While the Vancouver Canucks remain on the outside of a playoff spot looking in, the opportunity to sneak into a slot seems to be growing, based simply on the number of teams now hovering around the lower positions in the NHL’s Western Conference playoff ladder.
As in, the Canucks are four points behind three playoff teams, the Edmonton Oilers in 3rd place in the Pacific Division and the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights in the two wild card spots, all with 64 points. Vancouver is five points behind the 2nd place team in the division, the Los Angeles Kings.
Pretty funky grouping.
Only the Calgary Flames should feel somewhat safe, well out in front of the pack with 71 points and multiple games in-hand on most in the division.
They Said It
Bruce Boudreau on Nils Höglander, who tied the game in the 3rd period with his first goal in 21 games:
“I just think that’s going to do wonders for him, I hope, getting the ‘monkey off your back’ scenario. There was a shift before when he he almost had it, and he fanned on it and it just went to the corner, and I’m going like, ‘he’s just grabbing that stick so tight’, and to get it – it was a great feed by (Conor) Garland – and to put it in, really lightened his mind.”
Brad Hunt, the 33-year-old defenceman from Maple Ridge, on scoring his first goal for his hometown Vancouver Canucks and the 20th goal of his NHL career in 216 games.
“It feels great. Never would I ever have dreamed of playing for my hometown team and scoring a goal and getting a huge win when we need it the most, it’s obviously a great feeling and I’m sure a lot of people are excited. My parents, my family, they’re probably pumped. Yeah, it’s a cool feeling.”
— “That’s good for Huntsy, that’s how he got here, as a power play guy, and he’s played so well, so steady recently, and for him to get rewarded like that tonight was really nice to see,” added Boudreau.
Brock Boeser on the team recovering from his D-zone turnover that led to the Islanders go-ahead goal early in the 3rd period.
“No one wants to turn that over there, I just whiffed on the sauce pass and he got a stick on it and it ended up in the back of the net, but it was a great team game and my teammates picked me up and we got a huge win.”
“I think we saw that we were playing a pretty solid game even though the score wasn’t showing that way, and we just kept working hard, and I really thought our team was aggressive tonight and that’s the way we need to play each and every night in order to have success. You saw it, we didn’t quit, and it’s a huge two points for us.”
Next up, Hockey Night in Canada with the Canucks in Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.