LOOKING FOR VICTORY
The Canucks, who opened the 2009.10 season with a couple of losses, are 0-2-0 for the first time since 2001. Not quite the start the club was hoping for, but being only two games in, there is plenty of time to turn it around.
"There was probably panicking after the first game," said Daniel Sedin. “That's the way it is here. Players who play here get used to that. But it's 80 games to go. You can start to panic if you feel that the team isn't playing good enough but, for the most part, I think we played pretty good in those games."
"You know that as soon as you lose one or two in a row in Vancouver that people are going to start panicking a little bit," said defenseman Shane O’Brien. "They love this team and live and die by it. But there is no panic in here. It's a long year. We had a big camp and it's going to take a little bit of time to get the chemistry back and get everyone clicking."
“We [have to] take a step back and take a deep breath, and go out and play with discipline within our system” said veteran Ryan Johnson. “We know if we go out and play the way we can [and] approach the game with the mentality that we’re going to have to work for everything we get, we’re going to be okay.”
Netminders Roberto Luongo and Andrew Raycroft took to the ice for today's optional skate alongside Aaron Rome, Tanner Glass, and Mathieu Schneider. The remaining players took part in a video session this morning.
The Canucks, whose penalty kill is rated 27th in league, know they need to stay out of the box in order to start collecting wins.
“Right now, we're killing a lot of penalties and it's tough to get that flow in the game that you want,” explained Daniel. “Then guys who are killing penalties have a tough time to get going. I think if we can just stay out of the box, the rest will follow.”
As for Head Coach Alain Vigneault, execution is key. Firing over 77 shots, the Canucks are second in the league for shots on net, but are having trouble finishing.
“[The players] are definitely aware they need to do better,” said Vigneault.
“They’re smart and they understand the game and they know what it takes to be successful in the game. Are execution has not been as good as it can be and I expect it to be a lot better tonight. If we execute better we are going to put ourselves in a situation where we can be more physical, we can go to the net harder and get on those second opportunities that are right in front of the other team’s net.”
Tonight the club faces off against the Columbus Blue Jackets for their home opener at GM Place. Last season the Canucks went 1-2-1 against the Blue Jackets. Columbus is coming off a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. Puck drops at 7 PST.
Tonight marks defenseman Sami Salo’s 600th career game.
“For me it hasn’t been easy,” chuckled Salo, who has had an injury riddled career. “It’s a grueling schedule for everybody, 82 games, and it’s a battle every night. I’m happy to be where I’m at right now.”
The 35-year-old Finland native netted 5 goals and 20 assists (5-20-25) last season with the Canucks.