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Best of the Best: November 2019

...the Canucks made some outrageous plays last month

by Brady Trettenero @BradyTrett / Freelance writer

The Canucks remained in a playoff spot at the end of November thanks to some key victories over elite teams this past month. Vancouver took down the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals and closed out the month with a big win over Connor McDavid and the Pacific Division leading Edmonton Oilers.

From Elias Pettersson's incredible hand-eye to an intelligent defensive play by Quinn Hughes, the talent of the Canucks youngsters was on full display this past month. Here's the best of the best from November.

Best Goal

Pettersson bats in Boeser pass vs. Sharks (11/02/19)

Elias Pettersson continues to find ways to amaze. The 21-year-old has built on the success of his Calder Trophy rookie campaign in a stellar sophomore season. At the end of November, Pettersson was sitting tied for 10th in the NHL scoring race with 11 goals and 31 points in 27 games. One of his best plays of the past month came on the road against the Sharks. With the Canucks up 1-0 in the opening period, Pettersson skated up ice and chipped the puck into an area for Brock Boeser to skate into. The Swedish forward then went to the front of the net and displayed tremendous hand-eye coordination to bat the return pass out of mid-air past netminder Martin Jones. The original pass to Boeser was a great example of Pettersson's elite hockey IQ, while the goal illustrated his ridiculous talent.

Video: VAN@SJS: Boeser, Pettersson connect for crafty goal

Best Assist

Horvat sets up Miller with spinning pass vs. Flyers (11/25/19)

Captain Bo Horvat had a November to remember, racking up 12 points in 15 contests. The two-way centre has done the bulk of his damage on the road this season, recording eight goals and 18 points in 17 contests away from Rogers Arena. Horvat's dominance away from home was illustrated by a brilliant play against the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. The sequence started in the offensive zone when Horvat knocked down a defensive clearing attempt and tracked the puck to the middle of the ice. The Ontario native showcased great skill to corral the loose puck with his stick and evade the Flyers defense by spinning around on his forehand and feeding J.T. Miller with an incredible no-look pass. The play was executed to perfection by Horvat, as Miller was in excellent position to beat Carter Hart blocker side to open the scoring.

Video: VAN@PHI: Miller buries nice feed from Horvat

Best Save

Demko robs Flyers' Myers with glove save (11/25/19)

The play of rookie netminder Thatcher Demko was a primary reason the Canucks had a chance of beating the Flyers in Philadelphia this past month. Vancouver was outshot 34-17 in the game, but Demko's outstanding performance had the team in a 1-1 tie in the third period. The 23-year-old netminder made several key stops on the night, including one midway through the third period on defensemen Phil Myers. With the Flyers pressing, Joel Farabee won a board battle in the offensive zone and carried the puck down low. Demko showed tremendous awareness to follow the puck and track a centering pass to a pinching Myers. The American goaltender made a great push with his right skate to stretch out and rob the Flyers' blueliner with the glove. While the Canucks dropped a 2-1 decision, Demko showcased his potential of stealing games for the Canucks.

Video: VAN@PHI: Demko makes great save with his glove

Best Fight

Benn answers for big hit vs. Stars' Gurianov (11/14/19)

Jordie Benn isn't afraid to answer the bell. One of Vancouver's offseason defensive acquisitions, Benn won over fans with an impressive sequence against the Dallas Stars at Rogers Arena in November. The Victoria, BC native set the tone for the game early in the first period when he laid out Dallas forward Nicholas Caamano with a massive hit along the boards. Benn wasn't done there, however, as he was challenged by Denis Gurianov following the hit. Benn didn't hesitate to drop the gloves, answering for his hit by taking on Gurianov in a heated scrap. Benn landed a few bombs before bringing the Russian forward to the ice, igniting the home crowd. The former Hab also picked up an assist in the game and has provided a steady defensive presence in Vancouver, recording 25 hits and 39 blocked shots through 27 games.

Watch: Youtube Video

Best Moment

Hughes gives Miller a boost on backcheck vs. Capitals (11/23/19)

This is what teammates are for. The Canucks pulled out a shootout victory against the Capitals in November thanks to an impressive backcheck by J.T. Miller on T.J. Oshie in overtime. The takeaway was made possible by an extra boost Miller got from one of his teammates. With the Canucks and Capitals tied 1-1 in OT, Miller took a drop pass from Quinn Hughes in the offensive zone and tried to deke around Oshie. Miller was stripped of the puck, however, and Oshie had a breakaway going the other direction. Miller showed great hustle to almost catch Oshie on the backcheck, but it was a stick push by Quinn Hughes that ultimately led to him catching Oshie and stripping the puck away. It was incredible situational awareness by the rookie blueliner, who continues to demonstrate excellent hockey IQ in his early NHL career.

Watch: Youtube Video

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