Struggling Vancouver Canucks hope Boudreau can kickstart dismal season

·2 min read

VANCOUVER — Captain Bo Horvat says the Vancouver Canucks need a spark, and they're hoping to get one from newly minted head coach Bruce Boudreau.

The team skated with Boudreau for the first time Monday, less than 12 hours after the club announced head coach Travis Green had been relieved of his duties and replaced by Boudreau.

Assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner, general manager Jim Benning and assistant manager Jim Weisbrod were also fired Sunday.

"It's never easy to see people like that go," Horvat said after the morning skate.

The changes followed a dismal start to the season. Vancouver sits last in the Pacific Division with an 8-15-2 record.

The Canucks' penalty kill is the worst in the league (64.6 per cent) and the power play has capitalized on 17.4 per cent of its chances.

"Our team needed a spark," Horvat said "It brings us new life. But at the same time, we have to go out there and prove it now."

Boudreau is a veteran NHL bench boss, having served as head coach for the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild. He won the Jack Adams Award as the league's top coach in 2008 when he took over the floundering Capitals and guided them through a bounce back season.

The 66-year-old Toronto native brings "a lot of positive energy" and some new ideas, Horvat said, and the team will look to implement some changes Monday night when they host the L.A. Kings.

A fresh voice can always help out, said left-winger Tanner Pearson.

"Hopefully getting (Boudreau) in here, we can take a deep breath and maybe start from scratch, maybe not worry about the last 25 games," he said. "Yeah, we're in the hole a bit but we can get ourselves out by being positive."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2021.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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