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Vancouver Canucks 3 stars of the week: J.T. Miller dominates, Brock Boeser’s clutch, and Arshdeep Bains makes his NHL debut

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Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Hall
1 month ago
Let’s be honest. If someone had told you that the Vancouver Canucks wouldn’t hit their first real stretch of adversity until late February, what would you have said?
Don’t worry, we’d have been surprised too.
Yet, here we are, discussing the Canucks’ first four-game losing streak of the season just days away from March.
Heck, this was even their first three-game losing streak and just their third two-game streak.
All is forgiven, though, since the team rallied in the third period to defeat the Boston Bruins on Saturday, thanks to the Green Men, who take this week’s honourable mention.
Check out David Quadrelli’s interview with how this return all came about.
Despite the four losses, the Canucks continue to sit atop the entire NHL, now boasting a 38-16-6 record with 82 points on the year.
As you might expect from a week where they dropped three out of four games, there weren’t too many “star-worthy” performances across the lineup.
With that in mind, let’s focus on a feel-good story, a comeback week, and a downright dominant week from these three players.

Third star: Arshdeep Bains

There have been some passengers amid this weak stretch, which meant that finally, the Canucks granted their farm team’s leading scorer the chance to prove himself at the highest level.
And prove himself, he did.
By now, you’re likely familiar with his story. Undrafted in both the WHL and NHL drafts, he signed as an overage player out of the Western Hockey League, working tirelessly to earn his first call-up within his first two years as a pro.
Oh, and he’s a local kid who grew up idolizing the team and now stands as the fourth Punjabi player to hit the NHL ice surface, following in the footsteps of Robin Bawa, Manny Malhotra, and Jujhar Khaira.
No matter which angle you want to look at it, it’s simply an incredible story of perseverance that cannot be understated.
His debut didn’t light up the scoresheet, grabbing a minus-2 and lacklustre advanced metrics. However, considering he was matched up against one of the league’s premier opponents, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, to name a few, he looked right at home. He even led the team with three hits and added a blocked shot and two shots on target.
If you had any doubts about his game, Rick Tocchet certainly didn’t, as Bains was elevated to the top six in the very next game, skating alongside J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser.
All in all, he’s bringing tons of energy and spunk to a team in desperate need of some life. He’s giving his all on each shift, and it’s evident that his efforts are not going unnoticed.
“I’m a big fan. I like him a lot,” Tocchet raved. “I think there’s another level. He’s earned his spot right now. I don’t know how long it’s going to be. Maybe it’s the rest of the year, but he’s earned his spot. I know guys enjoy playing with him. I’ve had a couple of players come up to me individually and say ‘hey, don’t be afraid to throw him on my line.’ I think that’s the ultimate compliment for that kid. A lot of players want to play with him. But he’s also doing the little things that I love. He’s really good on the forecheck, he can handle the puck, and he’s not scared. He gets inside.”

Second star: Brock Boeser

Brock Boeser, who entered the week without a goal in seven games, was one of just two Canucks to record a point in each of their four matches this week, contributing three goals and six points.
Truth be told, Brock was already likely to have earned a spot in this week’s three stars selection, but his heroic efforts on Saturday night sealed the deal.
With his team down by a pair with less than 10 minutes remaining in the final frame, Boeser got the Canucks on the board with a trademark snapshot.
Minutes later, with the net empty, he provided the pivotal screen in front of Boston’s Jeremy Swayman, allowing Filip Hronek to find the back of the net to tie the game late.
Finally, on the eve of his 27th birthday, Boeser played hero, deflecting a J.T. Miller cross-ice feed to complete the comeback and take down their rival nemesis Bruins.
Under the hood, he finished with the team’s third-best CF% (62.76) and grabbed the second-most high-danger chances with 18.
Whether it’s goals (33), points (60) or the fact that he’s a point-per-game player for the first time, it’s been a career year for Brock Boeser, and with everything that he has gone through over the years, it’s safe to say that we are all here for it.

First star: J.T. Miller

J.T. Miller had this week’s first star signed, sealed, and delivered before the weekend even started.
But just for good measure, he tossed in a three-point night on Saturday, contributing to each of the Canucks’ goals en route to the huge Saturday night victory over Boston.
Before that, however, he had already amassed six points through three games, including a hat-trick in one of the more wild games of the season.
From the first game of the week, Miller was the clear frontrunner for the best player, and despite the three losses, he stood out as a bright spot. In addition to securing nine points, he also contributed 16 hits, both of which ranked third among all players in the league for the week.
He finished the week with a 61.11 CF% (Corsi For Percentage), leading the team twice and reaching a peak of 71.43% against the Colorado Avalanche. Additionally, he led the team in high-danger chances with 19 (tied with Quinn Hughes and Filip Hronek).
Overall, it was an all-star calibre week for number nine, who now shares the fifth spot in league scoring with 79 points.
The Canucks remain at home for a two-game stretch before finishing the week with a Sunday match against the Anaheim Ducks. Get those playoff flags ready, folks. With just 22 games remaining, we are getting close.
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