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Best of the Best: October

Turning heads left and right to open the season

by Brady Trettenero @BradyTrett / Canucks Freelance Writer

The Canucks got off to a turbulent start this year and completed the month of October with a 4-4-1 record. From newcomers making their presence felt to stellar goaltending, here is the best of the best from the opening month of the season.

Best Goal

Sedin twins work late-game magic to tie it vs. Flames (10/15/16)

With Vancouver trailing 1-0 to the Flames late in their season opener at Rogers Arena, two veterans ensured the fans didn't go home empty-handed. With just under four minutes remaining on the clock, the Sedin twins capped off a ridiculous shift with an impressive play down low. Daniel Sedin worked the puck below the goal line to his brother Henrik, who returned the puck to Daniel with a wicked no-look backhand dish. Daniel cut to the net, but lost control of the puck in the process. Luckily newcomer Loui Eriksson was parked at the side of the net to return to puck to Daniel, who beat Chad Johnson at the other side of the goal mouth to knot the game 1-1. The clutch play from the Sedin twins helped force overtime, leading to an eventual 2-1 shootout win for the home team in their season opener.

Video: CGY@VAN: D. Sedin ties the game late in the 3rd

Best Assist

Eriksson springs Horvat shorthanded against Ducks (10/23/16)

Loui Eriksson has yet to score his first goal in a Vancouver uniform, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been making an impact in other ways. Take a late-October contest at Honda Center, for example. With the Canucks trailing the Ducks 1-0 in the first period, the penalty kill went to work. After Ryan Getzlaf dropped a pass back to the point, Eriksson took advantage of blueliners Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler getting their signals crossed. The former Bruin pounced on the loose puck, only to have it knocked off his stick by Fowler. Eriksson was able to use one hand to impressively corral the puck back in, before sending Bo Horvat off on a breakaway. Horvat beat John Gibson with a quick shot, and although the Canucks ended falling 4-2 to the Ducks on the night, Eriksson showed he's fitting right in with an impressive play in a clutch situation.

Video: VAN@ANA: Horvat scores shorthanded goal on breakaway

Best Save

Miller robs Sens' Hoffman with the glove (10/25/16)

The Canucks dropped a 2-0 decision to the Senators at the end of October, but the defeat wasn't due to goaltending. Ryan Miller was outstanding in a losing cause, stopping 25 of 27 shots to give his team a shot at winning. One of his best saves came off sniper Mike Hoffman in the early goings of the final frame. With the Canucks down 1-0 on home ice, Mark Stone found a wide open Hoffman in the high slot. The left winger fired a one-timer towards the net, but the shot was snatched by the glove of Miller. The Canucks couldn't get a goal on the night for Miller, who had an excellent month of October, posting a 1.74 GAA and .939 save percentage. The veteran currently sits among the top-10 league leaders in both categories and is giving the Canucks a dependable and steady presence in the goal crease.

 Video: OTT@VAN: Miller snatches Hoffman's wrist shot

Best Fight

Gudbranson lays into Oilers' Kassian (10/28/16)

The new guy makes an impact. After Vancouver blueliner Erik Gudbranson took a hard hit from former Canuck Zack Kassian along the wall, the 6' 5" rearguard took exception. The two heavyweights engaged in an epic battle of fisticuffs, with Gudbranson delivering some solid punches and ultimately getting the better of Kassian. Gudbranson was visibly fired up after the contest and brought the crowd at Rogers Arena to their feet. While the Canucks ultimately fell 2-0 to the Oilers on the night, the fight injected life into a scoreless first period and gave the fans something to cheer for. Gudbranson didn't take long to make an impact with Vancouver, as he's already racked up a pair of assists, logging steady minutes and utilizing his large frame to punish opponents every night.

Watch: Youtube Video

Best Milestone

Hansen nets 100th career NHL goal against Sabres (10/20/16)

The Canucks were looking for someone to step up and get things started in a scoreless matchup with the Sabres at Rogers Arena. It came in the form of the Great Dane. After a Brandon Sutter shot was turned away by Robin Lehner, Hansen crashed the net and tucked in the rebound, putting the Canucks up 1-0. Hansen came streaking down the left side of the ice and utilized his speed to burn Buffalo blueliner Rasmus Risolainen and create a 2-on-1 situation in tight. It was the 100th career NHL goal for Hansen, whose tally helped propel Vancouver to their fourth straight win to open the season. The speedy winger has had a productive start to the 2016-17 campaign, registering a pair of goals and a couple helpers through the first month of the season.

Video: BUF@VAN: Hansen crashes the net for 100th career goal

 

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