They will bounce back and get their first win of the season tonight in Vancouver against Columbus.
That's what I hope anyway.
Oct 7 Bring on Mr Kanes Habs
Bad penalties, bad finish equal bad start — but there's no panic!
Now in his ninth season as a Vancouver Canuck, Daniel Sedin recognizes a certain situation when he sees it. It's the P-word — panic! — and one that is never far removed from the lips of the team's fervent followers.
"There was probably panicking after the first game," Daniel said Sunday, half-smiling at the thought. "I mean, that's the way it is here. Players who play here get used to that. But it's 80 games to go. You can start to panic if you feel that the team isn't playing good enough but, for the mostpart, I think we played pretty good in those games."
It's not an opinion shared by all. The 0-2-0 Canucks, who open at home tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets, were outscored 8-3 by Calgary and Colorado and their penalty killing was torched four times in just nine opposition chances. Coach Alain Vigneault's skaters have flung 77 shots on net and only three have advanced into the net.
So what's No. 1 on the list of improvements needed for the Jackets? Is it: (a) stay out of the box; or (b) find a way to finish off more of those 77 shots.
"The No. 1 thing to do better is stay out of the box," responded Daniel. "If you do that, guys are going to have the puck more and feel good about themselves. Right now, we're killing a lot of penalties and it's tough to get that flow in the game that you want. Then guys who are killing penalties have a tough time to get going. I think if we can just stay out of the box, the rest will follow."
Defenceman Shane O'Brien, who has taken two penalties and concedes that's an issue, figures lack of finish is the bigger culprit in the season's opening two losses.
"I think maybe we just have to bury more of our chances," he offered. "Yeah, we've been taking some penalties but, in Calgary, we still had 42 shots and we out-shot Colorado [35-27]. So we've had more than 75 shots in two games and I think if we just bear down a little bit and finish those opportunities, combined with our special teams getting a little bit better, that will maybe be the difference."
As for the P-word, O'Brien understands this is a Canadian market.
"You know that as soon as you lose one or two in a row in Vancouver that people are going to start panicking a little bit," he said. "They love this team and live and die by it. But there is no panic in here. It's a long year. We had a big camp and it's going to take a little bit of time to get the chemistry back and get everyone clicking."
The coach has been pleased with just one of his forward lines — the twins with Alex Burrows — and only one defenceman, Willie Mitchell. At practice Sunday, he kept all the units intact but didn't promise that he would keep them intact for the Columbus game.
"I'm not quite sure yet what we're going to do," Vigneault explained. "I just wanted to go through practice today with the same lines. I'm not going to break up the one line that is generating offence but, as far as the other three lines go, they have to find a way to get their game to where it should be.
"I never question our work ethic and our intensity. Right now, it's about our execution."
As one old coach once said when asked about his team's execution: "I'm in favour of it."
Vigneault hasn't reached that point yet.
ICE CHIPS: The last time the Canucks went 0-3-0 to start a season was in 2001-02. They finished with 94 points and made the playoffs... Tonight's 50/50 will have a carryover of $50,010 from unclaimed winnings.