There was plenty for Canucks fans to feast on in the last game before Christmas, as Vancouver punished the Coyotes in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Rogers Arena in the last game before Santa’s visit.
Maybe if Arizona called themselves the Arizona Reindeer, teams would take it easy on them, but that wasn’t the case on Monday night.
Whenever a team wins 7-1, a lot goes right for the winning team, but the specifics were particularly encouraging for the Canucks.
Willie Desjardins has apparently been pleading for the players to go to the net with more frequency, and much to his joy that’s exactly what happened.
Alex Burrows was the most obvious beneficiary and was rewarded with 2 goals. But it wasn’t just him, the team as a whole followed the coach’s sage advice with great frequency, and the results were reflected on the scoreboard.
Besides Burrows, there were a few players that ended scoreless droughts that spanned several games. Richardson, Higgins and Matthias all scored and hopefully gained themselves some momentum to carry into the new year.
Bieksa scored, and we also saw Edler and Tanev get points. And although none of them were slumping particularly, it’s always nice to see the defence contribute points.
The powerplay got itself on track in a big way at the expense of the Coyote’s ego, going 3 for 6 and looking good while doing it.
Somewhat lost in the game was the goaltending. When you win by a landslide you rarely find the winning team’s goaltender to be a factor. But on this occasion Miller had quite a bit of work, facing a total of 38 shots and making some big saves to keep Arizona from making a game out of it. His efforts were rewarded as his team eventually turned the game into a rout.
The game was convincing and vengeful. Vancouver wasn’t happy with letting the lead slip away the game before against Calgary, but were happy to come out with an emotional overtime win. This game was a sound thrashing, something the Canucks really needed as a reminder that they are a team that can put up some numbers on the scoreboard.
And doing it against Arizona had to be particularly satisfying, as the Coyotes shut out the Canucks in the middle of November 5-0. Beating the Coyotes like it was their job had to taste extremely sweet to Vancouver, even in this season of yule.
It sets the team up nicely coming out of the Christmas break, 2 big wins to boost their confidence as they head into 2015. Their schedule has some tough games ahead, most notably against Anaheim in their first game post-Santa. And although it isn’t a big number, those 2 games could carry the team a long way into the last half of the season.
Darrin Hayes is a regular contributor for the Vancouver Canucks on TheHockeyWriters.com. Follow Darrin on Twitter @HayesTHW or on Facebook via TheHockeyWriters fan page.