The biggest story of the night was not Cody Hodgson's long-awaited emergence, but more his lack of it and the great rebound performance by Cory Schneider. Hodgson had a great chance to get his game going on a line with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond but showed almost nothing early on and found himself demoted to line 3 and then to line 4. He played only 11:33, had 2 shots and was a +1. He saw no powerplay time as his downward spiral ensued. I don't want to get too down on the kid, but where does the "rusty" excuse end? He looked lost, slow and out of place. His chances of making the team are all but over for now.
Hodgson stated after the game that he just wants to play, whether it be with the Canucks or with the Manitoba Moose. If he's frustrated he's not showing it. When asked about his progressive demotion tonight he said: "You have to ask the coach. I don't read anything into it. I just play." Well, how about a good old "I just wasn't good enough"? Ah well, his time in Manitoba will benefit him as a jump from the OHL to the NHL is not in the cards for him. 2 more preseason games left. It's going to take 2 awesome performances from him now....
-Cory Schneider was solid, and he got help from his friends this time around, as the Canucks held the Sharks to only 11 shots through 2 periods. He then faced 13 shots in the 3rd period and shut the door.
-Great seeing Jeff Tambellini score a beauty and get rewarded for a hard-fought evening.
-Dan Hamhuis played another solid game.
-Keith Ballard, who looked slow much of the night, gave us one of the best highlights of the evening, right when I was bagging on him to my friends:
Vintage Ballard right there.
-Speaking of highlights of the night, how about Raymond's goal?
Thanks for coming, Dan Boyle. Raymond has looked great from the start and really looks to own up to his aspirations for the coming season: to score even more. So shifty. So quick. So resilient. Love it.
-The Kurtenbloggers ask a very relevant question: Do the Canucks really need an enforcer? Go there and check out what they think. My answer? Yes, but only if he has enough skills to play the game at a decent level. My other answer is: see Detroit Red Wings. 2009-10. 2008-09. The last goon they had was Aaron Downey in the 2007-08 season. How many playoff games did he play that season? None. Hey, I love a good fight, but it now comes down to a goon with no skill should not take the roster spot of a player who can play. Of course, it's not that simple though is it? Especially when not everyone buys into that theory. So if you have a Zach Stortini running the twins somebody needs to rub him out. But...Detroit doesn't do it with a goon, and they are a model for success.