Although all of the Pacific Division teams other than the 1st-place Anaheim Ducks have games in hand on the Vancouver Canucks, the BC Boys could hop some serious milestones and psychological barriers with a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena on Saturday night. Here’s a list:
– The Canucks would actually be at .500 for the first time since October 26th when they lost at home to the Minnesota Wild 3-2 and held a record of 3-3-and-1.
– Vancouver could potentially jump over both the LA Kings and the San Jose Sharks in the standings based on point totals. If the Canucks win and LA loses Saturday, Vancouver would be alone in 5th place.
– Bruce Boudreau would have a winning streak of 7 games to start his tenure in Vancouver. Clearly his best start anywhere, a franchise record for a new coach, and top-5 ever in NHL history.
– The Canucks would match their last seven-game win streak that ended January 7th, 2020 with a 9-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The longest winning streak in franchise history lasted 10 games and took place in November of 2002.
The Canucks have an optional skate Friday afternoon at their practice facility in Burnaby.
Meanwhile, the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs were getting comfortable in Vancouver. They arrived early Wednesday from Edmonton with their Thursday game in Calgary being postponed due to the Flames Covid outbreak. The key word being “were” getting comfortable. The Leafs practised at UBC on Thursday but the Friday practice was cancelled because John Tavares and Alex Kerfoot tested positive for Covid. The rest of the team’s results should be available later Friday and could impact the playing of Saturday’s game.
Toronto shares the NHL lead for most wins, 20, with Carolina, the most points, 42, with Tampa Bay, and are tied with the Lightning for 1st place in the Atlantic Division. Auston Matthews, the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner for the most goals in the league last season, is third in goal scoring in the NHL with 20, three behind leader Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers. Matthews is tied for 6th in overall scoring with 33 points.
Here’s the Vancouver Canucks streak and (click on) the turbo takeaways from the half-dozen consecutive victories.
December 16, Vancouver Canucks 5, San Jose Sharks 2
December 14, Vancouver Canucks 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3
December 12, Vancouver Canucks 2, Carolina Hurricanes 1
December 10, Vancouver Canucks 4, Winnipeg Jets 3 (shoot-out)
December 8, Vancouver Canucks 2, Boston Bruins 1 (shoot-out)
December 6, Vancouver Canucks 4, Los Angeles Kings 0