Canucks Dethrone Kings; Head to Anaheim on Winning Note
On the first night of the California back-to-backs, the Canucks got exactly what they needed. The team took an early lead allowing the coaches to spread out the ice time to avoid tiredness for tomorrow’s game.
After jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead with goals from Salo (4), Ebbett (1) and Rome (2), the Canucks sat back and floated around waiting for tomorrow to arrive. Here on my thoughts on tonight’s game.
- Salo makes the Canucks defense so much better. He is so calm and experienced that he makes those around him appear that much better. With 4 goals on the season, Salo is a dominant defenseman in this league right now. I will go as far to say that he is one of the most consistent in the game right now. Few guys can dominate in both ends of the ice like Salo can.
- Tonight’s game raised an issue that I’ve taken note of over the last few games; David Booth is being grossly underused. When Gillis traded for him, both Vigneault and Gillis stated that one of the reasons for his lack of production this season was “he is only getting third line ice time; 15 minutes per game.” Well, for the third time in the last five games, Booth played less than 15 minutes. Alain Vigneault needs to start playing him so that he can form some solid chemistry with Kesler and Higgins.
- I’m not buying what the Los Angeles Kings are selling when it comes to the goaltending position. Jonathan Quick has terrible trouble with rebound control. I follow the Kings and this isn’t a one-off sort of thing. He gives up some of the juiciest rebounds you’ll ever see from a National Hockey League goaltender. With the trouble that team is going through right now, if I were Terry Murray, I would be putting Bernier in net just to see what happens.
- Roberto Luongo turned in another solid performance this month. He wasn’t spectacular or confident by any stretch of the imagination, but he made the stops he had to. I’m starting to like what I’m seeing from the guy as his game comes together. Who will we be seeing tomorrow? My guess would be Cory Schneider.
- Alain Vigneault hinted that Alex Burrows may be ready for tomorrow night’s game. He will be a welcomed addition for that top line. That being said, I thought Hansen looked better tonight as he seemed to stay out of the way of the Sedins while making the small simple plays he had to. Nothing spectacular, but no gaffs either.
- Cody Hodgson deserves to stay with this team when Mason Raymond comes back. Every game he looks more and more confident. I love that he is starting to put up the points with regularity. That, along with his calm demeanor, could make for a big time player. Props to Cody for another solid performance. (5 points in his last 5 games)
- In my opinion, this was one of the more solid games of the season for the Sedin twins. Every shift seemed to breed some form of scoring chance. They seem to be finding their respective games, which is always great to see for a team that relies so much on their consistent production.
- The powerplay was dynamite once again as it took the life out of the Kings with goals from Salo and Ebbett. Shorty and Garrett mentioned it on the broadcast but I thought I’d reiterate. This team can throw out so many looks on the man advantage. There is offense down low, offense on the boards and offense up top. In the words of Forest Gump, “you never know what you’re gonna get.”
- Congratulations to Alex Edler for taking over the NHL lead in defenseman scoring. He has been really good in the offensive zone and I look forward to some more great play and booming shots from him.
Tomorrow night breeds a different, and much more physical, challenge. While the Ducks have been struggling of late, they always seem to play the Canucks hard.
I’d love to see the Canucks come out of this trip 4-2 and get back home on a hot streak. Do I think it can happen? I really do. This team is starting to get itself into a groove and I’ve got a feeling this could be the start of a good run.
Enjoy the game tomorrow and thanks for reading.
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