up the media conference if you think you’re frustrated it’s nice to actually hear a coach tell it the way he feels and such was the case again with Bruce who when asked what he should do mentioned “I have no idea — get some psychologists in here and we’ll work with them.”

Garland’s not the only one frustrated as Ekman-Larsson mentioned “It takes a lot of energy out of us pushing that hard in the second and third and it would be nice to play with the lead going into the second.”

The Canucks are on a home-stand with them facing the Devils on the 15th, the Wings on the 17th, the Flames on the 19th and the Sabres on the 20th, then hit the road for four before returning to take on St. Louis on the 30th


Call up from Abbotsford saw Sheldon Rempal make his season debut for the Canucks.


About Sportswave



Sportswave Productions is located in Delta, BC.
Sportswave promotes/broadcasts Amateur Sports within the Lower Mainland.
He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
Awarded Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for tangible for significant assistant given for the better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.
SportsWave offers services that extend from sports articles, to interviews with on location webcasts on
For additional information:




X-Treme Threads


More in Hockey