We are under a quarter of the way through the 2023/24 NHL season, and many teams are solidifying a great beginning, including the Vancouver Canucks, who have been great to start the season.
They are currently 13-5-1, and have easily been Canada’s best team. We will do a full review on their season so far.
|To win Pacific Division
|To win Western Conference
|To win Stanley Cup
Their 13-5-1 record has gotten them 27 of a possible 38 points, and they are currently third overall in the entire NHL. In the Western Conference and Pacific Division, they are second overall in both, behind a dominant Vegas Golden Knights team. Nobody will hold that against them.
After beginning the season with a 2-2-0 record, the Canucks took off. They banged off three straight wins, outscoring their opponents 13-5, until they met their match against a strong New York Rangers team and lost 4-3 in overtime.
However, they then got right back on track and won their next five games and had an even better goal differential to the tune of 28 goals for and just 7 against. That was their best stretch of the season by far.
They currently lead the NHL in goals per game average, as they score at a 4.11 clip. They are the only team who average over 4 goals a game at this moment. Defensively they have also been great, giving up 2.42 goals against per game, which has them second behind the Boston Bruins.
Vancouver has many great players, and they are all showing their strength at the same time. Leading the way is their captain Quinn Hughes, who is having an unbelievable season.
He has 8 goals and 30 points in only 19 games, and is on pace to finish with the best season from a defenseman in a long time, as he is currently leading the entire NHL in points. He is also playing stellar on the blueline, and leading on and off the ice as the captain.
As for the forwards, they have a scary-good trio that consists of Elias Pettersson, J.T Miller, and Brock Boeser. Combined, they have tallied 33 goals and 46 assists for 79 points just 19 games in, and they are all firing over a point per game. Boeser and Miller are leading the team in goal scoring, with 13 and 12 respectively.
As a group, they are all within the top 8 in NHL point totals. Hughes leads the way with 30, Miller is second with 29, Pettersson is third with 28, and Boeser is eighth with 22. If these guys continue to produce at this level, the Canucks are going to be an absolute force.
Don’t forget about goaltending, as Thatcher Demko has matched his skaters’ success. In 13 games played, Demko has 9 wins with a goals against average of 2.12 and a .929 save percentage. This type of play will win him a Vezina Trophy if he can continue.
The whole team is buying in so far this season. At forward, they’ve got great depth in guys like Andrei Kuzmenko (14 points), Ilya Mikheyev (10 points) and Nils Hoglander (5 goals). They show they are solid options for a good chunk of each game.
On defense, Filip Hronek is averaging almost a point per game, and is second on the team in +/- and time on ice. Tyler Myers has also been solid, bringing a much-needed physical presence each game.
Then there is new backup goaltender Casey DeSmith who has found his groove again. In 6 starts, he has 4 wins, and is posting a goals against average of 2.89 and save percentage of .917. That is very good play from a backup.
After accumulating a 12-3-1 record, the Canucks have dropped 2 of the last 3 games. However, there is no reason to expect an incoming slump, as they have just been too good, and their players are capable of performing at the level they have been.
This has been one of the most interesting teams to watch early on. Their expectations were not sky-high, but we knew they were capable of success. Watch out if they can keep up the great play.