The Vancouver Canucks got themselves a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators to end their five-game road trip with a 2-3 record.
The three of them led the Canucks in Corsi For for that game and the line together had a 75% CF according to NaturalStatTrick.
Podkolzin and Höglander assisted on Pettersson’s third goal in two games. Pettersson looked like he was playing with more confidence as he was making great passes and wasn’t bobbling the puck as much. Putting him with Höglander and Podkolzin might be the thing that gets him back to his usual self. Pettersson has been tried with many different linemates to get his game back and they might have found the right ones.
With his new linemates, we saw a Pettersson with more swagger and it better continue.
For Höglander, putting him with Pettersson and Podkolzin gives him the chance to get back into the offensive grind and work on his defensive game. That is something Bruce Boudreau wants him to improve on.
“He needs to learn how to play the game,” said Boudreau per Jeff Paterson of the Rink Wide Podcast. “He has skill and he might score 40 someday, but if you’re going to hover around the 20-goal mark you better learn to play at both ends of the ice.”
Höglander spent a majority of the game in Nashville in the offensive zone, so he didn’t have to worry about defending. However, defending is still something Höglander needs to work on. He is in the top five among Canucks forwards in expected goals, scoring chances and high danger chances against. Maybe a new pair of linemates can help be more responsible in the defensive end especially with the improvement of Podkolzin’s defensive game.
He had only two points in his last ten games before the Predators game. Putting him with Pettersson and Podkolzin could get him back on the scoresheet more often than not.
For Podkolzin, he has looked more dangerous offensively with the two Swedish forwards. This allows him to provide more on the scoresheet.
The line of Pettersson, Podkolzin and Hoglander looked dangerous in Nashville. There was one shift where they spent a lot of time in the offensive zone after Pettersson’s goal. The trio was buzzing as they were winning battles and moving the puck well.
This is a line that could potentially provide a ton of offence from the Canucks. It was only their first game together but they looked exciting. They need to stay together for now.