Must Win For Canucks? Not Yet...
There are probably a good number of Vancouver Canucks fans with their hands hovering over the panic button, I'm not one of them. Sure it would be nice to have the 2 under win column as opposed to the loss column but that is not the case. They will look to pick up that first 'W' Monday night as they take on an upstart Columbus Blue Jackets team that were 3-1 against the Canucks last year.
Two games into the season and the Vancouver Canucks faithful are scratching their heads as to what has gone wrong. The Canucks were picked to make the Stanley Cup Finals, specifically Ray Ferraro. I have always paid no attention to predictions. At the end of the day all it does is give fans a warm and fuzzy feeling. The only thing that matters are wins. Last season the Canucks were predicted by a majority of analysts to fall well out of contention for a playoff spot only to shock everyone by winning the division.
In the opener against Calgary, I was expecting a pretty close game. The Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks are both very close in skill and really a coin flip can just as easily determine a winner in any given game between the two. Last year, the Canucks blitzed the Flames 6-0 in their home opener while following that up by beating the Flames in Calgary the next game in overtime.
After the first period on Thursday it looked like the Flames were going to return the favour. They were up 3-0 after the first, but that's when the table's turned. The Canucks took the play to the Flames in the second and third period outshooting Calgary 35-16 in the final two frames, scoring on three of those shots. But it was too little too late as Miikka Kiprusoff stood tall making big saves, including a goal line paddle save on Henrik Sedin in the third that would have tied the game.
In the second game of the season the Canucks faced off against the worst team in the West last season, the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche are a team that seems to have the Canucks number no matter what and have Canuck killer Milan Hejduk. Despite having a much better start and an overall good game, the Canucks just could not solve goaltender Craig Anderson. Meanwhile Hejduk lived up to his name assisting on the first two goals for the Avalanche and the team never looked back.
So now jump to tonight. The Canucks are back in Vancouver for their home opener and will no doubt be supercharged with adrenaline as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. There is no doubt that should the Canucks fall again that several of those panic buttons around town will be pressed. But regardless, we are still just three games into a lengthy season. Let's wait until at least the 15 game mark before mayhem.