I would just like to take a moment today to remember our veterans, not just in World War One but in all the battles that our warriors have fought to keep our Country free. They gave their all for us. I do not support war but I do respect the people that go into battle for us. I would like to say thank you and I will never forget. Without you we would not be the strong Nation that we are. Please, have a moment of silence within yourselves at some point today and let them know you remember too. God Bless.
Well the Vancouver Canucks managed to surf through California this past weekend with 4 out 6 possible points. Whatever other numbers anyone throws at you at this particular time matter about as much an automated survey on how often you cut your fingernails. When you throw in that fact that they are 3rd overall and 2nd in the West behind the team they just beat 2 days ago you know what I mean.
The Twins were missing a healthy Vrbata and it showed. They had trouble truly setting up and getting anything going. Now I have a suggestion… Let’s get Daniel to start doing all the feeding to Vrbata and Hank. At this point Henrik (5) is ahead of Daniel (3) in goals and ironically Daniel (11) is ahead of Henrik (10) in assists. It seems that Daniel has hesitated on a few occasions that not long ago would have been in before hesitation started. He’s dishing off passes that wouldn’t normally cross his mind over the option of shooting. Daniel appears to be playing with a bit less surety in himself and I wonder if the signing of a sure trigger man has given him a different view of things. Or have teams just flat out figured them out? Henrik has a bigger sense of confidence and in reality he has sort of been “Big Brother” in the fan’s and media’s eyes. Henrik definitely needs to step up and take the reigns. I have to say Henrik is shooting more than he has in the past and that is refreshing though you are going to have to deal with no Vrbata for a bit. (Lower body injury) Time to step up? Oh, and just a little hint, Keep Hansen off that line, it has not worked in the past why would it work now? Give Jensen a shot, he looked good last year with Hank and Burrows.
The Canucks second line has been a bit of a mystery to me. Some games they are the dominant line in our line up, other games they seem to disappear completely. Obviously the Canucks are going to struggle with some of the depth teams in the league but to this point they do seem to be handling themselves very well and you can see their potential. In San Jose, while the Twins and a damaged Vrbata struggled, the second line decided to take matters into their own hands (with Miller’s help) and steal 2 points. Nick Bonino fits well if just for the fact that his shot is actually accurate. How many missed nets have we seen the past few years? How many times have we watched Mason Raymond or David Booth miss the net so completely that the opposition ended up with an out numbered rush the other way? Burrows has shown a renewed interest in the game and Higgins, well Higgins is just Higgins, we all know what he can do. I believe this line is capable and Desjardins decision to not move Burrows up with the Twins is a good one. It makes sense to leave an improving line intact and it will only get better over time.
The Canucks third line has impressed me in the LA and Anaheim games. When that line has been on the ice it appears that they have the puck pinned in the offensive zone more often than not. The only downfall here is they are not really getting many quality scoring chances. I think once Kassian is back that may change slightly. Richardson has been working his butt off and that whole line has been good at stealing the puck. They have a charge straight at you style of play and this team has been missing a line like that for awhile now. I just wish it was the fourth line not the third, although I do believe this will change over the course of the season. As Horvat improves (he’s looked good so far) he will sneak into the third line center spot and Jensen could end up on the third line with him. It truly is amazing how much different players play when their coach believes in them.
I have nothing to say about The Canucks goal-tending other than keep getting the job done. Miller has stolen a few points, Lack was fantastic against the Ducks. Desjardins plan to give Eddie a chance to win a game could not have come against a more optimal opponent. Lack’s first win of the year was also his first win ever against the Ducks. Desjardins, do you have a touch of esp? Just wondering, because you played that like you knew it was going to happen.
So all and all, 4 out of 6 points in California being a measuring stick on the Canucks didn’t really come out accurate. San Jose was not a game they deserved but, with the help of Miller and their second line, they managed to steal 2 very valuable points. In LA they got a reminder of how tough the top teams in the west are. The Kings beat them in every aspect of the game although I do think Dorsett and Kassian in the line up may have at least helped their physical look that night. Anaheim, from the second period on, was an extremely entertaining game to watch and we got a look at how the depth players would fit. The Canucks simply out worked, out shot and outplayed the Ducks and deserve full credit for the 2 points. All the new faces were once more noticeable and contributed which has been one consistency this season so far. So measuring stick or not Our city’s team showed us we have some things that were missing last year, hard work, resilience and an ability to steal from better teams. Wouldn’t that be called a backbone?