After notching an assist in his debut against the Minnesota Wild, the 27-year-old scored a pair of goals and added an assist as the Canucks pounded the Boston Bruins 9-3. Safe to say, Toffoli has shown that he is more than capable of stepping in for the injured Brock Boeser so far.
It’s not an unfamiliar situation for the former Los Angeles Kings forward as he was a crucial part of the team’s two Stanley Cup wins in three seasons.
Considering the tight race in the Pacific Division, Toffoli knows how crucial Saturday night’s victory was over the Bruins.
“I think that was a statement game for not only myself but for us as a team,” Toffoli told Scott Oake and Louis DeBrusk during After Hours on Hockey Night in Canada. “Obviously the two points tonight were huge and we played great. … Everybody was ready to go tonight.”
Fortunately for Toffoli, reuniting with Tanner Pearson was a big positive considering how they both developed a strong friendship during their time with the Kings. Toffoli’s wife, Cat, posted this picture of the two of them on Twitter not too long after hearing the news of the trade.
— Cat (Belanger) Toffoli (@catbtoffoli) February 18, 2020
Ironically, Toffoli and Pearson didn’t start off as friends during their time in the OHL when Pearson, who was with the Barrie Colts, slashed Toffoli – who played for the Ottawa 67’s – in the chin. Despite that, they put their differences aside when they were playing for the Kings’ then-AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, and became good friends.
“It was funny because once he got drafted to LA, I’d already been there for two years or whatever it was. I think we honestly laughed about it right away and we pretty much became friends from the start,” Toffoli recalls on his first interaction with Pearson as a teammate.
Toffoli admits that having a familiar face in the locker room in Pearson made the transition easier as he’s been able to rely on him for advice.
“The first day or two, I definitely felt a little lost. I mean, it’s tough, everything’s new from the people to the locker room to the gym. So I was following Tanner around like a little puppy there for a little bit,” said Toffoli. “So obviously I’m thankful for him and everything that he did that helped me get along.”
In their time with the Kings, they formed the famous 70s line with Jeff Carter which was a big part of the team’s success during their Stanley Cup runs.
Whether or not he gets to play on the same line as Pearson down the road will be up to head coach Travis Green, but Toffoli is hoping that it happens eventually.
“I hope so. That was definitely the time of our lives,” Toffoli said. “We had a ton of fun and Tanner can say that as well. It’s so much fun when you’re winning games and when you have guys in the locker room that want to win.”