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Vancouver Canucks Changes Since Opening Night, Literally

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Vancouver Canucks, Hughes
Quinn Hughes fired from the boards and scored the tying goal against the Edmonton Oilers on the opening night of the season.

Here was the final Vancouver Canucks line-up of the season for Friday’s game at the Edmonton Oilers:

Conor Garland, JT Miller, Alex Chiasson

Vasily Podkolzin, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser

Jason Dickinson, Brad Richardson, Matthew Highmore

Sheldon Dries, Juho Lammikko, Nic Petan

Quinn Hughes, Luke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Tyer Myers

Brad Hunt, Travis Dermott

Spencer Martin

Arturs Silovs

Here’s some interesting comparisons from the very first Canucks line-up of the season, also at the Edmonton Oilers, under head coach Travis Green on October 13th:

The 4th line was made up of Justin Dowling, Juho Lammikko, and Vasily Podkolzin.

Forwards that were in the October line-up who are missing now due to injury are Bo Horvat, Tanner Pearson and Nils Höglander, replaced numbers wise on Friday night by Nic Petan, Brad Richardson and Sheldon Dries.

Brock Boeser actually missed opening night due to injury.

The biggest difference on the back-end, Jack Rathbone played the opener in Edmonton and eight more NHL games before spending the rest of the season with AHL Abbotsford where he’s helped lead the ‘baby’ Canucks to the postseason.

By the way, the goalies on opening night were Thatcher Demko and Jaroslav Halak, not Spencer Martin and Arturs Silovs. The latter would have made a fine pairing for one of the early preseason games.

Martin now finds himself in serious contention to be the regular back-up to Demko next season in the NHL. Heading into Friday night he was unbeaten in regulation in five career games with the Vancouver Canucks, including victories over the last three nights against the Seattle Kraken and LA Kings.

The opening game of the 2021-’22 season for the Vancouver Canucks was memorable in that the BC Boys came from behind in the third period, in the last eight minutes in fact, from down 2-0 to tie the game and force overtime. The Canucks would end up losing in a shoot-out when New Westminster native Kyle Turris scored for the Oilers in round-5 and Tanner Pearson failed to do so.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Quinn Hughes were the two third period goal scorers for Vancouver.

Optimism reigned as the Vancouver Canucks opening road trip continued. The team would return home 3-2-and-1 before things went south.

Bruce Boudreau’s first game as head coach was December 6th.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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