The Number 15

Last year as the Canucks were set to get back to hockey after a year long lockout, the talk in town was all about how the new NHL rules would fit so well into their style of play.

And over the first 15 games of the season they went 10-3-2 to prove this point.  But then it all came crashing down.  Cloutier got injured after about game 12, Cooke was in and out of the line-up with injuries, and there was so much Bert/Moore sideshow going on that it was almost impossible for the team to really focus on the hockey.  And the rest they say is history.

This year, 11 of the first 15 games on the road.  Yikes!

Normally extened absenses from home can cause the players to be tired and their play usually suffers as a result.  Add to that the reality that the players have families and responsibilities outside the rink, you realize that their minds may not always end up being on the ice 100% when needed.  But this year, with all the new players, line combinations, coaches, and general unknown about their own identity, and this road trip could be the best thing for them.

As they travel around over the next month, we’ll start to see what kind of team they really are.  Who they really are.  What they really are all about. 

But we won’t really know any of this until at least game 15.  After the long road trips.  After the bonding.  After learning how to win (or lose) as a team.

So don’t judge too harshly until we get there, it’s a process that has to take place.  If the team can make it to that point with 14-17 points, they’ll stand a strong chance of making the playoffs, and we’ll know just what kind of team they’re going to be.

The Chief Canuck

ICE CHIP

Edmonton started the season last year 8-6-1 (17 points) and made the playoffs and a Stanley Cup Final appearance. Meanwhile the Canucks started 10-3-2 (22 points) and missed them. 

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