Well, that wasn’t the best start for the Vancouver Canucks.
The team hit the road on Tuesday afternoon, kicking off their 2022-23 season with a tilt against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Wednesday night.
It should come as no surprise that the Canucks entered the game with an immense amount of pressure on their shoulders, with both the coaches and players looking to bounce back from last year’s disappointing results.
The team finished five points back of the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference, marking the sixth time in seven years that they missed the playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Canucks, their losing ways continued on Wednesday night, with the team falling to Connor McDavid and co. by a score of 5-3.
Here are three takeaways from last night’s disappointing loss in Edmonton:
Firing on all cylinders in the first period
We didn’t say it often last year, but the Canucks put up a fantastic first period performance last night.
Vancouver looked much more focused and competitive than their opponents, driving the play from the opening puck-drop.
The team was rewarded right away for their efforts, with Elias Pettersson notching the first goal of the season for the Canucks.
The young Swede was in the right place at the right time, picking off a misguided pass from rookie Dylan Holloway near the blueline before undressing Jack Campbell to open the scoring.
The Canucks made sure to keep their foot on the pedal afterwards, thanks to J.T. Miller.
The 29-year-old forward, who inked a seven-year extension in the offseason, picked up from where he left off last season, roofing the puck past Campbell less than a minute after the Pettersson tally.
The Canucks were kept off the scoresheet for the rest of the period, but they were easily still the more dominant team, outshooting the Oilers by a wide margin, while also getting vintage key saves from netminder Thatcher Demko.
They even managed to frustrate the Oilers enough to draw an undisciplined penalty from blueliner Darnell Nurse, who was later fined the league maximum of $5,000 for his late antics against Kyle Burroughs.