Canucks monthly December edition: Burrows night, win streak, more

Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammates after their win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Arena December 21, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 4-1. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammates after their win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Arena December 21, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 4-1. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Jake Virtanen has arrived

Finally, Jake Virtanen has become the top-six forward Canucks fans have been waiting for. 2019 is over, half a season has been played and Virtanen is on pace for over 40 points. He might even hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career, a feat that would go a long way for the team.

As it stands now, in 40 games played, the local fan favourite has put together a total of 23 points. For those beer lovers counting at home, that’s 12 goals. 12 #ShotGunJake moments.

December was a month of consistency for Virtanen, something he has struggled with his entire NHL career. The consistent production of points has been a nice change, to say the least. A great bounce-back that has seen Virtanen go from group C in training camp all the way to second unit power play time. He has been able to reignite the second unit, setting up one-timers and scoring Brock Boeser-like goals.

Big Tuna, as many call him, had a terrific holiday month. Virtanen played 13 games and netted 11 points. Tremendous production for a third-line winger.

It gets better, too. The 23-year-old has six points in his last five games, including three goals. We saw similar numbers from Virtanen this time last year, but something tells me this year is different. JV18 looks determined to earn his first big contract.

The power forward is shaping his game and thriving on the third line to the right of Adam Gaudette and Roussel. That scoring line brings the fire with fast rushing speed, heavy bodies that crash the net and are also skilled enough to score.

This is the energy the team needs. The same energy this line brought on Burrows night is going to be the energy required to help this team make the postseason.