November 28, 2022

The Canucks somehow found a way to find their game and make the most of Spencer Martin keeping them in the game.

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CANATA, Ont. – It wasn’t hard to argue that there would be no middle ground for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

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how could it be Because of distracting events off the ice and in public, it would either be all in or all out.

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It turned out to be a bit of both – listless at first and then determined – in a wild 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators in which they found a way after being defeated 30-10 at one point were.

With the shots of hockey operations flying over the bow — President Jim Rutherford again publicly questioned the structure, a bad camp and a bad start Monday afternoon, and Bruce Boudreau responded Tuesday morning by defending his coach and players — , it was an appointment tour of a quota variety at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Finally, the focus should be on the Canucks embarking on a crucial five-game road trip by forgoing the struggling Senators, who had lost five straight games and were ripe for selection.

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However, when your boss questions your commitment to play a full game, it either has the desired effect of proving the hockey czar wrong, or it could go the other way with players wondering when the next one is Ice skate will fall to effect this organization change.

Here’s what we learned as the Canucks improved to 4-6-3:

Ottawa Senators Derick Brassard #61 protects the puck from Vancouver Canucks Vasily Podkolzin #92 during the first period of play at the Canadian Tire Center on November 08, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Ottawa Senators Derick Brassard #61 protects the puck from Vancouver Canucks Vasily Podkolzin #92 during the first period of play at the Canadian Tire Center on November 08, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo /Getty Images

Good goals, great goals

In the midst of all this, the Canucks somehow found a way to eventually find their game, making the most of 37 saves from Spencer Martin and two goals from Bo Horvat and the others from Ilya Mikheyev and Brock Boeser to secure an unlikely win gain

Horvat knew he had to go to the net in the last minute of the first half to pounce on a wrist shot rebound from Ethan Bear to breathe some life into the Canucks after they scored in the first minute.

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And again against the full flow of play in the second period, Mikheyev took a quick pass, cutting across the circle and putting backhand on forehand to make it 2-2. Horvat then scored again with the winner of the third period after accepting a pass from Conor Garland, who stripped the puck and gave the captain the lead at the top of the circle for his twelfth goal.

Boeser then scored, tipping home a point shot at the top of the crease in his first return leg after recovering from a wrist cut problem that failed to heal properly following surgery.

But then Tim Stutzle struck on the power play and provided an exciting finish before Jack Studnicka and Claude Giroux scored on the power play. Elias Pettersson then got the empty net.

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November 8, 2022: Vancouver Canuck goalie Spencer Martin (30) saves a shot from Ottawa Senators left winger Austin Watson (16) in the first period at the Canadian Tire Center.
November 8, 2022: Vancouver Canuck goalie Spencer Martin (30) saves a shot from Ottawa Senators left winger Austin Watson (16) in the first period at the Canadian Tire Center. Photo by Marc DesRosiers /USA TODAY sports

Martin for emotional rescue

The rationale for playing Martin on Tuesday and saving Thatcher Demko for Wednesday in Montreal was a smart move.

Boudreau elaborated on the numbers showing Demko made 33 saves in the 2-1 win at Bell Center on November 29, 2021. Pettersson and Garland scored as the Canucks fired 42 shots at Jake Allen.

It was also the Canucks’ first regular win in 19 games against the Canadiens on October 27, 2015 and their first regular win in 16 games at Montreal on January 16, 2007.

On Tuesday, Martin produced his own stellar numbers and made a series of saves to keep his club in a game that wasn’t about fighting for victory.

It started with stopping Drake Batherson from a partial break with a late penalty, then holding his own as Batherson was allowed to complete a give-and-go for a narrow tap chance. It was then a no-stick sequence with sprawling snow angels to keep the Canucks in and a pair of saves against Brady Tkachuk – a blocker on the short side and one that released his mask.

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Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) controls the puck before it hits Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot (33) during first NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) controls the puck before it hits Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot (33) during first NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Photo by Justin Tang /The Canadian Press

This doesn’t start out so smart

It took the Senators 50 seconds to open the gate.

That said a lot about a time when the Canucks showed poor positioning and puck management, nothing about their one power play, giving up two shorthanded chances and enough bad passes to last an entire game.

When Alex DeBrincat punched Tyler Myers to the puck in the corner and found an open Batherson in the slot, his shot knocked an outstretched Martin to the other side.

Bear and Jack Rathbone had coverage adventures for all DeBrincat to get an untouched shot at the top of the slot.

About this power game

It shall be the dagger and not the anchor.

If the Canucks had an advantage over the Senators, it was their third-place power play.

However, it didn’t look like Tuesday. There was one opportunity in the first half where passing and trying to thread a needle resulted in zero shots and two chances for the outnumbered Senators.

A second-half advantage brought two shots, but none of the dangerous variety, but a third-half chance resulted in Elias Pettersson being thwarted.

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