Canucks goaltending crunch, big trade delay question and Matthew Highmore’s growing stock – The Athletic

For two periods, the Vancouver Canucks played as well as they have all season.

They controlled the game against a tough opponent. They had two quality looks for each one they rendered. Matthew Highmore fired two penalties on a single play, and the Canucks capitalized as the concurrent minors expired.

“They tried hard, there’s no doubt about it,” head coach Bruce Boudreau, coach of his 1,000th NHL game, aptly said of his team’s effort.

However, there’s no room for error against teams like the St. Louis Blues, especially when you’re used to relying on Thatcher Demko and suddenly find yourself with your fourth-string keeper and a college substitute.

With the game tied at 1, the Canucks appeared to get the go-ahead goal. Nils Höglander got himself a chance to rush, the Canucks celebrated, and the script looked set to unfold like Friday’s game: Brave, under-equipped Canucks outplay the elite team at home.

Then the whistle sounded. The goal would not hold. The Canucks, by daylight, had too many men on the ice and were rated a minor on the bench, the second of Boudreau’s 16 games as head coach.

You can’t make such a mistake against St. Louis. And the Blues quickly took the lead.

It was a huge swing in the game, and honestly, that was it.

About Mildred B.

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