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What the Canucks Improved in Game 3 vs Maple Leafs

The Canucks struggled big-time in Games 1 and 2 vs the Maple Leafs. Game 3 was a different story, with a much better effort from the Canucks.

The song “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Daryl Hall & John Oates has been stuck in the heads of Vancouver Canucks fans this week. That happens to be the goal song of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who’ve outscored the Canucks 15-5 over these past three games, meaning they heard that song a lot.

Related: Don Cherry Comments on Canucks Players Trying to Get Coach Fired

During Games One and Two, the Canucks were bad. They couldn’t seem to make a good play to save their lives, and it reflected in the score. But in Game Three, they surprised their fans with a great effort, despite suffering a 3-1 loss. Here’s what the Canucks did this game.

Staying Out of the Box

When you’re playing the team with the best powerplay percentage in the NHL, item number one on your game plan should be to stay out of the box. That’s something that the Canucks didn’t do in the first two games.

The Maple Leafs went to the powerplay five times in Game One, and four times in Game Two, capitalizing on the man advantage once in each game. In Game Three, however, the Canucks only took two penalties, and didn’t allow the Leafs to score during either one. Of course, the Canucks weren’t complaining that Wayne Simmonds was out of the Leafs’ lineup this game with a broken wrist, although we all send our best regards to him.

Vancouver Canucks come up a bit short to the Maple Leafs

Shot Differential

The Canucks have allowed more shots on net than their opponent almost every game this season. In fact, they’ve allowed the most shots-against per game than any other team thus far.

What a relief to Canucks Coach Travis Green when the Maple Leafs broke double digits in shots in the third period. The Canucks absolutely dominated in that category, especially in the first two periods.

Bouncing Back

Perhaps the biggest criticism the Canucks’ leadership has received this season is that they can’t figure out how to help the team bounce back after adversity. It seems that if the puck goes in the Canucks’ net once, the whole team scraps the game plan and starts making terrible plays. After one tough loss, they come back the next night and have another tough loss.

That was not the case this game, as the Canucks really bounced back. They had an extra spring in their step- more motivation to beat a team that’s caused them so much hardship. They made defensively-sound plays, and took offensive chances as they came. It looked like they actually had a game plan. That was a great thing for Canucks fans to see.

The Canucks will now enjoy a much-needed break, as they have two days off before a four-game series with the Calgary Flames. If they can be the team we saw this game during that series, the Canucks might still have a chance to make the playoffs. If we see the Canucks team that lost 7-3 and 5-1 to the Leafs, some jobs might be on the line in Vancouver.

Next: Don Cherry Comments on Canucks Players Trying to Get Coach Fired

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