Vancouver Canucks' Jared McCann

Vancouver Canucks' Jared McCann

That’s More Like It! Canucks Hammer Habs 5-1 for First Home Win

Jared McCann scored two goals for the Canucks, who jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and ended Montreal's 9-game win streak

Okay, just do that. Every time.

Last night’s 60 minutes of high-flight scoreboard dominance was a rousing peek at just how good this Canucks team can be – heck, how good any NHL team can be – when they really try, or when the game breaks their way, or when they use all their tools to their max output.

Final score: Vancouver 5, Montreal 1.

It wasn’t a perfect game from Vancouver, with long stretches where it seemed like Montreal would finally, maybe capitalize on minutes of pressure. And you can decide whether the Canucks are really this good, or whether the Habs were just destined for a tumble after nine straight wins.

But it was never slow. The pace never died. The Canucks played like they were all Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen – two guys nearing the end of their nine-game NHL auditions, desperate to stand out and earn a job.

“Winning is always fun,” said McCann, in the locker room after the game (via Canucks TV). “To get that first win tonight was huge, in our home rink… We started off the game as well as we have in the past, and I just felt like tonight we finished it off a lot better.”

McCann had two goals last night, and Virtanen – the team’s other teenager – was terrific as well, and terrific often, especially without the puck against the Montreal team that looked overwhelmed and surprised with Vancouver’s hot start.

If McCann feels his Canucks were all finish last night, he’s right – and the opposite could be said about the Habs.

Montreal was never out of the game, because they’re never out of any game, but they were unable to convert on several chances, with Brendan Gallagher clanging a slapshot off the post and Ryan Miller stoning David Desharnais on a 2-on-0 – those stood out among the Canadiens’ first-half chances.

In the recent past however, especially in the Tortorella and post-Tortorella eras, the Canucks have clammed up when the game’s pace picks up, especially when the flow or the bounces become unpredictable.

And it’s easy to lose yourself in the fastlane against the Habs, who even last night showed off their insanely quick transition game several times.

Of course, the same can be generalized from watching teams in the East when they travel West. While the gulf between the conferences is often exaggerated, certainly now with the power that plays out East, there’s no doubt the game is faster out by the Rockies, and that its style can catch the slower side off balance from time-to-time – former Bruin Matt Bartkowski verified as much last week.

So, full points to the Canucks, who have exceeded expectations so far this season, despite a few-game slide coming into Tuesday.

“A couple went in for us that haven’t been going in, and Montreal’s a good time, so we needed those ones to go in tonight,” said Vancouver’s head coach, Willie Desjardins.

“Tonight was a good night for us, lots of things went right… they were good tonight, all the young guys were good.”

Vancouver was coming off a disappointing loss on Saturday, at home to the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks led 2-0 after 40 minutes, but gave up two goals in the third and the OT winner to Gustav Nyquist, at 3-on-3.

“We’ve got tough games coming up, though,” said Desjardins, throwing water on Tuesday’s win. “Both Dallas and Phoenix are going to be real tough games. But for us, it was good to see that we could beat a top team and I think all our guys had confidence, but still it was nice to find a way and hold onto a lead going into the third.”

The Canucks next game is Thursday night – October 29, 2015 – against the Dallas Stars in Texas. (TV: Sportsnet Vancouver, Radio: TSN 1040)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police officers were one group of dozens that submitted dance clips to the Greater Victoria Festival Society, to help create the Dance Across Victoria video montage. (Youtube/Screenshot)
WATCH: Saanich police, Victoria mayor bust some moves in new Dance Across Victoria video

Montage features submitted dance clips from across Greater Victoria

Former Oak Bay High Grade 12 student Brandon Kip plays the $100,000 Steinway piano in the Dave Dunnet Theatre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay High Alumni Association passes torch to new president

The association has given back more than $70,000 in its 16 years

Saanich’s Malia Brodie competed in the Vancouver qualifiers for the 2020 National Championships. (Photo by BC Sport Karate Snaps)
PHOTOS: Saanich teen awarded $1,800 Karate Canada bursary to pursue officiant certification

Malia Brodie, 18, has black belt, nearly 15 years experience in karate

This photo courtesy of Leanne Grover shows the immediate aftermath of the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents. (Leanne Grover/Submitted)
Residents of a Central Saanich duplex ‘fortunate’ to escape Sunday morning fire

Damage to the duplex extensive with one resident said to be ‘catatonic’ after escaping building

After more than a year, open forums will resume at a Saanich committee of the whole meeting on April 19 with up to five residents having the chance to speak for three minutes each about any district-related matter. (Black Press Media file photo)
Public input resumes at Saanich council following lengthy suspension due to pandemic

Up to five residents can present by phone for up to three minutes starting April 19

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read