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HSH’s Canucks Scouting Report (Pro-Con-Clusion #16): Boeser heating up under Boudreau

Harsunder breaks down the best and worst of the last 2 Canucks games as well as a concluding thought in his 16th feature of the Pro-Con-Clusion series.

NHL: DEC 14 Blue Jackets at Canucks
Vancouver Canucks Right Wing Brock Boeser (6) warms up to play the Columbus Blue Jackets during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on December 14, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It is amazing to see how much of a difference only 3 weeks can make. Before the Canucks relieved Jim Benning and Travis Green of their respective duties on December 5th, the team was well out of a playoff spot and all hope was seemingly lost regarding this season. However, ever since Bruce Boudreau took over the Canucks bench, the team has been flying high.

Currently riding a 7 game winning streak and with 9 wins in their last 10, the Canucks have miraculously managed to enter the playoff conversation again in the Pacific Division, now just sitting 4 points out of a playoff spot.

The first of these last 2 Canucks games happened way back on December 16, when the Canucks took to the ice at SAP Center to play the San Jose Sharks. With a stellar performance from Thatcher Demko and a couple of their best offensive weapons, the Canucks were able to secure a 5-2 win over their divisional rivals.

The second game of this 2-game set won’t take place until December 29, with a rise of Covid-19 cases within the league pausing the season for almost 2 weeks. On this Wednesday night tilt, the Canucks were on the road to face a California team again, as they went up against the Anaheim Ducks for the 3rd time this season.

This particular game included many ups and downs, but at the end of it all, the Canucks managed to secure the extra point in overtime and extend their impressive winning streak to 7 games.

With the win against his former team on Wednesday night, Bruce Boudreau tied Geoff Ward and Jacques Lemaire for most consecutive wins with a new team, securing his seventh straight victory with the Canucks.

With that said, let’s take a look at 1 pro and 1 con from these last 2 Canucks games, as well as a concluding thought before the Canucks take on the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser has been scoring goals and melting hearts across Canucks Nation.
Getty Images

Pro: The return of the Brockstar

Ever since Bruce Boudreau took over as Canucks head coach over 3 weeks ago, one of the most impressive storylines besides the winning streak for this team has been the resurgence of Brock Boeser.

In 6 games under the veteran bench boss, Boeser has 5 goals and 2 assists for a total of 7 points. In addition to that, he was all around the net in the game against the Sharks, getting 5 shots on goal and having another shot which the post in the 2nd period.

However, the bad news is that before the Ducks game on Wednesday night, Boeser, along with the recently called up Philip Di Giuseppe and a team staff member, was placed in the league’s Covid-19 protocol.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Canucks would definitely miss Boeser. The earliest he will join the team is on January 8th at home against the Ottawa Senators.

Regardless, it is imperative to recognize how well Boeser has been performing as of late, especially considering what he went through with injuries and tough bounces at the start of the season.

The Minnesota native would look to continue his production in the new year when the Canucks begin a 2 game homestand, before embarking on a long and crucial Eastern road trip shortly after.

NHL: DEC 14 Blue Jackets at Canucks
Vancouver Canucks Left Wing Jason Dickinson (18) on ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on December 14, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Con: Jason Dickinson showing a clear lack of confidence

When the Canucks acquired Jason Dickinson from the Stars in the summer, they were hoping for a player who can be a steady presence on the 3rd line and chip in offensively on an occasional basis. While Dickinson has been decent in a matchup role, the offense has been nonexistent.

The empty-net goal that Dickinson scored on December 16 was just his 2nd goal of the season and his first in nearly 2 months. With just 4 points in 30 games so far this year, the Canucks have been getting nowhere near the level of production that they were hoping to get from the former first-round pick.

Despite playing with 2 offensive players in Bo Horvat and Nils Hoglander, Dickinson’s lack of production has been extremely evident and obviously a cause for concern. Especially when you consider the fact that the previous management regime emphasized that they believed there was untapped offensive potential in Dickinson’s game upon his acquisition.

On top of the lack of offensive results, Dickinson has also been fighting the puck consistently and really been unable to create much offensive pressure. The 26-year-old would look to change his fortunes and start producing on a more consistent basis in the new year, as the Canucks continue their pursuit for a playoff spot in the West.

Concluding Thought: Boudreau watch on Thursday night

As previously mentioned, Bruce Boudreau would have a chance to set an NHL record, with 8 straight wins coaching a new team when the Canucks take on the LA Kings on Thursday night. In addition to that, Boudreau’s next win would also be the 575th victory of his impressive head coaching career.