The Canucks Vs Leaf's Round 2: A Powerful Performance As Vancouver Wins 6-3
The Canucks vs Leaf's round 2 could have been a letdown for Canucks fans. Instead, it was another powerful performance in just their second game back from battling Covid. Tanner Pearson and Brandon Sutter would both score 2 goals as the Canucks won their second straight against the Leafs.
After an amazing performance from Braden Holtby on Sunday night with 37 saves. He would follow it up with another 37 save performance on Tuesday night. Heart, Gutsy, take your pick on cliché after tonight. In case you missed tonight's action let's get you caught up with things from Rogers Arena as the Vancouver Canucks vs Leaf's round 2 played out.
The Canucks vs Leaf's Round 2: Toronto Takes The First Period
The Leafs came out as the more aggressive team once again on Tuesday night. The Canucks were trying to keep the shifts short to start the game and match up the Bo Horvat line against the Matthews line. Toronto would get the first shot on the net and get 3 more before Vancouver would get a good test. J.T. Miller tipped a puck but David Rittich was able to react and keep it out.
There was a lot of pace to the opening 7 and a half minutes of the 1st period. Vancouver would start to even up the shots with another tip chance. This time Brandon Sutter got a stick on it but it was off the blocker of Rittich. The Canucks would start to control play as we hit the halfway point in the period as things were still 0-0. After starting the game with the shots 4-1 the Leafs had only 1 to Vancouvers 8 as we hit the second T.V. Timeout. Jimmy Vesey would spring Brock Boeser for a breakaway, but a great defensive play by Morgan Riley was able to break it up before Boeser could get a shot.
It seemed to walk up the Leafs as they would pin Vancouver in their own end. William Nylander's line was able to get a couple of chances at Braden Holtby before he was able to squeeze onto a long shot from the point and get the Whistle. The Neutral zone would tighten up as both teams were having a hard time setting up and getting zone time. Shots were 9-9 with 4 minutes left in the first.
Jalen Chatfield would get an opportunity when the pass from Sutter bounced right to him. He moved in on Rittich but was unable to get a shot. Toronto would come back the other way and walk around a fallen Giraffe, Oh Tyler Myers. William Nylander was able to get two shots on Holtby before getting the rebound and going behind the net. He was able to find John Tavares in front who had a wide-open net and made it 1-0 at the 16:55 Mark. Tavares with his 15th goal of the season with the assists to Nylander and Alex Kerfoot.
After a good shift by the Canucks to kill some of the Leaf's momenta, the big guns came back on for Sheldon Keefe. Matthews was buzzing and would get a great pass from Jake Muzzin behind the defense. With two players hounding him he was still able to get a weak shot off on Holtby. The period would end 1-0 for the visiting team with shots 13-12 for the Leafs. Things were pretty evenly matched tonight in the first period compared to Sunday but the score was the same.
The Canucks Strike Twice In The 2nd Period
During the opening minute of the 2nd period, Tyler Myers would try and atone for his gaffe in the 1st. He played give and go with J.T. Miller but couldn't sneak it through the short side on Rittich. The Leafs would ice the puck and trap their defensive pair on the ice and Vancouver was able to get some good pressure. Jake Virtanen and J.T. Miller were both trying to jam it in from the side of the net after a Quinn Hughes point shot made its way through. but Toronto was able to clear the danger.
Braden Holtby was able to make a big save at the other end on Auston Matthews before the Canucks were back buzzing. This time the Brandon Sutter and Brock Boeser would do some great work along the boards. The puck would come back to Travis Hamonic who wristed it from the right point. It was tipped by Boeser off the side netting but Sutter was there to clean up the garbage and tie the game up at 1. It was Sutter's 7th goal of the season and good to see him adding depth scoring for Vancouver at the 5:33 mark. Also the 150th goal of his career.
The pace would pick up before Vancouver would ice the puck at 12:16. the Leafs would get a long shot from the point that Holtby would hang on to get the line change and the timeout. It was the Leaf's turn to pressure but a pass to the point would go all the way out of the zone. The Leafs would come right back in and Holtby would once again have to cover the puck. Toronto would get a great chance to take the lead on the 2 on 1. Jason Spezza picked off a pass at his blue line but was unable to find Adam Brooks. Toronto was up to 21 shots as we hit 11 minutes left in the period.
Against the run of play, Vancouver would work it around at the point. J.T. Miller would find Quinn Hughes and his wrist shot tipped off Mitch Marner and past Rittich with just over 10 minutes to go in the second period. The Canucks tied things up but would almost give up the lead just minutes later. Joe Thorton had a great chance but Holtby was able to slide across and deflect it out of play. He was continuing his stellar play from Sunday night. It was a much faster game for the Canucks than on Sunday, but they were still being outskated by the Leafs.
Tavares and Nylander both got great chances for the Leafs but Holtby was equal to the task as the shots hit 12-6 in the 2nd period. After some back and forth play Vancouver almost got lucky as the puck would deflect off Matthews's stick but Rittich made the save despite not being able to see it. The first penalty of the game would go against the Vancouver Canucks and Jalen Chatfield. He would haul down William Nylander as he tried to drive to the net. The leafs had been slumping on the powerplay as of late but were able to shake the rust and tie things up at 2.
John Tavares would get his second goal of the game as he would collect the puck on the half-wall and walk in front and wire it past a screened Holtby. The period would end tied at 2. The Leafs were starting to tilt the shots as it was 32-20 after two periods. As we went into the final frame this was still anyone's game. Would the Canucks have enough left in the tank or would Toronto take over?
Canucks Show Their Grit In The 3rd Period
We were in for a wild 3rd period at Rogers Arena. The Canucks would get their first powerplay of the night after Jimmy Vesey would draw a hooking call on Pierre Engvall just 2:12 into the period. Boeser had a nice chance but his wrist shot wasn't able to beat Rittich. It was Toronto that would take advantage short-handed. Vancouver would get running around in their own zone and Marner was able to find Brooks in front. Holtby was way out of position and Toronto would take the 3-2 lead. Marner and Justin Holl would get assists on the goal at 3:10.
Marner would get a chance to the opportunity to put the game out of reach but was stopped point-blank by the Vancouver goalie. It looked like it might be over for the Canucks until the wonder rookie would strike. Rushing down the left-wing Nils Höglander would slap it through David Rittich who was having a rough night. The puck would sneak between his body and his arm and we were tied up 3-3 just three and a half minutes later.
The pace would slow down with neither team wanting to make the next mistake. It was Toronto that would cave first as T.J. Brodie was given 2 minutes in the sin bin for a cross-check on Jayce Hawryluk. The first unit had some good looks before Tanner Pearson was able to pounce on a loose rebound in front. The J.T. Miller shot was stopped but the rebound would fall right to Pearson. With just over 10 minutes left in the game, Vancouver was once again in front. Tanner Pearson wasn't done just yet!
Braden Holtby kept his fine form going as he was up to 34 saves with 8 minutes left in the game. The Canucks would reward his great play with a well-deserved insurance goal. With just under 6 minutes left Tanner Pearson so would pick off a pass to Nylander. A play my dad can be quoted as saying, "Nylander just quit after he lost the puck". He would beat Rittich from a terrible angle and it was not a great night for the Leaf's goalie. Vancouver would go up 5-3 on the unassisted goal.
Toronto would try and get back in the game and would pull Rittich with 4:24 left in the game. Vancouver did very well to keep them to the outside. Anything that did get through Holtby was ready to keep out of the net. Brock Boeser and Tanner Pearson both had shots at the empty net before Myers would get called for slashing on Mitch Marner.
It would be 6 on 4 for the rest of the game but was able to ice things. Brandon Sutter would score his second goal of the night into the yawning cage and Vancouver was up 6-3 with 36 seconds to go. The Canucks would hold on thanks to 37 saves from Braden Holtby and 2 goals from both Tanner Pearson and Sutter.
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
I guess that should technically say "The Unnamed Moments Of The Game". Too many sports to keep track of! Like the Vancouver Whitecaps win over the Portland Timbers. If you missed the game get caught up with things right here from Sports Talk Line.
Right, we are doing that hockey thing tonight! let's get to the first one:
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Game
Wait this isn't going to work I don't have zoom access yet with the Canucks. How am I supposed to accurately report on the Zoom shenanigans? I'll scrap this one next time.
The Unnamed Play Of The Game
With the Canucks just giving up a short-handed goal to go down 3-2. Nils Höglander would score his 9th goal of the year and 19th point. His play has been extremely impressive all year but hasn't always translated to the score sheet. He was in tough tonight matched up against the Matthews line for most of the night. The 20-year-old never seems to look out of place for the Vancouver Canucks.
The Unnamed Pettiness Of The Game
Who blocks YJ! The kid is a legend and has probably forgotten more about the Canucks than I know. Petty level very high FA, and that's coming from me!
The Vancouver Canucks And The Sports Talk Line Network
The Canucks are winners of 2 in a row coming off their long Covid break. If you had Vancouver winning both these games against the Leafs, then I hope you made a lot of money! The Canucks will look to get back into the playoff hunt, yes I said it, as they now sit just 8 points back of the Montreal Canadiens with 4 games in hand. If Vancouver can make a miracle push to end the season I have called exclusive movie rights on it!
Not only would it make an amazing movie it would be well deserved for what the Canucks have had to go through this season. Vancouver will take on the Ottawa Senators four straight times starting on Thursday night at Rogers Arena. If Vancouver is able to take 6 of the 8 points we could have a fun end to the year. Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line Network and follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest Vancouver Canucks news and updates.
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