SALO MAKES THE TRIP
Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed today that defenceman Sami Salo will be travelling with the team on their upcoming 14 game road trip.
Salo suffered a groin injury in the match against the Dallas Stars last Thursday, and after missing two games, skated this morning on his own before the team's practice at General Motors Place.
Willie Mitchell, however, is still showing symptoms of a concussion and will not be leaving with the team on Thursday for the road trip. Mitchell has missed four games so far due to the injury.
“Willie right now is still not totally symptom free,” said Vigneault. “You never know with that type of injury. Obviously we’re not going to take any chances and once Willie’s ready to go and start to train again, we’ll take it a step at a time.”
THE LONG ROAD AHEAD
After tomorrow night’s match against the St. Louis Blues, the Canucks will depart on an 18 day road trip that will start out in Toronto on January 30, and end in Minnesota on February 14.
At the beginning of the season the Canucks lost five out of their first seven away games but stepped it up of late and are now 10-11-1 on the road. Vancouver has done anything but struggle at home winning an NHL-high 22 games so far.
After winning their last five games, the Canucks hope to continue their success on the road. Monday night’s 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres brought the Canucks (32-18-2) to a tie with the Colorado Avalanche (30-15-6) for first place in the Northwest Division, and third place in the Western Conference with 66 points.
Even with the first half of the long road trip ahead consisting of eight games, the Canucks are excited about the trip, and especially going back out East.
“I’m looking forward to it and I think our players are looking forward to it,” said Vigneault. “Our record lately on the road, we’re 7-2-1 in our last ten games. We’re going on the Eastern swing which is always a lot of fun for players, coaches, management, to go and see the original six Canadian teams.”
“It’s going to be fun, we’re going to a couple of good cities,” said Ryan Kesler. “We’re going to a couple cities where we’re stuck there for a couple of days. We’re going to be in Tampa for three days and we’re going to Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa and those are always fun cities to play in.”
All the talk after this morning’s practice surrounded the topic of what the players are packing with them, or if they have even started.
“I don’t know about this one, it’s going to be a tough one,” said Roberto Luongo. “We’re going all over all sorts of climates. Snow coats, sandals, flip-flops, shorts, bathing suits, all kinds of stuff.”
“Just grab my bag and walk out the door with it,” said Brad Lukowich. “A suitcase with some suits, and we’re going to Florida so I have to throw some trunks in there. It’s going to be a busy day. I think everyone will be out about the town today getting new bags and new stuff for it.”
“I think Hordi will only have a computer bag and one pair of underwear that’s it,” said Alex Burrows. “It’s going to be a big suitcase and a lot of stuff. It’s a long road trip and we’re going from cold weather in Montreal to warm weather in Tampa and back to cold weather in Minni so we have to make sure we pack a lot.”
Before the big departure the Canucks will face the St. Louis Blues tomorrow night at home looking for their sixth straight win.