The expectations for this team are so high that even at this early stage you have to ask really how well are they playing?
They have won four straight and have points in five consecutive games.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin have points in ten of the eleven games played. Ryan Kesler did not have a point in the first four games and now has goals in three of the last four. The line of Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres and Jannik Hansen has thirteen points in the last four games including Torres’ hat trick in Edmonton. Cory Schneider has won both his starts and has looked very good. Roberto Luongo has had two bad periods and that is it.
This has all occurred with Alex Burrows on the shelf, Sami Salo not available, Dan Hamhuis ailing and Keith Ballard banged up for five games.
Individually the players have played well but what has been most impressive is how the Canucks have played as a team.
Special teams are a group effort.
The penalty killers have been perfect in eight of eleven games.The power play has scored at least one goal in seven of eleven games and really that is seven of ten games as they did not have a power play chance in the game against the Florida Panthers on October 11th.
The Canucks have won the faceoff battle in ten of eleven games. They have outhit their opponents in ten of eleven games and in the one where they were on the wrong side the hits were 27-26. This shows that as a team they have been involved in each and every game.
This team is not playing pretty well they are playing really well and doing it as a team.