LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ROAD
Captain Roberto Luongo
is excited to get on the road for two busy weeks and regain his form that saw the superstar goaltender post a record of 11-5-2 before his injury. The rest of the players are also looking forward to creating some momentum and climbing the Western Conference ranks.
“I think we’re excited to go on the road,” said Luongo. “It’s been a while and we’ll spend some time with the boys and really try to build on what we’ve done in the last few games here.
“The effort should be there every night, that shouldn’t be an issue. It’s a matter of making sure we do the right things on the ice and keep getting points in the standings. Even though they’re road games, we know we can play well on the road, we’ve done it, and it’s just a matter of getting out there, playing a simple game and being confident.”
The Canucks will play tomorrow in St. Louis, before heading to Phoenix and Dallas for back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday.
“I think getting to play more games and playing every other night hopefully will help us get in the rhythm and hopefully build on some of the good things we’ve been doing that last few games,” said Mats Sundin.
“All three teams we’re going to play on this road trip are all teams, besides Dallas, the other two are just below us, so they’re very important games for the standings and just to start finding our road game,” said Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Johnson was the only player not to take the ice at 10am for the morning practice, but the centreman joined the team for the second half, after having a check up with his doctor. Following practice the team left for St. Louis.
The decisive 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks did not go to the players’ heads. Instead the team was quick to recognize areas they could improve as they head into a stretch of eight games in eight different cities.
“We scored on almost every chance we had on the power play,” said Sundin. “If you take out the power play, I don’t think we had that great of a game, to be honest with you. They outshot us and had more chances than we did over the whole game.
“But the positive thing from last game was the power play and hopefully we can keep that going and keep improving as a group. We need all four lines getting better as we go on and we have a lot of tough games coming up.”
The victory sends the team on the road on a high note and they are focused on building upon their past two wins.
Alex Burrows played his first game as a centre for the Canucks, after Vigneault made a game-time decision to play winger Mason Raymond
and scratch centre Kyle Wellwood. Both Raymond and Wellwood participated in the pre-game warm-up on Saturday.
Vigneault decided to go with Raymond, because Wellwood while 90% healthy after having the flu, has not been producing offensively and Raymond was completely healthy. Wellwood, who doesn't have a point in his last nine games, is not expected to rejoin the lineup for the game in St. Louis.
It is also likely that d-man Rob Davison will dress for tomorrow's game instead of Shane O'Brien.
“I think right now Shane’s not playing [against St. Louis], he’s got to work and stay ready, right now Davison’s playing really well,” said Vigneault.