The Canucks have made massive progress since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach.
That progress just didn’t show up in the win column over the last two games.
The Canucks gained just one point over the last two games after losing 4-3 in overtime to the Washington Capitals, which was followed by a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay.
Despite the setback, the Canucks are still just three points back of a playoff spot. The Vegas Golden Knights are three points ahead of the Canucks, although Vancouver has one game in hand. Vegas currently holds down the final Wild Card spot in the West.
The Edmonton Oilers, like, Vegas, are also ahead of the Canucks with 68 points. They currently hold down third spot in the Pacific Division, and they have two games in hand on the Canucks.
Vancouver will aim to get back to their winning ways against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, as they hope to make a big sprint for the finish line in these last 22 games and successfully achieve a playoff berth.
With that, let’s take a look at 1 pro and 1 con, as well as a concluding thought before the Canucks vs. Devils game on Tuesday night.
Pro: The JT Miller point streak factor
Throughout each game as of late, whether it is a win or a loss, one factor that has been consistent for the Canucks is that JT Miller never fails to impress.
With 24 goals and 46 assists in 58 games, the 29-year-old is currently sitting at 9th in the NHL scoring leaders list with a total of 70 points.
On Friday against Washington, the Ohio native got a point on Bo Horvat’s powerplay tally to increase his point streak to 11 games.
On Sunday, Miller scored the lone Canucks goal against his former team. With the goal, Miller increases his point streak to 12 games, putting up 8 goals and 15 assists for 23 points in that span.
ANDDD we're back in it!— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 14, 2022
Miller's stick stays hot pic.twitter.com/K67lKnV5rZ
The 29-year-old would look to continue his dynamic offensive play and increase his point streak to 13 games on Tuesday night, which would tie him with Pavel Bure, Stan Smyl, and Ryan Kesler for the 3rd longest point streak in Canucks history.
Con: Boeser’s ongoing offensive struggles
When Brock Boeser first arrived into the league in 2017, he had all the makings of a true goal scorer and he did show signs of it, scoring 33 goals and 60 points in his first 71 games.
Since then, Boeser hasn’t been able to score at the same pace.
The 25-year-old was the team’s leading goal scorer last year despite playing have of the year without Elias Pettersson as his center, racking up a total of 23 goals and 26 assists for 49 points in 56 games.
However, this particular season, the Minnesota native has been largely been offensively quiet when his production is compared to that of last year’s. In 54 games so far this season, Boeser only has 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points, a full 15 fewer points than what he put up last year.
In the last 3 games, Boeser only registered 3 shots and 1 hit in over 19 minutes of average ice-time. He was largely unnoticeable, particularly at 5-on-5.
For someone whose name has really been swirling around in trade rumours more than ever, Boeser would love to get going offensively in the next few games and show the Canucks management that he is indeed a long-term fixture for this team’s top 6.
Otherwise, the Minnesota native could very well find himself donning a new jersey after the trade deadline at 12:00 pm next Monday.
Concluding thought: Will the “streak snappers” trend continue?
On a recent article in this series, I discussed how the Canucks have done a great job snapping a plethora of streaks, or droughts if you will, that have affected the team for numerous seasons.
It is worth noting that another streak pertaining to this topic, is the New Jersey Devils’ streak of winning 12 straight games against the Canucks.
The last time the Canucks beat the Devils was back in November of 2014, a game the Canucks won 2-0 courtesy of a shutout performance from Ryan Miller and goals from Alex Burrows and Shawn Matthias.
It will be interesting to see if the Canucks would be able to snap this streak of 8 years against the Devils and emerge victorious when the teams take to the ice on Tuesday night.
On a side note, with a win on Tuesday night, the Canucks could also potentially move just one point away from Vegas and Edmonton in the NHL standings, which would open up the path for the team to reach 3rd place in the Pacific Division.
However, the Canucks would obviously require a lot of help in order for this to be made possible, but nonetheless, there is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.