The Vancouver Canucks have impressed this season as they sit in playoff position, and ownership has given the club its stamp of approval. Francesco Aquilini, the chairman of Canucks Sports & Entertainment and owner of the franchise, made that clear as he live-tweeted the Canucks' matchup against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.
Aquilini started by citing the importance of the game; he was hopeful the team could sweep the back-to-back against Edmonton after what he called "a tough road trip" in which Vancouver dropped three of six.
He likes what he has seen from this club, from his star players to the overall group. Elias Pettersson leads the team with 11 goals and 31 points through 27 games.
Really enjoy watching this group, individual skill and team play— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) December 2, 2019
The Vancouver businessman also commented on the leadership of Bo Horvat, who was named captain at the start of the season after the team went without one following the Sedin twins' retirement in 2018.
"Bo has taken 'C' responsibilities in stride, excellent leader," Aquilini wrote.
Brock Boeser scored his 11th goal of the season in the first period, with rookie Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller adding assists. The Canucks also ended the period on the power play, which has seen significant improvement and ranks fourth in the league (26.9 percent). That unit also captured Aquilini's attention, especially with the addition of Hughes — who earned high praise from the owner.
Totally different PP with Hughes out there. Reminds me of Brian Leetch, so@smooth— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) December 2, 2019
Aquilini didn't shy away from calling out Miller's critics after the 26-year-old forward recorded his 28th point in 28 games. Vancouver acquired Miller in a draft-day trade, and some people were skeptical of the club investing in someone who played on the Tampa Bay Lightning's fourth line. Miller is thriving with his new team as a top scorer who's on pace for a career-high 82 points.
Not hearing much from critics of the JT Miller trade Jim made these days— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) December 2, 2019
Beyond the game, Aquilini also gave an update on the development of the team's prospects.
Jim tells me his group is extremely pleased with progress of several of our prospects including Madden, Podkolzin, Hoglander.— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) December 2, 2019
Aquilini also commented on consistency and scoring throughout the lineup after Josh Leivo scored in the second period, his second straight game with a goal and third straight with a point.