Vancouver Canucks, Elias Pettersson

Canucks NHL Daily: Above .500; Standings Tighten

After slip sliding away for the first three weeks of the season the Vancouver Canucks have finally topped the .500 mark. Twice earlier they had reached the .500 mark this season only to lose their next game or two, or three.

With a three game winning streak in hand, the Canucks presently have a .515 winning percentage after their 6-2 Tuesday night win over the San Jose Sharks.

“The first two periods I thought we were pretty good, we contained them,” Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau said, “and it happens a lot, you wish it wouldn’t, you warn them a lot, but in the third period when you’ve got a good lead you always sit back and the other team seems to take it to you a little bit. Lucky we got the opportunity to score a goal and kind of quiet them down and ‘Marty’ (Canucks goalie Spencer Martin) played really good in the 3rd period.”

In a contract year, Canucks captain Bo Horvat just continues to light things up. He put together his second consecutive four-point game and added two more goals to his total that is now 26 on the season, tied for 2nd most in the NHL.

“He usually gets one tip-in goal and one with a wrister off the rush, so that’s perfect,” Martin said with a smile of his captain.

Meanwhile, Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes threw the proverbial monkey off his back with his first goal of the season.

“Yeah, it was nice, something that was weighing on my mind for sure the last couple of games,” Hughes said postgame. “Obviously I want to produce and score. Going into the season I thought I was going to be able to score a bit more, the things I worked on in the summer, so that was weighing on me, but it is what it is, I’ve liked my game and sometimes they just don’t go in.”

The confident Canucks will head off to Winnipeg for a Thursday night tilt against the Jets and follow that up with a visit to the Calgary Flames on Saturday for Hockey Night in Canada.

Let’s Skate!

The man ahead of Horvat and Tage Thompson of the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL goal scoring department is of course Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers with his 31 lamp-lighters. He picked up the game winner on Tuesday night in a 2-1 win in Calgary against the Flames.

With the victory the Oilers hopped over the Flames into the 2nd wild card spot in the Western Conference with 40 points. Colorado actually has that same number of points in the first wild card spot, as does the Pacific Division’s 3rd-place team, the Seattle Kraken. There’s a catch; the Kraken have played one less game than the Avalanche and a whopping four fewer than the OIlers.

The Canucks are now five points behind all of them.

WJC Canucks

Team Sweden was far less prolific offensively on Tuesday in Group A of the World Junior Championship in Halifax, but they still managed to beat the Germans 1-0. The Swedes had beaten Austria on Monday by the score of 11-0.

Neither Vancouver Canucks future hopeful tallied a point in the game against Germany. Defenceman Elias Pettersson played a solid game and led all Swedish skaters by far with 20:45 in ice time. Canucks 2022 1st-round NHL Draft pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki played just 11:42 up front and had two shots on goal.

What should be a dandy match awaits the twosome. Sweden takes on Czechia on Thursday, the team that handled Team Canada 5-2 on Monday.

Canucks 2021 draft choice, goalie Aku Koskenvuo, who took the overtime loss for Team Finland on Monday against Switzerland, dressed as the back-up as Jani Lampinen started and picked up the 5-2 win over Slovakia on Tuesday.

Enjoy the Hockey Action!!

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.