It's been a while since the Canucks started off like this. Even last season, where they looked alright out of the gate, there wasn't quite yet the 'what the hell is going on here?' level of shock, especially after going two for two in Southern California, where hoping for a split was being optimistic at best. Sure, there's warts here. They're not scoring a ton, and the guys that are scoring aren't gonna be the team leaders at the end of the year, but there's a lot of really good things going on here.
- Ryan Miller: Pretty much everyone identified Miller as one of the biggest concerns heading into this season. If he couldn't at least play as well as he had last season, the Canucks were screwed. Instead, we've seen Miller come out and look much more like the goalie that won a Vezina trophy a few years back. His technical game has been superb, and thanks to the Canucks D tightening up, his in-game workload is dropping, which is only going to help. Heading into Tuesday's game against LA everyone was questioning the logic of letting Miller go back to back, especially after the way he'd handled it in the past. Miller responds with a shutout, and while once Jacob Markstrom returns we'll see him get the tail end of these back to backs more often, what a confidence boost for Miller and the team to see the way he performed this week.
- The effect of Ben Hutton on Luca Sbisa: Just think about this for a minute. Not only was there no one out there in the Smylosphere who had Hutton making the team before camp, but to have him having such a noticeable effect on Sbisa is truly remarkable. Now I am not trying to say Sbisa's reformed or anything like that. But the panic and jaw-droppingly bad plays are lessening, and Hutton is giving Sbisa options in his own zone that allow him to keep from handing the puck over as much. He ain't an all star, but he's looking a little more like someone who belongs in an NHL lineup, and that speaks volumes about Hutton and his potential. As far as Dan Hamhuis and Matt Bartkowski go? Oi... let's just say it's gonna be awesome to see Yannick Weber draw back in. Yeah, I just said that.
Lots of questions still to be answered this early in the season, but isn't it nice that a lot of these questions are ones that are positive and show the sense of optimism that maybe, just maybe Trevor Linden and Jim Benning are doing the right thing to get the Canucks on track for the future.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- Botch asks if the kids are alright...
- Jim Benning is liking this year's road crew
- Our puppet pal Guts McTavish looks at the Canucks drafting no longer being an embarrassment
- Thanks to Jeremy Rutherford for the heads up on who will start for St Louis on Friday night against the Canucks
Elliott will start in net for #stlblues on Thursday at. Edmonton, Allen on Friday at Vancouver.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) October 14, 2015
- Our old pal The Stanchion (aka Wyatt Arndt) has the ABC's over at VanCity Buzz and it's pretty good...
AROUND THE LEAGUE
- As someone who's suffered multiple sports-related concussions, I cannot tell you how disappointing this is
- And on that note, have we seen the last of Johan Franzen?
Wings GM Ken Holland confirms that Johan Franzen is being placed on long-term injured. Franzen has concussion-like symptoms.— Chuck Pleiness (@wingsfrontman) October 15, 2015
- Speaking of injuries, the high-flying Sharks might be losing Logan Couture for a while
- Down Goes Brown looks back at the 1st week in the NHL for Grantland which includes this gem...
Hey Vancouver fans. Remember a few weeks ago, when I predicted a double-digit playoff miss and said you had the third-worst long-term outlook of any team in the league? [Flaming fixed-gear bicycle crashes through window.] Oh you do remember. Cool, cool.
KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY
Thrashy death metallers REVOCATION are getting set to unleash a new album next month on Metal Blade Records, so check out the title track from 'Empire Of The Obscene'