Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Vancouver Canucks 3 stars of the week: Brock Boeser leads the way and scores two goals on Hockey Fights Cancer night
By Dave Hall2 months ago
Two out of three wins is certainly nothing to cry about.
However, after suffering a commanding loss in which they were outmatched in nearly every facet against the Vegas Golden Knights, it’s evident that work still needs to be done.
It’s clear that, after feasting on non-playoff teams, the Vancouver Canucks are well above the curve and certainly mean business. Yet, after being humbled by a few top-ranked teams in recent memory, there is still a barrier preventing them from pushing past that final tier of the pizza chart.
The Canucks are good, but not great — yet.
Regardless, the Vancouver Canucks find themselves in a healthy second place in the Pacific Division with a 16-8-1 record. The Los Angeles Kings hold five games in hand, so things can change fast, but, for now, they rest happily in second.
Looking at this week’s three stars, it wasn’t your typical banner week, and aside from an obvious first star, there were no clear-cut standouts.
Realistically, we should be handing a star selection to upper management.
The club pulled the trigger on a pair of trades over the week, continuing Patrik Allvin’s tremendous puppeteer job in his attempt to dance this team right into a playoff berth.
What’s not to love?
Shed $4.15 million in cap space, via Anthony Beauvillier, in this market and still receive a fifth-round draft pick in return? Okay.
Obtain a 6-foot-6, mainstay NHL defender for a third (2026) and fifth (2024) round draft pick? Alright.
All in all, these moves are just small pieces, to a big-picture puzzle that this club has begun to put together and right now, you can only tip your cap.
Third star: Ilya Mikheyev
Ilya Mikheyev was quietly solid over the week.
Playing alongside Elias Pettersson and a now-revolving door of third wheels, he discreetly posted a goal and two assists and led the forward group/team in several categories.
On top of his three points, the 29-year-old led the way with seven shots. He was a worthy presence in the offensive zone all week, also leading the team with a 73.21% (xGF%) and finished second in the forward group in high-danger chances.
Additionally, he sat second amongst the team with 58.33% (CF%), and was not on the ice for any goals against this week.
Mikheyev has been a significant addition to this team, and it’s clear that they missed his intangibles last season. He continues to create breakaway opportunities for himself, and now, he just needs to start capitalizing on them.
Oh, he also missed no games after taking this heavy Tyler Myers to the knee on Tuesday. You can add that to his list of accomplishments this week.
Second star: Thatcher Demko
It wasn’t the prettiest, but Thatcher Demko came up big when needed and won two out of three starts over the week.
Even in the loss, which came at the hands of the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, he made 40 saves and was the primary reason for the game not being completely out of hand.
By now, we don’t have to tell you twice, but he’s on a Vezina-worthy stretch to start the year.
Not only does he sit second in wins (12) but also fifth in save percentage amongst goalies with 10 or more starts with an incredible .924.
Additionally, he ranks fourth in goals-against average with 2.26, and second in shutouts (2), all while facing the league’s fifth most shots.
In Thatcher, we trust.
First star: Brock Boeser
Selecting Brock Boeser as the number one star was as close to a no-brainer as you can get.
Not only did he lead the group with four points over the week (two goals, two assists), but his two goals proved to be major contributors to a 3-1 win.
In a storybook fashion, both goals happened to be on Hockey Fights Cancer night, a game he holds near and dear to his heart after the passing of his father, Duke.
You simply could not draw it up any better.
Brock has come alive this season after several subpar and questionable years prior.
His 17 goals have him sitting atop the entire league, and he’s now just one behind his 2022-23 total (18) and just 12 shy of his career-best of 29.
He still has 57 games to go.
At this rate, he should not only crush the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career, but we are now in 40-50-plus territory.
The Vancouver Canucks will return home, where they are set to kick-start a five-game home stand, which hosts a bundle of Eastern Conference heavy hitters. First up, the New Jersey Devils and the first time that we will see all three Hughes brothers on an NHL surface at one time.
See you next week!
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