Don’t look now, but the Vancouver Canucks are putting together quite a winning streak. The club started 2020 with a wild win over the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday, knocking them back 7-5 in a crazy affair that saw several lead changes.
The Canucks blew two one-goal leads, then climbed out of a two-goal deficit to take home the W with about 4:11 to go.
Vancouver doesn’t do these winning streak things often, with the last seven-game streak coming back when John Tortorella was head coach in those “experimental years.”
This time out, the Canucks are getting outshot 210-167 during the streak and they’ve blown a lot of leads. This being hockey, that’s meant that this streak gets criticized and lambasted as though it doesn’t really exist at all. Welcome to 2020, same as 2019.
But doesn’t Vancouver deserve some credit that goes beyond the typical hand-wringing commentary that can make being a hockey fan frustrating?
Yes, yes they do.
As mentioned, this doesn’t happen often. And it probably wasn’t supposed to happen this season, with the Canucks still finding themselves a spot in this league.
“We feel confident,” forward and Audi enthusiast Elias Pettersson said. “That’s easy to say after six games in a row with a win. But we feel confident out there. We stay humble. We can’t have shifts like we had in the second period. It went our way this game.”
That second period on Thursday was, for all intents and purposes, a stinker. The Blackhawks put together three goals in four minutes early and that led to a Travis Green timeout. And that timeout led to a change in fortune for the Canucks.
Vancouver had goals from J.T. Miller, Tanner Pearson, Quinn Hughes, Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and Adam Gaudette. They outshot the Blackhawks 37-33 and were the more physical team, plus they had the edge in the faceoff circle and led in blocked shots. They held the Blackhawks to one goal on four power plays and went one for two on their own power plays. They also had fewer giveaways.
Essentially, this was a game Vancouver should have won and a game they did win, second period lapse notwithstanding.
Up next, the Canucks face the New York Rangers on Saturday. And with that comes an opportunity to bump this streak to seven.
Photo credit: The Canadian Press