Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Canucks Keep Rolling After Long Layoff

After a ridiculously long layoff the Vancouver Canucks have returned to action winning back to back games to start the month of November. With their first road win last night the Canucks have now won 4 in a row as they approach their first eastern road trip next week.

Before the road trip the Canucks take on the Avalanche tomorrow and the Red Wings at home Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada... yes the Canucks are finally on HNIC again. With Luongo starting back to back games this week Cory Schneider may get the nod tomorrow in Colorado, while the rest of lineup will remain the same.

Alex Burrows Returns
After missing the first month of the season Alex Burrows made his debut last night in Edmonton and didn't look too bad. One thing to keep and eye on with Burrows is whether Vigneault is going to play him on the power play this season. AV may opt to keep him fresh for his PK duties, or he could put him out on the first unit in Kesler's place. The PP has been very successful this season, so there is no reason to change things up, but at some point the second unit is going to need a legit centre and it just makes sense for Kesler to be that guy.
Forward Lines
With Burrows returning the rest of the forward lineup has fallen into place (for the most part). The top 3 lines are exactly what the Canucks envisioned in the off-season and (barring injuries) will be the lines the Canucks ice in April. While the top 3 are set, there are issues with the 4th line which the Canucks are just going to have to live with until Bolduc and Rypien return. Being so close to the cap means the Canucks are going to stick with what they've got for the foreseeable future.
Down on the Farm
So what's been happening in Manitoba? Well first, the Manitoba Moose website is awful. Truly terrible. Anyway, the Moose have lost 3 in a row and are currently 5-5 on the year. So how are the Canuck prospects doing?
First the good news. Defensemen Kevin Connauton and Lee Sweatt are putting up some nice numbers. Connauton has 3 goals and 3 assists in 10 games while Sweatt has some eye popping numbers: 3 goals, 2 assists, +7 with 36 shots on goal. Up front Sergei Shirokov is off to a decent start with 7 pts in 10 games and Joel Perrault also has 7 pts and is a +4 in 10 games. In goal, Lack and Weiman have split the duties with Lack posting a 2-3 record with a 2.19 gaa and .917 svPct.
Now the not so good news. Cody Hogdson got off to a rough start, but seems to be coming around. Hodgson has only 4 pts and is a -5 . The good news for Hodgson is that his 4 pts have all come in the last 5 games so he appears to be getting it going. The other not so good news is that Jordan Schroeder has yet to score and has only 5 shots on goal in 10 games. Yikes, not sure what's going on there. (Again the Moose and AHL websites are seriously lacking)
Roberto Luongo
Luongo has come out of the break looking very sharp. He was of course excellent in his shutout of the Devils and looked really good again in Edmonton. The only goal I didn't like was the Randy Jones goal. It wasn't a bad goal, but Luongo has to find a way to keep those garbage goals out.