After last night’s display of near perfection in New Jersey the Canucks look to have finally gelled and found that team chemistry they have been looking for all season. The Canucks managed to stay afloat while battered and bruised, but it looks like all the hype from the off season is finally coming true. The Canucks are playing as a team and all facets of the team are operating in full swing.
What’s been most impressive is how the Canucks have now started rolling four lines regularly and not relying solely on the top two lines to get us through a game. While we once had a potent top two lines, the third line has stepped up and has started becoming a scoring threat despite being considered a checking line. The offensive grinders have been led by the return of Jannik Hansen who said in the pre-season he wanted to prove to this team that he wasn’t one dimensional and that he could be more than just one of the dime-a-dozen checker. He’s improved his skating and his play looks even better because he’s making the small plays to get out of the zone and turn the play back up ice.
The Canucks defense that was lackluster at best to start the season has exploded offensively lately. Ehrhoff who’s led the Canucks blue line this season is now joined by the offensive presence of Edler who has been racking up assists. With the blue line finally clicking and getting into an offensive groove the Canucks attack takes on another dimension. The great thing the defense has proved is that they can score from all over the ice be it from Salo’s point shot, Edler’s pinching shot, or Ehrhoff’s half boards wrist shot.
The Canucks are playing as a team and we’re finally seeing on ice, what makes them look so good on paper. While the Canucks rattled off a win against New Jersey they need to start being consistent. While they have a hot power play their penalty kill needs work and the Canucks are not going to prove they’re a contender until they can string together convincing wins consistently that set them apart from the league. With all the pieces of the puzzle falling in place and the team clicking offensively they need to regularly turn that offense into wins otherwise showings like that against New Jersey become nothing but one hit wonders and the Canucks remain an inconsistent threat.