Each victory pushes the thoughts of the trades further from the heads of Canucks fans.
Jim Rutherford joined the Vancouver Canucks as president of hockey operations with a reputation as a man of action. In his previous jobs as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, he never shied away from taking a big step forward.
patrick Allvinthe Canucks’ general manager, does not have a great reputation but he is a protected of Rutherford, so it was safe to assume he had been swept along the lines of the blockbuster deal.
And yet, the Canucks not only didn’t make a successful deal, they didn’t make a deal at all. The only trades the Canucks made under Rutherford and Allvin have been the mundane, everyday transactions of moving players up and down miners.
There’s a pretty good reason they didn’t make any trades, of course — the Canucks won’t stop winning.
Since Boudeau took over, the Canucks are 21-8-4 for a .697 point percentage — fifth-best in the NHL in that era. They are behind only the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, and tied with the Florida Panthers.
It’s exhilarating company, as they’re all top-ranked teams with a legitimate chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
It is very similar to what Boudeau accomplished in his first NHL head coaching job. He took over a Washington Capitals team that had an even worse record than the Canucks and took them to the top of the Southeast Division with a record of 37-17-7 – a percentage of 0.664 points, lower than what the Canucks have done so far. .
The Canucks are still in a tough spot. The two teams currently in playoff contention, the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars, are three and four points ahead of the Canucks and have two games each in hand. But they are close at hand. Where it once seemed impossible for the Canucks to make the playoffs is now well into the realm of probability.
With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine the Canucks pulling the trigger on any major trade before the March 21 trade deadline.
Everything may depend on this seven games host familywhich conveniently ends on March 20. If the Canucks stumble, they could see their playoff dream come to an end and Rutherford and Allvin could finally pull the trigger on some trades.
But if the Canucks pick up wins and catch up, we may not see a trade.
Really, it’s a win-win situation for Canucks fans. Either the Canucks make big trades that to start up a glorious future (hopefully) where they keep winning and fans can enjoy the excitement of a big playoff push.
The Canucks got their seven games host family got off to a good start with a win over the Montrealers Canadians Wednesday night. I found myself asking, “Are they really going to do this?” when i watched this game.
- Let’s eliminate a caveat earlier. The Canadiens are terrible – dead last in the terrible NHL – but they had also won 7 of their last 8 games before this game, thriving after their own mid-season coaching change. Under new head coach Martin St. Louis, the Canadiens are a much more dangerous team and victory for the Canucks was not a foregone conclusion.
- My word, what a JT Miller game. He extended his point streak to ten games with an unreal 4-point performance, including a solo effort for a crucial third-period goal. I haven’t seen such a dominant JT since Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveSounds took over the charts in 2006.
- “He definitely became the catalyst and the leader,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “It’s wonderful to see because you need it at this stage of the season.”
- Here’s an interesting development — Elias Pettersson finished third among Canucks forwards in shorthanded ice time, just behind JT Miller and Tyler Motte. Quinn Hughes finished third among defensemen behind Travis Hamonic and Luke Schenn. Meanwhile, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who has been a go-to penalty killer for the Canucks this season, barely played shorthanded, just 28 seconds. Hughes played 3:36 shorthanded.
- petterson hasn’t been on the ice for a powerplay goal yet and Hughes has been nearly as good, so it makes sense that they’re starting to become go-to options on the penalty kill. In a perhaps related note, the Canucks killed all four penalties in that game. Or maybe it’s because the Canadians have the power play ranked 31st in the NHL. Hard to say.
- petterson was exceptional the whole match, because he and his teammatesConor Garland and nils Hoeglander, put pressure in the offensive zone, even if they could not take any of the chances they created. Like August Kruckow, this line set the tone early on.
- Ironically, that line was on the ice for the Canadiens’ first goal. Höglander was knocked out of the puck in the offensive zone and Luke Schenn bet on keeping the puck at the blue line, only for it to pass him for a 2 on 1. Hughes was in the rotation cycle trying to get back back to defend and couldn’t stop the feed across the ice to Artturi Lehkonen, who beat a moving Thatcher Demko.
- Aside from that misstep from Schenn on goal, he had a solid game. He blocked three shots and had seven shot attempts and, of course, had six hits. This included a tip-rattler on Rem Pitlick in the first period. It seemed like Schenn was beaten after his shot was blocked, but he took a wide angle back and sent Pitlick smashing end boards like Wile E. Coyote through a railroad tunnel painted into the side of a cliff.
- Brock Boser set the stage for a brilliant change of response after goal, hitting the post and forcing a big save on a deflection a moment later. As Miller collected the puck in the high slot, Travis harmonic beaver-tailed frantically for the puck. He eventually got it and justified his beaver by slapping Boeser’s screen in the bottom corner, where bored students create flipbook animations in their textbooks.
- Höglander had a good game offensively, creating some great chances, especially a sneak pass to Conor Garland for a one-timer in the second period, but it was his defensive play that stood out. His pursuit of the puck was relentless, especially in that second period quarterback. First he stalked Cole Caufield in the neutral zone to create a turnover, then harassed Josh Anderson on the backcheck, pushing him into the boards to earn another puck. He will quickly earn Boudreau’s trust with this kind of play.
- It wasn’t exactly a signature performance for Thatcher Demko, who looked a bit shaky on a couple of Habs goals, but he pulled off a ridiculously good save, robbing Joel Armia with his glove. Even when he’s not at his best, Demko’s always the best.
- Brock Boser gave the Canucks a 2-1 power play lead. It only took nine seconds: Miller jumped forward on the faceoff to pick up a loose puck, Hughes gave it back to him, and he passed it to Boeser further down. His first attempt was stopped by Sam Montembeault but the rebound came back to him and he flipped the puck upstairs.
- The Canadians quickly responded with an odd goal. Under pressure from Lehkonen on the forecheck, Horvat sent a pass out of Ekman-Larsson’s reach, delivering it to Rem Pitlick, who immediately spun the puck towards the net. Demko had unusual trouble with this and Lehkonen, whom Horvat had left alone in front, did as McGee did from Umphrey and cornered him at home.
- Tied 2-2 heading into the third period, the Canucks needed their best players. Enter Miller, who gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead on his own.
- It was a super sneaky game: Miller was waiting in the weeds by the bench, hiding behind a linesman. Then, as soon as Horvat came out for the line change, Miller rushed to Jeff Petry as he carried the puck down the ice, stripped him of the puck, entered the zone and fired a shot. of the wrist on Montembeault’s glove. He then screamed like he was Goofy in an old Disney animated short.
- Then it was Pettersson’s turn to shine. Miller carried the puck on the power play and the Canadians looked like they were waiting for the fall like EDM fans at the club. Just when you might expect the pinfall, Miller took a wide loop and then made the pass, giving Pettersson all sorts of space.
- Pettersson beat Ryan Poehling, then took advantage of Jeff Petry’s huge gap to fake a shot, then shoved the puck away, changing the angle for Montembault. Pettersson’s shot was, frankly, unstoppable – he pinged the post like it was a cell tower and walked in.
- the Canadians didn’t let go. With the Canadians goalie pulled for the extra forward, the Canucks got caught staring at the puck. Rem Pitlick was standing where he was, which happened to be at the backdoor, and he drilled a one-timer that Demko had little hope of quitting.
- That’s as close as Canadians would come. Horvat hit the empty net with a minute left to seal the victory with a little help from Pettersson, Pearson and Hamonic.
- That’s 8 wins in the Canucks’ last 10 games. They weren’t all pretty, but they were victories. Can they continue? Honestly, I have no idea, and that’s where the sport is most exciting.