My Thoughts so Far
For whatever reason Vancouver Canuck fans are either happy about their 3-2 overall start or think things are going to get worse before they get better. Myself, I am happy with their start. They have beaten the teams they should beat (Edmonton, Calgary, and New Jersey) and have both their losses against the Sharks, granted in each Shark game we have definitely been the second best team on the ice. I do think some fans would be happier and more optimistic with a 2-3 record, one where we beat the Sharks but lose to the others, or as like to call it the ”Old Canuck Style” where we play up to some opponents but down to the level of others. We are 5 games in, relax everyone, it could be worse, we could be AV in Rangerville wondering if his team is ever going to buy into his system, hopefully for his sake, before he gets sacked.
Torts Team – Vancouver Canucks
I have to say so far I’m impressed how the Vancouver Canucks have bought into Torts system. They all seem to be trying and more importantly want to play for Torts and make an impression. He has already split up the Sedins and it worked. His players are playing aggressive hockey, and even though it’s not been mistake free, you can see what he is trying to do. Their penalty kill remains a perfect 18/18 with 2 shorthanded goals. The Sedins are thriving in a PK role, one which former coach AV thought the Sedins weren’t right for, even though every year they asked to be included on the PK, as they want to be known as complete players, with the upside of turning the PK into another chance for offence. On the other side of the coin is the Powerplay, which is only functioning at 12.5%. It remains a work in progress but as someone who continued to beg AV to have Garrison a regular on the PP, I am ecstatic the booming shot from #5 is making an appearance on the 1st unit and already has a goal. When Garrison is firing from the point more good things are going to happen than bad. One of our players may be felled by a shot, but you have a better chance to have an opposing player go down or a goal go in. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating opposing players get hurt, but after a few take some shots the shooting lanes are going open up, and that is only going to help the Canucks.
This off-season local product Mike Santorelli decided to sign a 2 way deal with the team he grew up cheering for. With the absence of Kassian, Santorelli has stepped right in. He leads the team with 4 goals in 5 games and isn’t afraid to get into the dirty areas to get the puck. This style of play has already impressed Torts as Santorelli is averaging a little over 17 minutes of ice time a game. Now I know this production won’t keep up at the same pace but can anyone say a 20+ season is not within reach. At the beginning of the year everyone would have been happy with that possible production, and if he continues to buy into the system and stay healthy I believe a career year is very much in the mix.
Have to Give Thanks
Finally and a bit off topic, I want to thank the Vancouver Canucks organization and the BC Children’s Hospital. I write this blog as something fun to do but my real job is being a teacher. I had the pleasure for the past 2 years to teach a very special young man, who might be a bigger Canuck fan than myself. He loves the Canucks and especially Roberto Luongo, and through the generosity of the BC Children’s Hospital and a donor to the hospital he was able to attend the home opener last Saturday. It was his first ever Vancouver Canuck game, and I had the pleasure along with my daughter (for her first ever game), to accompany him and his Mom to the game. It turned out to be a great game and a wonderful experience for everyone involved. I had been in contact with the Canucks as well before the game, and was very impressed that during the first period we had the mascot Fin come up for a visit and give away one of his mascot dolls. The attendants at the came went above and beyond to make the whole experience memorable. As a teacher and as a Dad it will remain a very special life long memory and am a thankful to live in a province that not only has one of the best Children’s Hospitals in the world, but a hockey team that cares about their fans as well.
As always you can follow my thoughts on the Vancouver Canucks and anything else that peaks my interest on Twitter @F4SLanceHornby