The Vancouver Canucks played a solid 60 minutes of hockey last night to secure a 4-0 victory over the visiting Nashville Predators. Captain Roberto Luongo
registered his 41st career shutout and Kyle Wellwood scored twice in the win. Both were named stars of the game along with Daniel Sedin
who had a goal and assist.
Wellwood was recalled on October 19th only three days after being reassigned to the Manitoba Moose when Pavol Demitra fractured a rib in the 4-2 loss to the Blackhawks. Welllwood recorded five points (1-4-5) in six games during the preseason.
Since rejoining the Canucks, Wellwood has found his rhythm, scoring six goals, adding one assists and helping the team improve their record to 7-6-0. The 25 year old centre who the Canucks claimed off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs in July 2008, is feeling comfortable on the ice again after a slow start.
"It's an amazing story, you know he was probably a day away from being in a different country so he's stepped in nicely," said Kevin Bieksa
. "He's scored some big goals for us and he's given us another dimension on the power play. He's been great and everyone in this dressing room is happy for him."
His confidence with the puck and stick-handling was evident last night.COYOTES IN TOWN
Wanye Gretzky and the Pheniox Coyotes were at GM Place this morning preparing for tomorrow's match up against the Canucks, coming off a 4-2 win over the Flames in Calgary last night .
With both teams looking to capitalize on the momentum form their wins the Canucks were working hard in practice this morning, hoping to start a winning streak at home. The team participated in skating, passing, and shooting drills. They also worked on their special teams that were a staple in their win over Nashville.
Head coach Alain Vigneault tested out a few line adjustments that he plans to ice in tomorrow's game.
Michel Ouellet who was recalled from the Manitoba Moose prior to yesterday's game will play his second game as a Canuck alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin
. Steve Bernier will play with Wellwood and Taylor Pyatt and speedy forward Mason Raymond
will remain with Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler
, in place of Jannik Hansen
who is out with a groin injury.
The Sedins who will continue to play with Wellwood on the power play are used to Vigneault's style of line experimentation.
"I think we've got a lot of good players in here," said Henrik. "For us [having different players fill out the top line has] never been a problem. It's not that we need a certain fit, we like to play with Berny, we like to play with Mas and he's a totally different player. I like the way Michel played in the third period last game."
While Vigneault is seemingly always searching for someone to complete the Sedin line, he compares building lines to putting together a puzzle.
“I think right now Kyle and Taylor and Steve have a little bit of chemistry there and I like Mas with Kes and Burr until Jannik comes back, he gives them a dimension of speed," said Vigneault.
"In the NHL you look across most of the teams, you’re not looking at lines, you’re mostly looking at duos and whether it be the twins or Kes with Burr or right now Kyle and Taylor seem to have a little something going here. It’s more about duos and then it’s about who is playing well. You try to fit the pieces in and see what happens."OTHER NEWS:
Pavol Demitra who has been out since October 19th after sustaining a fractured rib has been skating on his own for the past few days. His progress is being monitored and he is improving on a daily basis. Jannik Hansen
who suffered a groin injury skated this morning by himself before practice for the first time since October 31st. Rick Rypien is recovering from his sports hernia surgery.