[Every Sunday, Caylie King looks at the Canucks week that was and the Canucks week ahead. You can follow Caylie on Twitter (@CayKing).]
5 GP, 2-2-1, 5 point (3nd in Northwest Division, 9th in Western Conference)
The Canucks are back home for the week and are looking for their first win in front of the home crowd.
In last week’s post I pointed out that Cody Hodgson has been given his best opportunity to show himself as a proven NHL player. Messaged received! Cody has undoubtedly been one of the best Canucks players on the ice every game. He has shown confidence and has done a commendable job on the 2nd line. Although he only has 2 points at the moment, if he keeps playing like he has been the goals and points will come. Canucks Nation is excited to see him play to his full potential.
Last year, Chris Tanev came in towards the end of the season and played like a veteran. He fitted into the system like a glove and didn’t show many signs of his young age. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the best start to this season and has been scratched for 2 of the 5 games. He seems a little lost on the ice at times and has been involved in a fair share of the team’s defensive breakdowns. Hopefully he will start to gain his confidence again and get back to his game.
Tuesday October 18, 2011 vs. New York Rangers (7:00 PM start, home)
The Rangers started their season on the other side of the pond in Sweden with two losses after regulation; they also recently lost to the kids on Long Island.
They did win the Brad Richards sweepstakes this off season, hoping that he could come in an help them this season. When he’s healthy, he’s still a point-a-game guy and he’s not that far removed from his Conn Smythe performance with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
So far, so good – Richards is leading the team with 3 points in 3 games.
In their one and only meeting last season, the Rangers beat the Canucks in a close 1-0 game at Madison Square Garden.
Thursday October 20, 2011 vs. Nashville Predators (7:00 PM start, home)
The Predators didn’t make any huge off-season acquisitions but will still be a strong team in the West with the leadership of Shea Weber and superstar goaltender Pekka Rinne.
David Legwand has had a great start to the season. He already has 8 points (2 goals – 6 assists) in just 4 games played, tying him for the early league lead in points with Phil Kessel and John Tavares.
Nashville went 11-6-3 against the Northwest Division last season. The Canucks and Preds tied 2-2 in their season series.
Saturday, October 22, 2011 vs. Minnesota Wild (1:00 PM start, home)
The Minnesota Wild improved their offense in the off-season with the acquisitions of Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi from the San Jose Sharks. Alongside captain Mikko Koivu and veteran goaltender Niklas Backstrom, the Wild will look to make a push in what seems to be a weak Northwest Division this season.
The Wild went an impressive 16-7-1 against the Northwest Division last season. However, the Canucks had the upper hand in the season series, winning 4 of the 6 games they played against each other.
Only 5 games into the season and I am already seeing tweets and comments on how we should trade Roberto Luongo and how the Canucks don’t have what it takes to make it to the Cup Finals again.
Let me reiterate we are ONLY 5 games in.
For all those Luongo haters, you have to realize that he never has a strong October. Sure he has let in some questionable goals, but the team in front of him hasn’t been clicking like they usually do. Signs of a Stanley Cup hangover are evident, but I advise you to wait until a few more games before making snap judgements.