The Canucks have suffered their first losing road trip since October, ending up on the wrong side of a 3-1 decision to the Nashville Predators last night.
Despite the loss, Coach Vigneault was impressed by the play of his injury depleted team.
“I like the quality of our chances, and I don’t think we gave them that many, but unfortunately we lost the game,” said Coach Vigneault.
The Predators got a go-ahead-goal and an insurance marker in the final minutes of the second period, then tightened up defensively, preventing the Canucks from creating many quality scoring chances in the 3rd period.
''It's a frustrating game for us,'' said Canucks centre Ryan Kesler, who had no points and was minus -1 in 22: 26 of ice time.
''They got a couple of lucky bounces and then they sat back. I don't think any of their guys crossed the red line after they were up by two. They're like robots. I don't think they want to score. They just want to capitalize on their chances. You've got to give it to their coach”.
The Canucks return to Vancouver to begin a six game home stand against the Dallas Stars tomorrow night.
More than likely the Canucks will ice the same lineup that played in Nashville. No word yet the timetable for Dan Hamhuis’ return. He began light skating earlier this week. Fellow defenseman Keith Ballard will be out for at least another week.
After going 2-8-1 in their last 11 games, the once second place Stars now find themselves tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with three other teams.
Making matters worse, the Stars will be without top scorer Brad Richards for the game. It’s believed Richards suffered a concussion in the final period of last Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Daniel Sedin scored his 30th of the season last night, joining teammate Ryan Kesler in the 30 goal club.
The Canucks have registered two 30 goal scorers six different times in franchise history, the first, in 1972-73 when Bobby Schmautz and Andre Boudrias both reached the marker.
Last season, the Canucks fell two goals shy of having four 30 goal scorers for the first time in franchise history. Both Alex Burrows and Mikael Samuelsson finished above 30, while Henrik and Daniel Sedin had 29 each.
Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi are the only Canuck teammates to register 40 goal seasons in the same year. They did it in 2002-03.