There was a lot of star power on hand when the Pittsburgh Penguins brought their Stanley Cup-defending squad into Vancouver last night. And while fans were treated to some magic from Sidney Crosby and crew in the form of a beautiful first period goal, it was, surprisingly, a young star from the Canucks who shone the brightest.
The Brock Boeser Hype Train has been running for a little while now, but last night it gained full speed and sped out of the station. If you don’t know already, his name is pronounced BESSER and he’s basically the first superstar the Canucks have had since Pavel Bure (if you believe people like Jawn Jang).
(Hint: you should not.)
So while the Sedins have never really gotten the respect from the city that they deserve, it appears that the team has finally moved on from the twins being first-liners. Daniel and Henrik both played under 10 minutes of ice time against the Pens while Boeser, Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi played against Crosby (and, for the most part, won).
Boeser isn’t the team’s best forward yet (even though many are clamouring to crown him as such) that’s certainly a title that belongs to Bo Horvat, as the centre set up many of the line’s chances.
But Boeser is definitely a game-changer, that sort of sniper that can make a difference with one flick of the wrist. Yes, the Canucks did get outshot by the Penguins by a large margin—39 to 21, to be exact. But to anyone that watched the game, it was apparent that the Canucks weren’t out of their element. They were winning battles, they were leading rushes, they were (other than defenceman Erik Gudbranson who’s go-to move of flipping the puck up in the air led to turnovers more often than not) able to get it out of the zone against the vicious Pittsburgh forecheck.
With a coach that loves to play the matchups and has a feel for his team and what it needs at a certain point in time, this is an exciting Vancouver Canucks team. There, we said it. The games are enjoyable, the team is fun, and yes, the Canucks have a rookie who might be a star after 10 games.
Millennial Canucks fans will tell their kids about the time Boeser scored his first hat trick. If that’s the only thing memorable about this Canucks season, then so be it. But one has the strange feeling that it won’t be.More