Saturday’s game against Minnesota wasn’t about the score, so the fact Vancouver won 4-2 was beside the point.
Also beside the point: the Canucks should’ve won 4-0, giving Bachman his first shutout, but they blew it allowing two late ones.
Back to the point – Brock Boeser made his debut. With him, Goldobin, and Boucher playing most of the game on three different lines, it gave fans actual hope that offence could happen on nearly every shift.
It made hockey fun again – a feeling coach Willie had squeezed out of Canucks fans over the last two terrible seasons.
Many Canucks fans would’ve preferred a loss for obvious reasons, and I don’t speak for all of them, but from what I saw and heard, they didn’t mind this.
— Daniel Fung (@daniel_fung) March 25, 2017
That’s something I can see fans getting on board with. It’s a lot better than a “system” that results in painfully boring hockey, anyway.
It gives us a lot more to talk about in the SixPack too, so I’m not complaining.
Everyone knew the solo lap for Boeser was coming.
What they didn’t see coming: the kid showed how quick he is thinking on his feet – as soon as he realized his teammates were sending him alone, he grabbed a puck to try to minimize how silly he’d look doing laps on an empty sheet of ice.
What did fans expect from him?
Some expected the world.
@omarcanuck Based on what I’m hearing, 11 goals minimum
— Disco Stu (@TheDiscoStu) March 25, 2017
@omarcanuck 1G 1A +3 5 sog! Dream big
— A. Mercado (@amerc15) March 25, 2017
And others saw Willie getting in the way.
@omarcanuck seeing him for 20 minutes im the 3rd. On the bench.
— Arr Sea (@6o4boi) March 25, 2017
@omarcanuck I just hope he doesn’t score early…. I want him to play the whole game!
— Brian (@livinginUS_Eh) March 25, 2017
@omarcanuck a nap after willie benches him in the third
— Adam Schaal (@Jawatoss) March 25, 2017
The fear was real.
Surprisingly, he wasn’t benched. He stuck with his new line of Baertschi, Bo, Boeser – we’re calling them the Killer Bs, btw – and he played 12:44, which is not bad considering he didn’t play a second on the special teams units.
BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCK BOESER has a very simple game plan for the Canucks. pic.twitter.com/dpsL6rKENm
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) March 25, 2017
Highlights? We’ve got them.
First, he showed everyone what’s coming with an early shot.
He then wasted no time scoring his first NHL goal.
In case you missed it, he’s from Minnesota and his family took up half the stands at the game.
While he may have been in the right place at the right time on that goal, his other offensive rushes showed why he’s going to put up a bunch more points over his career – hopefully all for the Canucks.
He had more wristers like this one.
And oh, he has a slap shot too.
Here’s Wyatt with the final word on Boeser’s debut.
Brock Boeser: 1
Minnesota: 0 pic.twitter.com/X7WizUIoMr
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) March 25, 2017
Good info from Biech here.
By being on the NHL roster – Brock Boeser will be ineligible for the remainder of the AHL season and playoffs.#Canucks
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 25, 2017
Now, given the premise that playing a bunch of intense AHL games down the stretch and into the playoffs would help Boeser’s development a lot more than playing out the string in meaningless Canucks games, it is a little curious he’s with the big club instead.
It also makes you wonder whose call this was.
With season ticket renewal time upon us and confidence in the team at an all time low, it sure would make sense for the hands-on owner to put his foot down and not only make sure Boeser plays in Vancouver, but to force the coach into giving him top-six minutes despite his usual “make the kids earn it” bent.
If that is what’s going on, the owner might be right on this one.
@omarcanuck I am ready to fast forward to next season watch the killer 🐝’s all year long.
— Sach (@Sach__17) March 25, 2017
Not sure anything or anyone else could’ve dropped the game Boucher had to number four, but Boeser did it.
Really, nothing should’ve. He scored two goals, the second one on a laser of a shot, yet here we are.
Here’s how it happened.
First, Boucher appeared to be out to prove the coach wrong for demoting him to the fourth line with moves like this early on.
Or maybe he realized he couldn’t be demoted any lower than that line, who knows.
He scored on the power play.
Then he followed it up with this shot that was so fast and hard, the refs didn’t even call it in.
The league got the call right in the end, btw.
Playing with offensively-minded players makes a big difference.
Here’s Brandon Sutter with the puck, glancing at an open Goldobin and deciding not to give it to him.
Joke of the day from Coastal here:
@omarcanuck *no Sutter* those were the days
— Going Coastal (@NoShelter_Here) March 25, 2017
Goldobin’s decisions with the puck weren’t helping his cause, though.
Goldy played less than Boeser at 11:19, and only three shifts in the third period.
@omarcanuck Chaput 20 mins of ice time . 😐
— Brian (@VancityManpurse) March 25, 2017
At the end of the day, Willie’s still in charge.
I’ll just leave this here and you can enjoy it if you want.
#Canucks all-time goals per game leaders:
1. Boeser 1.00
2. Bure 0.59
3. Tanti 0.47
4. Mogilny 0.45
5. D. Sanderson 0.44
— Sir Earl (@Sir_Earl) March 25, 2017
Note: Thanks to Ryan Biech for the good stuff (aka gifs) in this post