By Jeff Vinnick
Aaahhh...it's like a barcalounger, warm grilled cheese, and bowl of tomato soup - the satisfaction of a 4-0 shutout win over the Montreal Canadiens just warms the soul. Yes, it feels that good. Old Man Winter could galcierize Greater Vancouver till March and I'd still be grining in my ice-induced coma.
The Nucks have just handily defeated the two most disliked teams in Canada - outscoring them by a combined 10-1 - and I can't help but bask in the glow of victory that's hanging around the team right now.
I'd have rather pierced by own ear with a knitting needle than watch the Canucks start 0-2 on this road trip. I think the only one's out there who wanted those four points more than I did were the players themselves. They desperately wanted last night's game for Vigneault and they came through like the Pats in the playoffs.
Guy Carbonneau had his team whipped into a vinegary lather before the puck drop and it took the Canucks less than five minutes to grind that resolve right back out of 'em. Think that was their most complete game of the season.
Sure, they're all professionals and it shouldn't really matter, but it does. They wanted it for coach 'V', for Roberto, Burrows, Chouinard, and Bulis... did I leave anyone out? And Vigneault's post game grin spoke volumes. The guy was outright beaming after a sound drubbing of the team that gave him his first NHL coaching gig.
Chemistry's a funny thing. It's kind of like style - it's hard to put a finger on it, but you know it when you see it. I'm no expert, but hanging around these guys the past few days, I'd say they've got it.
One of the first things you notice while watching a game in the 'new and improved' Forum is how incredibly big that thing is. I think it holds over 20,000 people and there's plenty of red and white in those seats. You have to be brave to wear a visitor's jersey. I saw a few hundred fans in Canucks colours scattered throughout the building last night. I kind of wonder how loud it gets in there when the Canadiens score - but then I missed out on that. Maybe next year....maybe.
It's a two hour bus ride to Gatineau where the guys practiced this morning. Vigneault played in the Robert-Guertin Centre back in his junior days. It's been a bit of a coming-home tour for coach 'V'. Just hope those warm Velveeta feelings continue tomorrow in Ottawa.