Vancouver Canucks: 3 takeaways from 5-3 win over the Predators

VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 6: Elias Pettersson scores on a penalty shot against Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators during their NHL game at Rogers Arena December 6, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 5-3. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 6: Elias Pettersson scores on a penalty shot against Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators during their NHL game at Rogers Arena December 6, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 5-3. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Predators came into the home of the Vancouver Canucks to set a franchise record. Little did they know that a charge led by the future would stop them in their tracks.

I do have to say, wins like that are fun. You may think I want the Vancouver Canucks to lose every game, but you are wrong. They are going to win around 30 times this season, so I hope that all of them are as fun as last night’s game.

From the schoolyard bully that was November to a similar start in December, the Vancouver Canucks and their fans needed this. We were going through Shotgun Jake withdrawal and he certainly delivered.

Travis Green finally had the sense to scratch Michael Del Zotto again and good on him for not letting that assist prevent him from removing Tim Schaller from the lineup. Jacob Markstrom was solid, but his shortcomings are glossed over when the team scores five goals.

You know the Canucks had this wrapped up when Loui Eriksson scored that fifth goal, denying us the dream of seeing JPat drinking tomato Juice. Jason Botchford looked like a prophet and the fans probably get the most memorable game of the season. A bad video review from Toronto could not stop this team. Here are your three takeaways from last night’s game.

The shotgun is back, baby!

We wanted it and Jake Virtanen gave us what we needed. The goals don’t look prettier than that off the rush, sniping it past Pekka Rinne to put the Canucks up 3-1. It only took the Rush Line 2.0 86 seconds to respond after Nashville broke the goose egg.

Virtanen and Antoine Roussel were channeling the magic they had at SuperSkills, but actually applied it in a full speed NHL game. Rush hockey is a treat to watch and Canucks Nation brought their A-game for #ShotgunJake. We have some creative members of the fanbase and finding ways to troll Francesco Aquilini by doing a shotgun to the tune of Thunderstruck is something else.

But the best thing I’ve seen from the movement is right here:

Antoine Roussel looks good with Bo Horvat

Roussel had a great night, picking up three assists, two of them on the Bo Horvat line. I was skeptical when Boy Genius himself suggested top six minutes for Roussel, but I have learned to never doubt him again. He is a genius, after all.

That’s 12 points for Roussel, already surpassing my expectations for him on the season. Sure, this pace won’t last, but he’s been nothing short of entertaining and i did not expect him to gel with Horvat this well. Good on him.

I can’t talk about this game without the workhorse himself. Just give Horvat the “C” already. He has more than earned it after putting the team on his back and having to cover the roles of three different players. Throw in the revolving door of wingers and I still can’t believe he has the team lead in points. He looks great out there with Roussel and Virtanen, so we’ll see how long Travis Green sticks with that line.

Pettersson doing Pettersson things

I couldn’t believe it when I heard it on the last PatCast. No, not that there are psychopaths out there drinking tomato juice on airplanes. That in the stretch of these ugly 13 games, Tyler Motte had the same number of points as Elias Pettersson. Well, that changed last night, with Pettersson doing what he does best.

We had dekes, we had precision passes and best of all, we got to see a penalty shot that should erase any comparison to Henrik Sedin ever again. They are not the same player and that’s awesome. It gives Pettersson a path to carve for his own and the fact that his penalty shot is just a “regular” move, I can’t wait to see what he does when he’s feeling creative.

With that beautiful goal, Pettersson is the third Canucks rookie in franchise history to score on a penalty shot, joining Ivan Hlinka and Pavel Bure. Just like last year, we may be mentioning Bure a lot as Pettersson continues to put the NHL on notice.

Pettersson kicked things off right. With his best winger Nikolay Goldobin on the power play, the two moved the puck precisely to Alex Edler to open the scoring. From that point on, Botch was right. The air was different and you just knew something special would happen.

Next. Canucks and the first NHL power rankings of December. dark

That’s the legend of Dekey Pete and don’t ever forget that. Don’t worry, the Church of Pettersson is always there to offer guidance to those who have lost their way. All kidding aside, it was a fantastic game. It had a bit of shaky finish. but the kids got the job done. That’s what we want to see, but it can’t just be flashes. To quote a wise man, the Canucks need an army. And we’re just scratching the surface.