Canucks Corner – Week 3 Review

After a very good start on the longest road trip of the season, many are still left to wonder what the make of the Vancouver Canucks. After ten games, they sit with 5 wins, 4 losses and one OTL, good enough for 11 points. They sit smack in the middle (9th place) in the Western Conference.

Good enough after week 3? Depends on who you ask.

Loyal fans have obviously heard enough. Or have they?

Nothing related to remotely anything about hockey, late in the fourth quarter of Sunday Night Football’s NFL contest between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, Colts QB Andrew Luck made a dive that contributed to his team’s victory over the undefeated Broncos. The Haters continued to have a field day:

Mini Editorial: If you’re a Canucks fan but hate they way they lose and jump off the wagon (or threaten to), then you’re not a true fan of the game. Canuck fans, like any fan, support their team, win and lose. If you plan to show support in person check out this site for Canucks tickets.

The Canucks started their road trip well with a hard-fought contest against the Philadelphia Flyers who only had one victory so far. Coach John Torterella broke up the Sedin Twins and it paid off. Ryan Kesler scored twice and Chris Higgins popped in one goal to squeeze out a 3-2 win in Philly. Great start on the road.

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The next game against Buffalo should be a gimme for Vancouver. And it was. Buffalo had its offensive issues but that didn’t bother the Canucks. Their 3-0 shutout victory may have been their best game so far this season.

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Understandably, stealing two points from Pittburgh would be a monumental task. The Canucks did keep pace with the Penguins and then some with an odd lucky goal from Edler. They managed to outshoot Pittsburgh when they have Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin on their roster, chances are they don’t need a lot of shots make it count. Despite losing 4-3 in the shootout, the Canucks managed to collect one point.

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In Columbus, this should also have been another gimme. It didn’t turn out that way…

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Canucks backup Eddie Lack wasn’t at fault for the loss. Despite outshooting the Blue Jackets 13-2 in the first period, Blue Jacket’s forward Marian Gaborik scoring on poor Eddie. Torts made a valid point when analyzing the game saying, “Don’t let the shoots fool you. I don’t think we played enough in the areas to score goals. When we did, (McElhinney) made the saves.”

Canucks Rating: C

Highs: There is nothing wrong with the goaltending of Roberto Luongo and Eddie Lack. For the moment, these men are keeping the Canucks relevant on the road, making the home teams sit up and take notice.

Lows: Behind the Sedin Twins, there is nothing scary about the Canucks’ second to fourth line. Kesler, Higgins, Mike Santorelli and Brad Richardson are contributing, but they need to make those peppered shots count as goals. Any team can outshoot another, but if the players don’t translate their shots into goals, the goaltenders will have a busy night.

Outlook: Vancouver needs to re-focus on what got them some points from Philly, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Playing perimeter hockey and just peppering shots won’t give them the edge against the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues. The Isles are in the same mediocre boat as Vancouver but it won’t be an easy task to win on Long Island. The Devils have finally won their first game of the season thanks to Devils backup Corey Schneider. He may be itching to get back and try to settle the score playing against his former team, this time at home. And St. Louis won’t be an easy place to win either. They’re tied with Vancouver with 11 points, but have a well-rounded youth movement under the tutelage of coach Ken Hitchcock.