|THE VANCOUVER SUN
|From bad to worse for Vancouver Canucks
Brad Ziemer writes that not only are Canuck fans jumping off the bandwagon, but instead, injuries seem to be piling on.
“What's that? You've stopped drinking the Canuck Kool-Aid? Apparently, you are not alone. A large number of the 18,630 faithful who filled General Motors Place on Thursday night let the Canucks know how they felt after Vancouver dropped a 3-0 decision to the Nashville Predators,” said Ziemer.
Unfortunately, the news gets worse. In addition to the game, the Canucks lost two key defensemen as both Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo were sent to hospital with injuries that Coach Alain Vigneault said figure to keep them both out of the lineup for an extended period.”
Bieksa suffered a deep cut to his right calf late in the second period while battling on the end boards with Nashville centre Vernon Fiddler,” Ziemer said. “Late in the third period, Salo took a puck in the face off the stick of teammate Alex Edler. Vigneault said it appeared Salo suffered a broken orbital bone.
“The injuries capped what was an ugly outing by the Canucks, who at 5-8 are now three games under .500 for the first time since the 2001-02 season.”
"We're facing major adversity right now and I think the only way to face that adversity is by sticking together," Vigneault continued. "We're going to call up players we're hoping are going to be able to help us and we're going to stick together and fight our way through this. That's all we can do."
|Boo birds let Luongo have it
Jason Botchford said that the impossibility of Vancouver’s love for Roberto Luongo diminishing is now a possibility.
“For most of October, Roberto Luongo's play was protected,” said Botchford. “He was granted immunity after last year's Vezina-worthy season. And rightfully so.”
Botchford said, “But avoiding criticism in Vancouver has become much more difficult for the league's highest-paid goalie at precisely 6:16 into the first period of Thursday's game. That's when a soft wrister from David Legwand leaked through his legs and into the net for a morale-busting start to a key home game for the Canucks.”
"It's unfortunate because a goal like that early hurts the team, especially with the struggles we've had at home," Luongo said. "It took the wind out of our sails."
“In an instant the GM Place crowd dramatically turned on Luongo. The "Looouus," which have smothered him for more than a year, turned to "boooos" which rained down on the star net minder several times in the second half of the game,” Botchford said.
"To boo our goaltender after he let in two goals on the first two shots, I thought that was crossing the line a bit," said Brendan Morrison. "I think it's horse(expletive). It's funny how these things work.
"He's the guy everyone is fawning over and then, as a team, we're having a tough start and all of a sudden everyone's (expletive) on him.
"He doesn't deserve it. I will take the (jeers) as a team because in a lot of instances we deserve it,” Morrison said.
|New, yes, but not improved
The Province said that the new Reebok jerseys recently installed this season isn’t as light and cool as promised.
“The new, tighter-cut jerseys were introduced with promises of being lighter, cooler and moisture repellent,” said the Province.
“The main complaint has been just that -- the material repels moisture, as in sweat, but it ends up pooling in players skates and gloves.”
The Province said, “Canucks captain Markus Naslund has worn sweatbands on his wrists to keep the moisture out of his gloves while defenseman Willie Mitchell said the tighter fit has sometimes made his equipment a little too restricted.”
"You stay really wet with the new jerseys," said Mitchell. "It gets to the gloves and skates, but I also notice it in the arms as well. And in the arms, it's tighter so I find my elbow pad catching on it as well."
“The replacement jerseys, which will go to players who request them, will feature a front panel that is made of more absorptive material,” said the Province.