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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Postgame: Split wins in preseason split-squad

The Vancouver Canucks opened up their 2019-20 preseason in two split-squad games against the Calgary Flames, one in each province. It’s the unofficial opening to what should be an exciting regular season.

In Calgary, the Canucks were able to claw back from a 2-0 deficit and tie it up in the third period. From there the teams headed to overtime, where Jake Virtanen was able to score his second goal of the game to win it for the team filled with mostly players destined for Utica.

For the team in Victoria, newcomers J.T. Miller and Jordie Benn were making their first game appearance as a member of the Canucks. A similar style of game, with the Canucks scoring all three of their goals in the third period, but since the Flames were able to keep their distance with their fourth goal in that same period, the away team was able to finish the game in regulation.

HIGHLIGHTS

STATS

via naturastattrick.com

It’s unsurprising for the team that traveled to Calgary and is full of Comets, for them to lose the shot attempt battle by a very large margin. On the other side of the ice, the Flames had Johnny Gaudreau, T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Travis Hamonic, Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, etc. — so to say it was an uneven game talent-wise, would be a good idea.

But the team was still able to win it back in the last 20 minutes and it’s clear with the shot attempts mostly stagnating around that time-frame. The shots on goal were 38-13 for the Flames, if you needed more indication it was a lopsided game in every way but the score.

Remember it’s preseason though and Mitch Eliot probably won’t be scoring a ton of goals no matter where he plays this year.

Heading to the island, Guillame Brisebois was able to get a single assist, but had a total of five shots on goal and was displaying some mobility throughout the game. For the forwards, it was Josh Leivo that led the way with four shots on goal, but was unable to register a point.

GAME NOTES

  • In Victoria, of the NHL regulars, new Canuck J.T. Miller really stood out early. Whether it was trying to make an impressive impact in his first preseason on a new team, or that’s just how he is — the forward really got his teammates going and created a ton of chances in the offensive zone.
  • Mitch Eliot scored the first goal of the Canucks preseason. A trickler that just slid past Cam Talbot to cut the lead to 2-1 in the Alberta game.
  • Jake Virtanen turned on his preseason goal-scoring presence, with two goals in the Calgary game, including the overtime winner. Credit where it’s due, Virtanen was able to be extremely patient on the game-winner and wait-out the perfect shot to deliver a victory for the monumental season-opener.
  • Some impressive stuff from the players that are Utica-bound. Players like Brisebois, Lind, and Jasek were agile and seemed to be all over the ice. It should be an interesting development year for a lot of players that are heading into their mid-20s and still looking to take that next jump and get noticed for a spot on the NHL roster.
  • The results of the games really do not matter. Also don’t look into too much of the stats, since both games had an imbalance of talent. It’s just nice to have hockey back in any form.