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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

Brock Boeser to Make Season Debut Tonight Against the Jets

Canucks fans will finally get the chance to see their club’s prized prospect Brock Boeser in regular season action. With the Winnipeg Jets coming to Rogers Arena to end the Canucks three-game opening homestand, Canucks head coach Travis Green confirmed that Boeser will make his debut.

In seven pre-season games, Boeser led all Canucks in scoring with seven points (four goals and three assists). As Green has often pointed out, though, most of those points came in the earliest games of the pre-season, and Boeser waned as the Canucks got closer to the real thing.

Last season, Boeser had five points (four goals and one assist) in nine NHL games and generated shots at an exceptional pace.

To accommodate Boeser’s debut, Green has opted to sit Alexander Burmistrov against his former team. In two games with the Canucks, Burmistrov is pointless with one shot and a minus-one rating. His underlying metrics don’t paint a brighter picture, as the Canucks have only controlled 42% of five-on-five shot attempts with Burmistrov on the ice.

The case for Burmistrov is easier to make when you look at the contributions his line has made to the Canucks efforts so far though. The third line of Sam Gagner, Burmistrov and Jake Virtanen are one of two lines for the Canucks who’ve left the shot attempt battle at even strength with their heads above water.

Getting Boeser into the lineup is obviously the right decision, but it’s one you make with the end goal of improving your team’s chances of winning. If you have to take out a player that’s proven himself somewhat effective in his first two games rather than the obvious weak link to do so, you do it at the expense of the net value gain that adding Boeser to your lineup should provide.

From where I’m sitting, putting a player like Derek Dorsett in the press box makes far more sense than Burmistrov. But, hey, at least Boeser is getting his shot. Sometimes, you get what you need.

  • Steamer

    Dorsett has been matched up against the top lines throughout pre-season and in the 2 games so far; in game 1 vs. Edmt, his hit created a goal. He is playing the way he always has and now that he is healthier he is a tough, tough check to play against and keeps the opposition honest. To continually ‘default’ to Dorsett as a healthy scratch shows a limited understanding of the intricacies of the game. If you’re looking for someone to scratch, Gagner, Eriksson are better choices at this point.

    • Break The Canuck's Curse

      Yes, he has done well at the role he was asked to fill. The other guys……not so much.

      He will probably be playing shut down again tonight.

    • Cageyvet

      Before the start of the season, I would have been willing to waive Dorsett, never mind healthy scratch him. Then the games began, and I agree, what are you watching if you can’t find someone to bench before him, he’s played better than expected while others have been average. Burmistrov was my choice to scratch, although Gagner or Vanek would have been fine as well. It was definitely time to get Brock in the lineup.

  • krutov

    seems like seniority is going to be a factor for a while. i would have sat gagner over burmistrov on quality of play over the first two games, and erikkson too if you factor in that you always want to dress a guy against his former team. not to mention you are pulling out a centre to play a winger and disrupting at least two lines to do it.

    hopefully green handles benching russians for no good reason better than willie did.

  • Esa Tikkanen

    Seems like Vancouver is a neurotic chicken coop, that can’t handle life without controversy.
    I’m surprised people can read so much into ‘scratching’.
    Until there are injuries, someone has to sit.

    Burmistrov has played one full season in 7 years- last two years under 30 games.
    Boeser is used to a 40 game NCAA schedule.
    Preemptive Newsflash: eventually, Virtanen is going to sit too!
    Who cares? Let the players capabilities determine their value to the roster.

    Peruse the top 100 NHL forwards 1st seasons…some play 48, some 62.
    The ones that play the full 82 are just as often due to lack of team depth, as due to their skillset.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    The writer continually seems to think the NHL is a no hit gentleman’s league. We need Dorsett physicality. See a pissed off McDavid for reference. Hoping Virtanen ramps up that end of his game as well.

  • Holly Wood

    Some of you folks were not old enough to remember a young bruising right winger that was in and out of the lineup for his first three years here in Vancouver. The trade with Boston brought back a first line centre Barry Pederson and at the time most fans were thrilled to get Pederson, couple years go by and Cam Neeley becomes everything all teams are looking for. Wouldn’t be something if we just drafted one in Virtanen.

    • 51Geezer

      Yes, the traitor’s name – the master of that trade – is Jake Milford. I suppose it can be debated whether that trade was worse than the Vaive and Derlago for a goon and a plug deal, but my vote goes to the former.

  • defenceman factory

    Don’t these two statements from the article contradict each other?

    “His underlying metrics don’t paint a brighter picture, as the Canucks have only controlled 42% of five-on-five shot attempts with Burmistrov on the ice.”
    “The third line of Sam Gagner, Burmistrov and Jake Virtanen are one of two lines for the Canucks who’ve left the shot attempt battle at even strength with their heads above water.”