It was the Brock and Bo show on Saturday night as Boeser earned his first Hat Trick of his young NHL career against Crosby and the Pens with the help of Bo Horvat who finished the night with 4 points.
The Canucks new top-line shone as each one of the Killer B’s made their mark. They provided 100% of the offense in this one and are starting to look like a formidable threat.
Team defense also proved a winning strategy as the Canuck’s tenacity left Sid and Gino with little room for creativity. Believe it or not, the Vancouver Canucks now boast the lowest goals against of any team in the NHL despite a defensive core that has already seen it’s fair share of injuries (Stetcher and Edler). The guys are buying into Coach Green’s system and for a team with very little star-power, that’s exactly what they need to do to coninute stringing wins together.
A bit of a sad sight was on display as well on Saturday, as Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who have looked a step or two behind all season, sat idly on the bench for the entire third period except for 2 measly shifts. On the one hand, it’s difficult for any Canuck fan to see the best 2 players to ever don a Canuck jersey watch as younger men take over their role. On the other hand, it’s encouraging that the Canucks have seemingly found that elusive first-line that has been a talking-point for the past few seasons.
It would be irresponsible of me to ignore the gentleman who may have been the game’s MVP despite 4 point nights from Brock n’ Bo. Jacob Mah-fuckin Markstrom. The big swede made some insane saves at crucial times to keep the scoreline tight. He was the best penalty killer in the game and despite being out-shot by a decent margin – Marky Mark stood tall and helped guide our young Nucks to a valuable dubya.
The Canucks’ line combinations as of now, appear to be a stroke of genius, as each line boasts defensive responsibility first and at least one significant offensive threat. I believe that teams are having and will continue to have difficulty matching-up against this team because on any given night a different set of heroes could emerge.
Honourable mention to perhaps the most underrated guy in a Canucks jersey – Brandon Sutter. His offense has taken a bit of a dive lately, but his penalty killing and ability to match-up against the big guns on either side have been understated and reliable. His ability to transition the puck out of our zone and his chemistry with Derek Dorsett make them a formidable penalty killing / defensive forward duo.
Coach Travis Green will have to make some tough calls moving forward as Loui Ericsson and Brendan Gaunce return to full-health. Don’t expect either guy to get slotted in immediately – you just don’t change a winning formula, regardless of who is on the sidelines waiting for a shot.