After going 4-8-0 away from home, the Canucks have seamlessly pulled it together winning their last three road games including back-to-back games against New Jersey and Philadelphia.
The Canucks, midway though their four-game road trip, finally have a healthy line (with the exception of Pavol Demitra and Michael Grabner), are skating well, pulling together solid efforts, getting secondary scoring, and have a top line (D. Sedin, H. Sedin and Burrows) that’s looking like the same three guys who combined amassed 215 points last season.
"We were searching for our identity for quite a while because we had so many guys injured," said defencemen Willie Mitchell. "The coaching staff was searching for that, too, because they really couldn't set a lineup because there were so many bodies out.”
"I think they are able to do that much better now. As players for the most part when you have a consistent lineup you get your tendencies and play much better. I think you are seeing a more sound game from us."
"We know we can play,” added Alex Burrows, who notched his fourth goal in six games last night against the Flyers. “We're finding ways right now. We're playing more like we did last year, when we were successful finding ways and playing smart hockey. Getting pucks deep and chipping pucks out. Doing all the little things.”
"Hopefully, we'll be able to build on that."
The Canucks, who at one point during a three-game losing skid were outscore by their opponents 11-3, are now the sixth highest scoring team in the league thanks to contributions from all throughout their lineup.
Canuck blueliners have combined for six goals and 12 points (6-6-12) in their last four games. Defencemen Sami Salo notched his first goal of the season Wednesday in New Jersey, while Willie Mitchell notched his third goal of the season Thursday in Philadelphia.
Alex Edler, who saw this four game point streak come to an end Thursday, has also been racking up points recording 19 points (2-17-19) in 28 games this season. At 6’3” and 215 lbs., the Ostersund, Sweden native, is on par for a 55-point season.
Christian Ehrhoff, who is the leagues 9th highest scoring defencemen, has also been consistently chipping in. With seven goals and 11 assists (7-11-18) in 28 games, Ehrhoff’s play has led him to top spot on the Canucks plus/minus board coming in at plus 12, after finishing in San Jose last season at minus 12.
HODGSON STILL WAITING
Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson, who was invited to participate in the National Junior Selection camp for a spot on the 2010 Canadian World Junior Championship team earlier this week, will meet with Dr. Tony Miniaci today to find out the status on his nagging back injury that’s kept him out of the Brampton Battalion line up since returning from a pre-season stint with Vancouver as reported by Jim Jamieson of The Province.
Hodgson, who injured his back during off-ice training this past summer, has been practicing with his teammates for the last ten days but has yet to suit up.
"I think we're at the stage where the most important thing is to do the right thing," said Don Meehan, Hodgson’s agent. "It's a stage-by-stage process."
"This is not a deadline issue. The only deadline is being healthy. He's got a long career ahead of him."