FOURTH LINE JUGGLE
Glass sat out last game against the Montreal Canadiens, but will possibly be put back in the fourth line with Ryan Johnson and Rick Rypien for tomorrow's match against the Ottawa Senators.
Darcy Hordichuk was skating as a defenceman at todays practice in Ottawa and will likely be the one replaced by Glass in the lineup. So far this season Glass has recorded 9 points (4-5-9) in 49 games.
CANUCKS TO GET BACK ON TRACK
Before suffering a 3-2 loss against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, the Canucks had a seven game winning streak, five of which were at home.
With the 18 day road trip, the longest in club history, the Canucks did have more than one day off at a time with no games due to travelling. Since the team departed from Vancouver on January 28, they’ve only played two games in seven days.
The last four games the Canucks played before embarking on the trip were every second day. The Canucks know they have to adjust to their road trip schedule in order to rack up more wins.
"I feel like we've should've played 4 or 5 games already,” said Ryan Johnson. “That's the way the schedule goes and now we have an opportunity here to play a few, two games in three days. It's good for us, and then we're going to have another little break so we have to find time to keep the tempo up in practice."
The schedule is looking a little tighter in the upcoming games, including two back to back games on February 11 and 12 against the Florida Panthers and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"It's tough enough to be on the road for a long time, and to not play games is even tougher,” said Henrik Sedin. “This is when the fun starts, we play every second day, and we have a back to back at the end of the road trip so it should be good now."
With road trip adjustments in order, the Canucks hope to succeed in their next game tomorrow night against the Ottawa Senators and break their nine game winning streak.
LUKOWICH: “PLAY TUFF LIKE SANDPAPER”
NHL players are often asked, If you could offer one piece of advice for aspiring hockey players, what would it be?
In the case of 28-year-old Gavin Smith, he still remembers a message Canucks defenceman Brad Lukowich told him many moons ago.
Smith grew up playing hockey in the small town of Lillooet, BC, and he had the chance to attend a match between the WHL’S Kamloops Blazers and the Victoria Cougars when he was 11.
After the game, Smith found a hockey stick behind the benches that was in perfect shape. After a quick look around to ensure the coast was clear, he decided to grab it. While testing out the new stick with his friends, Gavin heard, “Hey! That’s my stick!”
“I must have looked like a deer in the headlights because, I thought I was going to catch hell for this one,” explained Smith. “I stood there dumbfounded and quickly tried to make amends by asking him if he wanted it back. He told me to hold on as he went aboard the bus. He came out with a black marker and signed: ‘To Gavin: Good Luck and Best Wishes, Brad Lukowich.’”
After finding out a few details about Smith, Lukowich gave him a message he would never forget.
“He asked me what position I played, and I proudly said defence. He said ‘That’s good now you play tuff as sandpaper out there no matter what.’ The message stuck with me through hockey and small town life.”
Even though Smith never made it big in hockey, he claims to “still play tough as sandpaper.” Since that time he’s earned nicknames such as ‘badger’ and ‘ferocious,’ proof that he’s stuck by Lukowich’s words of wisdom.
Smith describes a recent hockey fight he took part in, while keeping Lukowich’s message in mind.
“It all started when one of their D men played me up high. I gave him a shot to the dome, and he answered back with a slash across my waist with his stick. I grabbed him in a head lock and gave him a pile driver into the ice. He squirmed around pretty good but I kept his head held tight until the refs pulled me off.”
Lukowich still remembers signing Smith’s stick, which he kept in mint condition.
Now Lukowich has found his way back to British Columbia after playing for the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks. The Cranbrook native has played 11 games for the Canucks; he scored his first goal against the Buffalo Sabres on January 25.