Despite getting outshot 34-19 in the game, the Canucks were able to hold on for the win. Forward Bo Horvat scored the game winning goal in the third period.
Goalies Eddie Lack and Joe Canntata both stopped 16 shots to claim victory for the Canucks - and there were many positives for head Coach Willie Desjardin to take away from this win.
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Veteran forward Radim Vrbata fitted in quite well with the Sedin twins. He didn’t get very many chances, but did well at anticipating the play and giving the Sedins an outlet to pass to on several occasions. It won’t take him long at all to start tallying points consistently for the Canucks. He’s got a wicked one-timer and isn’t afraid to fire the puck from any position.
The rookies on this Canucks split squad did extremely well. Forwards Hunter Shinkaruk and Linden Vey both scored goals and tallied assists. Jordon Subban, Alex Friesen and Michael Zalewski all accumulated points as well. I’m extremely pleased and pleasantly surprised at how well these young guys did in this game. The challenge for them now is to provide these points on a consistent basis.
Horvat is a guy I hope the Canucks will keep.The Canucks showed their scoring ability against the Sharks. Guys like Friesen and Dan Fox didn’t a wonderful job fore-checking hard and using their speed to open up the Sharks defense. But the defense still seemed weak to me.
Tightening up will be essential to the Canucks success this season. That being said I hope the Canucks organization give Subban a shot. Vey has proved his worth in my opinion. He ended the game with three shots and three points.
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I really like some of the changes the Canucks have made. They’ve given the Sedins a new linemate. The organization clearly has more depth when it comes to young and upcoming players then I realized.
If Horvat can build off his game winning goal and continue to impress the coaching staff, there is no telling how well he’ll do this year. I would love to see him on a line with Zack Kassian or Chris Higgins at some point this season.
I’m not concerned about the team’s goaltending situation heading into the season. Ryan Miller and Eddie Lack have more than enough experience and talent to carry this team into the playoffs this year. Both these guys are used to playing in high pressure situations and are determined to do whatever it takes to win.
The Canucks next preseason game is against the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
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