Now, THAT is how you finish a road trip! In a game that the Canucks were expected by many to lose, they pulled out a gutsy 3-2 win over the big bad Blues. The week did not start off well with a dud, losing 3-1 to Columbus.
The team then rebounded with a wild 5-4 win over the Islanders, and beating former number one goaltender Cory Schneider for the second time this season in a 3-2 shootout win in New Jersey. With Vancouver being in St.Louis on the second night of a back-to-back, with Eddie Lack in net and a couple of call-ups, the task looked too monumental to overcome. The team slowed the tempo enough to lull the Blues into a boring affair. After getting some luck on Chris Higgins’ goal, Ryan Kesler took it back to 2011 with a wicked wrist shot to put the Canucks up a pair.
St. Louis took advantage of their powerplay opportunities and tied it up early in the third. The Blues carried a majority of the play, and the Canucks looked tired the rest of the way. They were able to get the point by surviving into OT and finally scored a powerplay goal of their own, when Kesler banged home a rebound with 15 seconds left, and sent the Canucks home with an amazing 5-1-1 record on their seven game trip.
- Sunday, October 20: 3-1 LOSS at Columbus
- Tuesday, October 22: 5-4 WIN (OT) at N.Y. Islanders
- Thursday, October 24: 3-2 WIN (SO) at New Jersey
- Friday, October 25: 3-2 WIN (OT) at St.Louis
Canucks 3 Stars of the week:
1. Ryan Kesler: 4 goals, 3 assists
BEASTMODE was back in full force for the Canucks this week. Kesler has benefited from playing on Henrik Sedin’s wing, and looks like a force once again. Coach Tortorella said after the Blues game that he prefers to have Kesler on the wing, as it keeps him more involved in the game. Whatever he thought, it is completely working. Hopefully he can keep up his game, because the Canucks are a much more dangerous team when he is on.
2. Kevin Bieksa: 0 goals, 1 assist
The numbers aren’t flattering, but Bieksa’s play meant so much more. “Juice” looks to be reborn under Torts, allowing him to jump in to the play more often. Bieksa’s best game of the week was against the Islanders, where he assisted on Chris Higgins’ goal, and crashed the net on Richardson’s winner.
3. Henrik Sedin: 2 goals, 3 assists
The Captain continues to impress early this season. Logging more minutes than ever before, Henrik has risen to the occasion. He is the team’s only playmaker, and it seems anyone who is lucky enough to be on his wing will produce some goals. If this team can add one more top nine forward via trade, or David Booth suddenly gets a pulse, the Canucks will be much tougher threat than they have been the last two seasons.
Image: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images