Canucks Report - Tuesday Nov. 4th
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Behind the Bench
Gino at a glance
The Vancouver Canucks recalled right winger Michel Ouellet Monday morning but had to wait 24 hours for him to pass re-entry waivers before joining the team for practice this morning.
Ouellet was acquired in October from the Tampa Bay Lightning and immediately joined the Manitoba Moose to avoid going through the waiver process. He currently leads the Moose in scoring with 10 points in 10 games (4-6-10) and is a plus-3 rating during that span.
“I talked to Scott [Arniel] this morning and Craig Heisinger last night and in their minds he’d been their best player at both ends of the rink,” said Alain Vigneault. “He’s dependable defensively and a good shooter, up and down type winger. So I felt that right now with our personnel up front it was the right time to bring him up and get a look at what he can do at this level.
With Ouellet joining the Canucks roster, Jason Krog returned to Manitoba. Krog played with the Moose for a short four-game stint, where he registered 5 points (1-4-5) but hasn't found the same success in four games with the Canucks since his recall October 21.
Krog scored one goal with Vancouver and struggled to find chemistry skating on a line with Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows in their last game against the Detroit Red Wings.
As the AHL's reigning MVP, top point scorer, top goal scorer, and playoff MVP, there's no doubt Krog has the talent and some time on the farm team may help him regain the confidence he displayed last year.
“I thought Jason [Krog] played well when we used him, but it was time to see Ouellet from what I understand from Scott, so we just sent Jason back," said Vigneault. "We know that if we have personnel issues we can call him up and he’ll do a good job for us.”
Ouellet joined the team at practice this morning as the Canucks prepare to face off against the Nashville Predators tonight. The team hopes to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to Detroit on Sunday and take advantage of five consecutive home games to improve their 6-6-0 record.
Ouellet wants to make the most of this opportunity and carve out a spot for himself in the Canucks roster.
“It’s always the main thing, when you’re at home you don’t want to lose those two points and it’s a big opportunity we have, to get a streak at home and we need to get those points in the bank,” said Ouellet.
Ouellet is playing his first game in a Canucks uniform wearing #25 and will lineup alongside Kyle Wellwood and Taylor Pyatt.
“It’s exciting, I’ve heard a lot of good things about him, I know he’s got a great snapshot and can score,” said Wellwood. “He’s put up a lot of points in the league and I think he’s in the same position as me where we have to score often just to stay in the NHL so we’re both looking to make something happen.”
It is expected that Mason Raymond will fill in for Jannik Hansen on the Burrows-Kesler line. Steve Bernier will likely get another shot on the top line tonight playing alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Bernier is excited for the opportunity and trying not to over-think his instincts.
“During that [six game] road trip I missed so many scoring chances and I started putting pressure on myself,” said Bernier. “After that I just went out and played hockey. I think that’s how I was able to score two goals. That’s what I’m going to try to do with the twins. I’m just going to try to play my game, be physical and calm on the ice. You don’t want to try too much.”
The Canucks last met the Predators in March 2008 when the Canucks tallied a 6-2 win over Nashville. The Predators look to start their six-game road trip on a winning note following a shoot out victory over the Florida Panthers at home last Saturday.
“These are important games even though we are only in November we need these points and every point we can get at this time of the year is just as important at the end of the year,” said Canucks captain Roberto Luongo. “This is probably the team that took our [playoff] spot last year and we want to make sure we’re ready to play and send a message that we’re serious this year and want to make the playoffs.”