Some may be waking up this morning wondering if it was all a dream, but it’s true: the Vancouver Canucks are undefeated. The team is 4-0-0, matching their best start in franchise history from back in 1992-1993.
The Canucks picked up win number four against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night, with a 2-1 victory on the strength of goals from Jannik Hansen and Daniel Sedin. Rookie Nicholas Baptiste had the lone goal for the Sabres.
Hansen’s goal was his 100th career goal. It was also the goal that gave Vancouver its first lead in 218:22 of play this season, so needless to say the night was full of firsts.
“We don’t want to be coming from behind in the third period of every single game,” Hansen said of the marker. “It’s not feasible, it’s not something you can do over a long stretch. You have to be able to get a lead and hold on to it.”
Few people, including yours truly, saw this coming.
The Canucks are tied with the Edmonton Oilers for first overall, but the Oilers have one more game under their belt and are 4-1-0 thus far. Interestingly, the Edmonton has scored twice as many goals as Vancouver – 20 goals to the Canucks’ miserable 10.
But despite scoring a pittance, Vancouver has excelled defensively and has only allowed six goals against thus far. That ties them with the Washington Capitals for the stingiest team overall right now.
Goalie Jacob Markstrom has a lot to do with that. He’s 3-0-0 with a .932 save percentage and a 1.65 goals against average. His excellent play has fired up the rumour mill with respect to Ryan Miller, who sat out with “tightness” on Tuesday night. That situation meant Vancouver had to call up UBC goalie Matt Hewitt to back up Markstrom against the St. Louis Blues.
So yes, things are going well for the time being in Vancouver and the team looks sharp even if they can’t find the net with any regularity. It is probably a little premature to start planning the Cup parade, of course, but Canucks fans would do well to enjoy this little slice of heaven. We may not see the likes of it again for a long while.