Vancouver Canucks pre-game: Brock Boeser against the Winnipeg Jets

EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 9: Brock Boeser
EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 9: Brock Boeser /

The Vancouver Canucks are hoping that the Winnipeg Jets are the right challenge to spark the rested Brock Boeser.

After the second game of the season for the Vancouver Canucks that featured the emotional return of one of Vancouver’s all-time greats Alex Burrows, they will look to stay unbeaten in regulation in their new 2017-18 campaign when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.

The Canucks fell to the Ottawa Senators in extra-rounds shootout despite another decent effort by netminder Jacob Markstrom and a statement game by veteran newcomer Thomas Vanek. On the other hand, the Jets had their first win of their three-game-old season on Monday against the struggling Edmonton Oilers, humiliating Connor McDavid‘s team in a 5-2 road victory.

It is becoming more apparent by the day that new coach Travis Green is having a positive influence on this Vancouver squad, pushing the youths and the veterans alike to play a more aggressive game that is up-tempo and unafraid of taking risks.

Can the Canucks afford to play the same type of aggressive hockey against these Jets who feature big-name elite scorers? Let’s take a look.

107. 0. 104. Final. 0

Vancouver Canucks


2016-17 Record: 30-43-9
Away Record: 18-17-6
2016-17 Record vs. Jets: 1-2-0 (Canucks, 6GF & 7GA)
Goals For: 182 (29th, last year)
Goals Against: 243 (24th, last year)
Injuries: Brendan Gaunce (shoulder, out indefinitely)


Brock Boeser: It’s time. Rookie winger Brock Boeser is making his season debut against the Jets, likely on a line with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. After sitting out the first two games of the season to let Jake Virtanen play, Boeser is rested and eager to go.

More from Editorials

Look for that entire line to lead the Canucks charge on the offence as it stars the two most dangerous Canucks scorers if not three.


Chris Tanev: Oh, boy. Has Chris Tanev been good this season and on the offensive side of things! He has had the most and the best scoring chances so far this season out of all Canucks blueliners, including two goals (including preseason) as a result of some nifty Sedin magic.

With Alexander Edler also playing well together, look for that pair to be the best blueline duo in this game with the injuries to the Jets.


Jacob Markstrom: Markstrom projects to be the starter but nothing is official as of the morning. After two strong showings that has him at .948 Sv% and 1.94 GAA, there is no reason to take him out in favour of Anders Nilsson. Personally, I would think Nilsson draws in for either the last game of the four-game homestand or the first road game of the season.

(as of practice yesterday)

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinThomas Vanek
Sven BaertschiBo HorvatBrock Boeser
Sam GagnerBrandon SutterDerek Dorsett
Markus GranlundAlexander BurmistrovLoui Eriksson

Alexander EdlerChris Tanev
Michael Del ZottoErik Gudbranson
Ben HuttonTroy Stecher

Winnipeg Jets

That ain’t no orca boys. It ain’t even a shark.


2017-18 record: 1-2-0
2016-17 Away Record: 18-17-6
Goals For: 249
Goals Against: 256
16-17 Record vs. Canucks: 2-1-0

Injuries: D Dustin Byfuglien (lower body, day-to-day), W Matt Hendricks (undisclosed)

WHO’S ON OFFENCE: Mark Scheifele

Mark Scheifele is off to a great start with three goals and five points in his first three games of the season. Sporting an incredible 37.5 shooting percentage, expect the centre to be dangerous once again tonight.

More from The Canuck Way

WHO’S ON DEFENCE: Jacob Trouba

Jacob Trouba may be a minus-4 already but he will be playing the most minutes against the Canucks. With the injury to Dustin Byfuglien, the burden is on Trouba to get the work done.

WHO’S IN NET: Connor Hellebuyck

The Jets crease was Steve Mason‘s to lose and he lost it early in the season, allowing 11 goals in less than two full games. The ugly 6.56 GAA and .831 Sv% means that young netminder Connor Hellebuyck, who is the future for the Jets in net, will start his second straight game with a respectable .920 Sv%.

Despite being 6-foot-4, Hellebuyck will be the shorter netminder to play regardless of which netminder the Canucks use.

Keys to victory

Vancouver Canucks

  1. Eyes on Brock Boeser: The obvious star of the game is Brock Boeser who plays with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. Let’s see what the sniper can do on a line with a bullish power forward and a crafty playmaker.
    Oh, and please get Boeser to revive this power play.
  2. Time for Derek Dorsett and Brandon Sutter star once again: There are two lines the Canucks will have the shut down, the Scheifele line and the Laine line. It is crucial for the McDavid-stopping Dorsett-Sutter duo to play at the top of its game.
  3. Hitting by committee: The Winnipeg Jets are a big bunch even without the big man Byfuglien on their blueline. More than a third of their roster is over 6-foot-4 tall but if the Canucks up their physicality as well, the Jets won’t be able to dominate.

Winnipeg Jets

  1. Get it done defensively even without Byfuglien: The Jets are currently the league’s worst offence at 5.00 Goals Against per game.
  2. Penalty Kill needs work: If the Jets are going to defend against Horvat and Boeser on the Canucks’ man advantage, it will have to be better than the league-worst 66.7% success rate.
  3. Let Patrik Laine shine: The sophomore star forward has just one goal in ten shots so far, which is nowhere near the shooting percentage he had last year (17.6%).


David Joun

107. 4. 104. Final. 3

In overtime, that is. The team that goes down will rally back to tie it and keep it close because these two teams have offensively similar weapons and without an elite netminder.

Alex Hoegler

Final. 4. 107. 3. 104

Winnipeg is far more skilled, way faster and got the defence to shut down the Canucks. Boeser scores twice, but that’s all there is to celebrate.

Andrew Nazareth

4. 104. Final. 2. 107

If he starts, Steve Mason continues his streak of futility, and Brock Boeser scores a goal in his season debut. The Sedins and Vanek line also chip in for a goal.

Isha Jahromi

104. Final. 4. 107. 2

At 5-on-5, the Canucks will hold their own but Jets’ power play will light them up.

Scott Rosenhek

107. 4. 104. Final. 5

It will not be a fun night to be a goaltender. The Ehlers line will do some damage and Patrik Laine will put on the show. The Canucks will fire back with the Horvat line that will finally feature Brock Boeser (please). Markus Granlund will get his first goal of the season.

Next: Hoegler's Gameday Mailbag - Brock Boeser, Rebuilding & More

Tyler Shipley

2. 107. 4. 104. Final

Two goals for Brock, bold prediction. The Canucks bounce back and win 4-2. I also think that the Jets are a better team but they haven’t solved the goaltending problem and they’ve had a wonky start. Granny scores, Nilsson has a good first game, should he start.