The Canucks had plenty to go to them in a nice win over the Blues.
Vancouver Canucks is not the most exciting team. Their offensive talent is not the deepest. In order to draw out, they usually need a few important ingredients:
Good goaltending. Good finishing touches. Good special teams. A good dose of urgency.
And sometimes a little luck.
OK, so maybe this is the case for most teams …
This was the formula, however, won on Thursday evening entertaining affair at Rogers Arena for Canucks, 5-1 over visitors St. Louis Blues.
Jacob Markstrom was dynamite in the net to open the game and Canucks was dominant in the other. The goalkeeper put on another strong screen in the third period to carry his team home.
Canucks scored goals from Bo Horvat, Adam Gaudette, Josh Leivo, Jake Virtanen and an empty nights (with 4:36 left!) For Loui Eriksson.
Vladimir Tarasenko broke Markström's shutout in the third to Blues's only goal.
Here's what we learned…
As the cliches go, all that is required is.
As in a passport, from Elias Pettersson to Bo Horvat.
Canucks got their first goal in the match when the young Swedes found the future captain of the doorstep.
The pass was all but, as many times have missed it, Horvat's in-hold team in position for Blues goalkeeper Jake Allen should not go unnoticed.
The power game had not looked good before that, but they count everyone so goals are all we will remember.
Little stick brings big things
Adam Gaudette has seen the game play nice hockey in his rookie season. His first goal was a ripper, a beautiful score in Los Angeles last month.
No. 2 was not so beautiful. He drove to the net, the puck was caught in Allen's gear, and it hit one way or another.
Gaudette was more than happy to score again.
The former North American University degree plays a shorter stick than you might expect for a player of his height – he is 6 feet-1 – but it gives him greater puck control in traffic.
He first begins using a stick that only reaches the center of the chest during his lonely junior season with Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in 2014-15.
A small lesson for Gaudette in angles came to the Tarasenko goal, where the Canucks center took too wide a line to pick up the Blues Wing when he was set to drive towards Markstrom's goal.
That meant that Tarasenko could swing in front of Gaudette, who could not stop the Russians when he pulled a classic NHL 94 goal where he popped the width around Markstrom and into the remote side of the net.
Next time Gaudette will undoubtedly move to cut the angle first.
They all count, Pt. 2
Josh Leivo has now scored two first-rate ugly goals since joining Canucks.
This is the kind of observation that can bring out "who cares?" From the social media audience. In this case they are entitled.
They count everyone.
And while Canucks has been focused this season by taking almost only high quality images from between the facial spots, it never hurts to mix it up once in a while.
Leivo caught allen leaning and as many a beer lean forward, he came away happy to try.
And while we're in, what's it about Canucks that made them score two goals this season next to Jake Allen's back?
They all count, Pt. 3
Like Brock Boeser's goal last Saturday against Flyers, Jake Virtan's goal on Thursday evening was just as much about traffic and distracting goalkeeper as anything.
Virtan's effort was another for those sometimes-just-go-in files when he launched a wrist shot maybe half a foot from the blue line.
They count everyone.
The goal was Virtans 11. of the season, a new career high.
one way traffic
The first period was about Jacob Markstrom.
The Blues whipped Canucks' goal and scored 15 shots on the goal. They had plenty of other good looking online as well.
But in front of them all, the great Swedish was high.
Canucks paid back the favor to their goalkeeper, completely turning the game stream into the other, restricting St. Louis to only three shots, against 13 for the home team.
Oh, and yes, two of the dozen ended up in the net behind Allen.
Canucks entered the game when he killed 17 penalty penalties.
They killed two in the first and the other in the second and extended streak.
The last team scoring with a man's advantage against Canucks was Minnesota, eight games since now.
There are many reasons behind the race, but the addition of Loui Eriksson to the PK Group has something to do with it.
Eriksson was restored to the punishment a few games before the Minnesota performance, but this game aside has been Canucks been much better at preventing goals when finishing a skater.
Pettersson, shot blocker
Halfway through the second, Alien made a point shot and blocked it.
Remarkable? Maybe not. Lots of players block the shot. And you'd rather have the puck and do not have to block any shot.
But on a team that likes to talk about doing the little things, that was a little thing that was good.
Winnipeg Jets at Vancouver Canucks
7 pm, Rogers Arena, CBC, SNP, SNET 650 AM
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