Elias Pettersson is finally in a good place physically and mentally, and the Vancouver Canucks centre knows he can be a difference-maker on a difficult and crucial road trip with stops in Minnesota on Thursday and Calgary on Saturday.
Pettersson is sporting a 17.1 shooting percentage, tops among club forwards, a figure that hasn’t been this high since the slick Swede’s rookie 2018-19 season in which he went 19.4 per cent en route to claiming the Calder Trophy.
And if you think confidence, or a lack of it, is just a convenient crutch to summarize his success or failure, then you don’t know Pettersson.
His standard is higher than he lets on because he has always preached and demonstrated a team-first approach. Check him out hustling on the back check to break up scoring attempts. Watch a devotion to being deployed on the vastly improved penalty kill that leads to intercepting passes and springing away on two-on-one advantages.