On a night that will unveil a new captain, the Vancouver canucks will attempt to win their first game of the 2019-20 NHL season against the LA Kings.
Coming off a disastrous Alberta road trip, Vancouver has disappointed their loyal home fan base before even hitting Rogers Arena ice. The Canucks are launching their celebratory 50th anniversary season on Wednesday night, as they welcome their Pacific Division foes the Los Angeles Kings.
There are a lot of important things that will happen for the Canucks and their organization tonight, but there are three things that stand out above the rest. If the Canucks are able to figure out the answers to these two questions, they should find victory for the first time this season.
Somehow fix the powerplay:
The Canucks went 0/6 on the powerplay their last time out against the Calgary flames. There was the occasional bright spot, but nothing came to fruition. There are a few different things that have yet to be tested by the Vancouver coaching staff. Thus far this year they have stuck with their known quantity in Alex Edler on the blueline. Edler has done a good job on them throughout his time with the Canucks, but the game has trended away from his style of play. Fortunately, Vancouver has super rookie Quinn Hughes at their disposal, who is an offensive defenseman able to run a modern powerplay.
Head coach Travis Green has been stubborn when it comes to giving Hughes time on the first unit, but with so little success; why not make the change?
Allow the captaincy to invigorate the team:
Every person in the hockey community knows that Bo Horvat is destined to be named the captain of the Vancouver Canucks in a pre-game ceremony.
Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini even said in an interview with Daily Hive, that “it is our worst kept secret ever.” while there will be no surprise as to who is the captain, the hockey club will go ahead with the fanfare of a pregame ceremony, much like they have done for captaincies in the past.
When Horvat in given the “C,” it may not have an immediate effect, as he is already a leader within the locker room. However, having a visual captain on the ice, compound with the excitement of the home opener should light a fire in the stomachs of the Vancouver players.
The Canucks have been the away team in other teams home opener’s so far this season, and in each game, they were outfought. Home ice advantage is true at any time, but with a full arena and hype around the return of hockey, it can matter even more. The Canucks have the effective opportunity to win in their home opener, but they have to let everything about the occasion inspire them.
Tonight is going to be an exciting and important night even if the Canucks are unable to find a victory. There is a captain who will be named, a person who will lead the canucks through the next generation. This is not something that happens often, and Bo Horvat is lined up to join a decorated class of Canuck’s captains. If the team is able to collect a win, they will surely calm the hearts of Vancouver Hockey fans, but the win is not the most important thing of the night.
TOP PHOTO: Vancouver Archives