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Brock Boeser living up to star billing in Canucks’ playoff run

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Lachlan Irvine
1 month ago
Brock Boeser knew he never had a hat trick. But there was no way to tell the crowd that.
What looked to be Boeser’s first tally on a three-goal night in Game 3 was actually a deft deflection by Elias Lindholm. It’s why Boeser pointed at his teammate during the celebration and why Lindholm got the front of the fist bump line after the goal.
So you can imagine Boeser’s surprise when he heard his own name over the loudspeakers and, after potting two guaranteed goals, saw a few hats hit the ice at Rogers Place.
“I was pretty confident he took the first one and then when the hats came on, I was like, ‘I don’t know if I got the hat trick or not,'” Boeser said. “But I didn’t really care.”
“I think it was just some big goals there and just want to continue to build off that.”
Hat trick or not, Boeser’s two goals and an assist puts him in a tie with J.T. Miller for the Canucks’ playoff lead in points with 11 apiece. In just over a calendar year, Boeser has gone from a player who management and portions of the fanbase saw as a potential salary cap dump to a bonafide Stanley Cup hero.

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His three points against the Oilers were just another statement performance in a playoff run where he’s already had plenty, including his hat trick against the Predators to erase a two-goal lead and the pass to Pius Suter in Game 6 that sent the Canucks to the second round.
“I feel pretty confident,” Boeser said after the Canucks’ latest 4-3 win. “But I think it just comes with trying to play the right way and really just focusing on the little details in our structure. I’m just trying to do anything I can to help our team win, and it’s always nice when the goals go in.”
Even as the Oilers have taken over games at certain points, Boeser is making the most of the seemingly small number of scoring chances the Canucks have gotten on a game-to-game basis.
“We had a lot of shots, we got the lead, they pushed back and that’s to be expected. That’s just how the playoffs work and there’s momentum swings and shifts in the game and I thought we handled it well tonight,” Boeser said. “You’ve got to expect that, stick to your structure and you can’t freak out out there. You’ve got to just stay calm, and I think we did that well.”
Boeser’s buy-in to Rick Tocchet’s system earned him the most 5v5 ice time of any Canuck forward in Game 3, and why his line with J.T. Miller and Pius Suter have been tapped to line match against Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman.
That assignment didn’t go as well in Game 2. But on Sunday night, Boeser’s line tightened up defensively, holding McDavid off the scoresheet entirely.
“That line dominated us in Game 2 at home. We obviously looked at some video and we talked about some things that we’d like to do better, and I thought we played against them better tonight,” Boeser said.
“All three of them have had great years, obviously [with] two of the best players in the world. It’s a challenge. We knew they were going to push back, and I think just sticking to our structure and believing our system helps us get the job done.”
Boeser’s play is only going to garner more attention from opponents the deeper into the playoffs the Canucks go. And as he draws more Oilers players in his direction, it will only serve to free up the Canucks other shooters, like Miller and Elias Pettersson, for more scoring chances down the line.
Just ask Elias Lindholm.

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