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The Vancouver Canucks kicked off the first of back-to-back games on Wednesday afternoon.

This one wasn’t pretty, as the Sens went on to win 6-3 and dominated the Canucks throughout the game.

The 2:30 PM start was definitely a weird one as the team looked to continue their uphill battle towards the playoffs.

Travis Green confirmed Thatcher Demko was going to be getting the start early in the day after he had been out of the lineup for Monday’s game against the Sens. Marcus Högberg was between the pipes for the Sens.

Green said that he thought his team was “average” in Monday’s game and needed to be better if they wanted to make a push for the playoffs.

The lineup saw some tweaks, with Zack MacEwen drawing back into the lineup for Jimmy Vesey and Tyler Motte moving up to the top-six.

Here’s what the lines looked like for the Canucks.

Lines

I think we’re supposed to drink coffee for a game this early, so I’ve got my cup and hopefully, you do too.

I know why you’re here and that’s for the game, so no more wasted words in a lame preamble.

Let’s go!

First Period

The Sens struck first when defenceman Victor Mete flew through Olli Juolevi and Tyler Myers to get a step on a partial breakaway and fire a wrist shot past Demko. 1-0 Sens just two minutes into the game.

The Canucks were getting a lot of shots on net early on in the game, something that was lacking in their Monday game when they faced Högberg.

Zack MacEwen and Brady Tkachuk dropped the gloves but didn’t end up getting many punches in.

The Canucks received the first power play opportunity of the game when Matt Highmore took a hit from behind. He shook it off and appeared to be okay as the Canucks went to the man-advantage.

The first unit looked horrible in their first attempt but the second unit got set up and fired a couple of shots towards Högberg.

The Sens rode their kill into some offensive momentum as Tim Stützle had a quality scoring chance from in tight but Demko was there to challenge him and make a big save to keep the game at a one-goal deficit.

12 minutes into the game, the lines went into the Green blender. Jayce Hawryluk and Jake Virtanen took some shifts with the top six as the coach looked to spark some offence. Nils Höglander saw some shifts with J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser as well.

Hawryluk took a high-sticking penalty with 3:08 remaining in the period and the Sens got their first chance on the power play.

The Canucks killed off the penalty with ease and were back to even-strength with a minute to go in the period.

The period came to an end with the Sens leading 1-0. They also outshot the Canucks 11-10 in the opening 20 minutes.

It was time to turn the page for the Canucks.

Second Period

The Sens struck early in the first period and they followed that up by scoring in the opening minute of the second period. Chris Tierney scored just 38 seconds into the period after the Canucks iced the puck and the Sens took a 2-0 lead early in the period.

They didn’t stop there as 32 seconds later, they scored again after a bad giveaway from Miller. Josh Norris took a pass from Tkachuk and the Sens led 3-0 early in the period.

The Sens were all over the Canucks in the period and things were going south quick. Travis Green called a timeout and was visibly upset with his group as he screamed at them during the timeout.

It seemed to spark the group as Myers walked into space from the point, waited for a screen and ripped a wrist shot into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season. 3-1 after the Myers goal.

The Sens got jealous of the Canucks getting a goal from a defenceman so Thomas Chabot picked up a loose puck on a rebound and ripped the puck into the top of the net to make it 4-1 Sens with 13 minutes remaining in the second period.

It was goal madness as a fifth goal in the first eight minutes was scored by Virtanen after Motte stole the puck from Högberg behind the net and fired it in front to Virtanen to bury it in the open cage. 4-2 Sens after the Virtanen goal.

Things quieted down as the period went on. Through the first 15 minutes of the period, the Canucks only had four shots on Högberg — one of them being a wide-open net for Virtanen’s goal.

The Canucks were once again being outplayed by the Sens and that just shouldn’t be the case with the level of skill that each team possesses.

Tkachuk got behind the defence on a late change and came in all alone before firing a wrist shot that got through Demko and gave the Sens a 5-2 lead with 3:47 remaining in the period.

That was all the scoring that we could take as the period came to an end with the Sens leading 5-2. The Canucks were only able to get six shots on net in the period as they watched their playoff hopes wither away with this tough loss.

Third Period

MacEwen took a penalty just three minutes into the period and sent the Sens to their second man-advantage of the game.

The Canucks took a too many men on the ice penalty with 14:01 remaining in the period and I decided at that moment that I was not going to ask Travis Green a question in the post game zoom call.

The Canucks killed off that penalty and were back to even-strength with 12 minutes remaining and a three-goal deficit to overcome.

Travis Hamonic dropped the gloves with Nick Paul in a fight where Paul took his helmet off and received an extra two-minute penalty for it. That sent the Canucks to the power play.

The Sens had two two-on-ones and a breakaway while shorthanded.

This game was over.

The Canucks pulled the goalie with over seven minutes remaining.

It took a couple of minutes but with 5:24 remaining in the game, the Sens scored on the empty net to make it 6-2.

Brandon Sutter scored on a right to left wrist shot to make it 6-3 with 2:17 remaining.

That’s all she wrote.

The Fancies

 

Top Performers

Thatcher Demko: He made some highlight-reel saves but still allowed five goals on 32 shots. The Canucks put him in a bad spot giving up odd-man rush after odd-man rush throughout the game.

Wrap-Up

It was an all-around horrible performance from the Canucks on Wednesday afternoon. It could be the schedule catching up to them or the post-COVID battle that they will face for the remainder of the season. Either way, they were severely outplayed by the Sens and need to look like a different team in less than 24 hours as they have a quick turnaround with travel to Toronto to play the Leafs on Thursday.

The Canucks were outshot, outhustled and simply outplayed. The Sens had 34 scoring chances compared to the Canucks’ 13. You don’t win games like that and you have to believe that COVID has something to do with how these players played. There really is no other excuse for this Canucks team to be outplayed that badly by the Sens.

The Canucks are right back into action Thursday against the Leafs for a 4 pm start. We will see you then.


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