Canucks Off to Blazing Start

Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

There have been a lot of surprises to start in the NHL this season.

The Anaheim Ducks are currently on a six-game winning streak. The Boston Bruins currently have the second-best record in the league despite losing the likes of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, and even though they have the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Edmonton Oilers currently own the second-worst record in the NHL.

With all of that said, however, the biggest surprise in the league so far might just be the Vancouver Canucks. As of this writing, they are third in the NHL with a record of 8-2-0-1, which is good for 17 points.

That record, believe it or not, has them just two points behind the Boston Bruins and six points behind the league-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Yes, you read those facts right.

So, you might ask, just how are the Canucks having so much success so far? For starters, they are not having trouble putting up offensive numbers.

As of this writing, the team is second in the league with 48 goals in 11 games. This means they are averaging between four and five goals a game.

Currently leading the way for this squad is superstar Elias Pettersson. Pettersson, 24, currently has 20 points on six goals and 14 assists.

Pettersson is not the only one who has been putting up solid numbers so far. Players like J.T. Miller (16 points on six goals and 10 assists), Quinn Hughes (16 points on four goals and 12 assists), Brock Boeser (13 points on eight goals and five assists), and Filip Hronek (11 points on 11 assists) have also been key contributors to the Canucks hot start.

Speaking of hot starts, the team’s power play has been another key factor in the team’s early success. They are currently fourth in the league in that category, as they have cashed in on 30 percent of their opportunities so far.

Goaltender Thatcher Demko has been a huge reason why this team is off to a great start. There is no doubt that when he is healthy, he can be one of the league’s best goaltenders, and right now, he is proving that.

Demko, 27, is currently 6-2 with a 1.55 goals-against average, a .947 save percentage, and two shutouts. He has made the big saves when his team has needed them, and with him between the pipes, the team plays with a lot of confidence, which has led to a lot of victories to start the season.

Lastly, you cannot talk about the Canucks and not mention head coach Rick Tocchet. Ever since replacing Bruce Boudreau behind the bench last season, Tocchet has come in and turned this team around.

With Tocchet at the helm, the Canucks are 28-14-0-5. Under Tocchet, the team plays hard every night and usually finds a way to put themselves in a position to win games, which is all that matters.

It may be early, but the Canucks have definitely earned our eyes and ears for the rest of the season thanks to their splendid play to start the season.    

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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