It was an eventful six-game road trip for the Vancouver Canucks.
They are 3-2-1 on the road trip and to start the season. They have returned home and will play in front of fans at Rogers Arena on Tuesday when Kirill Kaprizov and the Minnesota Wild come to town.
During the first six games of the season, there have been good things such as the play of Thatcher Demko, Nils Höglander, and Conor Garland. There were some bad things like the penalty kill, the ugly loss in Buffalo, and the play of the Lotto Line.
However, it is fair to say that the Lotto Line has not hit the jackpot so far this season.
Per NaturalStatTrick, the line has a 44% Corsi For and a poor 8.33% high danger Corsi for at five on five. They have only managed one high danger chance for and 11 high danger chances against at five on five. The Lotto Line has not been involved in a goal at five on five for the Canucks so far this season.
Pettersson, Boeser, and Miller were skating together at Monday’s practice according to Jeff Paterson of Rink Wide and Sekeres and Price.
One of the reasons the line has been struggling is the play of Elias Pettersson.
It has been a slow start for the 22-year-old centre and he has only managed one goal and two assists in six games.
Pettersson was asked if he was worried about his slow start after Monday’s practice.
“No, it gives you guys something to talk about,” said Pettersson to reporters per Thomas Drance of The Athletic.
“I feel like when things aren’t going the way I want to, the worst thing I’ve learned is to try to do it yourself,” said Pettersson per Daniel Wagner of Vancouver is Awesome. “It’s a team game and your teammates are helping you out there. I feel like I’ve kinda been doing that a little bit, trying to deke my guy instead of making the easy play. The game is so fast out there, you’ve just gotta react quick and play with your instincts, and I feel like I’ve been thinking maybe a little bit too much.”
Pettersson also had a slow start to last season. He eventually picked it up before a wrist injury in March ended his season.
Keep in mind, Pettersson hasn’t played since March and missed training camp so he could be still getting settled in.
Miller has a goal and seven assists so far this season and after missing the first three games of the season due to injury, Boeser has a goal and an assist in three games. Both Miller and Boeser’s points have mostly come on the power play.
Miller is tied with Garland for the Canucks lead in points with eight.
The line hasn’t shown chemistry at all. They haven’t had much offensive zone time and they aren’t connecting their passes or getting good scoring chances. The game in Seattle was evident of that and Canucks head coach Travis Green wasted no time splitting them up. Justin Dowling even got some time with Pettersson and Miller.
Last season, it took some time for the Lotto Line to get going and they did show glimpses of how good they can be before Pettersson got injured.
The Canucks need the Lotto Line to bring its 2019-20 form back. That season, they were one of the top forward lines in the NHL.
Splitting the Lotto Line is an option by putting someone like Garland and Höglander on one of the wing spots.
However, it would be best for Green to continue to keep the line together for the time being.
Boeser is starting to get settled in and yes, it has been a slow start for Pettersson but he has the track record to get going at any time. Despite some of his poor passes, Miller is putting the points and they could be used to get Pettersson and Boeser on track.
The Lotto Line has the abilities but they need to put them together and get in sync. They need to start hitting the jackpot sooner rather than later.