It’s a light couple of nights in the NHL with only a total of three games over Sunday and Monday.
There was only one game on Sunday as the Vancouver Canucks saw Little Caesars Arena for the first time as they took on the Detroit Red Wings.
First some notes from around the NHL.
There was great news out of New Jersey as Brian Boyle practiced with the Devils for the first time in the regular season. Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia during training camp and while he still is not close as he is not in game shape, it is certainly amazing to see him back on the ice.
Roman Polak inked a one-year deal with the Maple Leafs and the Vegas Golden Knights, proud holders of a 6-1 record, lost their second goalie in October as Malcolm Subban is out four weeks with lower body injury. Marc-Andre Fleury, the usual starter is out with a concussion so Oscar Dansk takes over for now.
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VANCOUVER 4 DETROIT 1
Sven Baertschi scored his first two goals of the season as Vancouver moved to 4-3-1 on the season with a 4-1 win over Detroit.
A lot of pundits thought that Vancouver would be the worst team in the NHL this season but the Canucks have raced off to a nice start as new head coach Travis Green has done wonders with the roster.
Baertschi, who was drafted 13th overall in 2011 by Calgary, has five points in eight games with his two goal effort and is a plus-four. The Flames gave up on the 25-year-old and dealt him to Vancouver at the trade deadline in 2015 for a second round pick who turned out to be defenseman Rasmus Andersson.
Derek Dorsett was an unknown commodity coming into this season as he was limited to just 14 games last season due to season-ending cervical fusion surgery. It sounded pretty bad and plenty of athletes are unable to come back from that.
But Dorsett has been a fantasy stud this season as he already has five goals including the one on Sunday, and 42 penalty minutes in just eight games. Now, he is not going to score 50 as his seasonal best is only 12, but a 15-20 goal season is not out of the question and 150-plus minutes is within his grasp.
Jake Virtanen with his first of the season, finished the scoring for the Canucks. Virtanen has been a bit of a bust as he was selected sixth overall in 2014, ahead of such players as William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers and David Pastrnak to name a few, but he seems to be getting his career back on track with Green as his head coach. He had a whopping eight shots on goal.
Anthony Mantha scored his fourth of the season for Detroit. Mike Green continues to think it’s 2008-09 or 2009-10 when he was a stud offensive defenseman, picking up 149 points in 143 games. The one-time Capital has 11 points including a goal in nine games this season after setting up Mantha.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 20-of-21 shots for the win. He has won his last two starts and is 3-2-1 with a 2.48 GAA and a .908 save percentage and has reaffirmed his grip on the number one goalie with Vancouver, ahead of Anders Nilsson.
Jimmy Howard lost his second straight game (it should be three in a row but after giving up three goals on four shots to Toronto Wednesday, he was pulled, but Petr Mrazek ended up taking the loss), He is 3-2-0 with a 2.81 GAA and a .916 save percentage. This is after he has given up 10 goals in his last 67 shots.
Troy Stecher suffered a knee injury in the second period and did not return.