Friday, April 18th, 2014

Canucks Report At The Quarter Pole

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quarterpole

After 20 games, the Canucks are 11-7-2. The team managed to post a 5-1-1 record on a long 7 game eastern road trip, ending with 3 victories in extra time – two wins in overtime and one in a shootout. They went 2-1 on a home stand, and have just finished a tough 1-2-1 California road swing.

The team’s 24 points are good enough for 4th in the Pacific Division, and 8th spot in the Western Conference, although the Canucks have played the most games in the entire league at this point in the season. When people say the West is the Best, they’re not kidding – the same 24 points would be good for 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.

The Canucks first line has been scoring, and they’ve got a healthy amount of secondary scoring from many of their bottom 6 forwards and defencemen. At 7-4-1, Luongo posted his best October ever as a Canuck. The team seems to have embraced Tortorella’s new systems and has been playing a high energy style of game that is fun to watch. The one thing the Canucks lack at this point is consistency.

In a previous post, I mentioned that if the Canucks can get through October with an even record, it should shape up to be a great season, and reiterate that now. On any given night the Canucks can play inspired and exciting hockey – a pleasant change from the last couple seasons where the team scored and seemed to sit on 1 goal leads.

So far, so good. As the season goes on, the Canucks should improve their play. Some Canucks threads this season include:

  • Tortorella’s high energy style of coaching, translating to Canucks play on ice
  • Re-signing and resurgence of the Sedin twins
  • Pavel Bure’s jersey retirement
  • Depth (or lack thereof) at any position
  • Ice time for top forwards and defencemen
  • Slow but steady development of Zack Kassian
  • Where is David Booth this week?
  • Great penalty killing, horrible power play
  • Local boy Mike Santorelli having an impact playing for his hometown Canucks

What are some of your early season compliments, gripes or stories this season?

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Comments

One Response to “Canucks Report At The Quarter Pole”
  1. David T says:

    I feel the style of play the Canucks have been playing although promising seems to be lacking. They don’t seem to be as physical when I comes to being agitators or enforcers. Sure they play an aggressive style but I missed when any one guy would drop the gloves with the opposition, just to prove a point of male dominance if you will. Tom Sesitito has been one of the shining stars when it comes to fighting and delivering the body however. I wasn’t surprised he even scored last game! The way he is playing is the way everyone should be playing, with an edge and not afraid to drop the gloves when the bell rings. Other players have started adapting Tom’s style of play, which is contagious, like Ryan Stanton and Zach Kassian although Kassian normally plays that way on a good day. However players like Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler and even Alex Burrows aren’t playing with that fire as much, sure Burrows went with Kessel but that was hardly a fight and where is Bieksa’s angry face when he goes all rage mode and knocks someone out with one punch and then looks around, wanting more, and don’t get me started on Kesler! He’s slowed down considerably and should be a worry for fans because if Kesler isn’t having a strong game, that usually reflects the overall performance of the team. I also miss the days when Kesler would drop the gloves with Iginla or some other superstar because Kesler can fight with the best of them. I don’t know call me crazy but if the Canucks keep losing this physical war and also fail to generate offense from key players, I don’t think they will last in a 7-game series with the kings or even sharks for that matter and forget about winning against the ducks or st.louis. The Canucks simply need some more grit and fight more often, play like Sesitito and make their mark in the opposition and not when it matters most like against the Hawks or Bruins. I know they are doing well but I just want them to succeed just like we all do; we know they can do it so just do it already lol And put Garrison back on the 1st powerplay unit already! Hamhuis’ shot isn’t a boomer like Garrison’s is and I believe he is one of the reasons why our PP sucks this season; our percentage was so much better with him on the point because his shot is just so damn good that it would be a shame not to use him! And I feel Kassian still needs a bigger role on the team, 2nd line perhaps and Darren Archinbald needs to get more ice time along with Welsh and Dalphe because that line is rocking it right now! And of course Sesitito, Richardson and Santorellii are kicking it old school for us and this Ryan Stanton was a tremendous pick up as well, solid puck-moving defencemen and can scrap too! As for rest of defence, I would say Bieksa and Stanton have been best, Edler started off strong but isn’t making as big an impact as he normally can. Hamhuis has been most surprising as he has been on he wrong end of things lately, not being able to work the point on the powerplay and occasionally making defensive errors. Garrison has faired well considering his position on the team which I feel isn’t being utilized to its potential; he has one of the hardest shots this team has seen since Salo and needs to be used more on the point on the 1st unit! And finally Tanev who is my defencemen of the season thus far has been slumping as of late. He started off really well, blocking shots, getting in lanes and making fantastic plays while taking and giving the body but has since slowed down. He has been making bad decisions lately and not playing as well as he should be. Granted the whole team seems to be on a bit of a skid at the moment so it could just be a matter of readjusting to the new line combinations and implementing new tactics; it can’t be easy playing under the coaching system of Tortorella what with how the NYR struggled playing his system as well (as we saw during HBO’s winter classic special) but I still strongly believe this is the right system for the Canucks and the system that will bring us to the Stanley cup final again someday which I sure hope is this season! Look for the Canucks to turn around their game and destroy the sharks at home this Thursday! GO CANUCKS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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