Elias Pettersson rediscovered his game recently — worthy of a Vancouver Canucks shift diary on Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Maple Leafs. ‘Petey’ starts the evening playing with his “Baltic Line” teammates Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Höglander.
1:29-2:30 – D-zone intensive. Chasing under pressure. Shift ended with Podkolzin taking a sloppy high-sticking penalty away from the puck.
4:30-5:00 – Popped on the ice for the tail-end of a penalty kill. As it expired, chased down the ice on the forecheck. Came back into his own zone as a penalty was called against Toronto. Just after going off, the whistle blew and he’d come back on for the PP …
5:01-6:00 – Power play shift with the first unit. Excellent puck movement, plenty of touches. Continuous pressure and it results in a Brock Boeser goal at 6:00 to put the Canucks up 2-0.
10:25-10:36 – Eleven second shift. Hit ice, gained puck, quickly head-manned it, Oliver Ekman-Larsson shot went out of play. Came off for next face-off with Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau matching lines with last change.
11:40-12:40 – Poor decision making, tried carrying the puck out from behind his own net, stickhandling through traffic and lost it. Spent of remainder of shift under pressure with the Maple Leafs getting chances.
14:42-15:00 – Eighteen second shift. Won an offensive zone draw but Canucks lost puck, gained it back, quickly lost it again and a long Maple Leafs shot was held by Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko. Again, line change, this time for a D-zone draw.
16:55-18:20 – Power play shift. First two Vancouver Canucks entry attempts failed. On third dump-and-chase, Petey was in on the forecheck in right wing corner and created turnover. Scoring chance resulted for Vancouver but the centering pass intended for Pettersson standing alone in front was knocked down. Change off Maple Leafs clear.
Not a great period for “The Baltics”. ‘Petey’ flashed back to earlier this season – trying to do too much. Look for a calmer 2nd period.
1:49-1:56 – Seven second shift. Hopped on ice for first shift of period and a check along the end boards resulted in a piece of glass being knocked loose. When play resumed, Boudreau switched up the lines for a RW circle, O-zone draw.
2:49-3:45 – Started in D-zone, guarding the front of net. Helped with break-out. Once in O-zone, created one opportunity but his cross-ice pass to a wide-open Kyle Burroughs hand-cuffed the D-man a bit and he didn’t get much of a shot off. After neutral zone Leafs turnover, Petey came off during a delayed offside.
8:00-8:58 – Power play shift. His 1st unit came on second. Not much happening. No zone time. Leafs actually had the better chance short-handed earlier in the Canucks man advantage.
10:58-12:03 – Hustled into a trap position in the neutral zone. Helped gain puck in D-zone. Bumped along left wing boards, he made perfect outlet pass to Höglander streaking through the middle. “Hoagie” to “Pod” to Petey with some nifty passing and Pettersson had a dandy scoring chance from the LW circle on the fly.
Gap in ice time with Canucks going on two penalty kills. Toronto scored on both power play opportunities.
15:42-16:48 – Coming out after the Leafs tying goal, line was pinched along right wing boards and forced back into their own zone. Finally broke out and almost had a scoring chance off the rush. Puck hopped over Petey’s stick in the right wing circle. Chased Leafs back into the Vancouver zone. Two scoring chances for Toronto, including a dandy opportunity from the LW circle by Auston Matthews. Puck cleared, tired line went off.
Line created more opportunities in the second period but overall ice time was limited somewhat by the staggered penalty kills. Definite improvement over the 1st period but nothing grand.
:41-1:41 – Power play first unit and nothing clicking. Not much to add. To bench. (Nothing for the second unit either. Vancouver Canucks PP at 1-for-4 on the afternoon at this point.)
4:07-5:15 After a bit of time in the D-zone, an excellent break-out for the Baltics. Into the O-zone, Petey to Pod to Hoagie and the latter fanned on a one-timer in front with a glorious opportunity. Back to D-zone, and then up ice, Podkolzin with a brain blip, failing to reach centre ice before dumping puck deep. Tired line for D-zone draw off icing call. Managed to clear and get off 20-seconds later.
7:40-8:40 Neutral zone draw. Petey wins it, but the Vancouver Canucks quickly lose puck, re-gain and re-group. Turnover up ice. Back in a D-zone posture. Petey up ice alone for LW circle shot late in shift.
11:42-12:58 – ((Petey’s linemates came out without him. He’d change lines for the 2nd half of the third period. This was the last time we’d see Pod and Hoagie.))
13:20-14:18 – Mostly D-zone work. Late in game, with a one-goal lead, Boudreau put Petey out here with Juho Lammikko and Tyler Motte.
15:30-16:05 – Good pressure on the forecheck on a short shift.
Petey done in final crunch, even on a late power play. Good defensive period for him. Not up to his recent standards overall but there were definitely opportunities.