Vancouver Canucks: Positive Start To Season-Long Road Trip

By Rick LaFitte
Roberto Luongo
Timothy T. Ludwig USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks are off to a strong start to begin their season-long seven-game road odyssey. After falling to .500 on the season after a disappointing home ice loss to the visiting Montreal Canadiens, the team has responded with road triumphs against the Philadelphia Flyers and most recently the Buffalo Sabres. While those two teams are both off to sluggish starts, the Canucks did what they had to in securing the valuable points.

Roberto Luongo picked up his first shutout of the season by making 25 saves in the 3-0 win against the Sabres. His teammates gave him a relatively easy night as they dominated from the opening puck drop. If it wasn’t for the stellar play of Sabre goaltender Ryan Miller, the final score would’ve been much more lopsided. Luongo is bound to earn an enormous workload this season with Cory Schneider dealt to New Jersey and Eddie Lack as the backup.

The Canucks are surprisingly not being led in the scoring department by Henrik and Daniel Sedin. The twins continue to put up points at a steady clip as they have combined for 18 points so far this season. New Head Coach John Tortorella has already taken to having the Sedins play on separate lines at times in the hopes of making the offense a little more balanced.

Forward Mike Santorelli has fit in well with the organization netting four goals. Santorelli was a former 20-goal man in Florida but fell out of favor with the Panthers after notching only 11 markers in the next two seasons. He failed to register a single goal in 10 games last season with the Winnipeg Jets. The change in environment to play for his hometown team seems to have revitalized his career.

On the blueline, Jason Garrison has elevated his play, as the offensively talented defenseman has produced two goals and six assists so far this season. Kevin Bieksa has been steady in the defensive part of his game. The defensive group should get a boost with Alexander Edler due to return after serving his three-game suspension for a hit to the head on San Jose’s Tomas Hertl.

The quality of the opposition for the Canucks will be more formidable moving forward on this road trip. However, they enter those contests having built some positive momentum.

Rick LaFitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports

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