The Vancouver Canucks are enduring a much needed resurgence under new head coach Bruce Boudreau. Despite a COVID-19 related stoppage across the entire NHL which has halted all games until December 27th, the Canucks are a wagon right now, picking up six wins from the six games they’ve played under the new regime. This streak is tied for second in NHL history in terms of the longest winning streak from a head coach starting his tenure with a new team.
Through the first 25 games of the regular season under previous coach Travis Green, Vancouver looked lifeless, and as a result stumbled to a 8-15-2 record. The team looked destined for a top lottery pick, and a potential fire sale of players at the trade deadline.
In the small sample size of games with Boudreau at the helm, the Canucks have been the hottest team in the league, scoring 21 goals and only conceding 10. With the showings in these games, the Canucks have taken their record to 14-15-2, and look more like a team capable of making the postseason.
As seen in previous examples of teams having success immediately after a coaching change, certain players up their level of play in fear of the consequences which may result from poor play under new leadership. Lots of players become tired of the old methods and strategies implemented by previous coaches, and feel re-energized through the ideas of incoming staff.
In this article we’ll take a look at three players who have benefitted, and subsequently improved their game thus far under Bruce Boudreau’s watch.
1. Brock Boeser
Through the early days of Bruce Boudreau’s tenure, Brock Boeser has been the most improved Canucks player.
Boeser has embraced his role on the Canucks 2nd line with J.T. Miller centring him, whilst also occupying the net front role on the first power play unit.
The results of six games show that he has incurred over 90 seconds of extra ice time each night compared to his time under Travis Green, and his offensive statistics reflect the boost in playing time. Boeser has registered 20 shots on net during his hot play, tallying seven points in six games, which includes five goals.
Prior to Boudreau taking over at the helm, the 24 year old American had only managed ten points through the season’s first 21 games.
Being in a contract year, Boeser’s play has come at a much needed time for himself as he looks to play himself into a long-term big money deal in the offseason.