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Canucks Report: On the road again

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
The final regular season road trip of the season is underway for the Vancouver Canucks.

First stop: St. Louis.

The Canucks face the Blues Monday night to open a four-game trek in the first of back-to-back games. Vancouver is 2-0-0 against St. Louis this season, including a 4-1 win in the Gateway City last October.

Morning skate was fully attended by everyone who traveled, which excludes Zack Kassian and Brad Richardson. Neither will play tonight and it’s unclear if/when they’ll join the Canucks on this trip.

Coach Desjardins did not have any line-up updates for tonight. Eddie Lack gets the start and coach is uncertain who will be in net for the Canucks Tuesday in Nashville.

Desjardins is taking things day-by-day and actually period-by-period. He’s hoping for an improved start against the Blues, who haven’t scored a 1st period goal in nine straight games.

“If you look at your record when you score first, it’s certainly higher,” said Desjardins. “For us, we need a good start and it’s not that our starts have been bad, they just haven’t been good enough.

“Our players are real character guys, they’ve been real good on the road and we’re hoping to continue that.”

BOOM, BOOM

The Canucks and Blues combined for 75 hits in their last meeting and everyone is expecting the same this time around.

“They’re a big, physical team, heavy on the forecheck and that’s what they’re going to be doing, that’s what we’ll be expecting,” said Jannik Hansen.

“These are the types of teams you see in the playoffs, these big, physical teams and you have to find a way to play against them and beat them if you want to go anywhere.”

ROAD WARRIORS

The Canucks are 22-12-3 on the road this season, good for sixth overall in the NHL. Above them are three teams who have already clinched playoff spots (Anaheim, NYR & Montreal) and two heavily in the post-season picture St. Louis & Chicago.

Winning on the road is a recipe for success and Henrik Sedin anticipates a solid effort from Vancouver tonight.

“It seems like we’re at our best playing on the road against really good teams. We get up for those games and it seems we’re more focused, so it’s good for us to get on this road trip.”

Nick Bonino also spoke with CanucksTV, saying life on the road is distraction free and makes for a more focused team.

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