Torts Working Some Magic?
The Vancouver Canucks lost in regulation for the first time in 20 days last night ending the team’s most impressive winning streak of the year.
Sparked by an embarrassing loss to former head coach Alain Vigneault the Canucks responded by winning eight-straight games and earning the loser point in Tuesday’s shootout loss to the Wild.
After finally falling from grace the following are five things Canucks fans learned during the team’s dominant start to December.
Roberto Luongo is a lock for Sochi
Roberto Luongo has been lights out during Vancouver’s dominant streak, keeping opponents below two goals per game in every start during the month of December before being pulled during Thursday’s loss in Dallas.
While Luongo’s lone shutout was an easy one against an Oilers team that simply struggled against the Canucks as a whole, it was nice to see Luongo rewarded personally for his impressive play.
In my mind Luongo’s strong December made it clear he’s a lock to return to the Olympics as Team Canada’s starter.
Vancouver’s second line is solid
Heading into the season Canucks fans (myself included) were worried about Vancouver’s forward depth, however the play of surprise center Mike Santorelli has been the key to exceeding pre-season expectations.
Eddie Lack is ready for the NHL
Eddie Lack has been solid since joining the Canucks and in his first start at Rogers Arena the beloved backup earned his first shutout as a Canuck, immediately winning over fans who rewarded The Stork with a warm round of “Eddie! Eddie!” in a rare raucous night at Rogers Area.
Lack’s play in December has been so solid he was selected to start against the Chicago Blackhawks in one of the Canucks’ biggest games of the regular season.
David Booth is getter better, slowly
Slowly but surely David Booth has begun to elevate his game after beginning the season in John Tortorella’s dog house.
Booth had goals in back-to-back contests against the Bruins and Wild during Vancouver’s unbeaten streak and has been generating more and more shots on net since returning from his conditioning stint in Utica.
John Tortorella’s in-game coaching skills are superb
Between a well-timed timeout and a master class in line matching John Tortorella clearly out-coached Claude Julien in Vancouver’s dominant 6-2 win over the Bruins.
After the Alain Vigneault era in which timeouts were rarely used effectively the mid-period rant from Torts was a breathe of fresh air for players and fans.