Ranking the Vancouver Canucks’ 5 most-impressive wins so far this season

Photo credit:© Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
2 months ago
With 33 wins in 49 games, the Vancouver Canucks have been in top form on many nights so far this season. But when have they been at their very best? Their 10-1 win in San Jose on November 2nd was fun, but considering Pittsburgh hung 10 on the sad sack Sharks two nights later, the beatdown evidently said more about the opponent than it did about the Canucks.
This list is intended to look at five performances that standout over the first four months of the season. These are games when the Canucks were at or near their apex and contests that gave us a glimpse of what this team might ultimately be able to accomplish this spring.

1) January 8th VANCOUVER 6 at NY RANGERS 3

On one of the biggest stages in hockey and on a night when there were only three other games on the NHL schedule, the Canucks stepped into the spotlight, marching into Madison Square Garden and, without the benefit of a single power play, doubled the Rangers 6-3. New York struck early with the man advantage, but the Canucks didn’t flinch. They responded less than a minute later and added two more goals before the end of the first period. Each member of the newly reunited Lotto Line scored with Elias Pettersson netting a pair on the night — including one of the team’s goals of the year — as the top line led the way and the depth players followed. The Rangers peppered Thatcher Demko in the third period, but the Canucks had built a 5-2 lead and were never really threatened. It was an impressive display at both ends of the ice against a quality opponent. As such, this one stands at the top of the list of the team’s many victories to this point of the 2023-34 season.

2) November 4th VANCOUVER 2 vs DALLAS 0

It was the 7-2-1 Canucks against the 7-1-1 Stars on a Saturday night at Rogers Arena. Based on the early season records of both teams, there was a buzz in the building. After a scoreless first period, Pius Suter scored off the rush and Elias Pettersson finished a terrific feed from Filip Hronek to provide the only two goals on the night. The game featured incredible goaltending by Thatcher Demko who absolutely robbed Wyatt Johnston on a first period power play. Ian Cole delivered a thunderous hit on Matt Duchene. It was a thorough and complete performance against a highly credible contender level team that perhaps hinted that things were going to be different this season than in recent years. Last season’s Canucks could win high-scoring affairs but struggled to grind out low-event victories. This was the first of five wins so far this season when mustering just one or two goals.

3) November 24th VANCOUVER 5 at SEATTLE 1

Playing their ninth game in 16 nights amid a gruelling portion of their schedule, the Canucks, coming off three losses in four games and scuffling for the first time all season, made it clear they meant business against their Pacific Northwest rivals. Proving that they weren’t simply reliant on their stars, the Canucks got goals from Teddy Blueger, Dakota Joshua, Sam Lafferty, Nils Höglander, and Ilya Mikheyev. The most impressive part of the night was the way the Canucks clamped down on the Kraken outshooting them 12-2 in the third period to eliminate any chance that Seattle would mount a home ice comeback. Canuck penalty killers were a perfect four for four on the night. It really was a night for the depth of the hockey club to shine.

4) November 6th VANCOUVER 6 vs EDMONTON 2

Having already defeated the Oilers twice in a season-opening back-to-back set, including an 8-1 romp in the first game of the season, the Canucks knew the Oilers would be out to settle a score with their third meeting in three weeks. And Edmonton came out flying outshooting the Canucks 13-1 and 19-3 taking a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Mattias Ekholm. Where past Canucks teams may have buckled under the pressure, this group responded with three goals of its own before the end of the opening 20 minutes. And really they were just getting warmed up at that point. The Canucks ended up scoring three power play goals on the night and defeated the Oilers 6-2 opening an unthinkable 14 point lead on Edmonton after just a dozen games. The Canucks exploited a massive gap in goaltending on the night and demonstrated an ability to take a punch from a team with elite firepower, and also showed they could punch right back and, in fact, deliver a knockout blow.

5) January 11th VANCOUVER 4 at PITTSBURGH 3 in OT

Riding high after the franchise’s first ever sweep of games in New Jersey and against both New York teams, the Canucks swagger was on full display as they barged into PPG Paints Arena and jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the Penguins before the game was seven minutes old on a pair of goals by Brock Boeser. After Pittsburgh got on the board, Elias Pettersson restored the Canucks two goal lead as they chased Pens starter Alex Nedeljkovic after the opening period. Led by Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh chipped away and scored the tying goal in the dying seconds of the third period. Undeterred however, Elias Pettersson’s second of the night 3:05 into overtime capped an wildly entertaining night of hockey with star power on full display. The Pettersson winner was his fourth straight as the Canucks improved to 4-1 five games into their recently concluded seven game road trip.
Honourable mention: two solid wins in Nashville, an early season 5-3 victory in Florida, a Brock Boeser led hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay in December, Quinn Hughes delivering the dagger in an overtime comeback against the Islanders, and the rollercoaster ride that was the team’s recent 6-4 home ice win over Toronto.

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