NHL Preview 10-17-19: Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues

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49  Vancouver Canucks  5.5  +1.5 (- 165)

50  St. Louis Blues  – 190  – 1.5 (+ 144)

The upstart Vancouver Canucks will road test their revamped lineup against the St. Louis Blues Thursday night.

Winners of three straight, the Canucks kick off a four-game trip that continues on to metropolitan New York (to face the Devils and Rangers) and Detroit.

The Blues should provide a stern test at Enterprise Center. They returned home after a 2-1-1 road trip to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Long Island.

They also squeezed in a White House visit to celebrate their Stanley Cup triumph before getting back to work. Blues coach Craig Berube saw some signs of progress during his team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders on Monday afternoon.

“I thought that we did a real good job managing the puck, controlling the play in the offensive zone for most of the game,” Berube told reporters afterward. “Doing all the right things. Just a couple bad breaks and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Brayden Schenn has scored goals in five consecutive games for the Blues. Linemate Vladimir Tarasenko failed to score a goal in his first five games before finally breaking through against the Islanders.

“He got a nice (power-play) goal, but he’s inside the dot shooting that puck,” Berube said. “He got five shots on net. He played a lot better. It was good to see.”

The Canucks beat the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings by the combined score of 16-5 after opening the season with losses at Edmonton and Calgary.

“We’ve talked about being a 60-minute team,” Canucks coach Travis Green told reporters after the 5-1 victory over the Red Wings on Tuesday night. “We want to be a team that kind of plays the same way all the time. When we don’t have the puck, we want to look very similar in our work ethic, in our compete. I thought tonight was probably our best game.”

The Canucks added forwards J.T. Miller and Micheal Ferland in the offseason along with defensemen Tyler Myers and Jordie Benn. Rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes is settling in after getting his first NHL taste late last season.

Miller scored two power-play goals Tuesday night against the Red Wings. The Canucks came into the game determined to be more aggressive with the man advantage.

“We shot a couple more pucks, and I think it was just a matter of time,” Miller told NHL.com. “It’s amazing; sometimes when you simplify like that and get back to what makes some power plays good, it’s having a shooting threat. It worked out tonight and it’s good for our confidence going forward.”

The Canucks will once again be without top goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who is away tending to family matters. Thatcher Demko will likely start in his place after beating Detroit.

Demko allowed Dylan Larkin’s breakaway goal in the game’s first minute, then settled in to stop 26 shots.

“Every goalie has been through that, so just kind of drawing on past experiences,” Demko said. “I felt good and didn’t want that one to ruin my night. It’s tough. I haven’t played in a while and gave up the first one, but if you want to play at this level, you’ve got to put that behind you. The team just did a great job. After we gave up that goal we really started rolling.”

St. Louis Blues: Media Notes

CURRENT INJURIES
Robert Thomas (upper-body)
2019-20 Total Man Games Lost: 4

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
October
4 – Signed forward Brayden Schenn to an 8-year contract extension worth $52 million

LAST GAME
St. Louis, 2 at NY Islanders, 3 (OT)
Three Stars
Mathew Barzal / 2. Devon Toews / 3. Brayden Schenn
STL Goal Scorers: Schenn (5), Tarasenko (1ppg)
NYI Goal Scorers: Nelson (3), Barzal (1), Toews (2otg)
STL Goalie: Binnington (30-32)
NYI Goalie: Greiss (21-23)

BLUES VS. CANUCKS
-The Blues and Canucks will meet for the 1st of 3 matchups this season (Next: Nov. 5 at VAN)
-The Blues went 1-2-0 against Vancouver last season
-The Blues won the last matchup against Vancouver, a 3-2 shootout win, on the final day of the 2018-19 regular season, April 6
-The Blues are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games against Vancouver
-The Blues are 5-1-0 in their last 6 home games against the Canucks
-Brayden Schenn will tonight’s game on a 5-game goal streak, the longest of his career and the longest for the Blues since Vladimir Tarasenko’s 5-game goal streak (5g, 4a) from Dec. 12-19, 2015
-The last Blue to score in 6 or more straight games was Jaden Schwartz, who had a 6-game goal streak (6g, 2a), from Dec. 19-31, 2013
-Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Blues are 71-33-16 against Canadiens teams, including a 9-6-3 record against Vancouver in that span

RAISE THE BANNER!
-After winning their 1st Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2018-19, the Blues raised their Stanley Cup Championship banner to the rafters on Oct. 2
-The Blues, who ranked last in the NHL standings through games of Jan. 2 (15-18-4, 34 points), became the first team in the expansion era to sit last in the overall standings at any point after its 30th game and rebound to win the Stanley Cup
-The Blues also became the first team from any of the 4 major North American sports leagues (NHL,MLB,NBA,NFL) to win a title after occupying last place overall in the league standings after one-quarter or more of the season’s games (since 1967-68) and were the only team in that span to even qualify for the league’s championship series/game
-The Blues ended the longest wait in NHL history (51 seasons, 4,046 regular-season games, 4,437 total games) for a team to win its first championship
-The Blues also required the most postseason appearances (42), series (72), and games (391), for an NHL franchise before winning the Stanley Cup for the first time

BLUES OFF TO FAST START
-The Blues have earned at least 1 point in 5 of their 6 games so far, posting a 3-1-2 record
-The Blues are 1 of 5 teams in the NHL who have played at least 5 games this season and have posted 1 or less regulation losses
-The Blues have killed off 11 of their 12 penalties this season, including their last 10, for a penalty kill percentage of 91.7%, which shares 3rd in the NHL (1. VAN, 93.8%)
-The Blues have 4 goals from defensemen, which shares 8th in the NHL (1. CAR, 10)

HAIL TO THE CHIEF
-Craig Berube signed a three-year contract with the Blues to stay as Head Coach on June 25
-Berube took over as Interim Head Coach on Nov. 19, 2018 and led the Blues to a 38-19-6 (82 points) regular-season record, which shared 2nd in the NHL in both wins and points
-From Jan. 1 to the end of the regular-season, Berube led the Blues to a 30-10-5 records (65 points), which was the most points in the NHL and shared the 2nd most wins in the NHL (1. TBL, 31) over that span
-Berube finished 3rd in the Jack Adams Award Voting (1. Trotz, NYI 2. Cooper, TBL)
-Berube became the 7th head coach in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after taking over head coaching duties midseason
-Since Berube’s 1st game as head coach on Nov. 21, 2018, the Blues are 41-20-8 (90 points), which shares the 6th most wins in the NHL (1. Tampa Bay, 51) and shares the 5th most points (1. Tampa Bay, 106)

BINNER LEADS THE WAY
-Binnington is 2-1-2 in his first 5 games this season and has posted a 2.97 GAA and a .910 SV%
-Binnington recorded an assist on Sundqvist’s opening goal on Oct. 7 at Toronto, which was the 1st regular-season assist of his career
-Jordan Binnington posted a 24-5-1 record last season (1.89 GAA, .927 SV%, 5 SO), which set a Blues franchise records for rookie goaltenders in wins and shutouts
-Binnington’s 1.89 GAA led the NHL, while his .927 SV% shared 4th (min. 25 GP)
-Binnington posted a 16-10 record during the postseason (2.46 GAA, .914 SV%, 1 SO), becoming the 1st rookie goaltender in NHL history to earn all 16 of his team’s wins en route to a Stanley Cup Championship
-During the 2019 postseason, Binnington posted a 10-3 record on the road (2.17 GAA, .925 SV%, 1 SO), tying the record for most road wins in a single postseason by any goaltender, becoming the 5th goalie to win 10 road games in a postseason
-With the victory in Game 7, Binnington became just the 4th rookie goaltender in NHL history to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final (McCool w/TOR in 1945 at DET, Dryden w/MTL in 1971 at CHI, Ward w/CAR in 2006 vs. EDM)

RYAN THE RELIABLE
-Ryan O’Reilly has recorded 7 points (1g, 6a) in 6 games this season, which shares 1st on the Blues with Schenn
-His 6 assists this season share 13th in the NHL (1. McDavid, 12)
-O’Reilly ranks 9th in the NHL with 70 faceoff wins this season (58.3%) (1. Crosby, 99)
-O’Reilly recorded his 2nd career 4-point game on Oct. 10 at Ottawa (1g, 3a) (Other: Oct. 16, 2016 w/BUF at EDM, 2g, 2a)
-O’Reilly recorded career-highs in 2018-19 with 49 assists, 77 points, and a +22 rating
-O’Reilly dressed in all 108 of the Blues’ games last season (Reg. + Post.), which was the most games played in the NHL
-O’Reilly became 1 of 18 players in NHL history to skate in 108 games in a season, trailing only Marcus Nilson, who dressed in 109 games during the 2003-04 season (83 reg., 26 post.)
-O’Reilly won the Frank J. Selke Trophy, becoming the 2nd player in franchise history to win the award (Rick Meagher in 1990)
-O’Reilly’s efforts during the postseason earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy, becoming the 2nd player in franchise history to win the Conn Smythe (Glenn Hall in 1968)

THE VLADIMIR TARA-SENK-SHOW
-Tarasenko has 5 points in his last 5 games (1g, 4a)
-Tarasenko scored his 1st goal of the season, which came on the power play, on Monday at the New York Islanders
-Tarasenko has 56 career power play goals, which ranks 9th on the Blues all-time franchise list (8. Backes, 58)
-For his career, Tarasenko has 211 points at home (111g, 100a in 250gp) and 212 points on the road (101g, 111a in 253gp)
-Tarasenko recorded his 3rd and 4th assists of the season on Sat. at Montreal, which was the 33rd multi-assist game of his career
-In 2018-19, Tarasenko scored 33 goals and recorded 35 assists, reaching at least 30 goals and 30 assists for the 5th straight season

THE CAPTAIN ETCHES HIS NAME IN HISTORY
-Alex Pietrangelo has 3 points this season (2g, 1a), which leads Blues defensemen
-His 2 goals share 6th in the NHL among defensemen (1. Hamilton, 5)
-On Oct. 7 at Toronto, Pietrangelo scored his 2nd goal of the season, which turned out to be the game-winner, and was the 400th point of his career
-Pietrangelo became the 2nd defensemen in franchise history to record 400 points (Al MacInnis, 452 points)
-He also became the 18th active defenseman in the NHL to reach 400 career points
-Pietrangelo’s game-winning goal on Oct. 7 at Toronto was the 23rd of his career, passing Al MacInnis (22) for the most in franchise history among defensemen
-His 5 seasons of 10+ goals share the 2nd most in franchise history among defensemen with Jeff Brown (1. Al MacInnis, 8 seasons)
-Pietrangelo recorded 19 points (3g, 16a) during the 2019 postseason, which led all defensemen and set a franchise record among defensemen for points in a single postseason

BLAIS SHOWCASING HIS SKILLS
-Sammy Blais opened the season on a 3-game point streak (2g, 2a) (10/2-10/7), which was the longest point streak of his career
-Blais’ 3 goals and 5 points this season are both career-highs
-Blais opened the regular season scoring his 1st goal of the season just 53 seconds into the opener on Oct. 2
-Blais scored his 2nd goal of the season, which turned out to be the game-winner (1st of career) and added his 1st assist of the season on Oct. 5 vs. Dallas
-His multi-point performance on Oct. 5 vs. Dallas was the 1st of his career
-Blais ranks 5th in the NHL with 29 hits this season (1. Reaves, 37)

SCHENN GETS AN EXTEN-SCHENN
-The Blues signed forward Brayden Schenn to an 8-year contract extension on Oct. 4 worth $52 million
-Since signing his contract, Schenn has a goal in 5 straight games (5g, 2a), which is a new career-high
-Schenn’s 5 goals share 8th in the NHL this season (1. Neal, 8)
-Schenn recorded 54 points last season (17g, 37a), marking the 4th straight season he has reached at least 50 points

PERRON OFF TO FAST START
-David Perron opened the season with a 4-game point streak (3g, 2a) (10/2-10/10)
-Perron also has a +4 rating, which shares the lead on the Blues with Blais
-Perron scored his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season on Oct. 10 at Ottawa, his 23rd career multi-goal game
-Perron scored his 200th career goal on Oct. 10 at Ottawa

Vancouver Canucks: Media Notes

CANUCKS AT BLUES PREVIEW
TV: Sportsnet One
Radio: Sportsnet 650
Vancouver and St. Louis will face off three times this season: Oct. 17 (road), Nov. 5 (home) and Jan. 27 (home).
The Canucks have a 75-95-18-4 all-time record vs the Blues. Vancouver has posted a record of 31-53-9-2 vs STL on the road.
Vancouver went 2-0-1 against St. Louis last season.
Elias Pettersson led the Canucks in scoring in the 2018.19 season series vs STL with seven points (2-5-7).
Vancouver earned wins in their first three home games of 2019.20; the last time Vancouver accomplished this feat was in 2016.17 (4-0-0).

LAST MEETING – Apr. 6/19: VAN 2 at STL 3 (SO)
In the Canucks season finale, Vancouver forced a shootout after trailing by one goal twice in the game…Tanner Pearson tied the game 1-1 at 3:53 in the third (PPG)…Elias Pettersson notched the Canucks second power play goal of the night to force the game to extra time…Thatcher Demko faced 36 shots.

LAST GAME – Oct. 15/19: VAN: 5 vs DET 1
Troy Stecher tied the game 1-1 with a goal at 17:58 in the first…The Canucks posted 3 power play goals (Edler and Miller – 2) for the first time since Dec. 18/18…Brock Boeser tied a career high for assists in a game (0-3-3)…Alex Edler (1-2-3) and Elias Pettersson (1-2-3), alongside Boeser, shared the team lead in points on the night…Thatcher Demko made 26 saves for his first win in his first start of 2019.20.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
Ashton Sautner – recalled from Utica, Oct. 15/19
Zane McIntyre – recalled from Utica, Oct. 14/19

WITH THE ADVANTAGE
On Oct. 15/19, the Canucks netted three power play goals for the first time since Dec. 16/18 vs EDM. Over the past five seasons (prior to 2019.20), the Canucks have posted three or more power play goals in a game on nine occasions. JT Miller notched two of the Canucks power play goals, becoming the first player to do so since Brock Boeser accomplished the feat on Jan. 23/18 vs LA. Since the 2007.08 season, only nine Canucks have scored two power play goals in a game. The club record for most power play goals in a game is three, which has been achieved four times: Todd Bertuzzi (Dec. 30/00 vs SJ), Pavel Bure (Mar. 27/94 vs LA), Dave Babych (Nov. 22/91 vs CGY) and Rick Blight (Oct. 6/76 vs PIT).

FROM THE BLUELINE
On Oct. 9/19, three Canucks defenceman (Hughes, Tanev and Edler) each notched a goal, becoming the first trio to do so since Mar. 3/04 at COL when Brent Sopel, Marik Malik and Mattias Ohlund accomplished the feat. There have now been 19 occasions in franchise history when three or more Canucks defenceman have scored a goal in a single game. There is only one instance in club history when four or more have done so, which took place on Jan. 12/02 against the Carolina Hurricanes with goals from Bryan Helmer, Ed Jovanovski, Mattias Ohlund and Scott Lachance.

GROUP MENTALITY
On Oct. 9/19 vs LA, 14 Canucks skaters were on the scoresheet, each earning at least one point in the game. The last time 14 or more Canucks skaters earned one point or more took place Dec. 22/14 against the Arizona Coyotes (7-1 win). Three Canucks players were involved in the offensive output for both of those games: Chris Tanev, Alex Edler and Bo Horvat.
According to NHL stats, the last five times the Canucks had 14 or more skaters each register at least one point in a game (prior to Oct. 9/19) took place on: Dec. 22/14 vs ARI, Jan. 24/11 vs DAL, Dec. 28/02 vs ANA, Jan. 1/01 vs NSH and Nov. 8/00 vs ANA.

CAREER GAMES
JT Miller notched four points in a game (1-3-4) for the first time in his NHL career on Oct. 9/19 vs LA. This achievement also matched a franchise record for most points in a home opener. According to NHL PR, Greg Adams (4-0-4) and Tony Tanti (0-4-4) originally established the mark over 20 years ago after combining on four of eight Vancouver goals in a win over St. Louis (Oct. 8/87). Brandon Sutter tied career highs for most goals (2) and points (2-1-3) in a game on Oct. 9/19 vs LA.

YOUNG GUNS
Elias Pettersson boosted his career totals to 30-41—71 in 76 games on Oct. 15/19; among players to debut with the Canucks, he required the second-fewest contests to reach the 70-point mark (all with VAN) behind only Pavel Bure on Oct. 22/92 (73 GP). Pettersson recorded his 70th career regular-season point in eight fewer games than teammate Boeser, who reached the milestone in his 84th outing on Nov. 2/18.
Quinn Hughes (19 years, 360 days) notched his first NHL goal Oct. 9 vs LA and became the youngest Canucks defenceman to find the back of the net since J.J Daigneault (19 years, 176 days) did so on April 6, 1985 at Los Angeles.

LIGHT THE LAMP
The Canucks tied a club record for goals in a home opener with 8 on Oct. 9/19 vs LA (the two previous times were Oct. 8/87 vs STL and Oct. 11/78 vs CLR). According to NHL PR, just three other teams in the last 10 years have scored eight or more goals in their home opener: Chicago (10; Oct. 5/17 vs PIT), Philadelphia (8; Oct. 14/17 vs WSH) and Toronto (8; Oct. 7/17 vs NYR). The last time the Canucks scored 8 goals in a game was Nov. 8/18 vs Boston, which ended in an 8-5 Canucks win.

LEADING THE WAY
During a pre-game ceremony on Oct. 9, the Vancouver Canucks announced Bo Horvat as the 14th captain in team history. The leadership group also includes Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, and Brandon Sutter, who will don A’s in 2019.20.