Watch out Norris Trophy hopefuls...Luke Schenn is on your tail.
The 31-year-old defencemen continued his strong campaign last night with a barrage of hits, and one of the more precise empty net goals you’ll ever see.
I'm pretty sure Luke Schenn just won a car pic.twitter.com/U94mfkOJKA— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) February 1, 2022
That beautiful tally prompted head coach Bruce Boudreau to compare Schenn to one of the greatest players in NHL history.
Bruce Boudreau, on Luke Schenn's success: "Well he's the first defenseman that's scored since I've been here, so to me he's Bobby Orr." #Canucks— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) February 1, 2022
“Whether he plays great or mediocre of what have you, the one thing you know about Luke Schenn is he gives you all he’s got every night,” Boudreau said after the game.
“I thought again tonight, I think he had nine hits after the second period, being physical, being a leader back there, that’s what you need, especially playing with Hughesy.”
Schenn is showing his effectiveness all over the ice right now. He leads the Canucks in hits (despite playing in only 29 of the team’s 45 games) and he’s third among team blueliners in points, behind only Quinn Hughes and Tyler Myers.
Who would have guessed that Schenn would have more points than Oliver Ekman-Larsson at this point in the season?
Defensively, Schenn has been solid as well. Among all regular Canucks blueliners, Schenn’s 2.14 expected goals against at even-strength is the best mark on the team.
Schenn might not actually win the Norris, but he’s pushing a guy like Tyler Motte for the team’s unofficial unsung hero.
- For more on last night’s game (and Schenn’s preposterously good performance), Jimmi has you covered. [Nucks Misconduct]
Of course, Schenn’s rock-solid performance and reasonable salary means he could be trade bait for the Canucks.
- Here’s an early look at who stays and who goes from the Canucks roster. [Vancouver is Awesome]
- And, an article on eight Canucks who could be used as trade bait. [Daily Hive]
- Finally, former Canuck Reid Boucher was officially charged on Monday for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, back when he was a 17-year-old with the U.S. National Team Development Program. [Detroit Free Press]
Boucher will serve four years of probation, with his one-year jail sentence suspended if he successfully completes his probation.
The disgraced NHLer pled guilty to the charge of third-degree sexual assault involving penetration of someone between the ages of 13-16. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, but Boucher is being tried as if he was a minor, since he was underage at the time of the assault.
Around the NHL
- Didn’t the Blackhawks kick Stan Bowman out the door while both Jim Benning and Marc Bergevin were holding down jobs?
Regardless, looks like Chicago is getting the boys back together to host a search party.
- Jack Campbell of the Toronto Maple Leafs was a front-runner for the Vezina, but his play has cratered recently. [Sportsnet]
The Leafs came from behind to beat the New Jersey Devils last night 6-4.
- On a more favourable note, Tim Stutzle and the Ottawa Senators stole a point from the Edmonton Oilers.
Tim Stutzle (yes this is a brutal goal on a 6’7 goalie) pic.twitter.com/6USnW70mYG— World Hockey Report (@worldhockeyrpt) February 1, 2022
The 20-year-old also had his first career NHL fight.
- Matt Boldy, who was selected two spots after Vasily Podkolzin in 2019, is sticking around with the Minnesota Wild for the rest of the season. [NHL]
Boldy has nine points (four goals and five assists) in nine games with the Minnesota Wild.
- Finally, an insightful write-up from long-time hockey writer Stan Fischler, who talks about Emilie Castonguay’s hiring, and reflects on when his wife — or any female reporter — wasn’t allowed to cover hockey games at Madison Square Garden. [The Hockey News]