It's a good news/bad news blog today, so let's start with the positives.
After my reasonably positive assessment of Elias Pettersson's chances of improving in his sophomore season in my last blog, EA Sports announced on Wednesday that the Canucks' Calder Trophy winner has been named the cover star for the Swedish edition of NHL20.
According to Patrick Johnston
from The Province
, the Petey edition will be available only to gamers in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. For the second-consecutive year, Patrik Laine will cover the Finnish edition, and we get Auston Matthews here in North America.
“As a lifelong fan of EA Sports NHL, it’s a tremendous thrill for me to appear on the cover of the NHL 20. Playing in the NHL has been a dream come true, and it feels great to follow up my rookie season with this huge honor,” Pettersson said as part of the announcement. ”While I expect that being on the cover means that I will probably face more intense battles with my teammates this season, I want to let them know right now that when NHL 20 is launched, I will be ready for any and all competition.”
Heavy Swedish representation in the Canucks' videogame-cover history!
Second — amidst word that his father Duke is improving after a terrifying health scare, Brock Boeser has dialed up the dangles as Da Beauty League has increased to Monday and Wednesday sessions this week.
On Monday, Brock led Team Bic with a goal and three assists as they dropped an 11-10 decision to Team Tradition in a barnburner.
Not just a shooter—check out this playmaking...
On Wednesday, Boeser scored twice and added an assist as Bic took down Walser by a score of 9-8.
With one more week of action before the playoffs begin, Boeser is now 4-6-10 in five games, tied for eighth in league scoring. Jake Guentzel is currently running away with the scoring title, with 21 points in six games.
I hope Brock is playing with a bit of weight off his shoulders this week, as his father's health improves. I have been following the updates from Brock's mom, Laurie, here
According to Laurie, Duke's current situation was triggered by a recent return of his lung cancer, which was successfully treated in 2017. He was taking medication to prevent cancer growth, then suffered heart failure on July 29 after developing a blood clot in one of his lungs.
Laurie and the family's flooring contractor, Matt, were able to administer CPR immediately, while Duke had no pulse for several minutes. After he was stabilized, he was moved to ICU at the University of Minnesota, in critical condition.
From there, remarkably, he started to show small signs of improvement, even as he developed pneumonia—not uncommon for ICU patients, Laurie says. But an MRI determined that he didn't suffer any brain damage while his heart was stopped, and on Wednesday she reported that his pneumonia is now improving and he could get off his ventilator soon.
"He is more alert but not too happy about a tube in his throat. 🥴," she wrote. "Also, if you have never taken a CPR class, consider signing up for a class or google ‘CPR - chest compressions’. No more mouth to mouth is required. You can save a life!"
Brock's challenging childhood has been well documented but as I've followed Duke's latest health issue in real time this week, it's clear that both he and Laurie are filled with so much strength.
My heartfelt best wishes to the whole family for Duke's continued improvement. Hopefully he'll be off the ventilator and out of ICU soon!
Hopefully that story also offers a bit of perspective about what's important in life as we turn to the latest Front Office Confidence survey from The Athletic.
Data is compiled based on contributions from Athletic fans and other fans who accessed the survey through Twitter or other sources, then separated into the opinions of the local fanbase vs. the general public.
After everything that has gone down in Minnesota over the past week, the Wild have taken over last place in the rankings, bumping the Ottawa Senators up to 30th. In 29th? Our Vancouver Canucks.
The results align with most of the dialogue that surrounds Jim Benning — good at drafting, not-so-good at everything else. The fanbase ranks the Canucks 31st at salary-cap management and 30th in free agency.
The general public is a little less critical, ranking the team 27th — with the Edmonton Oilers in 29th and the Los Angeles Kings in 28th. It looks like Oilers fans have had a surge in confidence since Ken Holland took over; they rank their team 26th overall, including a lofty 21st in free agency and 22nd in 'vision.'
If you'd like to see the full breakdown and haven't subscribed to The Athletic yet, click here
. That's my personal link, which gets you 40 percent off and a little bonus for me as well.
The Athletic also has a glowing feature on Jett Woo today:
The author, Scott Wheeler, gets the scoop on Woo from his previous and current WHL general managers. Woo himself was not interviewed — Wheeler notes that he was "not made available for this story as he continues to recover from a knee injury that resulted in meniscus surgery this offseason."
For me, that affirms that Woo's lack of action at the World Junior Summer Showcase last week is directly related to his rehab status. Hopefully he'll be good to go when the new WHL season kicks off at the end of this month.