Canuck Power Play Clicks
Home ice advantage and winning 38 of 65 face offs had a lot to do with the Canuck 6 to 3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, but scoring 4 goals on 6 power play opportunities was the big difference in the game. Mason Raymond, the 23 year old second year pro scored 2 of the power play goals and 22 year old Danish rookie Jannik Hansen also added 2 goals. Roberto Luongo made a key play near the end of the second period when he stopped a penalty shot from young Oiler sniper Sam Gagner. The Oilers had tied the game 3 to 3 after being down by 2 goals only 5 minutes earlier. Had Gagner scored the Canucks might have completely deflated, but instead they came out strong and had again established a 2 goal lead within the first eight minutes of the 3rd period.
The Canuck brass is very high on the performance they’re getting from the young kids on the team and in particular from the Kesler, Burrows and Hansen line. This has been the team’s strongest unit with 9 goals and 20 points in 8 games. It may be that other teams have been underestimating the younger players on the Canucks, so watch for this to change in upcoming games. While they’re not saying much about it, the production the Canucks are getting from the Sedin line has to be a concern for the coaching and management staff. Henrik and Daniel have combined for an average of only one point a game over the last five games. If this keeps up and the other teams are able to shut down the Kesler unit then it’s going to be tough for the Canucks to maintain even a .500 average.
In their two home games so far this season, the Canucks are unbeaten and have scored 12 goals. Fans hope this becomes a habit with Boston as the next victim tomorrow night. The Canuck’s hit the road for games against the Kings and Ducks on Thursday and Friday before returning home to face the Red Wings on Sunday. Look for the Wings to come out flying right from the get go.
After starting the season with 8 out of 11 games on the road, the first two weeks of November will be spent in the friendly confines of GM Place. Let’s hope “Home Sweet Home” is still the Canuck mantra at the end of the extended home stand.
The Old Timer
October 27, 2008