The Vancouver Canucks just won a hockey game.
If you like goals, you probably enjoyed Thursday’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. There were nine total goals scored in a game that didn’t feature a ton defence or goaltending. Plenty of different players got in on the action as there were six separate goalscorers.
Each of the Canucks’ first four shots ended up in the back of the net, giving them a quick 4-0 lead. However, the Oilers weren't about to roll over and answered with two of their own before the period was over.
If the Oilers had scored next, they could have made it a one-goal game with plenty of time left, but instead, it was Tyler Graovac that pushed the Canucks lead back to three. From there the two teams traded third-period goals for a final score of 6-3 in favour of the Canucks.
Here were the major storylines from the game.
A Game of Firsts
Three Canucks scored their first goals of the season during this game, including Jack Rathbone who got the first of his career. Besides Rathbone, Tyler Graovac and Travis Hamonic also finally got to see their names go on the scoresheet.
If nothing else, the Canucks have gotten a chance to hand out chances to a lot of players and see what they’re made of. Graovac has gotten a bigger chance to get in the lineup because of injuries, and it was a pretty goal for the 28-year-old Brampton, Ontario native.
On a night full of firsts, Tyler Graovac added his first of the season! ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/uwIgDVrOQa— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) May 7, 2021
Rathbone & Hoglander continue to thrive
The Canucks jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals from Nils Höglander and Jack Rathbone. Considering that there haven’t been many reasons for optimism this season, the play of the rookies has been a small bright spot.
Rathbone’s first goal capped off an impressive start to his NHL career as his offensive skillset has translated well. He’s made some crisp passes, showed some strong offensive instincts, and skated well. Considering the situation he’s been dropped into, you cannot ask for much more.
Höglander has also continued his excellent rookie season. Both players look to be important pieces for the team moving forward and will hopefully be able to take even larger roles next season.
The Canucks scored 31 seconds into the game and from there, the floodgates were opened. They chased Mikko Koskinen who left the game after failing to stop any of the first four shots he faced, resulting in the Oilers’ goalie smashing his stick over his goalpost in a fit of anger.
It was the most successful start to a game for the Canucks all season. For a team that was in danger of losing their seventh straight and was playing a game that doesn’t mean much for the standings, they came out with a surprising amount of energy.
Of course, just as much of the quick start could be attributed to Koskinen’s struggles as the play of the Canucks. The fourth goal, scored by Jayce Hawryluk, was especially egregious as it slid along the ice into the back of the net.
For Canucks fans that have suffered through the recent stretch, this game was a nice break as they dominated for a change.
McDavid’s Road to 100 Points
Connor McDavid has made the NHL look like your local beer league this season and he’s closing in on 100 points for the year. When you take in the fact that the season has been cut down, the numbers are video game-like. Entering tonight’s game he had 93 points with only five games remaining, meaning that his quest will go right down to the finish line.
Three assists tonight definitely helped his case and now he needs only four more over the last four games.
Thatcher Demko comes up huge against McDavid on the penalty shot. pic.twitter.com/ePP7PkeDgL— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 7, 2021
While he still got three points, sure bet McDavid would have liked to add this penalty shot goal that Demko stretched out to stop.
Brock Boeser Hits 20 Goals
To cap off the night, Boeser found the back of the net to hit the 20 goal mark in this shortened season. For someone that has dealt with injuries over the last few years and didn’t have the greatest time shooting the puck last season, his resurgence has been welcomed by everyone.
He has looked as deadly as ever and has been a threat both during 5-on-5 as well as on the power play. One of the best shooters in the league when healthy, Boeser has managed to keep scoring throughout this season in all sorts of different circumstances. Even losing running mate Elias Peterson didn’t slow down the young sniper.
Nice to see Boeser rewarded with the milestone of 20 goals for his efforts in a season that hasn't gone the way that anyone thought it would, though you wouldn't know that if you watched the game tonight.