Miller Jets

Following a fantastic Fan Appreciation night at Rogers Arena on Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks close out their regular season with a 5 pm PT game in Winnipeg against the Jets on Thursday night. 

The Canucks clinched the Pacific Division title with their win on Tuesday and the team wants to keep rolling ahead of the opening round of the playoffs. Head Coach Rick Tocchet had his team practice on Wednesday and wanted the players to stay fresh but is yet to decide if players will be rested in the final game of the season. 

Let’s chat about our opponent for the final time this regular season. 

The Jets are one of the six teams in the league with 50 or more wins this season, they have locked down the second spot in the Central Division and know that they will be facing the Colorado Avalanche in game one. 

Throughout the season, the Jets have thrived on good goaltending and depth scoring. They have 13 players with double-digit goals this season and between the pipes, Connor Hellebuyck is their rock. 

The 30-year-old netminder has a 37-19-4 record to go with his .921% save percentage and five shutouts. Hellebuyck has allowed two goals or fewer in 58% of his starts this season. 

Thursday’s game will be the third matchup of the season between the Jets and Canucks. The Jets took game one on February 17th by a 4-2 count before the Canucks dominated play on March 9th and picked up a 5-0 victory. 

Quick Hits on the Competition:

  • The Jets’ power play ranks 22nd in the league with a 19.1% conversion percentage and is led by Gabriel Vilardi, who has nine power play markers. 
  • On the penalty kill, the Jets rank 21st in the league and have killed off 77.3% of their penalties. 
  • Josh Morrissey is their leader in ice time, and he has averaged 24:11 through 81 games this season. Though, we do have a feeling that he will be under that in the final game of the Jets’ season. 
  • Kyle Connor has been the hottest Jet over their last 10 games. He has picked up four goals and added nine assists in that stretch. Morrissey and Nikolaj Ehlers are also over a point-per-game in their previous 10. 

The Canucks come into Thursday continuing to keep their day-to-day approach and focusing on their own game being fine-tuned for the next stage of the year. 

J.T. Miller continues to pile up points and now has 103 points this season. He has picked up four goals and 10 assists in his last 11 games and has won an impressive 56.3% of his 1461 faceoffs this season. 

Quinn Hughes sits at 91 points on the year and is two points clear of the league lead in points for a defenceman. 

Thatcher Demko was excellent in his return from injury and stopped 39 of the 40 shots he faced on Tuesday night. Demko is now up to a career-high 35 wins this season and holds a .918% save percentage and five shutouts. 

Tyler Myers picked up his second shorthanded goal of the season in the team’s last game and is now up to five goals on the year. At five-on-five, Myers has had his best defensive season since 2016-17 and has had a goals-against per 60 minutes played rate of 2.14 under the Canucks new structured system. He’s also picked up a goal and four assists over his last five games. 

Boeser, Miller, Elias Pettersson, Conor Garland, Quinn Hughes, and Filip Hronek make up the six Canucks who have played in all 81 games this season. We will have to wait and see what decision Tocchet makes for who is in the lineup for Thursday’s final game of the year. 

With a win on Thursday, the Canucks will tie the 2011-12 team for the second-best record in club history. The team currently sits at 109 points on the year and has already locked up the Pacific Division title. 

Canucks Top Performers over Last Five: 

J.T. Miller: 2g-5a-7p  
Conor Garland: 3g-2a-5p  
Quinn Hughes: 1g-4a-5p  
Tyler Myers: 1g-4a-5p  
Dakota Joshua: 3g-1a-4p 

Thursday’s game is a 5 pm PT game time and you can watch it on Sportsnet or listen to Brendan Batchelor give his all on the call with Sportsnet 650 and the Sportsnet Radio Network.