Canucks Pettersson, Islanders Horvat

Canucks Game Day 41: On Top At The Midway Point, Hot Ex-Captain

Canucks Game Facts

This Evening: Vancouver Canucks at New York Islanders

Where: UBS Arena

When: 4:30 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Sportsnet / AM-650

Key Factors:

Starting goalkeepers: Casey DeSmith for Vancouver, Ilya Sorokin for New York.

The Canucks and goalie Thatcher Demko handled the New York Rangers on Monday night, picking up a 6-3 victory at Madison Square Garden. Demko made 39 saves.

The win gives the Canucks a four point lead (55) atop the Pacific Division standings and a tie for the 2nd most points in the NHL.

Other than bottom-6 forward Phil Di Giuseppe, the club is healthy.

The Islanders are missing two defencemen to injury: Ryan Pulock and Robert Bortuzzo. Goalie Semyon Varlamov is day-to-day.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Elias Pettersson put on a show at MSG. The Swedish centre scored two goals, one a highlight reel beauty, and added two assists. That was coming off a three-pointer in the previous game against the New Jersey Devils. “Petey” has nine points over his last four games.

Brock Boeser had a goal and two assists against the Blueshirts and has six points over his last four games.

Winger Andrei Kuzmenko played 12:54 on Monday night. He’s pointless in his last four games.

The hottest Islander is former Canucks captain Bo Horvat. New York’s top line centre has eight points spread over his last seven games. Just prior to that, from November 28th to December 19th, Horvat had an 11-game point streak that saw him post 17 points.

Coquitlam’s Mathew Barzal has four points over his last three games and leads the team in scoring with 40 points.

Veteran grinder Cal Clutterbuck has just one point over his last seven games.

Special Teams

The Canucks power play hasn’t seen a lot of action lately. Vancouver didn’t see a PP chance at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, and only had one chance in its previous two games. The Rangers power play went 1-for-2.

On the season Vancouver has produced a 23.9% success rate on the man advantage while the penalty kill succeeds 78% of the time.

The Islanders power play is above average at 23.4% while the penalty kill is next-to-last in the league at 71.8%. The Golden Knights went 1-for-1 on the power play on Saturday while the Isles went 0-for-2.

Coming In:

Canucks: 26-11-and-3, 1st place in the Pacific Division, coming off a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers last night.

Islanders: 18-11-10, 3rd place in the Metro Division, following a 5-2 road loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

Recent Canucks:

— Simmer’s Sunday 9: Canucks, Kraken, Includes Bruce Boudreau Podcast Link

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.