(Via Canucks Twitter)
Nothing like starting the season with back-to-back wins. I’m trying to stay on the positive side, and ignore both were comeback wins. I think it says a lot about this team to not rollover and give up. They kept their composure, and worked their way back into both games, especially against the Hurricanes.
The first game was a bit frustrating. Both teams seemed to get their chances and just couldn’t capitalize on them. Although, I don’t want to take anything away from both goalies. I thought both played well, especially Miller. He made some incredible saves, which was due to his positioning.
I was rather disappointed in the first line, even without the own goal from Loui Eriksson. They were invisible, even more so in the second game. How do you go down three goals, comeback, and your top line doesn’t even record a point? They had one good shift, and for $20m that’s not good enough.
Again, I know its the first two games of the year, but these three also practiced and played together for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey this summer. This isn’t their first time on the ice together, but it sure looked like it. I thought they played into a lot of their stereotypes in the first game, and looked sloppy in the second one.
I don’t want to be all doom and gloom. I thought Horvat looked much more comfortable against the Hurricanes (obviously, he scored a goal), and I think a lot of that had to do with his new linemates. I also thought the fourth line looked great as well. They had energy, they pursued the puck, but did not hang anyone out to dry. I felt like Sven Baertschi could of had five goals with the chances he was involved in.
On the back end, Erik Gudbranson quickly endeared himself to the Canucks faithful with a great defensive play, and some solid play in both games. I also thought Ben Hutton looked great, with his goal being a thing of beauty. He came into the slot with perfect timing. Philip Larsen was fairly solid as well. While he didn’t wow, he wasn’t a major liability as some thought he would be. Although he did collect just over seven minutes of Power Play time with no points. He wasn’t the only issue with that though.
All in all I think the Canucks are lucky to come out of two games with four points. It wasn’t all luck though. I thought the bottom lines picked up the slack, and then some really. Also, can’t ignore the contributions of Brandon Sutter, scoring the winning Shootout goal and this beauty of an OT goal. However, if you need four unanswered goals in October to beat the Hurricanes in OT maybe I should be worried? Nah, sticking with hope still!