Vancouver Canucks, Aidan McDonough

Canucks NHL Daily; Response To Sweep, McDonough

The Canucks took care of business over the weekend with wins over the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Saturday and 4-2 on Sunday over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Vancouver is now 7-and-5 in the first game of back-to-backs this season and 7-4-and-1 in the second games.

After what Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet described as a slow start, his club eventually took charge of matters against the Blackhawks, a team in complete rebuild mode.

He was fond of Aidan McDonough’s effort in the winger’s first ever NHL game, played in front of family who flew in from Boston for the momentous occasion.

“I thought he was OK,” Tocchet said with enthusiasm “He had two chances there, he had that chance right there at the end, would have been nice to see him score. But there’s some stuff there, there’s some stuff to work with.”

“It was awesome,” McDonough said postgame. “Just to have so many friends and family here, they made the short flight, and to share it with my best friend since 1st grade, Jack Rathbone, to be out there with me, and to get the two points, it was amazing, everything you can dream of.”

McDonough played 10:03, had one shot on goal and doled out two hits. Rathbone, the Canucks defenceman in his second game since being recalled from Abbotsford, played 14:06, had one hit, one shot on goal and blocked two shots. Rathbone scored a goal on Saturday in Dallas in his first NHL game since November.

Canucks Uh Oh

It stinks to have to keep bringing it up, but it’s an obligation particularly after this win. With the two points the Canucks hopped past two clubs in the NHL standings are now have only the 10th worst record in the league. They are three points away from taking themselves entirely out of the NHL Draft Lottery as it relates to earning the top pick.

At this point maybe it doesn’t matter; management might be so stoked by what they’re seeing in terms of chemistry, effort, and success. By the end of the season they’ll have a very good feel for who’s the real deal come next fall.

As it stands Vancouver presently has a 3.5% chance of landing top pick Connor Bedard by winning the lottery.

“So you’re saying there’s a chance.”

Absolutely. Some chance is better than none and crazy things can happen. That’s why it’s called a lottery.

Next Up

The Canucks will look to go a perfect 3-and-0 on their roadie in St. Louis against the Blues on Tuesday night before returning home to host the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

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.