Vancouver Canucks’ 3 stars of the week: J.T. Miller posts consecutive strong weeks, Nils Höglander stands out, and Brock Boeser hits 35 goals

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Hall
4 months ago
For the first time in what feels like months, our “CanucksArmy 3 stars” article will not feature the NHL’s first-place team.
Instead, the Vancouver Canucks slip down to second place leaguewide, sporting a 39-17-7 record with 19 games remaining on the 2023-24 season.
They still maintain their lead in the conference and, more importantly, the Pacific Division standings by a significant nine-point margin as they gear up for their first playoff appearance since the 2020 bubble.
Looking ahead to the upcoming week, the team is gearing up for what promises to be one of the more impactful trade deadline days in recent memory and Patrik Allvin is rumoured to be continuously engaged in discussions across the league as he aims to address any remaining issues and solidify their status as a Stanley Cup contender.
Fortunately, they managed to cross one of the checklist’s more coveted items on their lists over the weekend.
That’s right, despite initial expectations that Elias Pettersson would hold off until the offseason to negotiate a contract, the Canucks successfully signed their 25-year-old superstar to an eight-year extension.
The extension not only removes a looming distraction that had intensified over the last week but also provides clarity for the management team as they approach the trade deadline, enabling them to navigate with a clear vision for the organization’s future – both short and long-term.
With the deal in mind, Patrik Allvin and Jim Rutherford take home this week’s honourable mention for securing one of the organization’s most important deals to date and solidifying this team’s core for the foreseeable future.
Let’s see how they do with just days to finalize their roster for their hopeful, elongated playoff run.

Third star: Brock Boeser

Following an extended stretch where Brock Boeser could not sniff the scoresheet, his game has been red-hot as of late.
This week, he extended two streaks: a three-game goal streak and a six-game points streak, tallying eight points during that span.
He finished second on the team in shots with 10 and joined a group of eight players in the NHL to reach the 35-goal mark for the season, which happens to be the first time in his career.
Amidst the team’s struggles, particularly on the power play, Rick Tocchet implemented some adjustments to their power play setup, which seemed to have paid off in spades for the 27-year-old. Boeser capitalized twice from the bumper spot, scoring his team-leading 14th and 15th power-play goal of the season.
Goal one.
Goal two.
His career year continues to run its course, as he has now achieved personal bests in both goals (35) and points (62). Additionally, he is trending towards becoming a point-per-game player for the first time and maintaining a positive plus/minus rating (plus-23) for the second time in his career.
We have waited some time, but we could finally be on the verge of a 40-goal Brock Boeser.

Second Star: Nils Höglander

Nils Höglander shone this week, tallying two goals across three games, matching Brock Boeser’s output for most goals among the Canucks.
What set Nils apart from the pack this week was his exceptional work ethic, which was evidenced by his goal above and impressive performance in advanced metrics.
The relentless work ethic of Höglander was evident throughout the week, consistently applying pressure in every shift, as reflected in his impressive Corsi scores. He led the team with a CF% of 71.43%, dominating opponents with a significant 60 to 24 chance margin.
Moreover, his xGF% of 74.33%, with a spread of 27 to 11, ranked him first among players with one game or more played over the week. He also grabbed five hits, finishing third among Canucks forwards.
Höglander’s two goals this week bring his season total to 19, putting him on the brink of achieving a career-first milestone as a 20-goal scorer. Additionally, his two points in the week tie his career high at 27 for the season, and has now slid into the top-1o among 5v5 goalscorers.
One element that doesn’t get talked about much is his increased willingness to throw his body around this season. With 61 registered hits this season, he has surpassed his previous high of 41, reiterating his commitment to a more physical style of play.

First star: J.T. Miller

Once again, J.T. Miller showcased dominance, leading the Canucks in various metrics and proving to be a force against his opponents for the second consecutive week.
Over three games, Miller led the team in points with a goal and three assists, including two primary assists.
Additionally, he led the team with 11 shots on goal and dominated with 13 hits, a category he has led for two consecutive weeks as well. In fact, over those past two weeks, Miller ranks fourth in the league with 29 hits across seven games, while also holding the third spot in points with 16 during that span.
Despite his impressive performance on the scoresheet, Miller’s advanced statistics this week were somewhat underwhelming. He posted a Corsi For percentage (CF%) of 52.63, outchancing opponents by a narrow margin of 60 to 54. While his Expected Goals For percentage (xGF%) also fell slightly below average at 50.05%.
However, his contributions extend beyond statistical metrics. On a nightly basis, Miller’s relentless effort and determination are evident, often single-handedly driving the team’s momentum and energy during games.
With 30 goals and 83 points, J.T. Miller has already matched his 2022-23 campaign totals, in 18 fewer games, and is now just three goals shy from surpassing his previous career high of 32 goals.
With an 8-million-dollar cap hit, Miller remains the team’s most valuable player and currently ranks sixth league-wide in points and is on track to reach the century mark for the first time in his career.
The Canucks continue their road trip with stops in Los Angeles and Vegas before the trade deadline day on Friday. Following that, they’ll return home for a nine-game homestand, starting with a matchup against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
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