On their recent California pre-season road trip the Vancouver Canucks dressed a lineup that is was as close to the opening day roster as we have seen this pre-season. With 21 players who saw ice time in training camp in in the earlier pre season games either sent back to their CHL teams, the Canucks AHL affiliate in Chicago or cut loose entirely the team that took the ice in California gave fans here in Vancouver a look at what to expect once the “real” games start.
The Sedins, Hamhuis, Bieksa, Luongo and even the surgically enhanced Samuelsson made their debuts in the Sunshine State. Sure these veterans have been taking part in pratices & scrimmages since camp opened, but this is a game.*In Allen Iverson voice* We aren’t talking about practice.
Having played in the final game of the NHL campaign last season (remember that game seven at Rogers Arena?), there is a lot of questions here in Vancouver.
- Will this “Stanley Cup hangover” that analyst refer to hit the team? – The team that wins the cup is typically hit harder than the team that lost.
- Will The Sedins continue their regular season stranglehold on the Art Ross trophy? – Just like they do in the offensive zone on the powerplay they will continue to cycle this trophy back and forth.
- One word: Luongo? – One word: Motivated!
- Will Cody Hodgson crack AND stay in the lineup? – Crack the opening day roster? Yes. Still be in it once Kesler & Raymond come back? A toss up.
- What’s the over/under on games in the press box as a healthy scratch for Keith Ballard? – I put it at 20 games…And I take the over
- Will Schneider stay all season or be moved as trade bait? – Moved ahead of the trade deadline to a team in te East & Eddie Lack steps up nicely as a backup.