3 reasons the Canucks will maintain their momentum against the Predators

The Vancouver Canucks beat the Predators in Game 1 of their First Round Series, and there are plenty of reasons to believe momentum has shifted early.
0 / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s been just one game, but the Vancouver Canucks could have built some serious momentum following their 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday. For one, you couldn’t have asked for more even numbers, yet the Canucks still managed to win by multiple goals. 

While goaltender Juuse Saros faced just 20 shots on net, Canucks netminder Thatcher Demko saw 22, and the total number of shots on goal was 21 for Vancouver and 22 for the Preds. Both teams were more than physical, and their respective edginess defined playoff hockey, yet this was a game the Canucks wanted just a little more. 

And in the end, they’re the ones who will carry momentum into Game 2. Here are three reasons Canucks fans around the world can be confident their team can keep building that momentum. 

The primary scorers never stole the show

J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, and Quinn Hughes were all shut out on the scoreboard. As for Pettersson, he logged neither a goal nor an assist and finished the game with a minus-1. Miller and Boeser clocked in an assist apiece, while Hughes had two helpers, but few of us would have guessed a pair of depth scorers stole the show in this one. 

Okay, it’s hard to call Dakota Joshua a clear-cut “depth scorer” these days, as he gave the Canucks 17:48 of total ice time. But still, few saw the breakout player scoring twice (one empty-netter) and logging an additional helper for a three-point outing. 

Ditto for Elias Lindholm, whose 18:14 of ice time doesn’t necessarily put him further down the lineup. But thanks to his rather inconsistent play since he arrived in Vancouver, he could be finding his rhythm in the postseason with a goal and a plus-2. 

That said, if Miller, Pettersson, and company don’t find the net, it’s reassuring this high-scoring Canucks team’s skaters playing second-line minutes will.