After finishing up 5-1-1 on a long road trip, the Canucks were at home this past week. The blue and green hosted Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals and were able to come away with a solid 3-2 victory.
Unfortunately the team looked lethargic against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night and fell short 2-1. Looking to bounce back on Hockey Night in Canada, the Canucks were set to battle the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Vancouver looked very impressive all around on Saturday. Everything was stellar for the Canucks, from Pavel Bure’s retirement ceremony to dominating offensively to Luongo’s shutout. The building was electric and the team certainly looked like they were channeling their inner Russian Rocket.
ON THE ROAD
The team looks to keep that full-throttle mode going on this upcoming road trip versus division rivals in the west.
“We want to play our game. We just want to get back to attacking. We are trying to inflict an attack as best as we can,” said John Tortorella.
David Booth missed the last four games dealing with a suspected ailing groin, but took part in Monday’s practice at Rogers Arena before the team was scheduled to fly to Phoenix later in the afternoon. He said he wasn’t able to take strides at 100% in New Jersey and he needs to be able to skate well to be effective. Booth was later assigned to the Utica Comets on condition assignment.
Media made the west versus the east a key focus and inferred this upcoming road trip could be tougher than the previous eastern bout. Player’s had a mixed reaction overall.
“West teams play a little tighter game in their system. More defense first and offense second,” said Alex Burrows.
Chris Higgins added playing any NHL team is tough and the last trip was difficult. They just want keep the confidence going against the west coast teams.
Three of the teams the Canucks are about face have yet to lose in regulation at home. Kevin Bieksa said it’s going to be a challenge, “we are going into some hostile buildings and teams are on a roll. We are going to need our best.”
This will be the first time the Canucks meet the Coyotes in the regular season and can expect a run and gun Phoenix team on Tuesday. Newly acquired forward Mike Rebeiro has helped the team offensively and their power play has improved too according to Alex Burrows.
The last time the two teams played the Canucks beat down the Coyotes 6-1 in a pre-season match in September. However currently Vancouver sits in the 4th spot in the division behind Phoenix.
The boys look to create some deja vu from March 2011 when the Canucks ran the Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim gauntlet and went undefeated.