Vancouver Canucks, Bruce Boudreau

Canucks Friday Wrap: Gabby’s PK; WJC Prospects

Thank you to whoever was asking Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau questions after practice on Friday; they did a nice job of following up the Vancouver Hockey Insider morning article about the team’s penalty kill.

“We’re doing what we think is the best way to kill penalties, we follow the top five teams from the past five years,” Boudreau said. “We’ve gotta get guys doing the right things instead of going on their own page a lot of the times. The only way you would improve that is if you do practice in penalty killing specifically. Most of the time you do that you’re doing power play vs penalty kill and a lot of our guys play on the power play so they don’t get the penalty killing practice in. You look at last night’s game, they got two power play goals and a penalty shot goal, that’s the difference in the game.”

The Jets took over in the second period on the man advantage and went on to win 4-2 with an empty netter.

WJC Canucks Prospects

The biggies have at it on Saturday at the World Junior Championship as the prime time Group A match-up in Halifax will feature Canada against Sweden while Team USA takes on Finland in Group B in Moncton.

Sweden controls its own destiny at the top of the Group entering the final day of the round robin. Canada can hop completely past Sweden with a regulation win, but can’t catch Czechia if the latter handles Germany as expected earlier on Saturday. The Czechs opened the tournament with a 5-2 win over the Canadians.

Canucks 2022 NHL Draft pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki is tied for 28th in tournament scoring with three points, two of them assists. 3rd-round 2022 selection Elias Pettersson has seen a solid amount of ice time on the blue line and the 18-year-old has added an assist. Both Canucks Swedes are plus-2 in the tournament.

Aku Koskenvuo, the Canucks 2021 5th-rounder and a goalie for Team Finland, saw action in their first game of the tourney against Switzerland and lost in overtime 3-2. Koskenvuo has backed up Jani Lampinen in the two Finland victories and is expected to do so again against the USA.

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.