The Canucks are on a five-game road trip in the Eastern Time Zone, historically a very difficult proposition for a West Coast team. I know that in the NFL, West Coast teams have a very poor record in the East. The Canucks have often pointed to difficult road trips for their difficulties in the standings, and in attracting free agents.
In any case, they took off with an unstated goal of six points out of ten, according to the local media, but after a win against the Rangers, some optimists re-adjusted the target to eight points, what with the Devils and Sabres being patsies, and the Bruins in a tailspin.
Then they went and coughed up an ugly loss against the Devils, so it was back to the drawing board, prepping for a game against the neo-powerhouse Islanders. That figured to be a tough game.
Instead, the Canucks jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning 4-0.
The Sedin brothers again displayed their magic touch, setting up Zack Kassian and Radim Vrbata for a powerplay goal each. One play which caught my eye was a behind-the-net bank pass from Daniel to Henrik, which wasn't just a blind dump around the boards attempt, but a measured, called shot, as if Daniel was playing pool. And don't look now, but Zack Kassian is on some kind of consecutive games point streak, broken up only by a couple of healthy scratches, believe it or not.
On the other end of the scale, revolting creep Cal Clutterbuck skated by the Canucks bench and hit/speared players seated there. Somehow that escaped the refs' attention. Had it been P.K. pulling that crap, he'd have been drawn and quartered in the parking lot after the game.
The easy way to deal with this nonsense is to re-arrange hockey rinks so that player benches aren't next to each other but rather facing each other on either side of the rink. This would remove this 'opportunity' from the Steve Otts and the Chris Neils of the world.
During the broadcast of the game, we had an intermission feature on Manon Rhéaume, and what a treat that was. She was always very photogenic, and if that's possible she's even more camera-friendly now, but what hasn't changed is her class and graciousness.
So six points is definitely in sight, four are already in the bag, and the two in Buffalo are already assured right? All that remains for them is the troublesome Bruins, but then again, the Canucks always play them tough.