Two games into the 2021 season, the Vancouver Canucks sit at an even 1-1 after their 18th and 19th straight games at Rogers Place in Edmonton, dating back to the bubble.
Game one was a back-and-forth affair, punctuated by two absolute snipes from Brock Boeser as he channeled Rookie Brock. The highlight of the night though, was the play of rookie Nils Hoglander.
Hoglander fit like a glove right onto the second line with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson, and was one of the most noticeable and impactful players all night long as he potted his first NHL goal.
Rounding out the successful night was Braden Holtby, who finished a solid outing with 28 saves on 31 shots in a 5-3 victory. Moving onto the second game of the back-to-back, Vancouver had to expect more out of the two Oiler superstars they mostly silenced in the opener.
Quite simply, the Canucks were McDavid’d and Draisaitl’d as the two phenoms each put up 4 points, as Connor had a hat trick and an assist and Leon had four assists in a 5-2 victory for Edmonton.
The lone bright spot for the Canucks was Nate Schmidt scoring his first with the team in the second period, but this game showed a familiar flaw — bleeding shots and a lack of sound defensive structure.
Vancouver gave up 46 shots and was sloppy in its own zone for much of the night. So, it’s back to the drawing board as the Canucks head south in Alberta to Calgary for another two game set on Saturday and Monday. Without further adieu, let’s turn our attention to Twitter to see how the faithful is faring so far:
Just found out the #Canucks won’t win every game this season. Haven’t been this disappointed since finding out about Santa.— Chris Conte (@ChrisConte79) January 15, 2021
Good news is 55-1 is still in play, Chris. Keep the faith.
The Canucks should consider allowing Thatcher Demko to play in a game in which he faces fewer than 40 shots— Gregory Balloch (@GregBalloch) January 15, 2021
Gregory has a great point. Friday was the fourth straight Demko start where the Canucks gave up over 40 shots. If he can rediscover his bubble prowess, it shouldn’t matter how many shots they give up though, right?
Can we all finally agree that JV is not a top 6 forward? #Canucks— Kyle (@kylemurp13) January 15, 2021
@kylemurp13 with a pretty common take — but not necessarily one that I agree with — I still think if Jake can find his confidence he can slot onto the second line full time. If Jake doesn’t break out this year, unfortunately it may be time for JB to move on from Shotgun Jake.
Not exactly sure how relevant this is Rob, but yes, the Leafs did lose. That’s always something to celebrate.
Canucks / Oilers is wild because you have shifts that are basically an All-Star game and then there's a change and you have 6 guys who shouldn't be in the league hop over the boards.— Arvi (@arvi) January 15, 2021
Probably my favorite tweet from the night. Jay Beagle, Zach MacEwen, and Tyler Motte: you should all be in the league and Canuck Nation loves you. I’m not sure if I can say the same for the Oilers bottom six - but Arvi is spot on here. These teams are both so top-heavy, with superstars at the top of each lineup. You can always count on a track meet of sorts to develop when Vancouver and Edmonton take the ice.
To round out today’s “Pulse of Canucks Nation”, something we can all agree on from YoungJudd. John Shorthouse and John Garrett are pure joy and should be protected at all costs. Thankfully we’ll be with them on the mic every step of the way, whatever this 2021 season brings.