After beating the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 on Tuesday night, the Vancouver Canucks get right back at it as they welcome the New York Islanders to town.
These two teams last met on March 10, 2020 and the Canucks beat the Islanders 5-4 via the shootout. The significance of that meeting is because that was the night before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and the last game the Canucks played before the NHL and other sports leagues paused their seasons due to the virus. That game felt like a lifetime ago.
Back to the present, the Canucks have a 21-20-6 and sit seventh in the Pacific Division. With 48 points, they are four points behind the Calgary Flames for the final wildcard spot.
The Islanders have been a disappointment this year. They sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 16-17-6 record. New York’s last game was a 3-0 loss at home to the Seattle Kraken on February 2.
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed that Jaroslav Halak will get the start against the New York Islanders. That will be Halak’s tenth appearance of the season and that triggers a 1.25 million performance bonus which will count against the cap next season.
Elias Pettersson has eight points (which includes six goals) in his last ten games. It looks like he is returning to form.
“I feel like me again,” said Pettersson per Thomas Drance of The Athletic.
Boudreau also had some praise for Kyle Burroughs who had a good game against the Coyotes which included a fight against Lawson Crouse.
“He competes his rear end off and he’s the type of guy you can win with,” said Boudreau per Drance.
The Canucks top-six players did the scoring against the Coyotes on Tuesday night and Boudreau wants that to continue against the Islanders.
“Your best players got to be your best players,” said Boudreau. “They’re the guys who put the puck in the net. When you have your best players doing that, then you’re usually having success.”
Players to watch
Vancouver Canucks- J.T. Miller: The Canucks points leader had two points against the Coyotes which included a highlight reel end-to-end goal. Miller surpassed the 400 point mark against Arizona.
New York Islanders- Mathew Barzal: The Coquitlam native leads the Islanders in points with 28 in 36 games. Barzal’s 10 goals is also tied with Oliver Wahlstrom for second on the Islanders.
Puck drop is at 7:30 PM. You can watch the game on Sportsnet Pacific or listen to it on Sportsnet 650.