Our favourite home team currently sits third in the western conference with a 17-8-4 record – not bad, not bad at all. Here are my top five observations regarding the Canucks this the holiday season:
1) I went to the Nucks game last Saturday for Naslund’s jersey retirement. It was not a well-played game by the home team ending in a OT loss. This represents Naslund’s time here in Vancouver in a nutshell: good enough to get the OT point, nice comeback in the third to tie the game, but in the end, they fell just a little short of the two point win. Still, it was a fun night and I believe Naslund deserves to be up there with Smyl and Linden.
2) Kesler is a machine. My friends and I used to joke that Kesler had the heart of a lion, but the hands of a bricklayer. But here he is on pace for a 40 goal season; boy, were we wrong.
3) I’m starting to really like the play of the Canucks’ defense despite missing Ehrhoff’s offense on the power-play (though it looks like he may return for tonight’s game against the Leafs), but his absense has really opened up the ice-time for Ballard, Bieksa, and Hamhuis to show their worth.
4) Speaking of Bieksa, it will be very interesting to see what the Canucks’ management decides to do with him when Salo returns in the new year and the trade deadline approaches. I hope somehow they find a way to keep both of them through to the end of the year.
5) I’m looking forward to some big games in the coming weeks with 21 games in the next 40 nights. Obviously the Toronto match-up will be fun on CBC, a little revenge on St.Louis would be nice, Detroit and Philadephia are top teams that will be great tests for the Nucks, and Edmonton is a chance for the Sedins to rack up some points. I want to see Daniel win some hardware this year; I’ll take the Conn Smythe over the Art Ross though.
The Canucks-Get into it!