The ceremony began the night and the win capped it off. Everything went according to plan for the Vancouver Canucks. On the ice, the team thrashed the LA Kings 8-2. That was nice, but off the ice, the club presented an evening which will never be forgotten by anyone who considers themselves a fan.
The night was memorable from any aspect, giving me a lot to talk about in the latest write up of Benny’s Bites!
The captaincy thing:
We all knew that Bo Horvat was going to be announced as the clubs 14th captain, but the Canucks still went ahead with the flurry of fanfare prior to their home opening puck drop. The way the Canucks announced their new head of the ship was in the coolest way possible.
The Canucks unveiled their team in a traditional way, each player coming out one at a time. They also included some of the legends of past Canuck eras. The honorees included cultural heros heroes Kirk McLean, Todd Bertuzzi and even Daniel Sedin. The inclusion of legends added a special feeling to an already memorable night.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
Horvat’s captaincy announcement followed a similar script to that of Henrik Sedin, which was ten years ago to the day. Horvat was called to centre ice, was awarded the “C” jersey from past captains, and like that became the 14th captain of the Vancouver Canucks. Quickly and swiftly: The Canucks got the scoring going early, and got a second one very soon. As the captaincy ceremony hailed in the new era, the opening goal signified it even more. Rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes scored his first career goal from a wicked slapshot opened the scoring for Vancouver, and lit a fire under the belly of the Canucks. Although not part of future success plans, Brandon Sutter added a second quickly after the opener.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
With the two fast fashion goals, the fans in the Rogers Arena stands were encapsulated by the game and everything that the opening period had to offer.
The way that Quinn Hughes for checks is amazing, but his defensive game is becoming enviable as well. As Thomas Drance highlighted in The Athletic earlier this week in a Hughes deep dive, the young American had learned how to defend with his stick. A skill that has noticeably improved throughout the three games this season. With his already amazing offends, and now with a goal under his belt- the Hughes hype train will roar even louder.
Doing Marky dirty:
The LA kings did not have much going for them in the first forty minutes of the game, but tyler Toffoli put up a highlight-reel goal to get his team on the board. If the Canucks had conceded a bad goal, it would not have been welcome on the occasion. But the way that Tyler Toffoli found the back of the net, nobody can complain.
— HD365 (@HockeyDaily365) October 10, 2019
Fans come to the game to be treated to good hockey, and Toffoli’s goal was a prime example of that. Nothing to complain about, just the best players in the world doing their thing.
Whatcha doing there Alex?
The second goal against the Vancouver canucks as a result of a defensive positioning mistake of Alex Edler. As we can see in the replay, Edler is in the middle of the slot, well below the faceoff dots. He did try to block the shot, but the result was far from his intention. Nit only did he not block the shot, but he screened goaltender Jacob Markstrom in the process. This is a rare mistake from Edler, but not one that is excusable from such a seasoned player. At least he made up for it with his goal late in the game.
Let me preface this before I go any farther. The Canucks had only two powerplays against the Kings, much less opportunity than they had in their six chances against the Flames.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way. THE CANUCKS POWERPLAY WORKED!
The constant whining from the fans finally caught the attention of Canucks head coach Travis Green, as he put Quinn Hughes on the first powerplay unit. I spoke about this in my “Keys to the game” article prior to the matchup, and the idea worked. As we also spoke about higher up in this piece, Hughes has improved this season and his offensive game adds an invaluable threat to the powerplay. Going 1/2 on the powerplay is a good stepping stone for the team, but it’s only the beginning.
10 years ago, with the Sedins in their prime, the Canucks powerplay was one of the best. All those Canucks fans can hope for is that a little bit of that Sedinery magic transfers through the “C” patch now on the chest of Bo Horvat.
Sutter shows up
There have been rumours that the Vancouver canucks have been shopping centreman Brandon Sutter. In response to those? The alternate captain goes and scores a pair of goals proving that he is still worth something to this team. The location which is most rumoured is Pittsburgh. Does scoring two goals improve his stock and therefore probability of a trade? Or does it prove his value to the Canucks moving forward? Only time will tell.
Winner winner, we have a funny twitter:
Natural stat trick is always an awesome source for some of the most interesting stats in the game. When a team puts eight goals into the net, one would imagine that even the advanced stats looked pretty good. One of the lesser stats was the one that stood out to me. According to NST, the Canucks had eight scoring chances, and they scored eight goals. That’s a good conversion rate if I’ve ever seen one.
What did we learn?
We learned that the Canucks can score in bunches, and can be motivated by an event. Going forward, coach Green, or now captain Horvat should learn how to invigorate the team as the event did. If the team can play as motivated as they did tonight, success will be guaranteed. Yes, this did come against one of the weaker team in the Pacific Division, but scoring in bunches will certainly lead to some much-improved morales.
NEXT GAME: Saturday VS Philadelphia Flyers.