The Armies: A very happy Brayden Point helps lead the Lightning to victory

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

The good news? The Vancouver Canucks looked much better against the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the top teams in the NHL. The kind of game a coach can beam about in the postgame scrum and talk about the gumption on display that night.

The bad news? The gulf between Vancouver and the top teams in the league was on full display once again.

Give Tampa Bay enough time and they’ll find a way to strip you apart. It’s like Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, where he would blink a couple of times to let you know the knockout punch is coming. You can try and dodge it all you want, but if it lands, your night is over.

Not that this should shock anyone, of course. The winning streak was fun, but everyone knew the Canucks would eventually fall back to earth and become that playoff bubble team most people had pegged them as. For most fans, though, they simply want to see this kind of effort night in and night out. If they’re going to lose, at least put up a fight, which the Canucks did in spades Thursday night.

Now I know we’ve had enough moral victories around these parts to last us a lifetime, but to the Canucks’ credit, this game felt like the good kind of moral victory. The team put up an honest effort, made Tampa Bay work for their two points, and Tyler Motte scored a pretty enough goal that he might actually manage to make it onto TSN, after the Raptors, Leafs,


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