We weren’t sure he had it in him. Fill in the blank. Of the many Vancouver Canucks who had big nights against the Dallas Stars on Monday, the most inspired were Jason Dickinson and Brock Boeser.
Dickinson seemed motivated to make an impact against his former club, with ‘revenge’ in the 6-2 victory being too strong a word. He really enjoyed his five-plus seasons with the Stars, the only other NHL club he’s known.
“Feels good,” Dickinson said postgame. “Just to play the right way and win is what matters to me, so I’m just glad we got that win and we need to do it again tomorrow.” The Ottawa Senators visit the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
With his goal and two assists, Dickinson was named first star of the game. His tally at the 10:33 mark of the second period gave Vancouver a bit of breathing room after Dallas had crept to within one. ‘Dickie’ had three shots on goal and blocked two more in 15:50 of ice time.
It’s been a quiet year offensively for the 26-year-old from Ontario, with just one goal in his previous 23 games and five total on the season.
His timing couldn’t have been better.
The same could be said for Boeser after the streaky sniper missed five games due to an upper-body injury.
There was a collective ‘uh oh’ when the forward took a cross-checking call and the Stars scored to tie the game in the first period, but his return to Canucks action was all uphill from there.
Boeser, the 2nd star of the game, picked up two assists and the goal that turned out to be the game winner on a perfectly executed two-on-one with Elias Pettersson early in the second period, after Dickinson had sprung them with a touch pass in the neutral zone.
Pettersson was the game’s third star with two goals and an assist, one of the lamp-lighters being an empty-netter.
“I thought we did a lot of good things,” Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said postgame. “Obviously they (Dallas) scored a short-handed goal and a power play goal but I thought five-on-five we were really good, I thought our energy with all four lines was really good.”
“Every single game we want to come out and get off to a fast start, we don’t want teams dictating and bringing the game to us,” Dickinson said. “It’s up to us to bring it to them and we’ve been playing that way for a good chunk of time right now because we’re desperate and that’s what desperate hockey is.”
It continues Tuesday night against the Senators who also played Monday. They lost in Seattle to the Kraken 4-2.
(In case you missed it earlier from VHN, read the remarkable story of how Dickinson ended up with the Dallas Stars and eventually the Vancouver Canucks.)