Golden Knights 7, Canucks 4: Crumbled Defense Just The Latest Trouble

The Canucks created a lot tonight, but too many mistakes came home to land in one of the toughest places to play in the NHL.

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The two main stories of the Vancouver Canucks’ 2021-22 season so far have been the inability to create offensive opportunities and the inability to kill penalties.


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Saturday night in Las Vegas, they were much better in the first, but still struggled in the second. In the end, they lost 7-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.

Offensively, there was a lot to like. Vancouver surpassed Las Vegas and created many quality opportunities.

But the Golden Knights are always dangerous and, given enough opportunities, they were always going to cause a problem. For the second game in a row, the Canucks gave up seven goals.

Vegas landed a power play goal against the current at the end of the first period and then got his winning account also in the man advantage, an opportunity that came only due to a debatable decision by the referees, who ruled that the Canucks goalkeeper Thatcher Demko had intentionally brought down the net.


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It was a strange moment and it could have been a big talking point had Evgenii Dadonov not scored with 5:56 going 2v1.

With just two exceptions, the Canucks haven’t really played bad this season. But they still have only five wins, only three in regulation, and this is a results-based business.

They lack enough details that they keep showing up on the losing end of the balance sheet. And that, in the end, is the easiest way to sum up a team: 5-8-2 and a goal differential of -14 after 15 games are two very telling signs.

The Canucks received goals from JT Miller, Tanner Pearson and two from Nils Höglander, while Dadonov led Las Vegas with a pair, Jonathan Marchessault also had two, more singles from Reilly Smith, Brayden McNabb and Jake Leschyshyn, his first goal in the league. NHL.


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This is what we learned …

Finally an opening goal

For the first time in 10 games, the Canucks scored first, when JT Miller scored on a breakaway, moments after Michael Amadio missed an open net at 2v1.

It was the third time all season the Canucks scored first in a game. And coming out of the stench of Thursday in Colorado, it was a bold start, the kind that Miller himself had promised would be there.

They had to respond with great effort. Failure to do so would speak loudly and badly, he hinted in his pre-game remarks.

“(Reply) shows the identity of the team. That helps with your character and the kind of focus we have as a group, ”he said. No one was lowering their head. They were ready to move on.


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Quick Start

Miller was not wrong.

They went up 2-0.

The Canucks came out hard and fast, just as they promised to do after Thursday’s stench. Pearson’s goal wasn’t technically a power play marker, but it might as well have been, a second after a Mark Stone penalty expired and using a fairly quick puck move from Brad Hunt and Conor Garland in the run-up.

Despite Dadonov scoring with a two-man lead just seconds before the end of the first frame, the Canucks maintained their second lead after the first 20 minutes of the season.

Spinning slowly

Even when the Canucks had a strong 5-on-5 in the first period, there were troubling signs – like the fact that they didn’t record a single shot attempt at Las Vegas’ goal in their first-period power play.


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This was a game where the Canucks could have had a more solid lead. And so Dadonov’s late goal really hurt.

When a defensive misreading from the so-called Madison Bowey, replacing the suspended Tucker Poolman, led to a practical 2v0, in which Reilly Smith hit the tying goal over Demko’s glove hand, he had a feeling about the gods of hockey. .

So Vegas took over. They had five high-hazard chances (according to Natural Stat Trick, chances that are essentially at the top of the fold) to none for the Canucks with uniform strength in the first twelve minutes of the second period.

And they scored again, again from another defensive error by Canucks.

This time it was Tyler Myers who got out of his lane, leaving a clear path to the net for Brayden McNabb to attack and the great blue line player, who hit Vasily Podkolzin on the back and caused a fight in the first period, not he was wrong. his chance, another shot fired into Demko’s glove hand.


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Happy elf

November is still a good month for Höglander. The Swedish pocket battleship did not score its first goal of the season until its 11th game of the year.

He now has four goals in five games, after tying the game at the end of the second.

Jumped on a getaway, he ignored pressure from Las Vegas defender Ben Hutton and stayed on the scene after being shot in the wrist that Las Vegas goalkeeper Robin Lehner appeared to have swallowed, but instead spilled between his legs.

The astute winger drew the puck from between his compatriot’s knees and made sure to finish.

It was a good comeback for his team, which might otherwise have gone into halftime reeling.

And he played savior again early in the third, moments after Leschyshyn put Vegas in front, finding a loose rebound off Lehner’s platform to tie the matter at four.


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He also had an assist on the night, firing the pass to Miller who threw it on his getaway.

A familiar face

Hutton, once thought to be a key to the Canucks’ future at the blue line, is now in his fourth team since being deemed expendable after the 2018-19 season.

He has played for Los Angeles, Anaheim, Toronto and now Las Vegas.

Saturday was his debut for the Knights, but he didn’t play much as Vegas leaned heavily on their top four defenders, not so much on their third matchup, on tonight Hutton and Dylan Coghlan.

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