The Canucks wrapped up their first homestand of the season by getting a little testy, pesty, and zesty. I’m not sure exactly when the Detroit Red Wings became the type of team to incite a rivalry by testing the boundaries of dirtiness, but I’m guessing it was around the time they became bad at hockey.
Much like Catherine Banning’s investigation into Thomas Crown, it was a unexpectedly physical affair, with both sides getting their licks in. Just how surprisingly physical was it? Two of the primary combatants on the Canucks’ side of things were Elias Pettersson and Troy Stecher.
Pettersson arguably got the physicality started by running over Todd Bertuzzi’s nephew, Tyler Bertuzzi, midway through the first period and it steamrolled from there, with things really getting feisty when the Canucks took a big lead heading into the third period.
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Later in the third, Tim Schaller sat down Dylan Larkin with a solid open-ice hit and the Red Wings answered with some scrummy behavior along the boards.
It was all capped off by a frustrated Erne throwing an elbow at Troy Stecher’s head away from the puck. Stecher had both words and hands for Erne afterwards, but the refs kicked both of them out of the game to keep things from worsening any further.
With Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and J.T. Miller on the first power play unit and Adam Gaudette a healthy scratch, the Canucks had to turn to Brandon Sutter to centre the second power play unit. In 55 seconds of power play time with Sutter on the ice, the Canucks had just one shot attempt; it was blocked.
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The Canucks power play was hot in this game, with J.T. Miller stoking the flames. The Canucks went 3-for-5 with the man advantage, starting with a long wristshot by Edler that beat a screened Jonathan Bernier. Miller provided the screen in front and took advantage of his innate opacity to prevent Bernier from seeing the puck.