The Canucks have started the 2019-20 season in impressive fashion. The team is sporting an 8-3-1 record after October and leading the Western Conference with a +17 goal differential. From Quinn Hughes' first NHL goal to Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser's lethal chemistry, here is the best of the best from the opening month.
Q.Hughes blasts first NHL goal past Kings' Quick (10/09/19)
After dazzling in limited action with the Canucks last season, rookie blueliner Quinn Hughes didn't waste anytime making an impact this year. Hughes picked up an assist in the season opener against Edmonton before playing an important role in Vancouver's first victory of the season against the Kings. With Rogers Arena buzzing for the home opener, Hughes got the scoring started in the first period with an impressive first career NHL goal. The play began when Hughes used his excellent skating ability to make a smooth zone entry and dish a slick backhand pass to Adam Gaudette. The 20-year-old then pivoted off to the blueline and received a pass from Tanner Pearson. Hughes unleashed a cannon past Jonathan Quick for his first career NHL goal. Hughes' elusive skating ability and lethal shot was on full display in this sequence. Through 10 games, Hughes is tied for the NHL rookie scoring lead with 10 points.
Pettersson sets up Boeser with slap pass vs. Kings (10/30/10)
Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser continue to prove they are one of the league's most dangerous duos. The tandem combined for eight points in a 5-3 victory over the Kings in the final game of October. The lethal chemistry was on display all game, but it was a power-play sequence in the first period that really impressed. With the Canucks trailing 1-0, the power play cycled the puck in the LA zone. Quinn Hughes made a pass to Pettersson at the circle and the young forward unleashed a one-timer that was blocked by Kings' defenseman Alec Martinez. When Hughes collected the puck and fed Pettersson once more, everyone in the building was expecting another one-timer. Pettersson demonstrated incredible hockey intelligence and skill by faking the shot and feeding Brock Boeser with a perfect cross-ice slap pass. Boeser was able to snipe Jonathan Quick from a tough angle to tie the game.
Video: VAN@LAK: Boeser scores sharp-angle power-play goal
Markstrom stacks pads to clinch shootout victory vs. Flyers (10/13/10)
Shades of Kirk McLean. Jacob Markstrom clinched a 3-2 October shootout victory over the Flyers with a vintage save on forward Kevin Hayes in the third round of the skills competition. Markstrom had already made 30 saves through regulation and OT and denied Flyers' forward Jakub Voracek in the opening round of the shootout. After the Canucks got goals from Elias Pettersson and Tanner Pearson, Markstrom had the chance to seal the victory by making a save on Hayes. The former Ranger moved in on Markstrom before faking a shot and deking to the forehand. Markstrom shut the door by sliding to his right and stacking the pads to take away any room Hayes may have had. It was a clutch stop from Markstrom, who helped the Canucks earn consecutive home wins after opening the season on the road.
Video: PHI@VAN: Markstrom stacks pads to win shootout
Pettersson drops Kings' Martinez twice (10/30/19)
You won't like Elias Pettersson when he's angry. While the talented Swede put his gifted offensive skill-set to use against the Kings, he also demonstrated his physical prowess. Pettersson dished out two punishing hits on Kings' defender Alec Martinez, including one that directly led to a quality scoring chance. The first came in the second period after Pettersson took a slash from Jeff Carter in the offensive zone. He was shaking his hand in pain and appeared to take out his frustration with a big hit on Martinez in the corner. Petey was back at in in the final period when he laid out Martinez near the Kings blueline and broke in on a 2-on-1 with J.T. Miller. Martinez is listed as being over 30 pounds heavier than Pettersson, so it's impressive the young phenom was able to knock down the Los Angeles defenseman twice.
Bo Horvat is named 14th captain in franchise history (10/09/19)
It was a night Bo Horvat will never forget. The 24-year-old officially became captain of the Canucks prior to the team's home opener against the Kings. There was a special on-ice ceremony that included all-time Canucks greats. Horvat was presented the captaincy by Henrik Sedin, the most recent player to wear the "C" in Vancouver. Henrik was captain of the Canucks for eight years before retiring along with his brother at the end of 2017-18. The Canucks were without a captain last season, but it was clear Horvat had emerged for the role. Not only had Horvat put up three consecutive 20-plus goal seasons, but his two-way game and strong work ethic wears off on his teammates. Horvat was quick to demonstrate that leadership ability this season when he recorded a third-period hat trick to lead the Canucks to an impressive comeback win over Detroit.