This season—and arguably during their entire existence—it seems as if the Vancouver Canucks and their fans just can’t have nice things.
After a terrible first period in which they were repeatedly bailed out by goaltender Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks battled back to play two very encouraging periods of hockey.
After being down 2-0 three minutes into the second period and with the desperate Islanders (who have now lost seven in a row) seemingly able to break into the Canucks zone with ease, the game looked over early.
But Vancouver battled back, and a rambunctious home crowd got to see the club tie it up and then take the lead in the third. The Isles scored again to tie it up before overtime, and that’s when what seemed like the same old story took a horrible turn for the worse.
Brock Boeser, the light of the Canucks season and one of the best things to happen to the franchise in the last five years… you know what, we can’t even say it. Here’s the video.
We were there, stranded in the hallway as Rogers Arena staff worked to clear out the media and get Boeser out of the building without any prying eyes catching a glimpse or a photo.
Is it another injury that looks serious for Boeser but ends up not being that bad? Time will tell, but with the rookie in the hospital for what Green said were “precautionary reasons”, things look bleak.
Three who impressed
1. The Canucks’ new top line (?)
Jake Virtanen looked great all night and earned a promotion on to the top line even before Boeser was hurt. He looks like he could be there for the foreseeable future as he worked well with Horvat on Leipsic’s first goal and then took a nice feed from Leipsic to score his own.
Virtanen also mixed it up with Clutterbuck as it became clear the young forward wasn’t going to take any shit from the veteran. Green said after the game that Virtanen had “turned the corner.”
Leipsic of course had a strong game, even though he found himself in the penalty box three times. The final redemption came in OT as the Canucks’ new acquisition made Isles ‘tender Jaroslav look ridiculous before he potted the winner.
2. Mathew Barzal
The rookie race was probably already over, but tonight might have cemented it. For his part, Barzal looked good, slicing and dicing Vancouver defencemen on more than one occasion. He added two assists for a rookie-leading 69 point total.
3. Darren Archibald
‘Archie was throwing his weight around all game and drew a penalty shot by forcing Johnny Boychuk to hook him. He made no mistake against Halak, using a move that coach Travis Green said he’s seen before.
Three who didn’t
1. Michael Del Zotto
The Canucks defenceman was all over the place tonight, and not in the best way. He had a few nice moments, like a big hit on Jordan Eberle, but he also gave the puck away a couple times and generally didn’t seem like he should be second on the team in time on ice.
2. Canucks medical staff
Should they have just brought the stretcher on to the ice for Boeser as many were suggesting? The rookie trying to walk off was absolutely brutal to watch.
3. Jaroslav Halak
As has been the Islanders’ problem for much of this year, they desperately needed a save. Halak didn’t seem up to the task at all, allowing four goals on 23 shots.
“I don't want to make a comment on it. I hope it's alright. I think our guys feel like it’s a bruise and…” – Canucks coach Travis Green on Brock Boeser, before trailing off
“It’s fucking getting old. Same story.” – Islanders coach Doug Weight on the loss
This exchange after Trevor Linden bumped into Elliotte Friedman in the press box was priceless:
Linden was referencing this.
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