Vancouver Canucks: Winning The Ugly Way

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Despite having one scoring line on paper, question marks throughout the roster and a new system that doesn’t seem to have been learned quite yet, the Canucks are actually finding a way to fool everyone in their path. Believe it or not, Vancouver is better than you think.

Its early in the season but the NHL’s goal-den boy, Sidney Crosby, leads the league in points; and that lead will rival the great Secretariat by season’s end. What you may not know is that the Canucks have a handful of players that are in the mix or leading the league in a few other categories; Henrik Sedin is 2nd in points behind Crosby and is tied for the league lead in assists. Brad Richardson leads the NHL in short-handed goals and Kevin Bieksa is in the top 5 for plus/minus. Who are these guys?

The reason this might sound a bit off to Canucks fans is that through 10+ games, they have looked awful. Their record will dictate a different story but their on ice product is as bad as watching the Giants play the Vikings on Monday Night Football, its atrocious! There doesn’t seem to be any chemistry carrying over from game to game and the line blender continues to be set on frappe.

The early results are a bit skewed, however.  Alex Burrows has not been in the lineup for almost two weeks and believe or not, that does have an impact on how the day-to-day roster looks. Coach Tortorella hasn’t stuck with any set lines so far and that is understandable when you take over a new team and need to see how the guys work together under your system. It can be nauseating to watch at times when it looks like there is no hope in sight and then the  Canucks go and grind out a 3-2 win. The recipe for this product might not change right away and to all the fans watching this enigma, they may have to wait a bit longer to see the product they want to see.

The funny thing is that even through this learning curve the team is going through is long, they are having the same start through 11 games as they did when Alain Vigneault coached his first season in Vancouver; 6-4-1 to be exact. So is it all really that bad? Well ya kind of. This version of the Canucks still has the potential to be great but the way they are handling each game looks like they just want to get out alive. It’s hardly entertaining but it seems to work. Its sure odd that everyone said that same thing when AV first got here.

Maybe Torts is on to something here? Maybe his method of not playing favorites whatsoever is going to pay off. He has a goaltender that keeps them in games and for whatever reason the supporting cast beyond lines 1 and 2 are keeping this team afloat. It’s early but there could be a chance the Vancouver Canucks have a plan. Beating the good teams would help that plan a lot quicker though.

Expect the blender to be in full force again Thursday night in New Jersey.


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