Podkolzin continues to impress
There may have been some hesitation at the beginning of the season, but there’s officially no doubt that Vasily Podkolzin belongs in the NHL.
The former 2019 first round selection suited up for his sixth consecutive game on Sunday night, resuming his usual position as a third-line winger alongside Jason Dickinson and Conor Garland. Like many of his teammates, Podkolzin hasn’t had too much consistency when it comes to linemates, but that hasn’t seemed to phase the kid.
Podkolzin once again showcased his impressive size and speed, looking to make an impact every time he hit the ice. There was a small moment of panic from the fanbase in the second period, as the Podkolzin was on the wrong end of a knee-on-knee from Radek Faksa, but fortunately he remained on the bench. Podkolzin was able to draw a penalty on the sequence, which eventually led to Pettersson’s powerplay tally.
Podkolzin also made sure to exact his own revenge shortly after.
After Dallas fumbled the puck near Vancouver’s blueline, Horvat was able to spring Garland and Podkolzin on a 2-on-1 the other way. The two forwards charged towards Khudobin, with Garland eventually feeding Podkolzin with a tasty no-look dish before the Russian rookie absolutely rocketed the puck top-shelf.
Podkolzin finished the contest with one goal, one hit and three SOG. He also recorded a career-high ice time of 14:29, including just over 30 seconds on the man advantage.
Podkolzin still has a long ways to go if he wants to enter the Calder conversation but, at this point, the team is more than happy to see him succeed and develop at this current pace.
- Thatcher Demko continues to be Vancouver’s best player, night in and night out. The team was finally able to provide some offensive support for Demko, but they still kept their netminder on his toes throughout the contest. Despite holding the lead, Demko still had to be sharp on multiple occasions in the latter half of the game, once again keeping his team in the battle. Demko stopped 25 of 28 shots faced on Sunday night, including yet another highlight-reel, save-of-the-year candidate on Jamie Benn, bringing his overall record to 5-4-1 with a .918 SV% and 2.59 GAA.
- Despite their strong powerplay performances, Vancouver’s other end of the special teams department still wasn’t able to hold up their end of the bargain on Sunday night. The penalty kill continued to struggle, once again surrendering two goals for the fourth straight contest. Yes, it didn’t sting as much this time, given that the powerplay is slowly starting to click, but it should still be an area of concern for the team moving forward, especially with Tyler Motte, Brandon Sutter and Matthew Highmore still sidelined. At the end of the day, the Canucks won’t be able to outrun their penalty kill woes, especially if their man advantage dries up again, so Green and his coaching staff will need to figure out what exactly is going on with his shorthanded squads.
The Canucks will round out their homestand on Tuesday night, taking on Ryan Getzlaf and the Anaheim Ducks. Puck drop is set for 7pm PST.
What were your thoughts from Sunday night’s victory against Dallas? Make sure to drop a comment below!