Canucks: 3 takeaways from the 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers

VANCOUVER, BC - MAY 03: Kole Lind #78 of the Vancouver Canucks and Dominik Kahun #21 of the Edmonton Oilers battle for the puck during the first period at Rogers Arena on May 3, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - MAY 03: Kole Lind #78 of the Vancouver Canucks and Dominik Kahun #21 of the Edmonton Oilers battle for the puck during the first period at Rogers Arena on May 3, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 4: Jack Rathbone #3 of the Vancouver Canucks shoots the puck on the first day of the Vancouver Canucks NHL Training Camp on January, 4, 2021 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 4: Jack Rathbone #3 of the Vancouver Canucks shoots the puck on the first day of the Vancouver Canucks NHL Training Camp on January, 4, 2021 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Rathbone’s solid debut

Another day, another rookie solo lap for the Canucks.

This time, it was defenceman Jack Rathbone, who suited up for his first-ever NHL game on Tuesday night. The former 2017 fourth-round pick slotted in on the third pairing, replacing fellow rookie blueliner Olli Juolevi while donning Kevin Bieksa’s old number on the back of his jersey.

As expected, Rathbone had a quiet night on the scoresheet, but that didn’t mean he had a poor outing. He logged just over 12 minutes of ice time, to go along with one shot on goal, and his 53.57 CF% ranked sixth amongst Canucks players, according to Natural Stat Trick.

He sat for most of the third period as his team tried to claw back into the game, but was able to make the most of his ice time in the final frame once Edmonton potted the fourth goal, including this impressive rush up the ice:

Like the rest of the team’s blueliners, Rathbone was also thrown right into the fire, being asked to defend multiple odd-man rushes throughout the night. One of those chances, a 2-on-1 break against the league’s top-two scorers.

Rathbone didn’t appear to panic as the two superstars raced into the offensive zone, and, fortunately for him, the scoring chance was negated when McDavid’s pass hopped over Draisaitl’s stick.

All in all, a good first outing for the Harvard University alum.

With only nine games left in the year, fans are hoping that head coach Travis Green opts to keep Rathbone in the line-up moving forward. The 21-year-old blueliner can shoot well, skate hard and move the puck up the ice efficiently, and this would be the perfect opportunity for him to develop and adapt those skills for the NHL.

Not to mention, the kid can score.

He recorded nine points in eight games with the Utica Comets earlier this year, and, while he won’t replicate those numbers to wrap up the 2020-21 campaign in Vancouver, many are hoping that this is just the beginning of a long and successful Canuck career for Rathbone.

Other notes:

  • Kole Lind played in his fourth straight game, skating alongside Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson. Although he’s still looking for his first NHL point, he continues to put up solid outings on a nightly basis, logging just over 12 minutes of ice time on Tuesday. He also led the team with a 61.9 CF%, according to Natural Stat Trick.
  • With his secondary assist on Boeser’s goal, defencemen Alex Edler moved into the tenth spot for franchise scoring, passing forward Don Lever with 408 points. Boeser also recorded his 200th career point on the play, good for 40th all time.
  • The Canucks’ allowed two powerplay goals on Tuesday, snapping their perfect penalty kill streak after five games. One of them was caused by yet another too many men on the ice penalty.  The team also couldn’t capitalize on their own chances, going 0-for-4 on the man advantage and dropping their powerplay efficiency to 9.1% during their current six-game losing streak.
  • A few hours before puck-drop, the Canucks announced that they intend to move their club’s AHL affiliate back to Abbotsford, B.C. for the 2021-22 season. The organization plans to unveil a new name and logo for the AHL team in the coming weeks, with the official stamp of approval set to come after the AHL Board of Governors meeting on May 6th, 2021.

The Canucks will hit the road to face off against the Oilers on Thursday night. The puck drop is at 5:00 pm PST.

Next. The Canuck Way Mailbag pt 2: Podkolzin, DiPietro, more. dark

What were your thoughts on the team’s 4-1 loss? Make sure to drop a comment below!