TOO BAD MORAL VICTORIES DON’T COUNT
With the hand they’ve been dealt, the Canucks have worked hard and played well this season. Losing 12 players to injuries so early in the season, including the clubs top scorer and star goaltender, leaves sizable gaps within the line up, but the Canucks battled through that storm and now with healthy bodies sliding back in the Canucks, last season’s Northwest Division Champs, should be rolling in the wins.
But season stats don’t reflect moral victories, case in point, as the team sit only one game above .500 (12-11-0) and five points back of Division leading Colorado Avalanche.
Last night the Canucks out shot and dominated play over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Limiting their opposition to 17 shots, allowing only one power play opportunity, and kept Luongo’s crease clear of traffic, and yet they couldn’t squeeze one past Chicago’s backup Antti Niemi.
"We had good net presence, we had good shots on net but we just couldn't get the bounce, or the screen at the net, to put it past [Niemi],” explained head coach Alain Vigneault.
“Good teams find ways to win these games or at least bring it to overtime,” said netminder Roberto Luongo. “We let a couple points slip away here.”
"That's four really good efforts in a row, the Detroit game, the two Colorado games and tonight," said AV. " We're 2-2, but we've played a lot better than a 2-2 record. It's tough to win right now. We just have to stick with our process. Our process is really good and I'm confident we'll get this rolling here."
“It's not discouraging,” said Daniel Sedin. “I mean it was just one of those games. We know that .500 isn't good enough for our team. We have a nice schedule now with a lot of home games and we have to take care of business.”
At GM Place, the Canucks rank 7th in the league posting an impressive a 8-3-0 home record.
SHAKE OFF THE RUST
On a positive note, forward Daniel Sedin returned to the Canucks line up yesterday after missing 18 games with a broken foot.
"I felt fine," said Daniel who skated alongside brother Henrik and Alex Burrows. "I mean, I didn't have the hands I wanted, but that'll come. The timing, it's going to take a few games probably. For a first game [back], I felt pretty good."
"I thought for a first game after more than six weeks off he looked all right,” said Vigneault.
"I tried to keep my shifts short," said Daniel logging 18:18 minutes of ice time. "It's when you over-skate that you get in trouble, but coach put me out there quite a lot and that's what it's going to take to get back."
Last night, the teams’ top line combined for a total of 13 of 30 shots on net.
Vancouver, midway through their five game home stand, aren’t scheduled for a game until Thursday night when the club plays host to the 8th best team in the league, the Los Angeles Kings.