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Sports Canucks Post Game: The Boeser files, the Horvat summation, the captain’s semi-elation

10:00  04 february  2018
10:00  04 february  2018 Source:   theprovince.com

Takeaways: Positive vibes for Canucks don’t translate into points

  Takeaways: Positive vibes for Canucks don’t translate into points Takeaways: Positive vibes for Canucks don’t translate into pointsThe Vancouver Canucks went 0-for-the-weekend, losing 1-0 Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets less than 24 hours after they were beaten 5-2 in Edmonton by the Oilers.

020418-HKN_Lightning_Canucks_20180203: Brock Boeser gets a hug from Bo Horvat after scoring his 25th goal of the season Saturday.<br />© BEN NELMS Brock Boeser gets a hug from Bo Horvat after scoring his 25th goal of the season Saturday.

Points to ponder on a night where the dynamic Lightning looked like they had all the answers, the Canucks looked like they might go quietly into the night and Brock Boeser reminded us all that he looked like a Calder Trophy winner by scoring a big goal against a big club to keep his club in it before falling 4-2 Saturday at Rogers Arena:

BOESER 1.0: BRINGING OUT THE BEST

Brock Boeser is good at pointing the finger — at himself — because scoring his 25th goal of the season Saturday had a lot to do with what didn’t happen Thursday.

Canucks 6 Kings 2: Hope restored as Canucks blast Kings

  Canucks 6 Kings 2: Hope restored as Canucks blast Kings There is hope. There hasn’t been much of it lately for the Vancouver Canucks. But being at home for the first time in three weeks sure seemed to help. The Canucks blasted the Los Angeles Kings 6-2, led by the two-goal performances of Loui Eriksson and Brock Boeser. For the Canucks’ standout rookie, it was […]Alex Biega loses his stick as he crashes into the Vancouver net beside the Kings’ Adrian Kempe.

And that’s a good a thing because he owned it.

The Calder Trophy contender was beating himself up for Thursday’s performance against Chicago. And it wasn’t that the rookie right winger went pointless — or the fact he did the spade work on Bo Horvat’s goal that didn’t draw a helper — it was that he questioned his own play away from the puck.

“It’s more about my overall game,” said the 20-year-old Boeser. “I felt that I didn’t play my best and not just with offence (one shot, four attempts), but with the defensive side of things. I need to keep focussing on the defensive zone coverage and little details that can help me play better.”

Which takes us to Saturday.

Boeser’s third-period goal, a burst through a neutral zone, and a wrister with some zip, narrowed the deficit to 3-2 and it was just another reminder of his growing game. He had five shots and eight attempts and got better as the night went on.

Fully healthy Canucks leave once-powerful Kings flummoxed

  Fully healthy Canucks leave once-powerful Kings flummoxed On Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks were a forlorn 28th in the National Hockey League. And still the Los Angeles Kings were beaten 6-2 by the Canucks at Rogers Arena. The Canucks!“It’s not you, it’s me,” the Kings would have told themselves as they trudged to their bus.And they’d be right. Partly.The Kings were awful. Losers of six straight until they their power play beat the New York Rangers on Sunday, the Kings suddenly bear no resemblance to the brawny, talented team that has dominated the Canucks physically, technically and spiritually since dumping Vancouver in the 2012 playoffs on its way to their first Stanley Cup.

“I saw far side,” he said of his goal. “I think they got a stick on it when I shot it and it just changed where it went and I was honestly kind of shocked it went it,” said Boeser. “But you can’t just shoot pucks, you’ve got to make plays.

“Even though we lost, we should gain some confidence in playing right there with them.”

And that’s the thing about Boeser. He’s good with the re-set.

“I like the fact he said he wasn’t very good last game (Thursday),” said Canucks coach Travis Green. “When you understand that, you’re more likely to respond. And that’s the sign of a good young player to understand when he plays well and when he doesn’t.

“Some young guys will make a play on a goal and think played a real good game.”

Boeser’s shot and offensive creativity speak for themselves. No first-year player has more goals (25) and power-play goals (8). And playing well without the puck is only going to make him better with it.

Bo Horvat taking a page from the book of Jonathan Toews

  Bo Horvat taking a page from the book of Jonathan Toews Tonight at Rogers Arena, Bo Horvat and the Vancouver Canucks face the Chicago Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews, a player the younger centreman is modelling his game on.Off his feet for six weeks with a broken foot, Horvat returned to the lineup on Jan. 21 and will play his fifth game of 2018 tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks. Remarkably, he’s looking faster and stronger despite being held back by crutches. He’s working even harder now, too.

“It’s part of his game that has to get better,” added Green. “When we’re in position to becoming a good winning team for a long haul, we want him to have all those elements in his game.

“When he gets in on the forecheck, he can get a turnover because he’s aggressive. When he’s backchecking back to his own zone he can be the first guy back be responsible down low. They are things you don’t see on highlight reels that determined the outcome of a game.”

BOESER 2.0: MORE POWER IN HIS PLAY

One-time slappers from the dot are the calling cards for Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.

It’s also in the amazing arsenal of Boeser — especially on the power play — but his effectiveness has more than caught the attention of the opposition.

The Canucks failed to score on a second-period 5-on-3 advantage for 1:50 Saturday. Boeser had a pair of blasts from the high slot, but it’s what needs to happen on a traditional 5-on-4 to make the rookie even more lethal.

When man-advantage pucks are passed to Alex Edler at the point, a defender cheats toward Boeser to take away his timing and to get a stick on his hot shot. There have been adjustments to free up Boeser — getting him to rotate deeper in the circle to change the angle or go backdoor because of the quickness of his release — and it has to continue.

Gaunce scores twice, Canucks beat Blackhawks

  Gaunce scores twice, Canucks beat Blackhawks Gaunce scores twice, Canucks beat BlackhawksDaniel Sedin and Bo Horvat also scored for the Canucks (21-24-6). Defenceman Troy Stecher added two assists for Vancouver, which has won five of its last eight games after going 2-11-3 in its previous 15.

“I think that just opens up chances,” said Boeser. “If they’re going to cheat over there (face-off dot), I need to do something to get open and maybe open some lanes. It’s something we’re looking at.”

That said, there can also be quicker and better puck movement — including quick cross-ice passes — through the slot from Henrik Sedin to find an open Boeser. And he could move to and from the dot and not just be stationary.

“There are lots of guys who shoot the puck from that spot and still find ways to score,” said Green. “You have to have different options because everybody does a great job pre-scouting.

“We have a pretty good idea if Stamkos is sitting over there that he has a pretty good shot, but he’s a good player and he’s going to take different options.”

BOESER 3.0: KEEPING GAS IN TANK

Boeser never played more than 42 games in two regular seasons at North Dakota. He has now logged 49 at the NHL level and you wonder how the demand to produce, improve and handle a fishbowl existence in a hockey mad market.

“There is always tiredness here and there but my body is not feeling too bad at all,” said Boeser, who had an MVP whirlwind All-Star Game weekend in Tampa Bay instead of kicking back and resting his body and mind.

“It’s how you take care of yourself. Sometimes, there’s the mental side of things to bear down on to be ready for the game. I stretch my muscles more so they’re not tight and sore.”

Kucherov snaps 11-game goal drought as Lightning beat Canucks

  Kucherov snaps 11-game goal drought as Lightning beat Canucks Kucherov snaps 11-game goal drought as Lightning beat CanucksTAMPA, Fla. — Nikita Kucherov stopped an 11-game goal drought, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves for his NHL-best 32nd victory, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday night.

Said Green: “He’s a mature young man and humble and he’s also aware that it’s a long season. He takes it head on and he owns it.”

BO KNOWS BOLTS HAVE IT FIGURED OUT

Bo Horvat was thwarted on a third-period power play but the centre believed the Canucks scored some moxy points with a spirited third period Saturday.

“The first period wasn’t what we wanted, but in the second and third we really took it to them,” said Horvat, who had a three-shot night. “We had a lot of chances, but it’s still upsetting to lose that one. We matched their quickness and I thought we held our own and we had them on the ropes in the third.

“It just shows the character in this room.”

Said Green: “In general, our game was pretty good tonight. Over the course of the year, we’ve tried to be honest with our effort and our game and this isn’t one where I’m going to say we weren’t very good.”

However, it also showed how far a climb it’s going to be to one day get to where the Bolts are.

The Canucks have twice knocked off Pittsburgh and have also beaten Washington and Nashville. Consistency of effort has been a problem but going up against the league’s top team and highest-scoring club was more than just a litmus test Saturday.

It was a reminder of how Tampa Bay is ahead of the curve. Small, speedy and skilled forwards and towering and mobile defencemen. The Bolts could have a Hart Trophy (Nikita Kucherov), Norris Trophy (Victor Hedman) and Vezina Trophy (Andrei Vasilevskiy) winners and could win the Stanley Cup.

It’s great to push them on one night. Imagine a series?

“They have fast players who can get on the forecheck quick and get on you quick,” added Horvat. “I think they have a lot of the right tools and a lot of big defencemen who can skate and are hard to play against.”

Hurricanes 4, Canucks 1: Lesser without Boeser, blown out by ‘Canes

  Hurricanes 4, Canucks 1: Lesser without Boeser, blown out by ‘Canes RALEIGH, N.C. — Life without Brock Boeser unfolded for the Canucks exactly how you’d expect. It was a dark, bleak and hopeless place for the team after Boeser missed Friday’s NHL game here with a wrist injury. The Canucks were easily pushed aside by a bad Hurricanes team. They played poorly defensively and rarely threatened […]RALEIGH, N.C. — Life without Brock Boeser unfolded for the Canucks exactly how you’d expect.

CAPTAIN FINDS SOME SOLACE

Henrik Sedin gave a brief wave from the bench when his 1,300th career game was acknowledged Saturday.

He was already concerned about his club digging a two-goal hole that came because the Canucks couldn’t get out of their own zone.

It resulted in a Chris Kunitz slot deflection of a point shot to open scoring. And when the Canucks couldn’t transition the puck four minutes later, Jacob Markstrom got beat between the pads on a Hedman wrister from the slot before six minutes elapsed.

“It’s tough to be down 3-0, but we battled hard,” said the Canucks captain. “They play fast, really fast and it’s not so much their skating, it’s the way they move the puck. There’s not a lot of time and you can tell they’re a top team.”

As for his milestone, he offered this before the game:

“When you reach these even (career game) numbers, it’s always something to talk about. It’s not something I put a lot of thought into. Tonight is a big game. It’s perfect. They might be the top team in the league and a good test for us coming off some big wins.”

He got that right.

And if he’s contemplating retirement, maybe that demanding offseason regimen may have something to do with. Or not.

“We always have the same routine,” said Henrik. “It’s two or three weeks and starting to work out to get into the rythym of things. We had one year where we took more time off and you could tell right away that it takes longer to get back in shape again.

“And we’re guys who enjoy working out, so it’s not a problem for us.”

So read into that what you want.


B.C. hockey fans choose Brock Boeser as their valentine: Survey .
B.C. hockey fans choose Brock Boeser as their valentine: SurveyHockey has fallen in love with Brock Boeser.

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