Five goals against in your first loss. The Canucks are now streakbusters. Vancouver finally won their first home game of 2015-16 with a 5-1 win against the unbeaten, top team in the NHL. That’s how to end a nine-game winning streak Montreal.
Heading into the game, the matchup on paper looked as though it would be showcasing two stellar goaltenders: Ryan Miller for the Canucks and Carey Price for the Canadiens. Ryan Miller stole the show however, stopping 25 of 26 shots while Price allowed rubber into the net five times. Carey surely had an off night, one of the only times that the Price was not right.
Three players that were under the microscope: Brandon Prust who was acquired from the Habs in the summer for Zack Kassian, as well as rookies Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen. McCann scored two goals in his seventh game of his rookie year, Virtanen assisted on a goal, and Prust was on the ice for two of the goals, one of which he assisted on.
While it was an offensive night for the bottom six forwards, it was a quieter night for the Sedin twins. Daniel Sedin assisted on Radim Vrbata’s goal, while Henk was held off the score sheet with only one shot fired at Carey Price. Vancouver has begun the season with a good pace. The team is 3-0-0 on the road and at a mediocre 1-2-3 at home with a hold on the second spot in the Pacific Division. After a great showing from the bottom-six forwards, Vancouver has shown that their offensive output can match the best team in the league.
After 52 shots were fired at Carey Price on Saturday night by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal’s defensive structure was bent, but not broken. The issue of time on ice for both team’s defencemen was a noticeable factor for both the Canucks and Canadiens. The Canadiens’ Norris defenceman PK Subban was fourth on the team in minutes with 18: 19 behind Andrei Markov, Jeff Petry, and Alexei Emelin. The Canucks were missing their top defenceman Dan Hamhuis, with Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, and Yannick Weber all playing more than PK Subban. To make matters worse, the Canucks’ third line center Brandon Sutter had 45 more seconds of ice time. Michel Therrien is not Willie Desjardins, but if my team is a top team in the league I would want my top defenceman playing the most minutes.
After their lackluster first game of the west-coast road trip, the Canadiens are looking to put forth a better effort in their next two games. The Canadiens are 1-1 in two of their six all-Canadian games. They’ll be hosted by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and the Calgary Flames on Friday, two struggling teams that can bite hard if the Canadiens don’t match their speed.
Hopefully PK Subban plays more too.
If you like PK Subban, check out this video by Vice Sports: