The Vancouver Canucks’ first 10 video games this season have been principally constructive. They’ve scored extra, allowed much less and have a goaltending tandem that retains them in video games most of the time. Additionally they have two prime traces and a defensive core that has produced quite a lot of offence early on.
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Nonetheless, the Canucks nonetheless have room to enhance and have proven some cracks within the armor in a number of of the video games. They’re nonetheless a younger staff with a younger captain studying the ropes, so rising pains must be anticipated. With that stated, listed below are seven takeaways from the primary ten video games of the season, plus the bonus recreation from Monday evening.
Hughes Is the Actual Deal
Quinn Hughes has solely performed 16 video games within the Nationwide Hockey League and has put up ten factors already. He’s been a one-man breakout machine and has added a clip to the spotlight reel in virtually each recreation. His skating and edges have been noticeable nightly, and he’s now working the highest unit energy play with ease.
His confidence with the puck was on full show towards the Washington Capitals when he went coast to coast to arrange Brock Boeser for the tying purpose. I’m certain that received’t be the final time we see him try this in his profession. That’s the thrilling a part of it – he’s solely going to get higher.
Head coach Travis Inexperienced has put great belief within the 20-year-old defenceman early on. Taking part in over 20 minutes an evening on common, Hughes has seemed each little bit of a top-two pairing defenceman. His superior stats are off the charts proper now rating within the prime ten in a number of classes. He’s second amongst the defence core in scoring with seven factors and is second in Corsi-for share (CF%) and Fenwick share with 54.eight and 53.7 rankings respectively. Evidently, Hughes is becoming into the NHL fairly properly.
He nonetheless has some occasional miscues defensively, however these will be remedied with time. His capacity to interrupt out the puck has modified the Canucks’ defence virtually in a single day. It’s the Quinn Hughes Present people, let’s get pleasure from each minute of it.
Goaltending Just isn’t a Downside
Goaltending is a large a part of the Canucks’ success to this point this season. Regardless of the sport towards the Capitals, Jacob Markstrom and Thatcher Demko have turn out to be a formidable duo within the crease. Underneath the tutelage of goaltending guru Ian Clarke, each goaltenders have seemed calm and in management virtually each recreation. Markstrom’s numbers took a dive after permitting the 5 objectives towards the Capitals, however general, it’s a must to be pleased with the 2 guys behind the masks proper now.
Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)It’s going to be fascinating to see how Inexperienced handles his goaltenders going ahead. Demko seemed very assured and secure within the 4 video games he performed and could possibly be in line for a number of extra begins then beforehand anticipated. With Markstrom struggling towards the Capitals, Demko acquired the decision towards the Florida Panthers on Monday and recorded his third win of the season.
Captain Horvat, Street Warrior
Bo Horvat’s efficiency on the final street journey was one thing to behold. Going into it he nonetheless had an enormous doughnut within the purpose column. Quick ahead to the top, and he was main the staff in scoring. Over the 4 video games, he accrued 5 objectives, together with his first hat trick within the NHL. I’d name that a fairly good journey. He adopted that up with one other two assists towards the Capitals and one other help towards the Panthers, so he’s positively firing on all cylinders proper now.
He confronted his first problem as a captain when he needed to reply for his staff’s collapse towards the Capitals. He stated all the appropriate issues after that recreation and responded with a robust effort towards the Panthers on Monday.
It’s a 60-minute hockey recreation for a purpose and (Washington) received the Stanley Cup for a purpose…They’ve acquired some good gamers over there. We needed to play a full 60 to beat that squad.Bo Horvat
Vancouver Canucks ahead Bo Horvat places on the Captain jersey for the primary time (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports activities)
General, I imagine the staff is in good arms with Horvat because the captain. Up to now he has performed the identical manner with the C as he did with out it. That’s signal for a staff that can want a robust chief to tug them by the grind of the subsequent 71 video games and hopefully past.
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The New Guys Are Alright
On paper, the additions of Tyler Myers, Jordie Benn, JT Miller, and Micheal Ferland had been purported to make the Canucks a greater staff. For essentially the most half, they’ve come as marketed. Myers is typically an journey defensively, however his lengthy attain and talent to maneuver the puck is an asset on the blue line. Benn is a gentle presence on the third pairing with Troy Stecher and is a large a part of the Canucks’ fourth-ranked penalty kill.
Miller might be the addition that has made essentially the most impression on the staff to this point. He began the season with Horvat and Tanner Pearson on the second line, however now’s a part of the cleverly named Lotto Line with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. He at present is second on the staff in factors with 13 and averages 19 minutes an evening on common. It’s trying just like the commerce is paying off to this point.
Ferland has not had the identical success because the others to this point. He began in Miller’s place on the highest line for the primary two video games, then was demoted to the third line. Because the starting of the season, he has seen time on virtually each line and solely has six factors to this point.
His physicality has been missing and his ice time has dwindled to 10 minutes a recreation on common. That’s positively not what we had been anticipating from a man that accrued 40 factors final season. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless early, and there have been some constructive indicators towards the Capitals when he performed with Horvat and Jake Virtanen. He then adopted that up with a robust recreation towards the Panthers posting two assists within the win. So it’s trying like the true Ferland is beginning to emerge, which is sweet for the staff shifting ahead.
General, all the brand new guys introduced in by basic supervisor Jim Benning have made a constructive impression on the staff. If the brand new additions proceed to deliver the identical recreation the remainder of the season, the chances are superb that the Canucks may lastly snag a playoff spot.
The Defence Is Stable and Deep
Early on this season, the defence core of the Canucks has contributed 27 factors to the offence. That may be a welcome growth for a staff that has struggled to search out manufacturing from their again finish prior to now few seasons. Main the cost offensively is Alex Edler with 9 factors. He appears to be simply choosing up the place he left off final season when he led the defence in scoring with 34 factors. If he stays wholesome, it seems to be like he’ll shatter these numbers.
Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
Not far behind is the rookie Hughes with seven factors. As talked about earlier, he’s driving the assault from the backend. I’m certain simply his presence again there provides the remainder of the defence core confidence to leap up within the play.
I feel Chris Tanev has benefitted essentially the most offensively from being paired with Hughes. Over the primary ten video games, he’s proven extra confidence in his offensive recreation and has contributed 4 factors already. His offensive zone begin share can be a career-high at 48.6 %. To place that in perspective, he solely began within the offensive zone simply over 37 % of the time final season. He’s not getting used as a shutdown defenceman this season, in order that’s freed up his offensive recreation a little bit extra.
The remaining core of Benn, Myers and Stecher have supplied some offence and regular defence main the Canucks to a formidable second place in objectives towards. The defence can be the deepest it’s been in years. Past the highest six, the staff nonetheless has NHL choices in Oscar Fantenberg, Ashton Sautner, Brogan Rafferty, Josh Teves, and Olli Juolevi. If accidents strike, and everyone knows they are going to ultimately, the defence received’t endure an enormous downgrade like in previous seasons.
The Fourth Line Is Beneficial
For the primary time in a very long time, the Canucks have a fourth line that has an identification. Tyler Motte, Jay Beagle, and Tim Schaller have shaped a really efficient unit early this season. Having stated that, Motte is now out with a damaged bone in his foot, so he received’t be out there for a few weeks. Nonetheless, when he was within the lineup, he supplied pace, tenacity and nice penalty killing.
Tyler Motte, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Actually, all of them have been a serious a part of the staff’s strong fourth-ranked penalty kill. Beagle at present leads the staff in face-off share with an distinctive 65 % success price and Schaller already has 4 objectives, together with one shorthanded.
It took Schaller 38 video games to attain his first purpose as a Canuck final season, and he solely had three general. This season he’s trying extra just like the participant that scored 12 objectives with the Boston Bruins within the 2017-18 season. If he can proceed that type of manufacturing, I don’t assume anybody may have an issue with him being a mainstay on the fourth line this season.
General, the road has been a pleasing shock. Plenty of folks, me included, left Schaller off the roster once they projected the lineups for this season. However he put his head down and compelled his manner aboard. If the fourth line can proceed the identical work ethic all through the season, the Canucks will all the time have a dependable choice to throw out on the ice once they want an injection of vitality. That’s one thing we haven’t been in a position to say for some time.
Not Taking part in 60 Minutes
Not every little thing will be sunshine and rainbows. Regardless of the Canucks’ robust begin to the season, they nonetheless have issues to enhance upon. One is their capacity to play 60 minutes of strong hockey. In current video games towards the Capitals and New York Rangers, the Canucks had leads going into the ultimate body. In a single they had been badly outplayed and within the different outscored. When you hope to make the playoffs, these two issues can’t occur, particularly within the third interval.
New York Rangers heart Mika Zibanejad defends towards Vancouver Canucks heart Jay Beagle (AP Photograph/Kathy Willens)
They acquired away with it towards the Rangers however acquired burned towards a greater staff within the Capitals. Blowing a three-goal lead in any recreation exhibits that you’ve some stuff to work on. Hopefully, they are going to be taught from the expertise and keep away from that sort of interval sooner or later.
The Canucks’ first ten video games had been very constructive. The air across the staff remains to be of the optimistic selection, in order that’s additionally a plus. Pettersson and Boeser haven’t hit their stride but both, so there’s nonetheless that to stay up for. Although Pettersson is over a point-a-game with 14 factors in 11 video games. Most of his factors have been assists, so as soon as he begins scoring, the NHL higher head for the hills.
Hughes will proceed to enhance, and he’s already a human spotlight reel. Miller has been a revelation since coming over from the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Jake Virtanen is beginning to produce too. So there’s not a lot to complain about proper now in Canucks Nation.
To prime all of it off, they responded with a formidable 7-2 win towards the Panthers after their first tough lack of the season. All in all, the staff simply feels completely different this season. The experience has simply begun Canucks followers, maintain onto your hats and benefit from the subsequent 10!