1) With no shortage of goals in a 7-5 hockey loss, Travis Green and his coaching staff have plenty to mull over when they review of the video of the aptly named Salt Lake Shootout. Quite simply the Canucks didn't get anywhere close to NHL goaltending from the minor league duo of Zane McIntyre and Richard Bachman. But it's impossible to pin the outcome entirely on the goaltenders. The Canucks took too many penalties and struggled with their penalty killing giving up three power play goals to the Kings. And that was with a healthy dose of big league penalty killers in uniform on Saturday night. The Canucks dressed a solid line-up with their probable top four opening night defenders in uniform (Edler, Myers, Tanev and Hughes) and many of the forwards who will crack the opening night line-up, too (Pettersson, Boeser, Sutter, Leivo and Pearson). Still, the Canucks were sloppy in their own zone for much of the night and need to find a way to stay out of the penalty trouble.
2) Travis Green did not mince words in his post-game address to the media. When asked about Adam Gaudette's eventful first period which included a power play goal to get the Canucks on the board but saw the young forward on the ice for all five goals scored in the opening frame, Green said "What I like about Adam is that he's trying to make the team. Other guys should take notice. There's a lot of competition for spots and time is running out, so guys need to make sure they play well next week.' That seems like a quote aimed directly at Nikolay Goldobin, but could also apply to Jake Virtanen. Goldobin has been nearly invisible in his preseason appearances while Virtanten opened strong in Calgary last Monday, but has had a couple of quiet outings since. He did manage a second assist on Gaudette's second goal of the game with 53 seconds remaining. But second assists in mop-up time won't get a player noticed. Gaudette has scored in back to back games and now leads the Canucks with three goals in the preseason. He also finished up a stretch of four games in the first six nights of exhibition action -- no other Canuck has played more than three games.
3) Add Tyler Motte's name to the list of guys who has impressed the coach with his approach to the preseason. On Saturday, Motte played in all situations and had his motor running all night long. He picked up a helper on Gaudette's opening goal, hit the post on a second period deflection, had an apparent goal waved off when officials lost sight of the puck on a scramble in the LA crease and also rattled a solid scoring chance off the mask of Kings netmidner Jack Campbell. In other words, Motte was around the puck all night and making things happen. Much as he did last a year ago when he came to camp and forced his way onto the team, he is again making himself noticed with his effort and energy. He is not the most-gifted player, but he gives everything he's got most nights. And that's more than can be said about some of the players he's battling with to make the hockey club.
4) Brock Boeser made his much awaited preseason debut after missing training camp. After an expected slow start in the opening 20 minutes, he seemed to find his legs and the game in the second. He created a scoring chance off the rush moving to the attack with Josh Leivo. Later in the second, Levio returned the favour and got the puck to Boeser in tight and his attempt to roof the puck failed as he lifted it straight up, over the net and out of play. In mid-season, there's every reason to believe Boeser would make that play and tuck the puck up under the bar. In the third period, Boeser made a nifty play to avoid pressure in his own zone and sprung Leivo away down the right side. Leivo snapped one past Campbell to pull the Canucks within a goal at 5-4 just 18 seconds after Tanner Pearson had scored early to start a Canuck rally. All in all, Boeser had a decent night for his return to game action. He looked confident with the puck and certainly didn't appear to be struggling to keep up with the pace of the frantic game.
5) Quinn Hughes manned the point on the Canucks first power play unit on Saturday night. While that group did not convert, it showed terrific puck movement on its first look of the night. With Hughes at the top, flanked by Boeser and Elias Pettersson, those three gave fans a taste of things to come. They zipped the puck around keeping the Kings penalty killers at bay. It was easy to see how powerful three options up high could be for the Canucks this season as they created shooting and passing lanes with their quick and decisive puck movement. Hughes also danced into the Kings zone and fed Adam Gaudette for a tap in to round out the scoring in the final minute of play. Defensively, the rookie and Chris Tanev looked to be reading off each other well and Hughes was able use his feet to fend off forechecks and didn't struggle to maintain body position when battling with larger LA forwards.
6) Elias Pettersson showed some frustration on Saturday night that we simply didn't see from him last season. On a second period offensive zone foray, Pettersson worked his way out of the corner and circled to the front of the net. He made a nice move to deke a Kings defender and appeared to be in a shooting position when he felt he was impeded by a stick. As the Kings turned the puck up ice, Pettersson turned to the trailing referee, raised his stick high above his head and brought it straight down as if to indicate he had been chopped. The referee didn't seem to want to hear what the budding superstar had to say. As Pettersson dropped his protest, the puck came quickly back up ice and onto his stick on a partial breakaway. However, perhaps distracted by his frustration with the official, he stumbled and struggled to control the puck. It's going to be interesting to gauge Pettersson's frustration level as he becomes the focus of opponents. It comes with the territory of being a star in the league. But it's also going to be worth monitoring if he gets his share of calls from the officials or if they turn a blind eye as teams do what they can to neutralize him.