In life, there are three guarantees: death, taxes, and former Vancouver Canucks immediately improving on their new teams.
Last night, Jason Dickinson etched his name into that history, with a three-point night in his Chicago Blackhawks debut. Dickinson and his new linemates Sam Lafferty and Philipp Kurashev combined for seven points, including a pair of shorthanded goals, in a 5-2 Hawks win over the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks were leading 2-1 midway into the second period when Andreas Athanasiou was put in the box for holding. On the ensuing penalty kill, Lafferty worked his way into the Sharks’ end with the puck before passing off to Dickinson trailing. Dickinson placed a quick shot on goal that Lafferty cleaned up the rebound for, tying the game at two.
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A few minutes later, with Connor Murphy now in the box, Lafferty and Dickinson broke away on a 2-on-1 chance but couldn’t get a shot away. Dickinson lost an edge chasing the puck behind the net but still managed to feed Lafferty a centring pass that the winger ripped past Kaapo Kahkonen to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.
Later, after Taylor Raddysh doubled the lead in the third period, Dickinson picked the puck up from Kurashev in the neutral zone to start another odd-man rush. This time, Dickinson made no mistake, with a small toe drag and a wrister that Kahkonen couldn’t read for his first goal of the season.
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On a day when the Canucks blew a 2-0 lead and lost to the Philadelphia Flyers, Dickinson’s three-point night sure adds some salt to the wound for fans. Not only would he lead the Canucks roster in points currently, but he’d also have just as many shorthanded points as Vancouver’s power play has given up in their first two games.
It wasn’t all about his on-ice performance either. In speaking about his short time in Vancouver, Dickinson admitted that he’d played a large part of the season with a broken hand that had seemingly gone undetected by both the Canucks’ medical staff and himself.
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It’s unclear where Dickinson might’ve picked up the injury, but Twitter user @BroomOfLoui referenced a clip from Bruce Boudreau’s debut as Canucks head coach, when a Matt Roy wrist shot caught Dickinson square in the right hand. He can be seen rotating his hand and wincing on the bench after, but didn’t miss any games in December.
Dickinson’s immediate revival as a Blackhawk might make the Canucks’ start to the season seem extra bleak, but look on the bright side: at least he’s helping push Chicago down in the race for Conor Bedard.