Oct 122009
 

The Vancouver Canucks may be right to give thanks after their 4-3 shootout win over the Dallas Stars last night. They withstood an own goal and some untimely, sloppy defensive play but got the two points anyway, thanks to Kyle Wellwood’s and Ryan Kesler’s beauties in the shootout.

In their first game without Daniel Sedin, the Canucks played a much simpler game. They got the puck and moved it up quickly. They threw the puck on net and crashed Turco’s crease. They kept thing simple on the powerplay as well – they moved the puck around and got shots from the point – and scored 2 of their goals with the man-advantage.

Which is a good thing because, to be honest, the offense looked less dynamic without Daniel on the first line. Henrik still had a couple of assists but it’s obvious that his line with Bernier and Burrows has some gelling to do. Based on the chances they got last night, the goals are going to have to be more gritty than pretty.

*****

Sami Salo got injured again last night:

Sami Salo suffered a left leg injury Sunday in a cornerboards collision with Dallas Stars rookie Jamie Benn at GM Place. The Vancouver Canucks defenceman appeared to favouring the leg when he left the game midway through the opening frame and played just 2:51. He had missed three defensive rotations and then lasted just 10 seconds on another shift before heading to the dressing room.

The good news is, the Canucks don’t play again until they meet the Flames in Calgary on Friday night so that should give Sami plenty of time to recover. The other good news is, we’re used to Sami missing time now that this shouldn’t even bother us anymore.

Oct 112009
 

I answered some questions from Richard Durrett from ESPN Dallas and in advance of tonight’s game between our Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars.

Q: Which players should Stars fans keep an eye on during Sunday’s game? Maybe there’s a player or two that doesn’t get a lot of press, but could have a solid season?

A: Mason Raymond is off to a good start. He’s a speedy winger who, over the summer, has also gained weight and some confidence to get to the net.

Another player is Steve Bernier. With Daniel out, Bear will get a chance to play alongside Henrik and Alex Burrows on the top line.

The rest of the preview is here.

It will be interesting to see how the Canucks, currently 11th in scoring in the NHL, will cope without Daniel Sedin. The choice to call-up Guillaume Desbiens is a curious one because of an abbreviated preseason, though from the sounds of things, Desbiens fully deserves the opportunity.

“I talked to (Manitoba head coach Scott Arneil and GM Craig Heisinger) and both of them said Desbiens had been their best player at both ends of the rink,” Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said. “They played last night, and I think Grabner got a couple of goals. But it was only his first game where he played pretty good. And it was Alex Bolduc’s first game back from injury.

“So, out of the guys who had been there since the beginning, Desbiens had done the best.”

Like Alex Burrows a couple of years ago, Desbiens was the Manitoba Moose’s feel-good story last year. As the first chapter of his NHL career starts tonight, here’s hoping his story writes similar to Burr’s.

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