|THE VANCOUVER SUN
|My, oh my, how the time Flys
Because of the inconsistent game schedule, there are times when teams don’t play each other for years.
Elliot Pap said, “The Philadelphia Flyers haven't played in Vancouver since Dec. 31, 2001, which was six seasons ago. Six seasons between visits is an awfully long time considering the Canucks and Flyers are members of the same league.”
"We usually played them on New Year's Eve, I believe," said Markus Naslund, a Canuck since 1995-96. "We had a couple of tough outings against them and I remember losing 8-0 or 9-0 -- [it was 8-0] -- and then 6-2. But that must have been in the late 1990s."
“It was. The 8-0 game was Dec. 31, 1997 and the 6-2 pummeling Dec. 31, 1998. Believe it or not, the Canucks have not beaten the Flyers on home ice since way back on Jan. 17, 1989 when they prevailed 5-3 at the Pacific Coliseum,” Pap said.
|THE VANCOUVER SUN
Brad Ziemer discusses the infamous line-juggling that the Canucks and fans-alike are familiar with, in order to spark little energy in the line up.
“Through two regular-season games, that noted line-juggler Alain Vigneault has already tried at least six or seven different combinations,” Ziemer said.
The fact the Canucks have just one even-strength goal in their first two games tells you that nothing has worked especially well. But Vigneault did say Tuesday that last season's No. 1 line -- Taylor Pyatt with Henrik and Daniel Sedin -- has been reunited. For now."
"We all know here that things can change from game to game or even period to period," said Pyatt, who is taking nothing for granted. "I just want to take advantage of the opportunity, play hard and hopefully help us win some games."
Ziemer notes that, “Naslund said he and his teammates have had to adjust to Vigneault's propensity to juggle the lines, something former coach Marc Crawford was much more reluctant to do.”
"You get used to it," Naslund said. "We didn't have much of that for a long time, but this is the way the coach likes to get things going and we know that. If things are not panning out in games, you can be pretty sure you will get different linemates."
|Taylor suits twins just fine
Jason Botchford brings up an interesting point in regards to the Sedin Twins.
“It's the never-ending question and one that promises to be etched on their Vancouver Canucks legacy. Who should play with the Sedin twins?”
"It's the talk every year and really I think it's going to be like that our whole careers," Henrik said. "But, you know, we're not the only ones. There are a lot of players who go through the same things.”
Botchford said, “There is a belief the Sedins can play with just about anybody, and maybe they can. They've turned fringe players like Pyatt and Anson Carter into solid goal scorers. And that is likely part of the reason the Canucks have never viewed finding a top-tier winger for the Sedins as a big priority.”
"We can't really think about that, I don't think," Henrik said. "Of course you want to play with one player. But I thought Pyatt worked out well with us last year when he played on our line. If it works with Pyatt, great. If not, we just have to work with what we got. We're used to it."
"We wanted to see if anybody else could complement the twins," Vigneault said. "So far, I think Taylor, in that one game [against Calgary] has been the best. Taylor had been pretty average and had been told 'it's now,' so he knew he had to have a good game.”
|THE GLOBE & MAIL
|Naslund determined to be less shot-shy
Grant Kerr, amongst other people, have noticed Markus Naslund’s drop in goal-scoring performance.
Kerr said, “The Vancouver Canucks captain's mindset is far different from a year ago, when he didn't shoot near as frequently as past seasons. His goal total dropped to 24 in 2006-07, an eight-year low.”
"I think I've gotten back to trying not to think so much, just playing the game the way I know I can," Naslund said yesterday. "I try to get pucks to the net and, hopefully, good things will happen."
“Naslund was once one of the most prolific shooters in the league, rarely hesitating to snap a shot when he, Morrison and Todd Bertuzzi were linemates a few years ago. Naslund launched a career-high 302 shots in 2001-02, and followed with seasons of 294 and 296,” Kerr said.
“Naslund snapped a shot from the left circle past Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff last game that caught the netminder by surprise. Last season, Naslund likely would have held on and tried to make a play elsewhere.”
"I think he didn't expect it," the Canucks forward said. "We were on the power play and he was probably thinking I was going to set up.”
"Those are the things I've got to do more. I'm trying [to shoot more]."
|THE CANADIAN PRESS
|Kesler looking to make statement against Flyers.
The Canadian Press notes, “Canuck centre Ryan Kesler has something to prove to both Philadelphia and Vancouver as the NHL teams prepare to meet for the first time in almost two years.”
As a player that was eyed by the Flyers before, this will spark an interesting chemistry during tonight’s game.
“Wednesday's meeting at GM Place marks the first time Kesler has faced Philadelphia since former Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke signed him to a one-year US$1.9-million offer sheet just before the start of the 2006-07 NHL season. Vancouver was forced to match the offer to retain Kesler's rights,” said the Canadian Press
"It's going to be fun to play against a team that obviously wanted me," said Kesler. "So I'm gonna show them why they gave me the offer sheet and I'm gonna show 'em why I'm here."