The Canucks suffered a 3-2 loss to Edmonton last night, although team veterans were still getting a feel for the ice, and Roberto Luongo is experimenting with some new techniques, there were still some bright spots among Canuck prospects fighting for their spots.
Luongo told reporters following Wednesday’s morning skate that he was going into the game with suggested improvements from new goalie coach Roland Melanson in mind. These changes involved keeping Luongo deeper in his crease, hoping to have a better shot at picking up rebounds and backdoor shots.
"Anything to make my game better,” he said, “I'm willing to try it. I probably have three more games this preseason to work on the process."
Lee Sweatt, who played without his brother in the second game in as many nights, showed promised on the defense, making three big hits and iced 18:50 of time, including some on the penalty kill.
The pairing of Alex Edler and Dan Hamhuis also looked good last night, receiving positive comments from head coach, Alain Vigneault post-game. “I like that pair,” he said, “I thought Hamhuis played well, I thought he was good with his decisions with the puck, and Eddie jumped in with the puck when he was supposed to. I think they got better together as the game went on.”
Hamhuis had five shots, while Edler assisted on Daniel Sedin’s goal.
Peter Schaefer brought the crowd to their feet last night when he tied the game at 8:03 in the third with a short-handed goal from just inside the blue line. Schaefer is on a professional tryout contract with the Canucks and trying to get his way back into the NHL since the 2007-08 season. He has a goal, two hits, two blocked shots, and is a plus-1 in two preseason games.
The Sedins also racked up a point apiece against the Oilers when Henrik assisted Daniel on the Canucks first goal early in the third on the powerplay.
Unfortunately, these bright spots couldn’t secure a victory for the team who are now 0-3 in the preseason. The Anaheim Ducks are up next for the Canucks as the teams face each other Saturday night at Rogers Arena.
CANUCKS HIT THE GREENS
Today is the 27th annual Jake Milford Golf Tournament, which pairs three golfers with a notable Canuck player or alumni. Teams compete for prizes and the top score.
Previous Canuck winners include Darcy Hordichuk and Willie Mitchell. It’s a day that’s all in good fun, and raises money for the Canucks for Kids Fund, which dedicates resources to charities who support children’s health and wellness, the development of grassroots hockey and encourages childhood education in British Columbia.
The organizations helped by this event can be found all over the lower mainland. Some of these include:
For over 15 years this childrens hospice provides support for children with life-threatening illnesses, and provides them and their families a home away from home.
Canucks Autism Network
CAN supports families living with autism by providing recreational, sports, social and vocational development programs. They also run an in-school program, We CAN Be Friends, which encourages friendship and understanding of autistic classmates.
BC Children’s Hospital
The Canucks for Kinds Fund has worked closely with BC Children’s hospital over the years, providing funding for many of the hospitals additions.
This is a character education curriculum for primary students which integrates literacy and social skills at critical learning phases.
Canucks Centre for BC Hockey
This organization spans across British Columbia, working with players, coaches and administrators to gain skills and encourage the overall development of grassroots hockey.