The Vancouver Canucks won a thrilling shootout victory against the Calgary Flames last night at GM Place. The comeback win kept the Canucks perfect this pre-season at 5-0-0 so far.
So why does it matter?
Should Canucks fans really care that the Canucks are perfect through five games in the pre-season? No, not really. Sure it’s always nice to see your team win. The most important part of the pre-season is to evaluate talent, especially players on the bubble of making the team with the few open spots in the Canucks line-up.
We have found out that Sergei Shirokov could be an excellent find for the Canucks, and will likely be the first call-up from the Manitoba, should any of the top 6 forwards go down with injury.
We have found out that the sleeker, slimmer Kyle Wellwood looks to be much improved to start this season. Let’s hope Welly can find something in his game which he lack last season, which was consistent play through the whole season.
We have found out that Michael Grabner is farther away from sticking with the team than most thought. He seems somewhat tentative and has missed on almost all of his opportunities to score. Same goes for Jannik Hansen. For a player who has been on the verge of cracking the Canucks lineup for a coule of years now, he just can’t seem to bump up his game to the next level necessary to play full-time in the NHL.
We have found out that the veterans trying out with the team have likely seen their last days in the NHL. Both Dave Scatchard and Mark Parrish have failed to impress so far, and now seem a distant long-shot to play in Vancouver this season.
We have found out that Cody Hodgson is not the hockey saviour we were all excepting. He’s good, but he still has a lot of growing to do. Dare I say it… maybe he will end up back in Junior to start the season.
Finally, we have found out that the fight for the right to back up Roberto Luongo will go down to the wire. Both Andrew Raycroft and Cory Schneider have played quite well in pre-season. All of the speculation in Vancouver is that Schneider is destined to be shipped out, so this pre-season is really his showcase to the rest of the league.
Is a perfect start in the pre-season really that important? No, but it sure beats watching the Canucks go winless, and it’s a great way to start the regular season with a winning attitude and some momentum.