Stars Pavelski, Canucks Hughes

Canucks Game Day 11: Stars Vs. Stars; Battle Royale

The stars of the Vancouver Canucks will take on the Dallas Stars on Saturday night at Rogers Arena.

Not many in the NHL have been more entertaining or prolific this season as Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller.

Canucks Game Facts

Tonight: Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks

Where: Rogers Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Sportsnet / AM-650

Key Factors:

Starting goalkeepers: Jake Oettinger expected for Dallas; Thatcher Demko starts for Vancouver.

It’s the battle of the two 15-point teams in the west, the difference being the fact the Canucks have one more regulation loss than the Stars. Both have received strong netminding to off-set lopsided special teams while the Canucks are scoring like banshees.

Vancouver leads the NHL with 4.6 goals per game. Their goal rate against is less than half of that; clearly a winning formula.

Head-to-head last season the Stars lost to the Canucks three times, once in overtime, over a four week period from late February to late March.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Throw Brock Boeser’s name in with the three aforementioned Canucks and you have a pretty hearty “hot” list. Captain Hughes racked up five points from the blueline in his last game while the three forwards each had three points.

Boeser is clearly on a career-best goal scoring pace with eight in his first ten games. He’s chipped in five assists.

Pettersson, the NHL’s 2nd-star of the month for October, leads the team with 19 points while Miller and Hughes each have 16.

Bottom six scoring for Vancouver has been timely but is somewhat scarce in general.

The ageless wonder Joe Pavelski had a three pointer for Dallas in a win against the Oilers on Thursday night, along with an assist against Calgary on Wednesday. Only Roope Hintz has more points than the 39-year-old.

Radek Faksa is pointless in seven games, although he’s been day-to-day with an injury. Forward Tyler Seguin needs more than four points in nine games.

Special Teams

The Canucks power play has been a key factor in the club’s outstanding early season record, clicking 34.3% of the time, 2nd best in the NHL. They went 4-for-5 against the lowly Sharks two nights ago.

Dallas’s win/loss record this season is astounding considering they’ve only found success on the man advantage 12% of the time. That abysmal mark puts them 27th in the NHL in proficiency.

Conversely, the Stars penalty kill makes more sense all things considered. How about a 93.6% success rate. That’s 3rd best in the NHL, having given up a grand total of two power play goals.

The Canucks killed off two of three San Jose power plays on Thursday, and now rank 19th in the league at 76.3%.

Coming In:

Stars: 7-1-and-1, coming off a 4-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. It’s the 3rd game in four nights for Dallas. They also beat the Flames in Calgary 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Canucks: 7-2-and-1 for 15 points and second place in the Pacific Division. In their last game, the Canucks beat the Sharks 10-1 in San Jose on Thursday night.

Tied now, the winner of this game will stand alone with the 2nd best record in the Western Conference.


— Pacific Perspective; Canucks Romp, Sharks Laughingstock

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.