CANUCKS NEWS: If you were looking for something to help ease the pain of not having Elias Pettersson in the lineup, that shot by Brock Boeser might be just what the doctor ordered. It seemed like a pretty safe bet to mark this one in the L column heading into this match against one of the NHL’s elite teams, especially with the Canucks missing the player who has been driving the boat thus far. Someone forgot to tell Travis Green’s team that and they came out with one hell of a road game.
Sure, there were some lapses. But overall that was a pretty solid game defensively, and the team continued to work hard in the offensive zone, getting chances and making Pittsburgh goalie Casey DeSmith earn his keep. Ben Hutton had a superb game, apart from being part of the comedy of errors that led to the tying goal late in the 3rd. Apart from that, he looked far more like the Ben Hutton from his rookie season than the one we saw last year. And that’s not good news for Michael Del Zotto, who’s gonna need an injury to another player to get into the lineup.
Anders Nilsson was rock solid again for the Canucks, and while we may not be fully in the throes of a genuine #CanucksGoaltendingControversy, it’s barreling down the highway towards it. I also thought the bottom 6 played well for the Canucks, with Tim Schaller putting in a really strong performance. I didn’t know what to make of the Canucks bringing him in during the summer, but he’s been a solid addition.
One thing that was glaringly obvious? Nikolay Goldobin and Loui Eriksson are probably the two guys who most desperately need Elias Pettersson to be healthy soon. They were pretty invisible, and their ice time in the last half of the game reflected that. Overall though, a fairly entertaining game (something that’s been a theme this year, but maybe we got too used to the crap we’ve seen from the Canucks the last 3 seasons?) and it makes us look forward to what should be another barn burner against another very good team in Winnipeg tomorrow. Until then, here’s some stuff to tide you over: One thing I have learned is that I wish I could have the kind of conviction and attachment to a narrative the way Pittsburgh does re: Brock Boeser being lucky. It’s equal parts inspirational, adorable and bizarre... JPat’s Six Takeaways includes something that’s far more surprising than the Canucks record so far: they’ve scored no less than 3 goals a game every game so far, and are tied with Chicago for the Western Conference GF lead... The latest edition of the Athletties is out, and it features some great quotes from Boeser and Horvat on the impact Pettersson has had on this team in just 5 games (I believe it’s not paywalled)...
AROUND THE NHL: We all know Connor McDavid is good, but holy crap he is on a mission right now. And thankfully for his sake, his teammates actually responded. After breaking the NHL record for being in on the most consecutive goals by a team to start the season, the OIlers actually got one without him, and it was a big one as Darnell Nurse got the OT winner in a 5-4 comeback win in Winnipeg. The Jets led 4-1 heading into the 3rd period before Ty Rattie got the comeback rolling just :18 in... The New Jersey Devils are the lone undefeated team in the NHL as they won their 4th straight to start the season, a 3-0 win over Dallas. Kyle Palmieri had his 7th of the season, and Keith Kinkaid got the SO for the Devils... Nathan MacKinnon scoring in his 6th straight game (a franchise record) wasn’t enough as the New York Rangers beat Colorado 3-2 in a shootout... The Flyers blew a 5-2 lead but hung on for the SO win 6-5 over Florida. Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux scored twice for the Flyers while Aleksander Barkov notched two for the Panthers... A Tyler Johnson hat trick led Tampa to a 4-2 win over Carolina... Devan Dubnyk stopped 31 of 32 Arizona shots as the Wild took down the Coyotes 2-1... Marc Andre Fleury moved into a tie for 10th overall in wins with his 407th career victory, a 4-1 Vegas win over the Buffalo Sabres.