Believe it or not, the Vancouver Canucks have won five games in a row. The streak started when Bruce Boudreau took over for Travis Green behind the bench.
The Canucks ended up beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in regulation on Tuesday night despite having four players testing positive for COVID-19. Vancouver did not have a good first period and they looked slow and lifeless as Columbus managed three goals past Jaroslav Halak.
The Canucks looked like a different team in the second and third periods as they managed to get more shots and high danger chances than the Blue Jackets. There was energy and they played like they wanted the win more than their opponent. One goal in the second and three in the third completed the Canucks comeback win.
Yes, the Canucks are currently undefeated under their new coach but aside from the 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings, they have been close wins. That is not a bad thing at all because it shows the Canucks have resiliency in their game.
The win over the Blue Jackets was a perfect example. They did not their poor first period faze them, put it behind them, and played better hockey. Under Green, the Canucks would have just deflated after giving up one or two goals and would have made that comeback. They would have scored a goal late but would have lost by a larger margin.
“All the guys are buying in and doing the little things to help us win, and I just find that this team right now has no quit,” said Vancouver captain Bo Horvat after he scored two goals (including the game-winner.) in the win over Columbus.
One thing the Canucks have done under Green is sitting back on leads. Once they had a lead, it looked like they were playing on autopilot and one thing could swing the momentum in favour of the opponent. Under Boudreau, when the Canucks lose a lead, (like against the Boston Bruins or Winnipeg Jets.) the gear would still be in drive. They play with hunger when they have a lead and when it’s gone, the hunger to get it back is bigger.
The Canucks also have been spending more time in the offensive zone than in the defensive zone. They aren’t trapped in their own zone as much and they are faster on the breakouts and counter-attacks. Again, another example of the team showing resiliency. They can overcome being buried in their own zone with the breakouts and counterattacks.
“My philosophy, in a nutshell, is why do we let teams in our zone, ever?” said Boudreau on December 7th.
Elias Pettersson has scored in back-to-back games and he is slowly starting to get his form back and Brock Boeser has scored three goals in five games after going 13 games without finding the back of the net.
Boudreau has had one-on-one chats with both players when he arrived in Vancouver and he probably have talked to them about overcoming their offensive struggles. Again, resiliency.
At the time of this writing, the Canucks are four points behind the final wildcard spot held by the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have lost six straight by the way.
If the Canucks want to get back into the playoff picture, their resiliency needs to continue to show.