The Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets played a very entertaining game on Friday night.
Let’s go in a moment. Let’s talk about Bruce Boudreau and Jim Rutherford first.
Rutherford and Boudreau will work closely together over the weeks, months, and even years to come as president of hockey operations and head coach. Fortunately, the two already know each other very well.
“I’ve known Jim for 45 years,” Boudreau said after Friday practice. “We were teammates in Toronto. I keep reminding him that I scored my first goal against him and then he was traded a week later so I got him fired at the Leafs.
Boudreau’s memories could play tricks on him there. Memories can be delicate little things because we don’t necessarily remember entire events, only key parts or moments. When we try to remember the whole event, our brain fills in the gaps as best it can, tapping into other memories, stories we have been told, or even other unrelated things. , such as TV shows and movies.
Boudreau’s first NHL goal actually came against Jim Rutherford in a 6-0 win for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Detroit Red Wings. But that was March 12, 1977, and Rutherford wasn’t traded to the Leafs for three years – December 4, 1980.
It’s easy to see how this could merge into one event. Unlike his first career goal, Rutherford’s trade with the Leafs was not a pivotal moment in Boudreau’s life, so his memory would be less clear as to the timing.
Maybe the two met years later and Boudreau said, “Remember when I scored my first NHL goal against you,” and Rutherford replied, “Yeah, then I was traded to the Leafs and we found ourselves teammates. “Suddenly these two events are associated with each other, so when the brain tries to fill in the gaps, it pulls from that memory.
In the only game Rutherford played against the Leafs in the 1980-81 season before being traded to them, Boudreau failed to score on Rutherford. He wasn’t even in the lineup – Boudreau was in the AHL at the time with the New Brunswick Hawks.
Boudreau has been fantastic with the Hawks, amassing 58 points in 40 games, and earned a mid-season recall, playing his first game with the Leafs this season against the Canucks on Dec. 10, 1980 – almost a week after Rutherford was traded to the Leaves. So Boudreau wasn’t even with the Leafs yet when Rutherford joined the squad.
After the call, Boudreau was an ace for the Leafs, scoring 10 goals and 24 points in 39 games. Rutherford was less good, with a .853 save percentage and 5.07 GAA with the Leafs and he was again traded to the Los Angeles Kings for a fifth round pick.
To be clear, there is no intention to overshadow Boudreau. I barely remember what happened last year, so it’s pretty easy to forgive a few minor changes to memories from 40 years ago.
For me, I’m more interested in how memories are changed and reshaped over time. It’s fascinating to me.
I am intrigued to find out how I remember watching this game.
- The Canucks and Jets traded chances like they were Pokémon trainers with a link cable trying to catch them all. The Jets had 37 shots on goal, but the Canucks were right behind with 36. It was, as kids say these days, a crazy, woolly affair.
- What is that? Don’t kids say that? Have children never, in any generation, said that? Consarn it.
- Nils Höglander has struggled in the last few games and came on Friday in an 11-game goalless streak. His first goal didn’t just end his drought – it was a monsoon. Höglander took a whiff of Bo Horvat, put the puck between his own legs to beat his man, then climbed upstairs on the backhand. It was wonderful.
- Höglander always has a very simple way of answering questions: “I just tried to get through the guy over there and shoot a puck. He just walked in, so it’s fun to see him walk in. “
- Wink at Quinn Hughes on the fantastic pass to Bo Horvat who started the streak on Höglander’s goal. It was a perfectly placed saucer pass, a 50-foot dart that hit the target of Horvat’s stick on Blake Wheeler’s waving stick.
- If Hughes is to play shorthanded like he says he is, he still has to learn how to cut a shooting lane. The Jets tied the power play when Hughes failed to take out the other side of the net – it’s the defenseman’s responsibility, with the goalie covering the near post. This allowed Wheeler to shoot the puck in front of a screen from Pierre-Luc Dubois for his first goal of the season.
- Thatcher Demko was a beast in this game despite three goals. He still made 34 saves, including a few absolute scorchers. His best save of the night was against Wheeler, rushing to catch his shot with his glove in the spreads. It was a perfect pass from Kyle Connor and Wheeler got the whole puck – Demko just said no.
- Just before the end of the first period, the Canucks took the lead on a frenzied streak. With a brutal pass to the Jets’ blue line, Tyler Myers gave Wheeler the puck for a breakaway. Demko stole Wheeler again, closing the five-hole hole, then made a hard stop on Kyle Connor who sent Horvat back with the rebound. Horvat passed to Höglander and his remote wrist shot handcuffed Eric Comrie and crossed the goal line for Höglander’s second goal of the period.
- Demko was initially credited with an assist on goal, but was later pulled out. Apparently, backups can no longer be helpers. “Yeah, I think they changed that rule a few years ago so whatever,” Demko said. “It doesn’t matter to me, that’s not what I’m paid for.”
- The Jets tied the score again after six minutes of the second period. Alex Chiasson made a brutal pass inside his own blue line which is usually a horrible decision. To make matters worse, Chiasson didn’t pick up Connor at the net until it was too late – Chiasson was chasing. Unfortunately, he also stopped moving his feet and tried to lift Connor’s stick from behind, but it didn’t work and Connor tapped Wheeler’s pass to the back gate.
- A minute later, Conor Garland returned the lead to the Canucks with a magnificent breakaway goal. The Jets gave the puck into the Canucks’ zone while trying to make a line change and Garland was all alone from the blue line. Garland delivered a devastating backhand shot that left Comrie helpless as he brought the puck back to his forehand to get it into the loose net. This goal was nastier than this clarinet solo.
- Garland’s lower hand seemed incredibly low on his stick as he made the move, giving him additional control over his deke. Garland disagrees: “I don’t think it was that low. I just think I’m probably weak.
- Seeming to realize that he had just inadvertently made a short joke on himself, Garland added, “I mean, I’m pretty low out there. My knee is practically touching the ice. If you have to do that move. , you must be down.
- Connor was a beast in this game and established another Jets tying goal. He made a few slick dangles to free himself from Tyler Myers, then sent a cross pass to Mark Scheifele, who Tucker Poolman had lost sight of after entering the zone. The wide open Scheifele put the shot on reception over Demko’s tackle.
- It looked like the Jets had taken the lead late in the second period. Demko pulled out his pads to stop a pass to Dubois for a goal scored, but sent the right rebound to Andrew Copp, who had just enough puck to send it slowly into the net. Boudreau quickly took issue with the goaltender’s interference, as Dubois struck Demko inside the crease, and the goal was called off.
- Jets coach Paul Maurice appeared unhappy with the decision, channeling Hercules disappointed with Kevin Sorbo.
- “I mean, I thought it was pretty obvious, to be honest,” Demko said. “I saw their coach was pretty excited about it.”
- “If it’s not goalie interference, I don’t know what goalie interference is,” said Boudreau. “I don’t know why someone was getting mad.”
- This success over Josh Morrissey is your regular reminder that Höglander is “a powerful striker, but a small one”.
- Extra time had plenty of chances and oh boy did JT Miller ever look gassed on a breakaway for Nikolaj Ehlers which required another big save from Demko but it still didn’t resolve anything. So, for the second game in a row, it was shootout time.
- Pettersson nailed a post with a big shot in the second period and made his shots, but couldn’t get on the scoreboard during the game. In the shootout, however, Pettersson was flawless, pulling off a magnificent Forsberg blow, or as my cruel colleagues in the press gallery call it, Corey Hirsch.
- Demko was exceptional throughout the game – he was not going to be beaten in a shootout. He stopped Connor, Scheifele and Dubois and made it easy. He says, however, that he doesn’t have a book on any of the shooters; in fact, he prefers not to.
- “It’s pretty instinctive,” Demko said. “At the end of the day guys try different things and change things and you don’t want to have something on your mind and have it be different and you look silly. I find that for me the best luck is just to read and be competitive.
- The Canucks are 3-0 under Bruce Boudreau. Don’t look now, but the Canucks stormed up to, uh, 7th in the Pacific. I have to string a few more of these wins together, but it’s a good start.