Canucks Report - Bumpy Road
After a scramble last night and a goal too little too late, the Canucks remain winless on the road going 0-4-0.
BUMPY ROADAfter a scramble last night and a goal too little too late, the Canucks remain winless on the road going 0-4-0. Not quite the start the Canucks were hoping for but the teams confident they’ll turn it around.
"It's an 82-game schedule,” explained Roberto Luongo. “Unfortunately we didn't get off to a great start, but there is a lot of hockey left to be played. We know what type of team we have in this locker-room and it's just a matter of putting it all together and start playing as a unit."
Luongo, who faced early criticism this season for the team’s slow start, insists he’s feeling good and confident despite his numbers. Luongo, 30, has a save percentage of .897 and a goals-against average of 3.22.
“The numbers will be there at the end of the year,” said Luongo. “It's frustrating, but it's easier to come back the next game, knowing you're playing at the level you want to be playing."
"I'm not really concerned that much about his play,” added head coach Alain Vigneault. “He's such a professional and a hard worker, that sooner or later, things are going to start rolling for him. Goaltending is such a key component for teams to win in the NHL. Once he starts to get on a roll we'll be in great shape."
Rick Rypien did not skate today after tweaking his groin yesterday against Edmonton. Rypien is expected to skate tomorrow and suit up Wednesday when the club head to Chicago.
BY THE NUMBERSThe Canucks power play, ranked eighth in the league with an efficiency rating of 26.5, went 0-for-5 last night against the Oilers. The clubs penalty kill is functioning at a 76.5 per cent, rated 19th in the league.
The Canucks are still getting shots on net, as they lead the league with 288; however, finding the back of the net is proving to be a difficult task.
"It's frustrating when you get over 40 shots in three-of-four road games and we're still 0-4 on the road,” said Ryan Kesler. “We’re getting to that point when we are going to start thinking we have to stop going for quantity of shots, and start going for quality."
KEY PLAYERSWith five players out with injuries, Daniel Sedin (foot), Sami Salo (knee),Jannik Hansen (hand), Pavol Demitra (shouder) and Mathieu Schneider (shoulder), the Canucks are starting to feel the absence as they struggle to fill the void.
“You don't replace guys like Daniel Sedin or Sami Salo,” said Vigneault. “You just look at our record when he's in our lineup and when he's not, there is a huge difference there. Some other people just have to step up in some different situations on the ice."
Kyle Wellwood, 26, notched his first point of the season last night recording an assist off Steve Bernier’s goal. Wellwood, who shed 15lbs this off-season, hasn’t found his offensive game as quickly as he would have liked, but he’s hopeful things will start clicking.
“It bothers you,” admitted Wellwood. “You work hard to have a good season, but we’ve had guys here like [Alex] Burrows and [Ryan] Kesler who have had great second halves and they kind of took their games to the next level. That’s something I kind of look at.”
Last season, Wellwood recorded 18 goals and nine assists (18-9-27) in 74 games.