While the Canucks did manage to surprise many people by getting 3 out of 4 points against the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild to start this 4-game road trip, making the playoffs still seems out of the realm of possibility.
However, the hope won’t end until the Canucks are officially out of a playoff spot, and for a team that is fighting against all odds right now, the last 2 games were somewhat of a step in the right direction.
On Wednesday night, the Canucks did the seemingly impossible, as they upset the league-leading Colorado Avalanche 3-1 courtesy of a brilliant performance from Jaroslav Halak. The win was made even more spectacular by the fact that Colorado has only lost a handful of games on home ice this whole season.
On the second half of a back-to-back on Thursday, the Canucks were able to secure a single point in an extremely physical and high-paced tilt with the Minnesota Wild, which ended in a 3-2 overtime loss.
With a recap completed, let’s take a look at 1 pro and 1 con, as well as a concluding thought before the Canucks pay a visit to Texas to play the Dallas Stars, who happen to be holding the last Wild Card spot in the Western Conference right now.
Pro: Quinn Hughes continues to amaze
For a team that is very sparse and shallow on the blueline, having Quinn Hughes is a huge luxury for the Vancouver Canucks.
With tremendous skating ability and great offensive instincts, the Canucks often find themselves relying on Quinn Hughes to transition the puck up ice and create scoring chances in the offensive zone.
While the 22-year-old did finish with a combined rating of -2 in the last couple of games, he did create numerous opportunities with his offensive abilities on both these nights.
On Thursday, Hughes picked up an assist on the JT Miller powerplay tally against Minnesota, bringing the Florida native’s point total to 52 points in 62 games.
As a matter of fact, the coach of the Minnesota Wild, Dean Evason, was also raving about Quinn Hughes post-game and talking about how he’s so crafty and makes so many great plays.
Already on pace to establish numerous records amongst Canucks blueliners, fans have a lot to look forward to in regards to Hughes’ future, especially when he enters his prime a few years from now.
Con: Tyler Myers back to his old habits
Ever since Bruce Boudreau took over behind the Canucks bench, one of the amazing storylines for the team was the resurgence of Tyler Myers and how he along with OEL had formed a reliable shutdown pairing that the veteran bench boss could trust in all situations.
However, over the last few games, Myers has been playing pretty much the same way he used to play during the Travis Green era.
While the 32-year-old had one of his better nights against the Avalanche, finishing with a +2 rating, the game against the Wild was a much different story.
On numerous occasions throughout the contest, Myers made many blind passes up the boards or across the ice which often almost resulted in or did indeed end up resulting in turnovers.
It was such a mistake on Myers’ part that caused the Canucks to give up a goal, as the veteran defenseman made an ill-advised pass to Oliver Ekman-Larsson which eluded him and resulted in a turnover.
As a result, Kiril Kaprizov took advantage and sniped a shot top corner past Thatcher Demko to tie the game at 1.
As previously mentioned, the Canucks are currently in an extremely steep uphill battle if they have any hopes of making the postseason. As such, in order to get there, they would definitely need every one of their players to step up their game significantly, and as things stand right now, Tyler Myers is right at the top of that list.
Concluding thought: It's William Lockwood season
As Matthew Highmore is currently listed as day-to-day dealing with an upper-body injury (not a concussion), William Lockwood would draw into the Canucks lineup on Saturday.
The 23-year-old will be making his season debut and playing his 3rd game in the National Hockey League as the Canucks take to the ice against the Dallas Stars.
After a decent preseason and a good showing in Abbotsford, it will be interesting to see how Lockwood performs in his first real opportunity to stick with the Vancouver Canucks long-term.
The Michigan native’s uptempo and physical style of hockey is something that the Canucks can certainly use right now and it is definitely something that fans are excited to see in the hopes that it can give the team a much-needed spark down the stretch.