One player that has flourished under Bruce Boudreau has been Tanner Pearson. The former Stanley Cup winner is starting to regain his confidence after a dreadful start and seems to be energized by the new coach. Let’s break down his last eight games to see how he’s been successful.
Pearson Shooting the Puck More
One of the main reasons Pearson has found success lately is he is shooting the puck more. During his first 25 games, he had 58 shots, which averaged 2.32 per game. He has 26 shots on the net in his last eight games, which averages 3.25 shots per game. The increase in shots has led to increases in high danger scoring chances which has translated to five points in eight games compared to just eight in his first 25 games.
Over the last eight games, Pearson has had his top two shooting performances this season. He had seven shots against the Ducks on Dec. 29, with one being a goal and six against the Kings on Dec. 6. In only one of the eight games, he has failed to have a shot on goal. Overall, his statistics are trending upwards, and he is generating more chances on a game-by-game basis. His confidence is definitely back, and the Canucks are reaping the rewards currently.
Building Chemistry with Other Players
During the Travis Green era, every time Bo Horvat was on the ice, it seemed that Pearson was with him. The lines right-winger would rotate, but the former coach was adamant that these two were a duo that could not be split up. Fast forward to the last eight games, and Pearson has shown he has chemistry with other players other than the Canucks captain.
Under Boudreau, Pearson has had an opportunity to play with new linemates, with most of his minutes coming with J.T. Miller. The two have found some chemistry putting up a 54.10% Corsi rating while on the ice together five on five. They have also outscored opponents 14 to four in 150 minutes of five on five ice time together.
Having the ability to build chemistry is important if there are injuries or trades throughout the season. Now the Canucks know he can produce playing with other players, which gives Vancouver more successful line combinations as the season progresses.
Pearson Looks More Engaged in Games
Based on the eye test, it looks as though Pearson is more engaged in the games. He is getting in on the forecheck more and is putting his body on the line in the defensive zone. The analytics back this up as it looks like he has become the player the Canucks hoped he would be when they acquired him from the Penguins.
|Under Green||Under Boudreau|
Pearson has shown improvements under Boudreau in all three categories (Shots Blocked/60, Hits/60and Takeaways/60). He is getting in the passing lanes, playing more aggressive blocking shots at a far greater percentage. Lastly, this improved play has also led to being scored on less. Through the first 25 games, he was on the ice for 17 total goals for and 19 against. Since the coaching change, he has been on the ice for 11 goals for and only three against. Overall, the improvement in the last eight games is a big reason the Canucks are 7-0-1 in their previous eight.
Pearson Looks Like a Brand New Player
Coming into this season, there was a lot of pressure put on Pearson. He signed a long-term deal with the club with an average annual salary of $3.25 million, which comes with some big expectations. He underperformed early, but his recent play has led to optimism amongst the fan base. The hope now is he can keep up this play for the rest of the season.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.