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Morning Coffee- Oct 14/15

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Last year, we sat there in shock as we saw the Canucks seemingly playing over their heads. After a fair amount of change to the lineup, this year's Canucks were supposed to be getting crushed by now, weren't they? Still early, but they're starting to look a lot like last year's team.

While I still think that the win over Anaheim was far more impressive, how much damn fun was that last night? What? You're complaining about the game being boring? Oh, shut the hell up! Seriously, we've talked about this before. If you want style points, watch figure skating. The only points that matter are the two for the win. That being said, it's almost unnerving to see the Canucks starting to morph into a defensively responsible team. Sure, there's still issues and there's not a Norris winner in the bunch, but the team's approach to D is one of the reasons they've secured 7 of a possible 8 points in the first week of the season.

This start is important, as the schedule the rest of the way is going to be fairly tough. The Canucks play their next 5 at home, but look at who's visiting: St Louis, Edmonton, Washington, Detroit and Montreal. That Oilers game looks like the easiest of the bunch. While it's great to see the Canucks pick up where they left off last season when it comes to games on the road, they really need to rattle off some wins at home during this stretch.

And how about Adam Cracknell? His story just keeps getting better, doesn't it? For a guy who wasn't even supposed to have a sniff at making the lineup, he's become a legitimate threat on that 4th line, and even with Willie mixing the lines last night, he rattled off his 2nd goal in as many games to get things started last night. The BC kid is living his hockey dream right now, playing for the team he grew up cheering for, and getting the kind of effort we're seeing from him is helping take some of the pressure off the other lines. The scoring will come, so relax.

Barring a Jake Virtanen hat trick, it was a given that there would be grumbling about his usage last night, because Canucks fans gonna Canuck fan, right? Sure, he didn't get a lot of ice time in the 3rd, though that spree of game management Canucks penalties had a lot to do with it, but it's his first damn game, people. Let's just relax. Even if he goes back to junior, Jake Virtanen is going to be the face of this franchise in the future. Bringing him along the right way is far more important than having him lead in TOI in game 1.

And while last night was soaked in schadenfreude, what the hell is up with the Kings? They look even more flat and listless than last year's edition, and yes, small sample sizes and all that, but these first 3 games have shown us nothing that indicates a return to form for the Kings. Drew Doughty was pretty much a non-factor, and given his history, that's pretty unusual. Even Milan Lucic looked like he really couldn't give a rat's ass last night. There just wasn't any point in the game where I thought that a win for the Canucks was in danger, and I can't remember the last time you could say that in a game against LA.

FRESH HOT LINKS

- So there's this...

- If you want proof of the culture change in terms of building for the future, look no further than how the Canucks are grooming Bo Horvat for success

- On Wille Desjardins and the importance of winning out of the gate, Ben Kuzma talks about the Canucks buying into the system

- PITB's I Watched This Game is one of the funnier game recaps around, and this one doesn't disappoint.

- VanCity Buzz's Six Pack takes a look at Jake 'Big Country' Virtanen's debut

- And yes, we didn't forget the Provies...

- And finally, the Canucks Army wrap up for ya

AROUND THE LEAGUE

- Montreal are making an early push to be the beast of the East, and they piled on Pittsburgh's problems last night

- The latest power rankings (you know that thing where some dude opines on teams and ranks them, and people lose their shit over where their team, or ones they hate are slotted?) are out

- Fine, he got the goal. But shouldn't we be talking about this right now?

- San Jose is rolling right now. How much of this is the coaching change and how much is getting a good goaltender in Martin Jones?

- You know who else looks good right now? The Winnipeg Jets. For reals.

KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY

Yesterday we went to Sweden for a little Cranium, today, we shift over to Norway for some Speed Metal Hell from TOXIK DEATH