Caleb Harder – CanucksCorner.com
The Vancouver Canucks arrived in the Saddledome last night to begin a back-to-back preseason series against the Calgary Flames. Throughout the first thirty minutes of the game the Flames dominated the Canucks outshooting the team 20-5. A penalty shot attempt from Lance Bouma was caused by a zero effort chop from Ryan Stanton. If it were not for the smooth saves by Eddie Lack, the game would have been over by the first period. The first line consisting of Alex Burrows, Nick Bonino, and Zack Kassian looked like they forgot how to play the game and could not pass or shoot the puck at all. The defense was not much better as Stanton and Huskins were occupied playing “Dodge the Puck” and “Never Let Go, Jack” (if you do not understand this you obviously have not watched Titanic. It’s a great movie.)
Fortunately, in the second half of the game, the rookies were around once again to save the day. Hunter Shinkaruk set his name in stone with another outstanding game. The boy who appeared in a world famous hockey photo seventeen years ago scored his first goal in the Saddledome as a Vancouver Canuck.
Shinkaruk has been the most impressive prospect on the roster racking up four points in two games this year. The 19-year-old prospect is coming in a few months fresh off a hip surgery and is already performing at a professional level. He has been nothing but impressive in his second preseason stint and is an enthusiastic playmaker that fans will never get tired of. Hunter has been full of flashy moves, excellent hockey sense and knows how to carry a team on his back.
In current analysis, Hunter Shinkaruk is projected to one day be a top six forward and is exactly the right replacement for the hole left behind by Ryan Kesler. If the second line on the regular season is confirmed to be Burrows-Bonino-Kassian, the trio is going to have a very difficult time in keeping their placement on the team.
“They push guys and guys have to get better or else we’ll go with them,” said Willie Desjardins. “We have to go with the guys who are playing.”
The young stars of the Canucks are hungry for a spot with the team and it looks like it will not be a cake walk for the veterans much longer.
HARDER’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
#3 Nicklas Jensen
G: 1 A: 0 PTS: 1 +/- 1
#2 Hunter Shinkaruk
G: 1 A: 1 PTS: 2 +/- 2
#1 Eddie Lack
SA: 20 GA: 0.00 SV% 1.000
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