It was a single point and a moral victory, and maybe last year that would have been enough for the Vancouver Canucks.

But having shown in the first quarter of this National Hockey League season that they are a better team than they were last year – and better than anyone expected – the Canucks viewed Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues as a point squandered, rather than a point gained.

They needed both points. Coming off a dismal 5-2 loss Thursday to the Vegas Golden Knights and staring at a daunting six-game eastern road trip the next 12 days that begins with back-to-back games against the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canucks were desperate against the Blues.

But that desperation wasn’t enough against the best team in the Western Conference as the Blues rallied from a two-goal deficit and won on Brayden Schenn’s goal at 2:41 of overtime.

The Canucks are 9-8-3 at the quarter pole, tied for the final wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference. Sixty-two games from now, they’re expected to be farther down the standings, but the Canucks keep surprising us, and they believe they’re right where they deserve to be early in the playoff race.

“I wouldn’t say a moral victory was acceptable last year either,” winger Derek Dorsett said. “I don’t think moral victories are ever acceptable in the NHL. Obviously, it’s a good sign that when we need a win we can rally together and play a good game, but the National Hockey League is all about consistency and we’ve got to be more consistent. We’ve got to find this mentality consistently.”

This “mentality” was the intensity and drive, lacking against Vegas, that the Canucks displayed against the Blues.