@ Vancouver Canucks
Friday, Jan 7, 2011, 7:00 PM PST
Enemy Blog:The Copper & Blue, Oilers Nation
Enemy Pro: Still find this to be so very cool.
Enemy Con: Who do you root for here exactly?
Complete Coverage >
I've never heard this quote before, but apparently it's something our old coach has told his new team as they fight to stay ahead of New Jersey as the worst team in the league. I dig it: an ugly, banal win is still two points in the standings. No bonus points for style. Take what you can get.
(Aren't we a cliche-happy bunch this week?!)
For what it's worth, it's a lesson that Vancouver seems to be is sticking too as well. Get outplayed in Dallas but got the points. Get shutdown in Colorado but the fourth liners get it done. Out of gas in San Jose but found a bounce to put one more puck in the net for them. Even the win against Calgary - as satisfying as they come - wasn't a clinic of pure dominance. The shot total wasn't the story, it was Calgary's insistence at hanging on at even strength, even with the game seemingly out of reach; they didn't (couldn't?) cash in on mistakes whereas Vancouver did.
Every game in this stretch has been a different script with different heroes.
Vancouver hasn't even played their strongest hockey yet, so until they do, two points is two points. Go and earn them, whether the opponent is 26 points behind you or two (which is the story for this entire weekend). For Edmonton they're playing for pride, their character, game-to-game consistency and
something anything to build on. They've played Vancouver close all season and there's no reason to think that won't happen again.
For Vancouver it's about discerning their new identity as an (dare I say it?) elite team and remaining focused on nothing more than their on-ice execution, something Vigneault and crew have drilled home since October only to see it bloom in full in January.
They could charm the paint off walls, these fellas.