In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, the team is off to a 0-3-1 start to the 2022-23 season. The club made history throughout its four-game losing streak, which may mean head coach Bruce Boudreau is on the hot seat. Addtionally, Ilya Mikheyev, Tyler Myers, and Tucker Poolman returned to the lineup on Tuesday. Lastly, Elias Pettersson reached the 100-goal mark.
Canucks Make History
The Canucks made history on Tuesday after becoming the first team in NHL history to lose four straight games after holding a multi-goal lead in each contest. The Canucks have now blown leads against the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, and Columbus Blue Jackets. The club held a players-only meeting after their loss in Washington, and captain Bo Horvat commented on the losing streak.
“That’s three games in a row now that we’ve had leads and outplayed teams and it’s just unacceptable by us, it’s unacceptable by myself and my leadership,” Horvat said. “I hold myself accountable, I’ve got to be better.”
Horvat did play better on Tuesday in Columbus, but his two-goal effort was not enough, as the club lost in overtime. Boudreau believes the Canucks have a weak mindset to start the season.
“I think right now mentally weak would be a good assessment,” Boudreau added. “When you’re on a roll, you’re waiting for good things to happen. When you’re in something like this, you’re waiting for something bad to happen.”
Boudreau on the Hot Seat
Elliott Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed Boudreau as a coach on the hot seat in a recent episode of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast. The two discussed the Canucks head coach on the hot seat when the club’s losing streak was at two games. Now with four losses in a row, the seat is even hotter for Boudreau. After the 2021-22 season, his future with the club was up in the air. The Canucks decided not to extend the head coach’s contract and instead allowed him to pick up his option for the 2022-23 season.
However, it is unlikely the Canucks fire Boudreau this season as the organization is still paying former head coach Travis Green. If Boudreau is fired, the Canucks will be paying three coaches this season, including his replacement. Therefore, Boudreau will likely finish the season before a decision on his future is made.
Mikheyev, Myers, and Poolman Return, Garland a Healthy Scratch
Mikheyev and Myers made their season debut for the Canucks on Tuesday in their loss to the Blue Jackets. Additionally, Poolman returned to the lineup after missing a game, and Conor Garland was a healthy scratch.
For Mikheyev, it was his first regular season game with the club after signing a four-year, $19 million deal with the team in the offseason. The forward was injured in the Canucks’ first pre-season game. As for Myers, he was slated to miss two to four weeks. He is in the fourth season of his five-year contract with the Canucks.
Meanwhile, Garland was a healthy scratch, which was a coach’s decision. Boudreau noted the team has to be held accountable for the way they play. He added he could have chosen a lot of players, and he chose Garland. The forward has one goal through three games in his second season with the Canucks.
Pettersson Scores 100th Goal
In some positive news, Pettersson scored his 100th career goal in Tuesday’s loss. It took the Swedish forward 249 games to reach the mark. He is the second fastest player in Canucks history to reach the mark behind Pavel Bure, who scored 100 goals in 154 games.
Although the Canucks are off to a bad start as a team, Pettersson is playing great. He has three goals and six points in four games. The forward struggled to get going early last season but finished strong with a career-high 32 goals. The Swede is looking to build off that success and become a point-per-game player this season.
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