In the comfort of their home arena the Vancouver Canucks iced one of their most complete team efforts of the season, beating the Islanders 4-1 in a “very solid sixty minute effort” as best described by Sportsnet broadcaster John Shorthouse.
Aaron Rome continued the torrid pace to start his season with another goal to open Sunday’s action and youngster Cody Hodgson added a tally earning a first star nomination in the commanding Canucks victory.
Michael Grabner and the visiting Islanders had little response to the full four line effort from Vancouver.
Alain Vigneault was able to give every Canucks’ skater at least ten minutes of ice time in the victory, balancing the load of the often-lousy first game back following a road trip.
Jannik Handsen made the most of his 13:39 of ice time alongside the Sedin twins with three shots and a handy screen in front of Evgeni Nabokov on Henrik Sedin’s game winning goal.
The twin made Nabokov’s second period save look overly dramatic by hitting the goaltender instead of the open net that mocked the Canucks captain, all courtesy of a slick between the legs feed by Ryan Kesler.
Luongo too would benefit from a gracious gaff on the part of Mark Streit who later failed to bury a rebound opportunity in a relatively open net, instead directly striking Luongo’s mask in the scramble.
Michael Grabner was one of the better Islanders in his return to Vancouver, bagging an assist on Matt Moulson’s fourth of the year and creating another scoring chance that would force Luongo’s best save of the night on a pretty passing play.
As indicated by his first start nomination, Cody Hodgson continued a consistent season with a whale of an effort Sunday, covering both ends of the ice and tallying two points in the victory.
After a roller coaster road trip showed a number of sides of the Canucks over the previous six games, Sunday’s effort against the Islanders was one of Vancouver’s best of the season.
Alain Vigneault’s consistent confidence in his starting goaltender appears to be paying off and with the ability of coach AV to confidently roll all four lines, the Canucks remain a formidable foe moving forward.