Game 1: Canucks Collapse in Season Opener to Edmonton, Fall 5-3 to Oilers
After a strong start that saw them go up to a 3-0 lead with goals from Elias Pettersson, JT Miller, and Andrei Kuzmenko, the Canucks allowed five straight goals to lose 5-3 on opening night. The Oilers went 3 for 4 on the power play and scored short handed, compared to the Canucks who went 1 for 8 on the power play and allowed the previously mentioned short handed goal. The Canucks outshot Edmonton 36 to 25, were outhit by Edmonton 39 to 31, and won 52.1 percent of face offs but it was special teams that made the difference in this game. The Canucks would continue their season beginning road trip in Philadelphia.
Game 2: Canucks Choke Up Lead in Second Game, Fall to Philly 3-2
Different game, same story for the Vancouver Canucks as they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in what was a big weekend for Philly sports. Conor Garland and Kyle Burroughs got the Canuck goals both in the first period before the Canucks surrendered three straight to the Flyers. Special teams hurt the Canucks yet again as they went 0 for 5 on the power play and surrendered a powerplay and short handed goal. Tucker Poolman left the game after the first period with an undisclosed injury, and through the first two games JT Miller has been on the ice for all eight goals, including the game winning goal that deflected off his stick and right to Konecny of the Flyers who tucked it home. The Canucks look to right the ship and bring Bruce Boudreau his six hundredth career win in Washington where his coaching career in the NHL began.
Game 3: “Mentally Weak” Canucks Choke, Lose 6-4 to Washington
“Mentally weak” is how head coach Bruce Boudreau described his team after the Canucks fell 6-4 to the Washington Capitals Monday night in a game where they held a 4 to 2 lead going into the third period. The Canucks were able to go 1 for 1 on the powerplay, but surrendered two goals on three Washington power plays. Shots were even at thirty, and the Canuck goals went to JT Miller, Curtis Lazar, Elias Pettersson, and Bo Horvat. The stat to watch for the Canucks is that through three games played, Thatcher Demko sits at a .847 save percentage and a GAA of 4.48. That may be because of the defense in front of him, but for the Canucks to find success those numbers will have to be better. Third periods are also an issue for Vancouver as after this game they have been outscored 7-0 in the final frame. The Canucks look to break the streak and get their first win against the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night.
Surprise Surprise… Canucks Blow Another Lead, Fall to Columbus 4-3 in OT.
After losing three straight in regulation and giving up a two or more goal lead in each game, the Vancouver Canucks finally got their first point of the season in an OT loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Canucks held a 2-0 lead after Bo Horvat scored on the penalty kill and Elias Pettersson ripped home a goal of his own. They also held a 3-2 lead after surrendering two straight goals, which was enough to get them to OT. Kyle Burroughs and Conor Garland were surprisingly healthy scratches for the game, while Ilya Mikheyev and Tyler Myers made their first starts of the season with Spencer Martin as the starting goalie. Tucker Poolman made his way back into the roster for the Canucks. Shots were 35 to 33 in favor of the Canucks, and there were no powerplay goals in this game. The Canucks will try to finish the road trip off strong Thursday with a matchup against Minnesota.
The Week Ahead (October 19th-26th)
October 20th- Canucks at Wild (5:00pm)
October 22nd- Canucks vs Sabres (7:00pm)
October 24th- Canucks vs Hurricanes (7:30pm)
(All times in Pacific)
Players to Watch
Pettersson leads the team in points (6), Goals (3), and is second in assists only behind Hughes (3). It’s a great start to the season for the young Swede, now he has to keep his great play up.
JT Miller has had a rough start to the season, he has three points, but he is at the bottom of the team for plus-minus at -4 and he was on the ice for the first nine goals against the Canucks this season. Miller is definitely a guy who the Canucks are looking to get out of this rut and play like he did last season.
Similar to JT Miller, Thatcher Demko’s season has gotten off to a rough start. Granted not totally his fault, the Canucks need for Demko to play like he has the past couple seasons and to steal them a couple games. Demko’s play will most likely improve with the defense, and once it does the Canucks will definitely benefit.