|Luongo holds the fort
Ben Kuzma said that Roberto Luongo did a huge amount of work, especially in the third period, to hang on to the 3-2 Vancouver win in Calgary.
“A sweat-soaked Roberto Luongo asked for a couple of minutes to catch his breath and collect his thoughts before facing the media Thursday night,” said Kuzma.
“After building what seemed to be a comfortable 3-0 cushion midway through the Northwest Division matchup, the Canucks paraded to the penalty box before hanging on for their second straight win to push their divisional record to 5-0-0 and hand the Flames their fourth straight loss.”
"They came at us hard in the third and unfortunately, we took some penalties and it kind of swung the momentum their way," said Luongo, who faced 24 of 38 shots in the final frame. "But we were able to hold the fort there."
Kuzma said, “Luongo kept the game from going into overtime by thwarting a mad scramble in his crease with 1:13 left and then stopping a deflected Dion Phaneuf shot with 27.6 seconds remaining.”
The game ended with a scrum in Luongo's crease and plenty of pushing and shoving. "Nothing major," shrugged Luongo. "Just a little fun there."
|Don’t panic, just make a play
Ben Kuzma said that Alex Edler made the proper adjustments from being a prospect to a prime-time player just in the nick of time. Especially with the top three Canuck defensemen out, there couldn’t be a better time.
“Edler logged 20:35 of ice time Thursday night in a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. He added three shots, had an even rating and got his stick in the lane to break up a dangerous 2-on-1 rush,” said Kuzma.
“Edler's laser-like passes and cool Swedish demeanour have been constants since the 21-year-old made his regular-season debut a year ago. But Canucks assistant coach Rick Bowness believes the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Edler can take his physical game to another level.”
Kuzma said, “Edler played 22:04 on Saturday in Denver and had a plus-1 rating in a 4-3 win over Colorado. It was his best all-round effort in 29 NHL outings. Edler is a plus-3 in eight games and has one assist.”
"As long as he plays like he did the other night, we're going to be very happy," added Bowness. "The more he plays, the better he plays and when we keep in the flow of the game, there's usually very little drop off."
"It's always been that way for me," Edler said. "When I play more, I get more confidence and feel more important. And it's easier to play when you're out there more rather than sitting out a couple of shifts."
"It's been my style my whole life to be able to pass the puck and make simple and good plays," added Edler. "It's good to stay calm and not panicked. Maybe I'm a little more calm on the outside than the inside."
"If you're in a panic and the game is going too fast, you're rushing things too much. He doesn't," said Bowness. "We've got high hopes and he won't disappoint."
|THE VANCOUVER SUN
Brad Ziemer notes that the Canucks are more proud of their defensive play rather than offensive play because that is what they wanted to focus on during the game.
“Morrison really didn't want to discuss offence after the game. He's more excited about the team's commitment to its defensive play the last two games,” said Ziemer.
“It's funny how things work. It seems to have taken the loss of three key defencemen to injury for the Canucks to fully buy into the defence-first philosophy that brought them success last season.”
"Even with those guys in the lineup, that's the way we want to play," Morrison said. "You have seen the last two games with everybody buying into our defensive system. Guys always recovering above the puck, really limiting odd-man rushes, forwards coming down to help our D. I don't know why it has taken us 15 games to get into this mindset, but it has. And hopefully now we get it going."
"I'm finding ways to score some goals, but I'm never satisfied," Morrison said. "I still think I can do more. I still think our line can contribute more five-on-five."
|Bourdon puts worries behind him
Randy Sportak said that Luc Bourdon’s own mistakes in the past are the only factors that are holding him back from showing his true talent.
“As funny as it seems, the Vancouver Canucks first-round draft choice from 2005 was notorious for self-destructing,” said Sportak.
“Often a mistake would send the talented defenceman into a tailspin in that very game, one of the biggest things he's been working on since jumping to the pro ranks”
"A couple of years ago, when I made a mistake, I was pretty much done for the whole game," Edler admitted prior to facing the Calgary Flames last night. "Now, you know it's what happens. It happens to the best and I know it's gonna happen to me.
"That's something I've had to work on."
"It's just inexperience. That's all it is," said assistant coach Rick Bowness, who also handles the Canucks defence corps. "It's his first year pro, he's a 20-year-old kid, and these are things you address with any 20-year-old kid. It's finding out what they can or can't get away with, understanding positional play, understanding consistency, understanding better work habits.”
"I'm realistic too. I know as these guys are back, I'm probably gonna be gone, but that's the way it goes," Edler said.
"I don't think I have any pressure. Come to the rink, work hard, try to perform. It's a learning process for me"