Nilsson makes 33 saves as Canucks shock Bolts 4-1

Nilsson makes 33 saves as Canucks shock Bolts 4-1
Canucks Game Day: Hurricane warning in Tampa
TAMPA, Fla. — Elias Petterson and Brock Boeser scored 1:10 apart in the third period and Jake Virtanen and Markus Granlund added empty-net goals in the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Petterson scored his fourth goal in four games in his rookie season. Anders Nilsson made 33 saves in his season debut.

Vancouver withstood an early surge to keep the game close, trailing by a goal entering the third period. The persistence was rewarded first when defenceman Derrick Pouliot threw a wrist shot toward the net from the top of the left point that Pettersson was able to deflect around Vasilevskiy and inside the post with 8:53 remaining. Boeser then fired a slap shot from the right circle past Vasilevskiy.

Brayden Point scored his first goal of the season for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves.

Vancouver withstood an early surge to keep the game close, trailing by a goal entering the third period. The persistence was rewarded first when defenceman Derrick Pouliot threw a wrist shot toward the net from the top of the left point that Petterson was able to deflect around Vasilevskiy and inside the post with 8:53 remaining. Boeser then fired a slap shot from the right circle past Vasilevskiy.

Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser scored 1:10 apart in the third period and Jake Virtanen and Markus Granlund added empty-net goals in the Vancouver Canucks' 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Notes: Lightning C Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup after missing the opener with an upper-body injury. … Vancouver C Antoine Roussel missed his fourth consecutive game with a concussion. Coach Travis Green said following Thrusdays morning skate Roussel is getting close to return. … Tampa Bay scratched RW Cory Conacher, C Danick Martel and D Slater Koekkoek. The Canucks scratched D Michael Del Zotto, D Alex Biega and LW Brandon Leipsic. … The Lightning are 0 for 8 on the power play to start the season.

VANCOUVER, CANADA – JANUARY 19: Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis stands in front of the bench during their season-opening NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena January 19, 2013 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Pettersson scored his fourth goal in four games in his rookie season. Anders Nilsson made 33 saves in his season debut.

TSN 1040 can book incredible guests to talk about the Vancouver Canucks. We had the fortune last year to have Laurence Gilman on a weekly basis to provide his insights during his time as an executive and even got a late season interview with GM that presided over the greatest era in Canucks history: Mike Gillis.

That brings us to yesterday, where Gillis was on with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price to discuss several topics, including drafting, what happened with Cody Hodgson, revisiting 2011, Roberto Luongo and John Tortorella. He was on for around two hours and I highly recommend you listen to the re-posted segments. Here is part one and here is part two.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Vancouver Canucks – 10/11/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

The radio station did create threads on their twitter account, quoting the former Canucks executive, but in my opinion, hearing him speak is more worthwhile. Normally, I would try to break down everything that stood out to me, but we would be here all day. Instead I want to focus on what Mike Gillis meant to me and why I give Jim Benning such a raw deal for his work.

Okay, there is one thing I want to briefly discuss before that. All of last season, I was hesitant to give Jim Benning credit for overhauling the prospect pool. I was always under the impression that managers only make the first round selections and the scouts did the rest. Well, Mike Gillis confirmed that.

#Canucks Elias Pettersson is on a 4-game point streak to start the season. He's 1 game shy of matching the franchise record set by Don Tannahill in 1972-73

Gillis: As GM of a team, I think people have this wrong. It's really only the first pick that you have a lot of influence on. People have this idea that you're drafting, but you're not. Your scouts are drafting. You weigh in on the first pick, particularly if it's a top-10 pick

Not only did a back injury end Boeser’s rookie season, he was dealing with a nagging wrist injury. This season, he’s wrapping his wrist in tape.

So, I will give Benning credit for the successes in Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson, But he also has to own the fact that he drafted Jake Virtanen, Olli Juolevi and Jared McCann. The trade made with McCann is another story, but is done to death at this point. Quinn Hughes has yet to prove anything in the NHL yet, but I have a good feeling we can add him to the first group next season.

Pettersson has earned at least a point in every game of his young NHL career. If he earns a point Saturday in Florida, he’ll tie a franchise record.

Canucks rally for 4 goals in third to stun Lightning

It also means you have to give Gillis credit for Bo Horvat. Not just the selection, but making the rebuild decision to move Cory Schneider for the pick that would be for the Canucks future captain. Most of his first round picks did not work out and Gillis does not shy away from that.

He goes into more detail about the Hodgson situation and is correct when he said that the things that went wrong weren’t there at the draft. That is the big reason why I don’t give Benning as much credit for picks outside the first round. Otherwise, what would be the point of scouts? And if all Benning wanted was to stay a scout, why become a GM in the first place? I think it’s something worth thinking about.

However, he has no issue with admitting fault. That’s the key here. Whether it was mistakes in scouting, losing the direction that made them great during the post-2011 years and going through the Luongo captaincy. I know talking about 2011 opens the wounds again, but this is something that will always stick with Canucks fans, as it will always stay with the executives from that team as well.

Gillis was not like other hockey executives. He may have been a former player, but he was not your typical hockey guy. Gillis challenged the status quo and pushed the envelope. They saw things differently and mock the sleep doctors and mental rooms all you want, but it produced results.

The Vancouver Canucks and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet in NHL action from Amalie Arena on Thursday night.

He took advantage of the CBA’s rules to sign the best team in franchise history to minimal money. There is no question that the Sedin era was dominant because they were able to pick apart the league with adjusted deployment that maximized their offensive output. The team was so good, that the stale remnants were able to drag themselves into the 2015 postseason.

The Cauncks will stick with the same six defensemen they used on Tuesday in Carolina meaning veteran Michael Del Zotto will sit out a second straight contest. Up front, Travis Green says he has a decision to make and that will come after warm-up. Tyler Motte was on left wing with Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser during the teams morning skate while Brendan Leipsic, who started Tuesdays game in that spot, was the odd man out.

Gillis’ Canucks were not conventional. They were not liked outside of the Canucks fandom. And they didn’t care. Winning games was the goal and Gillis saw his team do a lot of it. You can say whatever you want about how he built that 2011 team. Yes, most of the key pieces were already there. But critical free agent signings and trades leading up to that run were essential. I won’t pretend that every trade was a home run. He had some awful stinkers in there like the Keith Ballard trade.

But we saw Gillis do things that were not seen before. To use the CBA and salary cap as a weapon and not just a set of rules to follow. Gillis and his executive team were so good at using the CBA, the NHL had to modify it to stop the Canucks. It was funny to hear from Gillis that the biggest whiners about the Luongo contract were at the front of the line trying to trade for him.

The Canucks have dropped back to back games after losses in Calgary and Carolina. On Tuesday, they fell 5-3 in Raleigh getting a pair of goals from Sven Baertschi and one from Bo Horvat who has now scored in back to back games. Elias Pettersson had an assist on Tuesday and now has a team best 2+4=6 in the early going this season. The rookie has picked up at least a point in all three of his games in the NHL.

I understand that during his time here, people thought Gillis was arrogant (and he was). But he was successful and a combination of poorly timed injuries among several other issues at the time prevented Canucks fans from finally celebrating a Stanley Cup victory. After that interview, I got the impression of someone who has grown a lot. Who admits his mistakes and can articulate his ideas thoughtfully; a far cry from what the current management group can provide. No cliches, no spin. Just straightforward answers from Gillis.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 42 stops in the victory and Anthony Cirelli scored the Bolts lone goal – a short-handed effort in the third period that forced overtime. In the shootout, Nikita Kucherov and JT Miller converted on their chances to help the Lightning collect the bonus point up for grabs. Vasilevskiy is expected to get the start in goal tonight.

Sometimes I think we took that for granted and maybe it has me setting the bar too high for Jim Benning. Then again, I think NHL fans should have high standards. We had no problem holding Gillis to that when he was fired in 2013. Funny how things can change in a just a few short years.

I will fully admit that I am biased, given the relative recency of 2011. But honestly, that team was one of the best we saw; not just for the franchise, but the NHL’s best for a three-year span. And it would have never got there without the final moves made by Mike Gillis. The guy that was here before him had the same pieces and was far less successful. Like him, dislike. Praise him, condemn him. He was one of the best this franchise ever had.

Anders Nilsson makes his first start of the season in goal for the Canucks. He was in net for a 5-2 loss here in Tampa last season. Nilsson went 1-13-2 in his final 16 starts with the Canucks last season. A February 17th win against Boston was his lone victory after December 1st.

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