I’ve been salivating at the thought of a fast heavy pesky line of Antoine Roussel, Bo Horvat, and Jake Virtanen for a while. Injury to my favourite French Canuck since Alex Burrows has left me in fantasy land, but now Roussel has cleared the LTIR and been recalled to the big club after a conditioning stint in the AHL.
The big question in my mind is: will he be able to pick up where he left off?
There is no doubting his motivation, work ethic, or inherent skill. What is in doubt is his speed, conditioning, timing, and game sense. With a third of the season gone, everyone else is (by definition) in mid-season form. The Rooster is not really done his training camp yet.
I’m hopeful. But I’m also a Canucks fan. Like all the other girls I’ve loved, there are ups and downs in our relationship. Despite all the great times, and some near-misses, we’ve never made it to the ultimate prize. That makes me nervous about expecting too much.
I wonder if Head Coach Travis Green (HCTG) will even give our boy a chance to get in and muck it up, take a few penalties, and settle in to the pesky agitator role that is certainly part of his toolbox. Given the epic collapses this young team has had recently, will taking a bad penalty or two staple him to the bench? Asking for a friend (right: Loui Ericksson?).
On the other hand, even if Roussel doesn’t get into trouble, is his skill set enough to keep him in over alleged “Scorers” like Goldobin or Baertschi? When Beagle and Motte are healthy they can provide a bit of grit, and they are good penalty killers who free up players like Horvat and Pearson to do that offence thing which is where the new Nucks win games. All those players are fighting or jobs, is there room for Rou?
So: what think you? Will Roussel play? Will he score? Or will he be trade bait on a team with a surplus of wingers and not much cap space?
How many games will Roussel play in December?
This poll is closed
0 - 3 (and he gets traded?)
4-8 (starts strong, but gets injured?)
6-12 (takes time to get going, but wins a spot)
All 13 games! (comes out blazing, lifts the Canucks back into the top of the Pacific)