Light At The End Of The Tunnel
It has been over a month since the Vancouver Canucks have played in the comfort of their home at General Motors Place, 42 days to be exact. The Canucks have just one more game remaining on their NHL record 14-game road trip that has seen them travel all across North America.
With Vancouver hosting the Olympic Games, this road trip was well expected before the schedule even came out. The trip consisted of two sections, 8 games prior to the Olympics and 6 games after the Olympics. Experts, media, players and fans all marked their calendars as this stretch would be the true test and hurdle for the Canucks who, at the time, were coming off their second Northwest division title in three years.
The season started off poorly as the Canucks stumbled out of the gate finding themselves outside the playoff picture in November. This put even more emphasis on this 14-game gauntlet if the Canucks hoped to defend their division championship. Fortunately, a red hot December and January surged the Canucks back into first in the Northwest as they said their good bye's to G.M. Place on January 28th.
The first section of the road trip was considered by many to be the easier half. Most games were against non playoff teams but the Canucks struggled early on before managing to salvage the trip and finishing with a 4-4 record. Post-Olympics, the Canucks faced much stiffer competition with the likes of the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche.
When the NHL resumed for the Canucks, they were immediately welcomed with a back-to-back set with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings where they were able to pick up two early wins. In Chicago, they were not so lucky as the Blackhawks routed the Canucks 6-3. Vancouver managed to bounce back against the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche.
And this is where they sit. 13 games have been completed with just one game remaining. Most fans were hoping for a .500 record on this trip and the Canucks have already guaranteed to better that as they can do no worse than 8-6. The Canucks also managed to hold on to top spot in the Northwest.
Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks will wrap up their mega trip against the surprising Phoenix Coyotes. Vancouver has been very strong on back to back games with a 7-3 record in the second half. A win tonight would be icing on the cake for an already successful test.
Road Trip Schedule
14-game Road Trip Schedule
Saturday, January 30th @ Toronto (5-3 win)
Tuesday, February 2nd @ Montreal (3-2 loss)
Thursday, February 4th @ Ottawa (3-1 loss)
Saturday, February 6th @ Boston (3-2 win)
Tuesday, February 9th @ Tampa Bay (3-1 loss)
Thursday, February 11th @ Florida (3-1 win)
Friday, February 12th @ Columbus (4-3 win)
Sunday, February 14th @ Minnesota (6-2 loss)
2-week Olympic Break
Tuesday, March 2nd @ Columbus (4-3 win)
Wednesday, March 3rd @ Detroit (6-3 win)
Friday, March 5th @ Chicago (6-3 loss)
Sunday, March 7th @ Nashville (4-2 win)
Tuesday, March 9th @ Colorado (6-4 win)
Wednesday, March 10th @ Phoenix