Welcome to the second installment of Vancouver Canucks monthly! A look back through 12 October games where we saw eight victories, the rise of the Lotto-line, an improved defence, a superb goaltending tandem and much more.
Jim Benning shook up the teams supporting cast this summer and like a lot of Vancouver Canucks fans, I spent a fair amount of the off-season jotting down possible line combinations for October. On paper, the Canucks looked like a much-improved team, but I was hesitant to fully believe they would come out of October looking like playoff contenders.
After a hard fought pre-season the roster was thick with scoring wingers and it was quite clear some tough roster moves had to be made. Jaws dropped and eyes popped across Vancouver and the rest of the hockey world when Sven Baertschi and Nikolay Goldobin were sent down to Utica in favor of last years scraps, Tim Schaller and Loui Eriksson.
A lot of fans, including myself, were outraged for two reasons. First, there was absolutely no way Baertschi and Goldobin were going to clear waivers, they did. Second, our bottom six wasn’t going to be able to provide offence, they have.
There is a reason Benning is the general manager for this franchise and there’s a good reason Travis Green is the head coach making all the calls. Surprising many, the Canucks have looked better than expected, coming out of October in second place in the Pacific Division with two games in hand.
Maybe it had something to do with naming Bo Horvat team captain, but after an 0-2 start to the season the Canucks have been on fire, going 8-1-1 in their last ten games. Everything seems to be clicking for this new-looking club. Let’s take a walk through the highlights of an impressive October, shall we?