Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, all of the big names for both Alberta teams made their presence felt during their respective matchups against the Vancouver Canucks during the opening week of the 2019-20 NHL season.
How did the Canucks answer back?
Well, they didn’t against the Flames as they were shut out 3-0 and against the Oilers only Brock Boeser managed to scratch the scoresheet with an assist.
Is there reason to worry about the lack of production from the Canucks stars only two games into the season?
Probably not, however if the streak continues through their home opener on Wednesday against the LA Kings, flags may start to be raised.
With Boeser, Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, the Canucks have a great core of young talent that should be able to elevate the team to the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
However in two games against divisional measuring sticks, Vancouver’s best has come up short both times.
In the first game of the season second line winger Tanner Pearson fired off 11 shots and has 13 total, one less than Boeser, Horvat and Pettersson combined (14).
As it is the first time in seven years that Vancouver has come up winless in their first two games of the season, a third straight loss could leave the Canucks in a deep hole.
Last year the Western Conference playoff bracket was represented by only three Pacific Division teams, Calgary (107pts), San Jose (101pts) and Las Vegas (93pts).
Of the eight teams that represented the West in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Colorado came in with 90 points as the eighth seed.
The 2018-19 version of the Vancouver Canucks finished 23rd in the standings with 81 points and while the team, at least on paper, is significantly better, their 0-2 start leaves some questions.
Currently sitting in a group of four (New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks) at 40/1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup, the Canucks are a team that is building for the future, but with a fan group that is growing thin in patience, need to start showing something now.
What is currently working in Vancouver’s favor is the fact that the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, two teams that have better odds of winning the Cup are currently sitting with equal or worse records than the Canucks.
NHL picks and parlays offer hockey fans a great way to add some additional excitement to the game.
Whether you choose to take the Over/Under, which the Canucks are 1-1 so far this season, or the Money Line, which the Canucks have been underdogs in their first two games, or the Puck Line, again a place in which Vancouver has not been favored during their trip to Alberta.
Last year the Canucks were one of the better Puck Line options going 49-33 on the season.
Wednesday saw the Vancouver Canucks play the home opener of their 50th Anniversary season against the LA Kings, a team that missed the playoffs are coming off their worst season since 2014-15.
There will surely be a lot of celebration before the game, honoring some of the team’s greatest players and achievements since joining the league in 1970.
Hopefully the current group of Canucks stars and role players can find a way out of their season opening slump and send fans home happy, otherwise it could be another long season on the West Coast.