After a deflating six-game losing streak, the Vancouver Canucks finally broke through last night with a 3-1 win against the Flames.
The team was due for a victory after performing well in their last two contests, so let’s hope that they can carry over their momentum into future games.
Here are three takeaways from last night’s victory against Calgary.
Struggling second power play unit
I apologize for beginning on a down note, but this is one part of the team that needs addressing. Vancouver’s second power play unit has yet to score on the man advantage this year, which has amplified the team’s overall special teams struggles.
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Last season, the second unit’s production was unsustainable, as Adam Gaudette and Jake Virtanen both had inflated shooting percentages on the power play. Many fans anticipated a regress in that regard, but so far, it feels like that change has been over-indexed.
As I have mentioned many times, the most important part of a power play is sustaining offensive zone time, which is something that the second unit has struggled with. They were thwarted on multiple occasions last night on the blue line when attempting to enter Calgary’s zone, so some change might need to be made in that regard.
The good news is that the second unit will inevitably experience some positive regression, especially with the addition of Nate Schmidt, who’s a superior quarterback when compared to both Tyler Myers and Alex Edler.
Myers’ big night
Last night’s game was arguably one of Myers’ best performances in a Vancouver uniform. The behemoth blueliner was stifling on defence and also scored the game-winning goal late in the third.
Myers first prevented a potential scoring chance for Calgary by breaking up a play at centre ice before carrying the puck in himself and beating Jacob Markstrom with a deceptive shot.
Moreover, he controlled play at an elite rate, ending the game with a 78% corsi and 59% expected goals percentage at five on five according to Natural Stat Trick.
Let’s hope the big man can keep up this level of play for the next while.