There were a lot of positives to take out of that game last night, and no we're not back to that moral victory nonsense from a couple years ago. This is a new day, friends. We need to recognize that this is a team in flux, and changing before our very eyes. So when you see the 2nd PP unit scrap out a goal like that, and Jared McCann with a highlight reel snipe (and how about that scouting report on how to beat Hiller? Damn shame they didn't try it more), to Ben Hutton jumping into a scrum, defending Daniel Sedin, the youth movement is in full effect.
Another positive from last night was the play of Ryan Miller. You can't fault him on any of those goals last night, and he damn near stole that game for the Canucks. His focus on adjusting the mechanics of his game with goaltending coach Roland Melanson seems to be paying off dividends, and if this is the kind of effort the Canucks will be getting from him on a nightly basis, it certainly gives them some hope. That being said, they need to get more offensive production, and we're more likely to see 2 goal nights than the 5 they put up on opening night in Calgary. In the end, defensively the Canucks struggled (Hamhuis and Bartkowski were noticeably bad last night) and losing Alex Edler before the game to illness (or is it injury?) didn't help matters any.
The next 7 days see the Canucks play 4 times, 2 at home and 2 away against 4 very different teams. They start off in Anaheim, where they see former Canucks D Kevin Bieksa for the first time since trading him to the Ducks. The Ducks will be so happy to see the Canucks, and not at all angry about losing their season opener to the San Jose Sharks 2-0 last night. Speaking of losing, the Canucks will then head across town Tuesday to play the 0-2 Los Angeles Kings. Smart money has both these teams picking up their first wins of the year at the Canucks' expense, and widespread panic from the Canucks' always rational fan base spreading like wild fire.
After a couple days off, the Canucks will return home for a Friday night date against Ken Hitchcock's Travelling Bozo Sideshow aka the St Louis Blues. They then finish up with a Sunday evening game against the Edmonton Oilers, which means that Connor McDavid will get his first NHL goal against the Canucks, because that is the way the hockey gods intended it. They'll still lose, but the hockey universe will see that as a win for the Oilers.
Finally, I know others have said it, but this is my post so I guess I will add my voice to the fire. What in the holy hell was the crew at Sportsnet thinking last night when they not only didn't play the national anthem before the Canucks game (whether or not you agree with it's need to be there it's tradition and until they turf it you should televise it), but the night they choose to do this, is the night the Canucks pay tribute to their long-time anthem singer Richard Loney, who passed a few weeks ago. Shameful. Disrespectful. And something that wouldn't happen to the Leafs or Habs. Sportsnet owes the family of Mr. Loney, the Canucks organization and their fans an apology. And while we're on the topic of Sportsnet and disrespect, come on guys. Seriously...
Let's take a look at what the Smylosphere's saying about last night, shall we?
HOT FRESH LINKS
- VanCity Buzz saying what we're all thinking...
- Pass It To Bulis watched this game too? Sheesh, it's like they do this for every damn game...
- Nice breakdown of the game from your boy Botchford
- And it wouldn't be a post-game without the Provies
- And if you didn't see them last night, the Shap Crew had an awesome Photoshap contest with a Saturday Night Live theme. Check them out here
AROUND THE LEAGUE
- USA Today's Kevin Allen with 10 surprises from week 1 in the NHL
- Gonna take the high road here, and wish Brad Marchand a speedy recovery after an unfortunate blow to the head
- The Kings put Jeff Schultz on waivers
- One of the early rookies to watch? How about Detroit's Dylan Larkin.
- Two games. Two games and because the universe hasn't unfolded the way the prophets have foretold, the apology squad is out in full force...
- Some other guy hasn't scored either, let alone had a shot on net
KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY
Some local metal for you this time, with Vancouver's (by way of Victoria) Unleash The Archers with a great, Mad Max-esque video from their latest release on Napalm Records, 'Time Stands Still'. Check out 'Tonight We Ride'!