Recap: Granlund Enjoys Career Night Against Canucks

It was another high-scoring affair between these two teams. This time, the Vancouver Canucks couldn’t keep up with the Minnesota Wild’s potent offence.

Mikael Granlund led the attack versus the Canucks on Saturday night. The Finnish forward is enjoying a breakout season, coming into this game with an 11-game point streak. By getting on the scoresheet in this matchup, he set a Wild franchise record for the longest point streak in team history.

He put an exclamation mark on the franchise record with his performance by registering the first hat-trick of his career. His linemates, Jason Zucker and Mikko Koivu, also registered two points apiece on the night.

Mikael’s brother, Markus, was quiet on the evening, coming nowhere close to matching his brother’s performance. Markus’s linemate, Brandon Sutter, did register two goals on the evening.

The other brothers in this matchup received some well-deserved attention before the game began, with the Canucks honouring Henrik Sedin for reaching 1000 points. It was a nice sentiment that almost signals the end of the Sedin era. Their play has taken a noticeable dip this season, as they aren’t the offensive weapons that they once were. With Loui Eriksson on their line, they can’t seem to get the puck off of the boards and towards the net, like they have done so many times in their career.

First Period

Both teams had their chances early on, but the Wild had the decisive edge. They put pressure on the Canucks’ defence, forcing them into turnovers and multiple icing calls. Alex Tuch didn’t look out of place on a line with Eric Staal and Zach Parise, as the trio was arguably Minnesota’s best line of the period.

The first goal of the game would come off the stick of Mike Reilly. After Erik Haula won an offensive zone faceoff, the Wild worked the puck back to Reilly, who walked in with way too much room and fired the puck right over the shoulder of Ryan Miller.

Jannik Hansen was noticeable in the first period of his return. There was much debate about where Hansen to fit into the lineup leading up to the game, but Willie Desjardins decided to put him on a line with Sutter and Markus Granlund. He sparked that line in the first by doing some great work along the boards before the puck ended up on Sutter’s stick. Sutter fired it past a screened Devan Dubnyk to tie the game up at 1-1.

Before the period ended, Mikael Granlund set a Wild franchise record by extending his point streak to 12 games. Matt Dumba made a great play to carry the puck in the Canucks’ zone and behind the net, setting up Jason Zucker for a shot. Miller wasn’t able to corral the rebound, and Alexander Edler went after the puck instead of Granlund. Left all alone in front of the net, Granlund put home the rebound to give the Wild a 2-1 lead after one period.

Second Period

Granlund continued his torrid scoring pace in the second period, this time doing his damage shorthanded. He retrieved the puck off a scrambled faceoff and skated it all the way down the ice, firing it past Miller. It is one of the pitfalls of having a four-forward, one-defenceman power play like the Canucks have. Troy Stecher covered the other Wild player on the rush, leaving Granlund by himself to snap home his second of the game.

The Canucks’ best forward got them back within a goal soon after. Bo Horvat kept the puck on a two-on-one rush and fired it past Dubnyk, off the post and in. Horvat mentioned that it was surreal having all the NHL All-Stars know his name. With goals like this, there is no doubt that everyone in the NHL should know who he is.

This high-scoring affair continued, with Parise tipping home a point shot from Jared Spurgeon. It was only Parise’s 10th goal of the season, but he was one of the best Wild forwards in this game. He was tenacious in the offensive zone and deserved to get on the scoresheet.

The first period was even in terms of shots and chances, but the Wild started to pull away in the second period. Granlund continued to put on a show by setting up Mikko Koivu for an open-netter short side on Miller. Granlund emphatically put his mark on the Wild’s franchise record 12-game point streak with three points through 40 minutes.

With a late power play, the Canucks cut the lead to 5-3 with another goal from Sutter. After Stecher threw a muffin shot on net, there was a mad scramble in front that Sutter eventually batted out of the air.

Third Period

Granlund’s memorable night and Philip Larsen’s forgettable season both continued in the third period. The puck made its way to the front of the net, where Granlund pushed Larsen’s stick and the puck past Miller for the 6-3 goal.

Considering that they were down by two goals entering the third, the Canucks put forth a disappointing effort. Granlund’s goal put the game out of reach with less than 10 minutes remaining in the third. It was not a night to remember for Ryan Miller, who has now lost four in a row since coming out of the Christmas break on fire. Devan Dubnyk didn’t have a stellar evening either, but when your team scores six in front of you, that hardly matters.

Scoring Summary


MIN – Mike Reilly (1) assisted by Christian Folin (5) and Jason Pominville (19)

VAN – Brandon Sutter (13) assisted by Jannik Hansen (5)

MIN – Mikael Granlund (13) assisted by Jason Zucker (21) and Matt Dumba (16)


MIN – Mikael Granlund 2 (14) (SHG), unassisted

VAN – Bo Horvat (15) assisted by Philip Larsen (5)

MIN – Zach Parise (10) assisted by Jared Spurgeon (17) and Eric Staal (26)

MIN – Mikko Koivu (16) assisted by Mikael Granlund (33) and Jared Spurgeon (18)

VAN – Brandon Sutter 2 (14) (PPG) assisted by Sven Baertschi (15) and Daniel Sedin (17)


MIN – Mikael Granlund 3 (15) assisted by Jason Zucker (22) and Mikko Koivu (22)

THW Three Stars

1) Mikael Granlund (Three goals, one assist)

2) Mikko Koivu (One goal, one assist)

3) Jason Zucker (two primary assists)

Next Up

Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators

Tuesday, Feb. 7, Bridgestone Arena, 5:00 p.m. PST

Broadcast Channels: FS-TN, SNP

2016-17 Season Series: Tied 1-1

Next Up

Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets

Tuesday, Feb. 7, MTS Centre, 7:00 p.m. CST

Broadcast Channels: TSN3, FS-N

2016-17 Season Series: Wild lead 2-0