Enjoying it briefly and then putting it behind them is the approach for the Vancouver Canucks following Wednesday night’s 8-1 shellacking of the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena. The two teams meet again in Alberta on Saturday night and the Canucks will try to stay on an even keel. It might not be easy with more line-up changes expected for reasons beyond their control …
If it wasn’t for three forwards having huge nights for the Canucks on Wednesday, goalie Thatcher Demko would have notched one of our three star slots, even with him having to leave the game early in the third period at the 8:14 mark.
Injury concerns went away postgame when Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet described what had gone on.
“Dehydrated,” Tocchet stated. “Yeah, he started to feel dehydrated … he didn’t really want to come out, but when he puked in his mask I said ‘you’ve gotta come out’.”
Can’t argue with that.
The problem is, the little bug that Tocchet said “has been going through the team”, may have found a couple more recipients. The club doesn’t play again until Saturday’s rematch in Edmonton, but forward Jack Studnicka was already recalled from the Abbotsford Canucks on Thursday under what Vancouver General Manager Patrik Allvin described as “emergency conditions.”
Conor Garland, who opened the scoring in the game, may have been going through the same thing, having left the bench for a stretch during the 3rd period.
A Big Canucks Victory
“I thought the guys managed the game, that’s something we talked about,” Tocchet said postgame. “Some good goals, some lucky goals too, sometimes you’ve gotta be, those help, those lucky goals. Overall I thought we checked well, we had a really good game plan, I thought the guys really stuck to our game plan.”
The first four-goal game in nearly two decades for the Canucks, the first on an opening night, to go with the first natural hat trick in an opener, all belonged to Brock Boeser. Two of them were those “lucky goals” Tocchet referred to, one that bounced in off Boeser’s leg and another fortunate rebound carom off a defenceman’s leg that ended up on his stick alone by the crease. That’s hockey, it makes up for all those times a puck hits bad ice and hops over a player’s stick, etc.
It usually balances out to a degree and represent small events that truly can’t be quantified.
“Kudos to us for coming in tonight and playing a really good hockey game all around, so we’ve just gotta build off it now,” Boeser said postgame.
After a particularly difficult past two seasons for this player personally, it was a pleasure to see Boeser have that kind of evening. If he’s stays healthy, reaching the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career is genuinely within reach.
Elias Pettersson earned our 2nd-star honours, edging out J.T. Miller’s five point night. Petey ended up with four points of his own, including three assists. He found Garland for the opening goal with a beautiful feed from the left point to his linemate headed to the net. Pettersson also exhibited some physical prowess.
This hit by Petey helped keep the crowd fired up and his teammates motivated. It’s a great piece of isolation video from team videographer Paul Albi. It’s also the dictionary definition of charging.
“Leaving the feet” is often the key factor when a charging penalty is called. Petey flies like Superman after taking more than two full strides and accelerating.
Not sure if either referee had the proper angle on it, but it would have been hard to miss both feet a foot off the ice. Also not sure if they had the balls to call it at that moment of time and place. I know a couple of old timers who definitely would have.
From all the other perspectives: great hit and exciting for the Canucks to have Petey engaging in that type of physical play.
I would also suggest he keep his head on a swivel on Saturday night.
— Canucks Day 1; Garland Looks For A Trade, Flu, Injury Bug
— More Moves; Canucks Salary Tap Dance, New Bodies, Waivers