Wrapping Up The Preseason
All the talk Saturday morning revolved around last night's line combinations - most notably the third unit.
It seemed pretty clear from the start that Alain Vigneault would skate Ryan Kesler alongside Alex Burrows. The question was: who would man the rights side?
After Friday's 3-2 win over the Flames, Matt Cooke's seems like as good a bet as any.
Kesler scored the team's first goal by scrapping his was to a loose puck in the slot and the line was plus-2 with a combined 10 hits. In short, they're like playing against a circular saw.
"I think especially with last night's game, I think everybody got together and we really wanted to give a good 60 minutes," said Burrows. "Overall, I think we did a pretty good job".
For the first two periods Vigneault threw Markus Naslund out with Taylor Pyatt and Brendan Morrison, while Jan Bulis skated with the Twins.
Pyatt used his 6'4", 210-pound frame to grind opposing defenders in the corners and create pile-ups in the Flame crease. That led to scoring chances, though nothing wound up on the score clock.
The Twins' line registered two shots in the first.
Vigneault swapped Naslund and Bulis in the third, and the tenacious Czech promptly scored the game-winner four minutes in.
In the post-game press conference Vigneault said he'd likely continue the line juggling through the regular season.
Despite what they say, Flahttery will get you places.
After giving up five goals on 15 shots in Edmonton Wednesday, veteran keeper Wade Flaherty will suit up tonight against that same Oiler team.
"Every time you get the opportunity to get on the ice and play in a game situation you can try to fine tune your game. I don't think I'd look at it as trying to fine tune my game but I'm trying to go out there and do well and play the best I can."
In a bid for the back-up role with the Canucks, Flaherty's the de facto favourite having backstopped the Moose for the past two seasons.
Tucked up behind the goalies in a darkest corner of the locker room, 21-year-old standout Patrick Coulombe dresses every day in a space the size of most airplane bathrooms.
He played 'shooter tutor' Saturday morning providing rubber for goalie drills after practice. That allowed for a peek into his Spartan stall. Sitting there on a shelf wrapped in hockey tape and decorated with Sharpie script, sits a prized memento that'll most certainly wind up on the parent's mantle back in Rimouski.
It's the puck he used to score his first goal in the NHL - a power-play goal in the third period of a 5-4 loss in Edmonton.
Skates generally look the same. Look down the bench in any NHL locker room and the skates hang uniformly all the way down, tongues hanging out and laces dangling. Not in Vancouver.
Right at the door where the goalies dress hand a pair of skates that look like they've been pinched from an NBA dressing room. Reporters have to veer around them as they funnel in to avoid getting nicked.
Luongo wears a size 13.5. In shoe terms, that's enormous. The next biggest pair on the team belong to 6'4" Pyatt, who wears a size 12.
The Canucks revamped the dressing room over the summer. Painted up above the lockers are a few key words the coaching staff wants to reinforce.
|D. Sedin||H. Sedin||M. Naslund|
|T. Pyatt||B. Morrison||J. Bulis|
|A. Burrows||T. Santala||T. Linden|
|M. Cooke||M. Chouinard||J. Hansen|
|W. Mitchell||L. Krajicek|
|L. Bourdon||R. Fitzpatrick|
|M. Ohlund||S. Salo|
|R. Luongo||W. Flaherty - S|
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1. Alex Burrows reflects on the his linemates' performance.
2. Wade Flaherty comments on his goals for today and his training camp progression.