Game 15 – Beating the Best in the West
The Canucks after suffering a brutal 7-2 loss to the Ducks rebounded tonight with a solid showing. The Canucks head home for a game against the Western Conference leading Avalanche and came out of the four point game with a very important win. The Canucks climb into a playoff spot after tonight’s win, reduce the lead the Avalanche have on the division to 6 points, and climb to 8-7 on the year.
Raycroft played a solid game and did what he was called upon to do. The return of Wellwood allowed the Canucks to have 12 forwards, however after the warmup skate, Austrian Grabner injured his ankle and the Canucks were forced to play Rome as a forward for the 3rd game in a row. The Canucks played what’s as close to a full 60 minutes as they’ve played all season. While they didn’t get many shots on net, they didn’t have to tonight as they made Craig Anderson who has looked superb all season, look ordinary in his 15th consecutive start.
Kesler and Raymond both got their 5th goals of the season, and Tanner Glass provided the insurance marker in the third period after a fortuitous bounce gave the surprise roster player his first goal in a Canucks uniform. The Canucks for a team with the number of injuries they’ve taken sit above .500 and after an October that could have been worse start November in a good way. Canucks got news today that Daniel Sedin is out of his cast.
Sami Salo went down awkwardly in the 3rd period and was favouring his right knee on the bench. With the way the Canucks have been using defenseman to fill in forward spots, the last thing they can afford is to lose defenseman. Tonight Schneider was a healthy scratch as Shane O’Brien checked back in, and Hordichuk after being benched for two games came back and actually contributed on the ice. He was forechecking and looked better than he has in a while by actually skating instead of floating around the ice. The Canucks win tonight also gave Vigneault the win which pushes him into a tie for 3rd with Pat Quinn for wins behind the Canucks bench.
The Canucks next game is against the New York Rangers, and they get to see the new look Gaborik who’s managing to light the lamp and long lasting injury all at the same time.