Justin Dowling, Will Lockwood continue to fight for fourth line spot
Let’s start with Dowling.
The 31-year-old centre was playing in his fourth straight preseason contest, the most amongst any centre on the training camp roster. Like Podkolzin, Dowling was also given an opportunity on the team’s second line for much of the game, and he definitely made most of the opportunity.
Dowling led all Canucks’ forward in TOI with 19:35, registering three shots on goals and a 47% faceoff winning percentage during that span. Dowling was also utilized on the team’s penalty kill throughout the contest, and even landed some playing time on Vancouver’s top powerplay unit during the final frame. In total, Dowling logged just over eight minutes of ice time for Vancouver’s special teams, which could definitely help the former Dallas Star towards earning a roster spot at the end of training camp.
The same could be said for Lockwood.
The 23-year-old right winger found himself on the fourth line with Carson Focht and Sheldon Dries on Tuesday night, but still managed to turn some heads on most shifts. Lockwood logged just under 12 minutes of ice time against Seattle, including 3:15 while shorthanded, while also registering six hits and three SOG.
The former third round selection also impressed in the analytics department, notching a perfect Corsi For (CF) percentage in the first period before finishing the evening at 90%.
As of right now, all three slots on the fourth line are up for grabs, especially with Brandon Sutter and Tyler Motte expected to be sidelined for the start of the regular season. The Canucks’ bottom-six struggled mightily last season, and will definitely be looking to land players that can bring some offence and physicality, while also contributing to the penalty kill.
As of right now, both Dowling and Lockwood check those boxes, and could find themselves on the opening night roster as a result.