The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER–Before the Vancouver Canucks kicked off their season, head coach Travis Green said he wanted his team to “score by committee.”
They did just that last night when they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2.
Jake Virtanen, Brendan Gaunce, and Antoine Roussel all found the net for the Canucks (8-6-0).
“It’s easier said than done but any team that wins in this league has secondary scoring usually,” Green said after the game.
“You need guys at certain times to step up,” he stressed.
“It’s not one or two or three guys that can score every night.”
Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews replied for Chicago (6-4-3).
Virtanen scored twice, marking the first two-goal game of the 22-year-old’s career.
At one point in the third period, it looked as though he might have a chance to notch a hat trick. But the right-winger said he didn’t want to push it.
“I didn’t want to go out of position or anything,” he remarked. “I wanted to make sure we weren’t getting scored on. . . .
“We’d rather just secure the win and call it a day.”
Much of the Canucks’ offence this season has come from 19-year-old rookie Elias Pettersson, who has seven goals and three assists in eight games.
The performance is pushing others on the team, Virtanen said.
“I feel like Petey’s putting up a lot of goals and making plays,” he noted. “And for me, I watch Petey pretty closely.
“You see a young guy come in and score goals, and it boosts you a bit,” Virtanen added.
“You want to keep up with a so-called young guy.”
Turnovers were a problem for Chicago last night, said head coach Joel Quenneville.
“I think it was self-inflicted on the goals against,” he remarked. “Preventable, all of them, and they turned turnovers into the back of the net.”
The team got sloppy with the puck, Saad agreed.
“A couple posts and unlucky bounces but regardless we have to tighten up defensively,” the left-winger stressed.
“We give that team that much rush chances and time and space, and they are going to capitalize.”
No other games were scheduled in the NHL last night.