Höglander, Demko pick up right where they left off
Let’s start with Höglander.
The 20-year-old winger started the contest on the team’s third line alongside Matthew Highmore and Jason Dickinson, but was easily Vancouver’s most energetic player throughout the night. Like last year, Höglander made sure to put his speed, physicality and tenacity to win the puck on full display, and was also able to create offence and provide an energetic spark every time he hit the ice.
The former 2019 second round selection was eventually promoted to the top-six forward group in the final frame, and was even rewarded with some time on the second powerplay unit.
Höglander finished the night with two assists and four shots on goal in just under 16 minutes of ice time, and could very well continue to be an important X-factor for the Canucks for the remainder of the year if he maintains this style of play.
Same could definitely be said for Demko.
The 25-year-old netminder was busy right from the get-go, stopping 13 of 14 shots in the opening frame, including this nifty stick save against Hyman.
Demko continued to be peppered with scoring chances during the middle frame, and was once again forced to keep his team in the battle when they were unable to create chances of their own. Fortunately, his teammates were able to bounce back and give him a bit of a rest in the final frame but, if last night’s contest was any indication, it appears that Demko will need to continue to put up these strong performances on a nightly basis to give his team the best chance of winning.