The Vancouver Canucks received a small favour when the Colorado Avalanche beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 in overtime on Friday night. The Jets now have the same number of games played as the Canucks and trail Vancouver by a point. The BC Boys now have two teams to hop over to reach the 2nd wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Vancouver is four points behind Vegas with the same number of games played and a head-to-head coming on Tuesday. The Dallas Stars are six points ahead with two games in hand. The Canucks host the Stars on April 18th.
It’s remarkable how “it’s time for others to step up” works in hockey. The beauty of the firehouse mentality.
Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau pointed out after the 5-1 win in Vegas, “don’t get me wrong, we miss Hughes tremendously”, referring to the absence of Vancouver’s top defenceman Quinn Hughes due to illness. One would never know it.
With Hughes and Brock Boeser (upper body) missing from both the Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes games, the Canucks pulled off dual four-goal victories. Minute munching Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tyler Myers stepped up on the back-end while a variety of teammates contributed up front.
The Canucks lost forward Tanner Pearson in the first period of the game in Arizona. We’re awaiting an update on deets and prognosis. For now it appears he’s a game-time decision against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Boudreau should provide an update on any missing bodies following the morning skate.
With 16 goals in his last 21 games, Bo Horvat’s hot streak has been well documented. Meanwhile, Elias Pettersson has also brought his offensive game back to elusive highs.
A key thing to remember and appreciate about ‘Petey’ is his work ethic. Even when his offensive game wasn’t at it’s best, his back-check and his willingness to battle have been consistent. Staying engaged helped him rediscover his offensive flair and It’s once again approaching an elite category.
Pettersson has seven goals over his last six games and 13 points over his last eight. Take a look back over his last 21 games and the production is impressive. Starting with the game against the San Jose Sharks on February 17th, Petey has 12 goals and 17 assists.
Isn’t this what Canucks fans envisioned before the season started, lines 1A and 1B led by Pettersson and Horvat respectively, leading the Vancouver offence? Even though Petey has been playing wing as well as center at times recently, it still meets the mandate.
Fans should like the Canucks favourable schedule coming up. Yes, we can bring up the disclaimer, “there isn’t an easy night in the NHL and you can never assume anything”, but San Jose, a head-to-head Vegas opportunity, the Arizona Coyotes again, Dallas Stars head-to-head, and the Ottawa Senators seems like a way tastier gamut than the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues twice.
We’ll see. It begins tonight at 7 pm at Rogers Arena.