With Ryan Kesler
out indefinitely, the Vancouver Canucks recalled Brad Moran from the Manitoba Moose Friday morning. More
"A little bit [surprised to be called up]," said Moran. "You just never know, it's great to get [the call] and I just look forward to getting out there."
In 45 games with the Moose, Moran leads the team in scoring with 52 points (16-36-52), including 8 power-play goals.
"It's been a good year and you just have to wait for things to fall in place. Vancouver's been fortunate up front and there haven't been a lot of injuries in my type of position so you wait your turn and when it comes, try to make the best of it."
He will get the chance to make the most out of it for sure with coach Alain Vigneault giving him time on the powerplay.
"We're going to start with those units with Moran being on one," says Vigneault. "If we call him up - he's an offensive player - we're going to give him the opportunity to play in an offensive role to see if he can get it done."
Moran will be enjoying his visit here, trying to make it as long as possible, especially with family nearby cheering him on.
"I think it's a thrill," he said. "It's really exciting. You grow up watching Vancouver and now I'll get to play for them, it's like a dream come true."
He's already got five NHL games under his belt but will make his debut in a Canucks jersey tomorrow night.
In five games with the Blue Jackets, he recorded a goal and an assist so he's not stranger to the NHL and he's going to make the most out of his visit to Vancouver.
"I think I've just got to try to relax and play my game and do the things that I've successful at - that's why they called me up. So I've got to settle down and don't try to do things I don't normally do." GOING DOWN
A couple faces were missing from Friday's practice. Lukas Krajicek, who left early in the game on Tuesday against Edmonton and missed Wednesday's game against Chicago, and Jan Bulis both missed today's skate with the team.
Krajicek was diagnosed with a minor concussion after a hard hit by Zach Stortini Tuesday night.
"He's symptom free today so he rode the bike," said Vigneault. "I don't expect him tomorrow but I do expect him next Wednesday."
You won't see Bulis tomorrow night either, who missed practice today with a sore shoulder.
"Unless something miraculous happens sometime between today and tomorrow, I don't expect him to play tomorrow. I do expect him to be ready on Wednesday."
Bulis carried a large ice pack with him as he left the GM Place today.
Vigneault says Brandon Reid of the Manitoba Moose will join the team tomorrow night against Atlanta. Reid has 26 points (12-14-26) in 41 games with the Moose and is expected to play tomorrow night.
Vigneault has yet to decide who's going to sit.
Rick Rypien, who's only seen two games with the Canucks before getting injured will be travelling to Manitoba this afternoon. More
He's been skating with the team for the past week and will get to try out how he feels in a few games down on the farm team.
"He's going to Winnipeg, he's going to play the next couple games there and see how he is." MAKING IT WORK
Since the Canucks seven game win streak, they have gone 6-3-3 and scored 14 power-play goals during that span, good for 25 percent.
In the last three games, the Canucks have scored just two, going 13.3 percent. Both of those opportunities came with the Canucks up two men.
A key Vigneault has stated throughout the season, and the players would echo, is consistency.
"We were at our best when, obviously, when we were getting great goaltending, our power-play was getting us a goal a game at least, and we were getting contributions on three lines on a pretty regular basis."
The Canucks are alternating wins and losses in the past seven games.
After they suffer a loss, the Canucks have won the games by at least two goals in those games.
"I'm really surprised at what's happening right now. This group has really been consistent in their preparation and their work ethic and that's all about being a professional. For us to get two types of effort like we did in Calgary and the way we did against Chicago, it's not what this group is all about and it's a surprise to me."
"Any team that wants to have success on a consistent basis and make it to the playoffs, they need that."
No one will doubt their consistent work ethic, especially watching in practice and no one will doubt their determination to make it to the playoffs but generating effort for the full 60 minutes has been something the team's been focused on all season.
"Consistency is something we're working towards," says Captain Markus Naslund, who was on a five-game point streak before Wednesday. "We've had stretches of it so it's important to get back to it especially at this stage of the season, getting prepared for the playoffs. I think it all comes down to focusing on what we have to do and execution."
"We're going to have to play a solid 60 if we want a chance to win," said Roberto Luongo
"Some nights we're facing teams in our division and some nights we're not - it doesn't matter who we're facing it's always going to be the same thing for us, we've got to make sure we're ready to play and we do the little things right."
The Canucks hope to bounce back Saturday night against Atlanta Thrashers, who last visited GM Place February 13, 2004.