Vancouver Canucks, Ethan Bear

Canucks Thankful; Opportunity Knocks in Vegas

It’s not a “must win’, but the Vancouver Canucks are on the cusp of a great opportunity. By knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champions in Denver on Wednesday night, the BC Boys gave themselves a chance to take a huge step on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Imagine the confidence and momentum a victory over the Golden Knights would bring, not to mention another two points in the standings and a step closer to .500.

Sometimes the NHL season involves being sad one day and happy the next. Right now the Vancouver Canucks cannot afford that type of trade off. They need to start a roll, similar to what they saw last season when head coach Bruce Boudreau took over on December 6th.

As they celebrate American Thanksgiving as a team, they can be thankful for Ethan Bear’s game winning goal and the 4-3 victory in Colorado.

“I just see our team getting better every day,” Bear said postgame. “The loss to Vegas (Monday), obviously that sucks, they’re a good team, for us I think we learned our lessons from them. At five-on-five, when we play five-on-five we’re as good as anybody, and honestly, just digging deep in our own end, D-zone coverage, that’s what helps win games and that’s what we did tonight.”

Bear had a two point night against the Avalanche and has four in eleven games with the Canucks since coming over on October 28th in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Canucks Goalie Twist

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s goaltending situation has developed a significant twist. Spencer Martin has emerged as the number-one for now ahead of Thatcher Demko. The skaters appear more confident with him between the pipes.

With the win in Colorado, Martin beat the team that drafted him in the 3rd-round in 2013 and let him walk as a free agent six years later.

“I’d be lying to you if I told you it wasn’t awesome to play here and to be back, but even better to beat them,” Martin said.

The other sweet element to this one, the comeback nature of the victory for the Canucks after seeing the wrong side side of blown leads much of the season. Vancouver scored the only two goals of the third period to win it.

After Vegas on Saturday, 7-10-and-3 Vancouver faces the disheveled San Jose Sharks the very next day.

Opportunity knocks this weekend, and for that the Canucks can be thankful.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.