Elias Pettersson is trying to find his offensive touch for the Vancouver Canucks. “Petey” had an assist and one shot on goal in 19:43 of playing time in Chicago on Thursday night after two shots on goal in 19:55 two nights earlier in the 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. In that game, he didn’t seem himself after taking a whopper hit from Colin Miller early in the first period.
For the Kraken match, he begins the evening with his “Lotto” linemates, wingers JT Miller and Brock Boeser.
:22-1:17 – Canucks control draw. On rush to Kraken line, Miller lost control of the puck and turned it over. Seattle got a shot off on rush the other way. Save made. Linemates change a minute into period, Petey stays out for an extra :17-seconds in a defensive posture.
3:00-3:42 – Two rushes. Again, a turnover on the first entry. Puck regained in the neutral zone, Petey works it back to Quinn Hughes for a re-group. Next rush, puck lost deep but Pettersson diligent on the forecheck. Good pressure. Puck the other way, easy shot handled and held by Thatcher Demko for a whistle.
4:31-4:58 Back to back draws in the O-zone, LW circle. Miller taking the draws. Petey lines up to his right in the slot. First win results in a shot deflected out of play quickly. Miller wins the next draw back, Phil Grubauer makes a save, Kraken ice the puck. Line change. Petey goes to the bench slowly, adjusting his equipment or pants.
7:55-8:41 Petey hops on ice as the extra attacker on a delayed penalty call to Seattle’s Jared McCann. Whistle stops play almost immediately after he hops on the ice. TV Timeout. Jared McCann – Cross Checking – 7:08. Petey stays on with the first power play unit coming out of the break. Miller has the puck hop off his stick again in the Kraken zone and they clear. Lengthy re-group. Canucks regain zone and set up shop. Petey operating in the right wing circle. At one point he ripped a one-time wide of the far post. Good passing by the Canucks, then had to battle to get a puck back in the right wing corner and he won the battle. Kicked it to himself and worked it back to Hughes. Kraken finally clear. Decent PP shift, he made two or three passes in front. Change.
10:39-11:30 Again, with Petey struggling at the face-off dot, Miller takes and loses the neutral zone draw coming out of the second TV timeout. Kraken with brief zone time, Petey ends up with the puck for the clear. Canucks gain the zone quickly and Pettersson gets off a wicked one-timer from the left slot that Grubauer kicks aside with his right pad. Great scoring chance. Seattle clears. Canucks re-group. Change.
On a personal Petey level, the game appeared to go downhill from there.
13:40-15:01 – Odd start to the shift as Petey is streaking up the right wing boards, looking back for a bank-pass from Tucker Poolman, but Poolman’s pass went on to the Canucks bench through the open bench gate closest to centre ice. After the whistle, Miller lost the neutral zone draw and the Kraken started out. The rush was short lived and the Canucks gained the Seattle zone for a sustained attack. Grubauer had to make a handful of saves under pressure, including one on a shot from Pettersson. Excellent puck movement and chances. After a cross ice pass, Boeser booted the puck and the Kraken cleared.
16:53 – Juho Lammikko goes for hooking 180-feet from his own net. Not good, and we won’t be seeing Petey on the penalty kill.
19:56 – Seattle 1, Vancouver 0 – Vince Dunn (1), Adam Larsson and Jonas Donskoi. Even Strength.
End of 1st Period – Seattle 1, Vancouver 0.
Notes: Despite being outshot 12-9, the Vancouver Canucks dominated play and the scoring chances at even strength.
For the second time on the road trip (in the 2nd period in Buffalo), a Canucks penalty killing unit gave up a goal after successfully killing a penalty but then being stuck on the ice under pressure at even strength. After a 35-second puck battle in the right wing corner, with the puck being frozen for a long period, it finally ended up with Dunn alone at the bottom of the left wing circle. He ripped one shelfie over Demko’s glove.
:55-2:25 Pettersson came off the bench and stayed at centre ice awaiting a break-out pass that never came. He then joined his team in the D-zone to help relieve pressure. Teammate Quinn Hughes took a high stick from his teammate Poolman along the end boards at 1:17 of the period and play stopped. Hughes was bleeding and left for repairs. After the whistle, Petey’s line stayed on and spent quite a bit of time in their own end. Seattle earned a couple of scoring chances. Petey ended up with it and flipped the puck in the air to the Kraken zone. The one offensive rush in-between for Vancouver was unsuccessful.
4:47 – Seattle – Carson Soucy – Roughing.
4:47-6:17 Petey on the Vancouver Canucks power play, set-up at the right point, and it didn’t go so well. Zone entries were successful but short lived, and it two cases it was Pettersson failing to keep the puck in under pressure or losing difficult races to the puck. Not much to describe here. The sequence ended with Hughes going off for interference in the offensive zone.
6:17 – Vancouver – Quinn Hughes – Interference.
9:35-9:48 After the four-and-four and penalty kill wrapped up, Petey and linemates were finally on for a neutral zone draw. The Canucks had the puck and then lost it. Demko had to make a 10-bell save on a wraparound to keep it just a one goal hockey game. He covered it, and with the D-zone draw coming, a 13-second shift was over.
At 10:02, Justin Dowling took a shift with Miller and Boeser.
10:33-10:43 With the line juggle, Pettersson came off the bench with Matthew Highmore and Nils Höglander for an offensive zone draw in the right wing circle. He promptly lost it, the Kraken cleared, got a soft shot on goal and Demko covered. With the D-zone draw coming, the line went to the bench after a 10-second shift.
11:09 – Vancouver 1, Seattle 1 – Bo Horvat (2), from Conor Garland. Even Strength.
11:55-12:46 Neutral zone back and forth. No chances.
14:50-16:05 – A choppy zone entry offensively resulted in a lost puck, a Kraken rush, and sustained pressure in the defensive zone with Petey watching the left point man. To the bench after a long, stressful shift.
17:56 – Seattle – Jeremy Lauzon, Cross checking.
17:56-19:30 On for the power play, operating more along the right half wall and in the circle. His wrist shot, trying to go glove side shelf, was caught and held by Grubauer for a whistle and a face-off almost a minute into the PP. He stayed on the ice with the first unit. After a Kraken clear and a change for his unit, Pettersson actually stayed on again to hustle back to centre ice and take an outlet from goalie Demko. As the Canucks regrouped, Petey scurried to the bench. Good puck movement with Hughes at the point but the bodies were stationary and there were no grade-A chances.
End of 2nd Period – Vancouver 1, Seattle 1.
Notes: It was the Thatcher Demko show in the 2nd period. He made two “save-of-the-month” calibre stops to keep his team in the hockey game.
The Canucks were outshot 12-7 in the period, 24-16 so far in the game.
1:30-2:00 A pretty feisty shift. Petey was very active on the backcheck through the neutral zone and was the catalyst carrying the puck on subsequent rushes into the Seattle zone. No great chances came of their efforts but the Canucks did the zone, create traffic, got bodies to the net, including Pettersson, but had shots blocked or deflected. Solid, short shift.
3:55-4:35 Neutral zone play followed by a diligent forecheck. No offense created.
5:09 – Seattle 2, Vancouver 1 – Mark Giordano (1), McCann and Alex Wennberg. Even Strength.
6:10-7:05 Petey joined the rush and a brief offensive zone cycle with a Hughes shot from the left circle deflected out of play. TV Time-out. HIs line stayed on the ice for the ensuing offensive zone draw in the left wing circle. Now with Horvat and Höglander. Horvat won the draw but his eventual shot was blocked and the Kraken cleared. The Canucks didn’t earn another rush. Line change with the Kraken holding the puck in their end on a re-set.
10:44-11:28 The juggle continues. Back with Miller and Boeser for a RW, O-zone draw. Stepped in to briefly gain puck behind the Kraken centre only to lose it. Kraken rush failed. Canucks sloppy in their own end on the break-out. Pettersson finally carries puck through neutral zone, had it hop off his stick entering the offensive zone, and had to chase it down into the left wing corner. Physical battles. Kraken came away with the puck and the Canucks changed.
12:34 Seattle – Carson Soucy – Tripping
Vancouver 2, Seattle 2 – Bo Horvat (3), from Hughes and Miller – 12:52 Power Play.
14:35 – 15:45 Crazy shift inside his own zone. Canucks under a lot of heat. Near the end of the scrambling and failures to clear, he actually turned the puck over deep in his own end while trying to carry it out. After a desperate line change, at the other end, Garland scores to give the Vancouver Canucks their first lead.
Vancouver 3, Seattle 2 – Conor Garland (3), Unassisted – 15:58 Even Strength.
Vancouver 4, Seattle 2 – Justin Dowling (2), from Miller and Boeser – 19:00 Empty Netter.
Final Score: Vancouver Canucks 4, Seattle Kraken 2.
Notes: With the Vancouver Canucks in a defensive posture trying to hold a lead over the final four minutes, Pettersson was kept on the bench.
Overall, his night seemed to get progressively worse, after what was a decent first period. He was involved from the start, creative, but he and the team seem to lose momentum after the Lammikko penalty late in the first. Pettersson just isn’t in sync yet. Not sure if missing Vancouver Canucks training camp and joining the preseason late hurt him or he’s simply just not finding it. Either way, like anything else this early in an NHL season, there’s no reason to panic.