By Andrew Phillip Chernoff
The Vancouver Canucks (23-30-5), 6th Pacific Division, welcome the Boston Bruins (44-8-5), 1st Atlantic Division, tonight at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver puts its three-game undefeated streak in regulation on the line tonight against Boston having taken 5 of a possible 6 points in their last three games: 6-2 at home against Philadelphia on February 18; 5-4 OT loss in Nashville on Tuesday; and a 3-2 OT win in St. Louis on Thursday.
Canucks are 2-2-1 in their last 5 games; 4-4-2 in their last 10, entering tonight’s game. The Bruins are 5-0-0 in their last 5 games; 6-3-1 in their last 10.
CANUCKS GOALIE CALL: DEMKO TIME?
Arturs Silovs got his first NHL win against Philadelphia on February 18, following it up on Thursday in St. Louis with another victory.
Collin Delia played in the OT loss in Nashville on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Thatcher Demko is itching to get back to playing action as he believes he is ready to return from the injured list. https://www.nhl.com/video/practice-thatcher-demko/t-277437438/c-15478660
Coach Rick Tocchet claims Demko is close to returning, whether that is in a backup role to begin with, or as a starter right away, is unclear.
Early speculation had Demko going to Abbotsford for a conditioning assignment but was the third goalie on the recent road trip, receiving workouts from his teammates.
BRUINS RIDING A WAVE
Boston’s offense has been excellent this season. They scored three goals or more in seven of their last nine games. The Bruins rank second in goals per game and ninth in shots per game. David Pastrnak leads the team with 79 points and 42 goals. Pastrnak is fourth in points and second in goals in the league. Brad Marchand has 51 points. David Krejci has 46 points and Patrice Bergeron has 43 points.
Defense and goaltending have both been superb for Boston this season. They rank first in goals against per game and eighth in shots against per game. Linus Ullmark has a ridiculous record of 29-4-1 with a 1.88 GAA and .937 SV%. He ranks first in GAA, first in SV%, and tied for fourth in shutouts among all goalies in the league. Jeremy Swayman has a record of 14-4-4 with a 2.34 GAA and .916 SV%. Charlie McAvoy has 41 points and Hampus Lindholm has 38 points.
Boston is first in the Atlantic division by a fairly wide margin and they are first in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have been the best team in the league and have excellent offense, defense, and goaltending.Source: statsalt.com
VANCOUVER WINNERS OF TWO OF LAST THREE
The offense has been efficient for the Canucks this season. Vancouver ranks 10th in goals per game and 19th in shots per game. They scored four or more goals in six of the last 10 games. Elias Pettersson leads the team with 75 points on the season. Pettersson is tied for seventh in the league in points. J.T. Miller has 54 points and Andrei Kuzmenko has 51 points. The Canucks recently traded Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders.
The defense has been about average and goaltending has struggled this season for the Canucks. They rank 31st in goals against per game and 14th in shots against per game. Thatcher Demko has a 3-10-2 record with a 3.93 GAA and .883 SV%. Demko is on IR due to a lower-body injury. Spencer Martin is 11-15-1 with a 3.99 GAA and .871 SV%. Collin Delia has a record of 7-4-2 with a 3.51 GAA and .876 SV%. Quinn Hughes has 49 assists. Hughes is second in assists among all defensemen in the league.
Vancouver is third last in the Pacific Division and 16 points away from a Wild Card spot. The Canucks will not make the postseason this year.Source:statsalt.com
CANUCKS QUICK NUMBERS
- Elias Pettersson has 23 points (10-13-23) in his last 14 games.
- J.T. Miller has 12 points (2-10-12) in his last 10 games.
- Quinn Hughes has nine points (1-8-9) in his last eight games.
- Brock Boeser has nine points (1-8-9) in his last 10 games.
- Conor Garland has seven points (3-4-7) in his last nine games.
- Anthony Beauvillier has seven points (4-3-7) in his last seven games.
- Andrei Kuzmenko has seven points (5-2-7) in his last five games.
- Andrei Kuzmenko (5 goals/ 4 Games)
- Elias Pettersson (8 assists / 4 Games)
- Anthony Beauvillier (2 assists/ 2 Games)
- Ethan Bear (3 assists / 3 Games)
- J.T. Miller (4 assists / 3 Games)
- Elias Pettersson (3-8-11 points/ 4 Games)
- Ethan Bear (0-3-3 points/ 3 Games)
- Andrei Kuzmenko (5-2-7 points / 5 Games)
- Anthony Beauvillier (2-3-5 points / 4 Games)
- J.T. Miller (2-4-6 points / 4 Games)