It showed today that it worked out great for us. We just saw the play that was open, took it and shot the puck. Hopefully, we can continue this trend.Elias Pettersson
Vancouver hosts Colorado, Winnipeg and Chicago at Rogers Arena
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
The Vancouver Canucks’ home game on November 7 against the Dallas Stars occurred during “Hockey Fights Cancer” night; the initiative partnered the Canucks with the Terry Fox Foundation. Perhaps, it was fitting that the Canucks demonstrated some of Terry Fox’s heart and determination that night.
The Canucks scored four goals in the second period, en route to a decisive six to three win over the Dallas Stars. The Canucks also scored three times on the powerplay (on six opportunities); ending a zero for eighteen streak with the man advantage. The streak had begun during the start of their seven-game homestand versus the Minnesota Wild on October 26.
Star centre, Elias Pettersson, who has been receiving criticism from fans and media about his performance, had a breakthrough game against the Stars. Pettersson had a three-point night (powerplay goal and two assists). He said it felt great to finally score a goal with the man advantage as the goal was Pettersson’s second of the season and his first goal in 10 games. “I like to play with instinct,” he said to the media after the game, as reported by the Canadian Press. “It showed today that it worked out great for us. We just saw the play that was open, took it and shot the puck. Hopefully, we can continue this trend.”
Sportsnet writer, Iain MacIntyre, says the Canucks’ victory over the Stars proved how important scoring on the powerplay is. “Clearly, more than the Canucks’ special teams are imperfect,” MacIntyre wrote. “But fixing the other stuff won’t matter until Vancouver solidifies its power play and penalty killing. At least for the power play, Sunday was a start.”
Canucks coach, Travis Green, was pleased with his team’s effort—especially ending the power play futility streak. He believes his team has been lacking confidence, and when confidence has been removed from the overall team makeup—it will negatively affect the on-ice performance. “Confidence is a big thing,” he said during his post-game media conference as reported by The Province. “And when you don’t have it, it’s hard to get it back and [tonight] helped a lot. It’s probably a shooting goal that’s going to get you out of a funk and that’s exactly what happened.”
Despite the success of the powerplay, the Canucks have other worrisome issues. Vancouver has allowed the first goal in nine of their first 11 games as reported by The Province. Penalty killing is another problem. According to covers.com, which tracks the NHL’s penalty-killing stats, the Canucks’ PK is ranked last in the NHL, with a success rate of only 62.8 percent (as of November 12). In the game against Dallas, Vancouver conceded two powerplay goals on three Dallas powerplays. “You’re not happy about it,” said Travis Green. “Much like the power play, the penalty kill needs to be better, but I’m not complaining tonight. We got the win and that’s all that matters.”
The Canucks finished their seven-game homestand on November 9, losing in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks by a score of three to two. Vancouver then began a three-game road trip that started in Colorado on November 11—Remembrance Day. It was a fitting irony, as the game was one that Canucks fans wish not to remember. The Avalanche embarrassed the Canucks by a score of seven to one. Vancouver finished the trip with stops in Vegas (November 13) and a rematch with the Ducks (November 14).
In other NHL news, Alex Ovechkin scored his 741st career goal on November 8—in a home game versus the Buffalo Sabres. The goal ties “Ovi” with Brett Hull for fourth in all-time goals. “I just take it day by day,” Ovechkin told the media after the game as reported by the Associated Press. “You know it’s nice to be in that company. It’s pretty big numbers, so just move on. Obviously, it’s nice to be tied but I still have a couple games left.”
The Montreal Gazette reported Montreal Canadiens goalie, Carey Price, returned to the Habs on November 8. Price had spent 30 days in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. He has declined to speak with the media, but he will speak publicly when he believes it is the appropriate time.
But Price did post a statement on his Instagram account on November 9, disclosing that he had entered a residential treatment facility in October to address an ongoing “substance use” issue after he let himself “get to a very dark place.” Price further elaborated: “Things had reached a point that I realized I needed to prioritize my health for both myself and for my family. Asking for help when you need it is what we encourage our kids to do. And it was what I needed to do [….] I appreciate all of the overwhelming support and well wishes. I please ask that the media and our hockey community continue to respect our privacy at this time. Your support and respect of this so far has been a critical piece to my recovery.”
Canucks schedule this week (all games at Rogers Arena)
Wednesday, November 17 vs. Colorado Avalanche (6 pm)
Friday, November 19 vs. Winnipeg Jets (7 pm)
Sunday, November 21 vs. Chicago Blackhawks (5 pm)