The Vancouver Canucks played their second 7 PM scrimmage of training camp tonight, and this time it was Team Blue taking the win by a score of 2-0.
Adam Gaudette was credited with the first goal of the game and Zack MacEwen sealed the deal with a one-timer off a beautiful cross-ice feed from Elias Pettersson.
Ferland plays a full game
The big story tonight was Micheal Ferland making his return to the Canucks lineup. Ferland, along with Jake Virtanen was added to team white for tonight’s scrimmage. Ferland was skating hard early on and threw a glass-rattling hit on Chris Tanev during his first shift of the game.
Ferland made a note to finish nearly every check when given the opportunity and was skating hard. For Ferland, the main goal was to skate hard in game action, get his legs back under him, and make sure he’s symptom-free after being off for such a long period of time.
Here’s what the full lineups looked like:
Markstrom dialled in
You’ll see in tomorrow’s Monday Mailbag that I got more than a few questions about if it’s time to worry about goaltender Jacob Markstrom. The answer is no and Markstrom showed why tonight.
His team was bleeding quality chances right from the get-go, and a couple of defensive gaffes from Olli Juolevi almost proved costly early on, but Markstrom looked dialled in all night long. As head coach Travis Green said, there truly is no need to worry about Markstrom.
Team White pressed all game long, and it really looked like a true Canucks game, with Markstrom stealing the show after stopping a plethora of high percentage shots.
Zack MacEwen looking strong
Zack MacEwen is doing everything in his power to make it very difficult for the coaching staff to bench him for game one of the play-in round against the Minnesota Wild.
MacEwen skated in place of Virtanen at the practices and tonight he looked extremely comfortable on a line with Adam Gaudette and Antoine Roussel.
MacEwen has been noticeable all week, and coach Green pointed out that Virtanen being demoted to the extra forward in practice wasn’t so much a message to Virtanen as it was a testament to just how well MacEwen has performed.
Aces looking more comfortable
I noted after the first scrimmage that the drop off in skill level between the skaters from the Utica Comets skaters was significant when compared to that of the NHL regulars, but tonight, the Aces all looked more comfortable.
As mentioned already, Juolevi had a few defensive gaffes early on that almost resulted in goals, but Markstrom was incredibly sharp tonight.
Kole Lind didn’t look great during Thursday night’s scrimmage, and while he didn’t look necessarily spectacular tonight, he looked better than Thursday — and when it comes to prospects, that’s all you can ask for — improvement.
What I really noticed with Juolevi was his ability to make breakout passes. There were a few long stretch passes that caught team white by surprise, but even his short passes under pressure were, for the most part, the most impressive part of his performance tonight.
The Canucks have a scheduled day off tomorrow.