In what will likely end up being the second to last scrimmage the Vancouver Canucks participate in before flying out to Edmonton this weekend, the Canucks played a full game format consisting of three 20 minute periods. Granted, the clock didn’t stop, but nonetheless it can only be beneficial for the players to get into as much game action as possible.
In this one, Team White beat Team Blue in a 5-2 victory. Here are the main talking points.
Team White #Canucks
Toffoli, Pettersson, Beagle, Hughes, Lind, Motte, Miller, Fantenberg, Chatfield, Virtanen, Sutter, Eriksson, Tanev, Brisebois, Markstrom.
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) July 22, 2020
Team Blue #Canucks
Pearson, Boeser, MacEwen, Roussel, Ferland, Graovac, Horvat, Gaudette, Juolevi, Stecher, Myers, Edler, Sautner, Rafferty, Bailey, Demko.
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) July 22, 2020
Kole Lind — who has looked good ever since the second scrimmage last week — was instrumental in creating the first goal of the game for team white. He found some open space and fired a shot off on Thatcher Demko which led to a rebound right in front which Motte made no mistake in burying.
Oscar Fantenberg beat Demko with a wrist shot from the point and shortly after, Tyler Toffoli made it 3-0 White. Kole Lind eventually made it 4-0, and Bo Horvat added a goal off a nice cross-crease pass from Brock Boeser to break Jacob Markstrom’s shutout with about three minutes remaining in the second frame. Jake Virtanen added a goal in the dying minutes to make it 5-1 through two periods of play.
For Virtanen — who has had a well documented tough start to training camp and these scrimmages — it was nice for him to not only score a goal, but be rewarded by a hard forecheck which led to a goal for his team.
In the third period, Micheal Ferland found the back of the net late, but it wasn’t enough to come back from the four-goal deficit his team entered the third with.
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) July 23, 2020
Jacob Markstrom steals the show once again
Much in the way he did countless times this season, goaltender Jacob Markstrom was once again fantastic. This time around, he and Thatcher Demko switched teams, but it really didn’t matter.
Markstrom, who picked up a shutout victory for Team Blue on Sunday night, was once again lights out this afternoon.
He denied all four penalty shots he faced and looked sharp all night long. The only goal that beat him through the first 40 minutes of play was a Bo Horvat goal that Markstrom really didn’t have much of a shot at stopping.
He certainly would have liked to have the Ferland goal back, but nonetheless, Markstrom was sharp yet again. This is exactly how the Canucks want their starting goaltender to look heading into the play in series.
Ferland skates hard, scores a goal
A major storyline all camp has been the health and the play of forward Micheal Ferland. Although he missed the first day of camp and didn’t participate with the main group until the end of week one, Ferland has been buzzing in these latest scrimmages.
He hasn’t done anything out of this world offensively, but he’s been skating hard and has thrown his weight around perhaps more than anybody. That’s his style, and it’s exactly why the Canucks signed him last July.
Considering he lasted less than a period the last time he participated in some type of game action back February with the Utica Comets, it’s a very welcome sight for Canucks fans to see him skating and playing his style — albeit a bit of a quieter version — without experiencing any symptoms.
Olli Juolevi stands out again
There may be fewer players who benefit long term from this training camp than defenceman Olli Juolevi. Nobody is going to suggest that Juolevi is going to live up to his draft billing, but if he can become a fairly cheap 3/4/5 guy for the Canucks, that’s something to be somewhat excited about.
A left side blue line consisting of Quinn Hughes, Jack Rathbone, and Juolevi could be a very real possibility for the Canucks down the line.
Juolevi’s play during this training camp has been eye-catching at times for a player who typically plays a rather below-the-radar style.
“His footwork has gotten a lot better since I last saw him play,” said Troy Stecher, who was paired up with Juolevi tonight.
Juolevi’s decision making has been good and his breakout passes have been almost superb. His defensive play has been more than adequate. His decision making in the offensive zone has been good, and there were a few instances this afternoon where he found a way to get a shot through traffic on goal for a legitimate scoring chance.
Much like Ferland, Juolevi is a player who you hope can just stay healthy for a full season — but thus far — Juolevi has done that and more.
Kole Lind’s best game so far
Kole Lind scored a goal and was instrumental in setting up another, and built off a solid performance during the last scrimmage on Sunday evening.
Head coach Travis Green called this afternoon’s scrimmage the best he’s seen Lind play so far, and you’d be hard-pressed to prove him wrong. Lind was moving his feet, and was involved at both ends of the ice.
Although he likely won’t see any playing time during the postseason, this camp is beneficial for Lind as it gives him a chance to play in a rather low-pressure environment as he prepares to fight for a spot on the roster next year.
The Canucks will likely compete in one last scrimmage before departing for Edmonton and have a scheduled day off tomorrow.