Will it just be the one game cameo for Lane Pederson with the Vancouver Canucks? It depends on the health of forwards Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, who both sat out Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets due to illness.
Pederson earned an opportunity with a call-up from the Abbotsford Canucks and a slot in the NHL line-up Saturday due to his gangbuster scoring at the American Hockey League level. Pederson had tallied a red hot 17 goals and 24 points in 18 AHL games since coming over from the Carolina Hurricanes organization in a deal in late October.
Against the Jets Pederson won two of six face-offs, delivered one hit and was on the ice for one even strength goal against.
“He can skate, he’s just got to get used to the NHL,” Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau said. “You have to get pucks away quicker, you have to do things quicker. In the American League you have that extra second to do things and in this league you don’t have that time.”
The Canucks host the St. Louis Blues tonight (Monday). While we wait …
The Eastern Conference has most of the hottest teams in the NHL at the moment. The New York Rangers reeled off their seventh consecutive victory on Sunday with a 7-1 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks. With a record of 18-10-and-5 the Broadway Blueshirts have hopped into 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division with 41 points.
The team they trail is even hotter. The second place Carolina Hurricanes have won five in a row and have picked up at least one point in their last eleven games. They’re three points ahead of the Rangers in the standings.
Oh, and ho hum, this is less of a surprise, the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning have also won five in a row and have crept up the Atlantic Division standings into 3rd place with 41 points.
For the second opponent in row, the Seattle Kraken will benefit from the Vancouver Canucks leftovers. In other words, after the Winnipeg Jets beat the Canucks 5-1, they played the Kraken the next night and lost 3-2. Monday the Canucks host the St. Louis Blues, Tuesday the Kraken host them. Pretty favourable pattern at the moment for the Pacific Division rivals down the highway.
With the win over the Jets the Kraken stayed in third place in the division with 37 points, eight ahead of the Canucks. Seattle and Vancouver have each played 30 matches and have games in hand on the rest of the division.
By the way, former Jets captain Blake Wheeler, one of six Winnipeg regulars out of the line-up due to injury, learned he’ll miss four weeks following surgery for a lower body injury suffered on Thursday against the Nashville Predators. Former Canucks defenceman Nate Schmidt was also injured in that game and will miss four to six weeks with an upper body injury.