Vancouver Canucks, Elias Pettersson

Canucks Lean Mean Pettersson Is NHL 2nd Star; Injuries

Check out ‘Petey’ on the NHL produced graphic; the Canucks first line centre looking a bit ornery. All business for Elias Pettersson this past week as he earns league 2nd-star honours with a goal and five assists.

Tough to argue with the guy who finished one star ahead; Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews with two hat tricks, but Petey made a strong statement with his physical play and his talented hand-eye pursuits in the Canucks back-to-back wins over the Edmonton Oilers.

“It’s early but we’re two out of two now, two really good wins, especially today,” Pettersson said postgame on Saturday in Edmonton. “We’re happy, regroup, Casey (DeSmith) played great in net and it was a good team win, performance.”

“Petey, I thought he was terrific,” Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said. “He had more, he played with every person on that line, he did a great job.”

Petey wasn’t about to praise himself, instead bringing up the fact that he needs to capitalize more on the power play.

“The unit is creating scoring chances for me, so whenever I get a good look I obviously try to score,” he said. “I’m not hitting the net at the moment, so I’ll try to make sure to get the puck on net.”

Matthews, Pettersson, and two Pittsburgh Penguins, Geno Malkin and Jake Guentzel, lead the NHL in scoring with six points. The first two gentlemen have only played two games while the Penguins have played three.

Canucks Opponent

Taking a quick glance at the Philadelphia Flyers, who the Canucks play on Tuesday night, you’ll find a team with a 1-and-1 record with six goals for and seven goals against.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Tocchet, who spent a majority of his 1,144 regular season NHL games playing with the team. He was drafted by Philly in the 6th-round in 1983 and spent his first seven-and-a-half seasons with the club before joining the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline in 1992 for a successful Stanley Cup run.

Tocchet had lost a Stanley Cup Final to the Edmonton Oilers in 1987 in his third season with the Flyers under head coach Mike Keenan.

Tocchet’s been known to sing the praises of the Flyers fan base, deservedly so. They’re a loyal, vocal, passionate bunch.

John Tortorella is the coach there now, trying to continue a rebuild. The Canucks would be the favourite heading in.

It’s listed as an early start, 6 pm eastern, 3 pm pacific.

NHL Craniums

Seattle Kraken winger Brandon Tanev took a hit to the head in the second period of the season opener in Vegas last Tuesday and hasn’t returned to the line-up. Thus far, head coach Dave Hakstol hasn’t been clear on a timeline for the player’s return.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Taylor Hall suffered a similar injury against the Boston Bruins last Wednesday, but definitely not as severe. Unlike Brett Howden, who received a two-game suspension for the hit on Tanev, Bruins D-man Brandon Carlo did not receive any supplemental discipline for the hit on Hall.

Although first described as week-to-week, the former 1st-overall NHL Draft pick from 2010 will once again be skating on the Blackhawks top line with center and 2023 1st-overall pick Connor Bedard. Hall should be in the line-up Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Completing the never-popular head injury trifecta, Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is listed as day-to-day after taking a puck to the melon last Thursday in a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. He sat out the 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

Note: The VGK’s also beat the Kraken 4-1. That’s called establishing a very good scoreboard habit.

Another Canucks Recent:

— Simmer’s Sunday 9: Boudreau Chirps, ‘The Kid’, Babs, Melrose Jokes

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.