I’m heading into enemy territory today to watch our Boys in Blue take on the Flames. The game’s going to be largely decided in the first period. Or rather, the Canucks control their own destiny in this game.
The key to the Canucks game is making it through the first period. In Dallas they almost got caught finding their legs after a series of early penalties that started early in with Bieksa taking a seat just 30 seconds into the game. It’s not a matter of IF the Canucks take the first 20 to find their legs, but more so a matter of will they use the whole 20 minutes. The Canucks are consistently inconsistant and it would surprise me if after this long break which seemed like a second off season, the Canucks came out flying and all cylinders flying with no hiccups.
If they can get out of the first in a better position than when they played the Flames in the first game of the season then the playing field is level and the game is theirs to win. The Flames are coming off a regulation loss to the Stars, an OT Loss to the Blackhawks which saw the largest comeback in NHL History, and a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets just a few days ago. They’re hungry for a victory after starting the season 4-0 and the Canucks need to be ready for that. The Flames have also mixed up their lines putting Glencross and Conroy on the top line with Iginla. Bieksa and Mitchell have been reunited as the shut down pair for the Flames first line and they’re out to have a better showing than the first game of the season.
The Canucks will be looking to see the offensive streaks of Henrik, Samuelsson, Kesler and Ehrhoff continue as all players are averaging, albeit early in the season, a point per game or better, the surprise in that group being new Canucks blue liner Christian Ehrhoff.
I’m on a plane and if this works it’ll be my first blog written and posted from my Blackberry. Go Canucks!