The Vancouver Canucks won their first of two preseason games against the Calgary Flames Thursday night.
Rookie forward Hunter Shinkaruk put on a show for his friends and family, scoring his second goal of the preseason to lift the Canucks to a 3-1 road win Forwards Chris Higgins and Nicklas Jensen scored the other goals for the Canucks.
The hero of the game was goalie Eddie Lack in my opinion. He covered his angles really well, didn’t let out many rebounds and even stopped a penalty shot. He stopped 20 shots on the night and still maintains a perfect preseason record.
Nick Bonino also really impressed me. He tallied two assists and used his speed and size to create a few really good scoring chances. Even though the Canucks won the game, I found this game very frustrating to watch.
Too many penalties
Both teams were quite undisciplined and took way too many penalties. I know it’s a preseason game, but 18 minutes in penalties is far too many for an exhibition game. And several of the Canuck’s penalties were lazy, hooking ones in the offensive zone, which even a rookie knows is unacceptable.
Plus, both teams were unable to make good use of their powerplay opportunities. The Canucks went 0-4 on the night and the Flames only got one.
I hope both coaches gave their players some grief after this game for taking too many stupid penalties. The Vancouver Canucks organization has been adamant that one of their main goals for the season was to find a way to score more powerplay goals. Well, based on last night’s performance, head Coach Willie Desjardins has a long way to go before that goal is met.
The Vancouver Canucks need to get back to basics and just shoot the puck more on the powerplay. They did way too many passing, rather than shooting in my opinion. Regardless, a wins a win and the Canucks now have a record of 2-1 in preseason play.
One for the future
Flames fans won’t be too saddened by this loss, because everyone will be too busy talking about rookie Sam Bennet. Bennet had a very impressive game. He tallied one assist, had seven shots on goal and received first star honors after the game. This kid was unbelievable.
He used his speed effectively to create chances and frustrate the Canucks defense. He showcased his puck handling ability by deking out a Canucks defenseman and wasn’t afraid to crash the net to try and get a goal.
Bennet will be a wonderful injury reserve player for the Flames to call up if injuries occur. This kid has loads of potential and will be a star forward for the Flames in the future. I really hope he gets a few opportunities to play as the season progresses. He and Sean Monohan seemed to link up really well. I can’t wait to see how this preseason series will conclude on Friday in Vancouver.