When NWSB Senior Editor “Q” asked me to write an article detailing 5 reasons to love the Canucks Aaron Rome I thought, “NO Brainer!” Easiest assignment all week. Here we go.
Whoever fused the bones in Aaron Rome’s hand unwittingly created the $700,000 man.
1. The scoring.
With two career goals in 130 games, Rome has shattered expectations with three in his first four games.
He could have had another in LA if the refs had been a bit more lenient on Jannik Hansen‘s goaltender interference.
2. The wins.
Going into Chicago last Sunday, the Canucks had dropped two straight to St Louis and Minnesota in ugly fashion. The pressure was mounting from an impatient fanbase. David Booth opened the scoring in Chicago but Michael Frolik tied it up six minutes later with a knuckleballer that wasn’t Luongo’s finest moment.
With the entire Lower Mainland experiencing collective flashbacks to June, the Canucks stepped up and retook the lead just 76 seconds into the second thanks to a powerplay goal from….Aaron Rome.
It was the second of five the Canucks would score that night and the turning point of the game. Final score 6-2, crisis averted.
Rome would follow that with the game-winning goal against LA and the crucial first goal against the Isles. Rome’s single goal last year was a mere empty netter, but all three this year have been absolutely crucial in Canucks victories.
3. The hits.
He hits, he fights, he does all the things the Canucks are criticized for not doing enough. If Milan Lucic ran Roberto Luongo like he did Ryan Miller earlier this week, my bet to drop the gloves with Lucic would undoubtedly be Rome.
4. The intagibles?
Consider that the Canucks were 9-5 in the playoffs with him, and 1-3 without him. Or that the Canucks are 3-1 with Rome this year, and 6-7-1 without. In the 56 games he played last year, the Canucks won 37.
Consider also the countless Luongo blowup games in Rome’s absence due in part to sloppy defensive coverage that has disappeared with the return of Rome.
He’s a right-handed defensively responsible shot capable, in these 4 games at least, of playing with Keith Ballard and covering for his errors. How does valuable does Rome become if he can help Ballard re-find his game? What if Rome’s scoring streak doesn’t halt but simply tapers?
After all he has 122 points in 318 AHL contests where he received regular powerplay time.
5. The locker room love.
Oh, the rest of the team loves Rome.
Daniel calls him one of the greatest teammates he’s ever had. He was all Burrows wanted to talk about after the game Sunday.
Remember Henrik boxing out the Preds last year so Rome got the empty netter?
It’s a team that Chris Higgins recently called the closest he’s ever seen and highlights the strange dichotomy in the national, or perhaps just the Albertan, media wherein a team captained by an Art Ross and Hart winner who recently donated $1.5 million to BC Children’s Hospital can be heartless and classless.
Eventually the boss sauce will wear off, but we’ll always remember the beauty of Rome in November.