‘I want to be the difference maker’: Pettersson holds court after tough Game 4

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 month ago
Elias Pettersson looked and sounded like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders during his media availability on Wednesday afternoon.
The star centre has struggled to live up to the expectations of fans, media, and his own Vancouver Canucks coaches during these playoffs, collecting just one goal and four points through 10 games.
Pettersson went pointless once again in the Canucks’ 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal playoff series on Tuesday, drawing harsh criticism from fans and prompting head coach Rick Tocchet to single out the “passengers” in the team’s lineup.
Although he’s hardly the most talkative in the best of times, Pettersson was especially quiet in his press conference on Wednesday, particularly during an exchange with TSN’s Farhan Lalji.
Lalji: I know that you and everyone’s maintained that there’s not an injury, so from your perspective, why has it been so difficult these last three months to generate the way you maybe did previously?
Pettersson: [pause] Yeah, good question.
Lalji: [pause] Any thoughts, any answers?
Pettersson: [longer pause] … No.
Lalji: There’s also been some thought, and even Rick said it earlier, that maybe you’re not getting the support you need, and there’s a thought out there that maybe if you were playing with players that score more or things like that, that might help. Do you see it that way at all?
Pettersson: Yeah, maybe. Maybe it could. Maybe it could help, but also, at the end of the day, I can only focus on what I can do. Obviously, I want to be better, I want to be the difference maker. I think it hasn’t gone the way I want it to be, but at the end of the day, I can’t dwell on it too much. We have a game tomorrow. I’m gonna try to do my best, and … yeah, that’s where my head’s at.
Pettersson scored 34 goals and 89 points during the 2023-24 regular season, but his production notably tailed off after he signed an eight-year, $11.6 million AAV contract extension in March.
The Canucks and Oilers are now tied at two games apiece in their semifinal playoff series heading into Game 5 in Vancouver on Thursday evening.

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