VANCOUVER – Reporter with Jay Beagle after Monday's game: "Where did you lock that?"
Goalie Jacob Markstrom listens: "Which one?"
Reporter: "The one against Colton Parayko."
Markstrom: "Which one?"
He had a point.
During a shift in the third period representing the level of combat the Vancouver Canucks needed to defeat Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues 3-1 at Rogers Arena, Beagle slipped before Parayko's shot and took the puck from his shoulder.
Beagle was visibly injured and stood up to stay in the fight when the heavy blues flooded the Canucks zone. Thirteen seconds after the first block, Beagle crouched to stop an explosion from Parayko, the shots of which really hurt people. Beagle took her toe.
Now Beagle got up on one leg and with a dead arm, went to the front of his net and threw Alex Steen against the ice.
"Honestly, that's how you win," said Beagle in the locker room. "You can't give them anything. That was playoff hockey right there."
Many of the Canucks, including all of their young stars, have not yet played a National Hockey League playoff game.
But Beagle won a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.
Defender Tyler Myers, who reached the conference finale two years ago with the Winnipeg Jets, had one of his most competitive games for the Canucks.
Winger J.T. Miller, who has played 10 rounds of playoff with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning in the last five seasons, has been in the middle of the Canucks as he has been doing for the entire season.
Miller scored twice against St. Louis goalie Jake Allen before Vancouver captain Bo Horvat won the ninth consecutive game at home and contributed to his surprising leadership in the Pacific Division.
So that's how you do it.
"When you get into a game like this – you're talking about how it felt like a playoff game – let's show for ourselves who we've seen some of these playoff games what it's like like involving young people, ”said Myers. "I think all young people have done a great job of understanding what we are trying to do.
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"I think we have made a lot of progress this season. However, it is important that we stay in the room where we will not be complacent. We have a little more than 30 games left and … it will be tight all the time. I'm sure we'll be jumping up and down the overall ranking all the time. We just have to make sure we stay focused. "
Miller said: "This is the kind of playoff style we can get. We all feel very comfortable now that we play the way we did.
"This time of year is about finding ways to win. It says a lot about your team that you do everything you need. Boys who slide all over the ice and block one-offs. I think , it's part of our team's identity. I think that's what we need to get down the track. "
The Canucks have won 12 of their last 15 games. However, it is particularly impressive how, after two defeats in Florida three weeks ago, they simplified and intensified their style halfway.
You win tight and hard games. They hold leads and find ways to win without pumping five or six pucks into the opposing network.
They leaned too much on Monday against goalkeeper Thatcher Demko, whose 36 saves included a backdoor saver against Jaden Schwartz, who still had about six and a half minutes left.
But the Canucks protected the front of their network, blocked 23 shots and evenly competed against an impressive blues team that has been the best in the NHL for more than a year and showed the urgency of a champion on Monday on Monday to lose a game in a third episode.
Zach Sanford made it 1-0 to 3:06 after a terrible turnover from Vancouver rookie Quinn Hughes, but the Canucks did not allow another goal in the almost 57 minutes that followed.
Amazingly, the Canucks are only eight points behind the blues that lead the Western Conference.
"We have grown so, and we have grown in our details," said Beagle. "I think the most important thing is that we have learned how to win. And if we get away from it, you can find that we try to get it back on the bench and play it properly."
But can you still play 32 games like this to get into the playoffs?
"Oh, yes," said Beagle. "You have to. This is the standard."