Canucks Report - Monday Nov. 3rd
Plays of the week
Canucks this week
The Canucks acquired Ouellet from the Tampa Bay Lightning with defenceman Shane O'Brien in exchange for Lukas Krajicek and 2006 draft pick, Juraj Simek. The 26 year old forward has led the Moose in scoring with four goals and six assists in 10 games.
Forward Jannik Hansen was the latest Canuck sidelined with an injury after sustaining a groin injury on October 31st during the 7-6 shoot out win in Anaheim.
Hansen missed Sunday night's game against the Detroit Red Wings but said he is feeling better each day. The young Dane, who has tallied seven points in seven games and is the fourth leading scorer among NHL rookies, is expected to begin skating this week.
While the team has been plagued early this season with numerous costly injuries, Vigneault reported today that his injured forwards are making positive progress.
Veteran centre Pavol Demitra, who's out with a fractured rib, has begun his off-ice training, inlcudingjogging for the first time since sustaining the injury in Chicago on OCtober 19th. Vigneault expects Demitra to begin skating on his own in Vancouver within the next few days.
Forward Rick Rypien was sent home during the Canucks six-game road trip prior to the match up in Chicago with a suspected viral infection. After he was cleared by doctors, he began working out on his own, but was evaluated by a specialist for abdominal pains. They found a sports hernia tear and he underwent surgery on October 30th.
PREPARING FOR PREDATORS
The Vancouver Canucks fell 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings last night in front of a home crowd. The players are quick to admit that their special teams need to be more consistent especially against the defending Stanley Cup champions if they expect to win games.
The Canucks limited their penalties but allowed three powerplay goals on five chances against the defending champs, after going perfect in their previous three home games, killing all 12 penalties agains the Flames, Oilers, and Bruins.
Head coach Alain Vigneault echoed this sentiment as the team prepares to host the Nashville Predators tomorrow.
“[The Predators are] well coached, they’re well prepared," said Vigneault. "They play hard, they’ve played really well at home. I think we’re their first game of their road trip, so it’s a good challenge for us, it’s one of those teams that we’re fighting against to get into the playoffs so it’s going to be an important game for both groups."
PRACTICING PENALTY KILL
The Canucks battled from behind in last night's game to shrink the Red Wings' lead to one goal, but were ultimately unable to kill off their penalties and captialize on the man advantage.
“As far as the penalty kill we have to obviously first and foremost we have to take less penalties and the ones we do get we have to kill them off and obviously be more focused and find a way to get the job done," said assistant captain Mattias Ohlund.
“It has been an inconsistent start for us and we know that we have to find a way to be consistently better. We have a good team here, we have all the tools you need to win, we just have to start using them on a consistent basis."
Vigneault experimented with different lines in practice today, but has not decided what player combinations will be featured in tomorrow's game. The team recognizes that when so many games are won or lost with one goal they can't afford to take unnecessary penalties and need to focus on diligently killing them. Vigneault is confident that the players are working hard to reestablish their special teams.
“There was times, especially on the road trip, where we took a few too many penalties and we’ve addressed it," said Kevin Bieksa. "We know it’s something that we have to get better at because teams are scoring goals on the power play and that’s the way we’re losing games so we definitely have to be more disciplined."