It’s only been three games, and nobody’s sold on the Vancouver Canucks quite yet.
But after three come-from-behind victories — the latest coming last night over the previously undefeated St. Louis Blues — the Canucks see a definite difference between how they played last season and how they’re playing now.
“Structurally, we’re way better this year,” center Bo Horvat said after Tuesday’s 2-1 OT win. “It’s the one thing we talked about as a group, that we wanted to be better structurally. We wanted everyone to buy in to the system, and if someone’s not doing it, then you gotta let ’em know. Everybody has to buy in. Everybody’s bought in so far, and it’s been turning out great.”
In Vancouver’s first three games, they’ve surrendered an average of just 23.7 shots against. Last season, that number finished at 32.5.
“We’re not giving up near as many shots in the home plate area, which is just in front of the net,” said Horvat.
Again, nobody’s sold on the Canucks yet. Their first three games were all at home, and they all required overtime.
“Three games isn’t a big enough sample size,” said head coach Willie Desjardins. “Is it good? Yeah, it’s good. We’re happy with that. But we’ve got to keep improving every day. All the games (have been) close. They could’ve gone either way.”
In fact, last night, the Canucks became the first team in NHL history to win their first three games of the season without once holding a lead in regulation time, per Elias Sports Bureau.
That’s not sustainable, to keep falling behind and fighting back for wins.
“We gotta stop doing that,” said Horvat. “It wears down on you. … We’ve gotta jump out with the lead every once in a while.”
The Canucks host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.