The Vancouver Canucks are still looking for their first win on the road this season. They face a tough test tonight as they travel to Chicago for the first time since the Blackhawks ousted the Canucks in the second of the playoffs last season on a night many Canucks fans, and Roberto Luongo, would like to forget.
While the Canucks have improved their play defensively in the last two games, they have still been an easy team to play against lately. The Canucks have not been very physical at all and rank last in hits per game in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks are a powerful team, who exerted their force on the Canucks during the playoffs last season.
In order to win tonight, the Canucks need to play mean from start to finish. They need to start fights. They need to crash the net often. They face a rookie goaltender in Antii Niemi tonight, and the Canucks need to act like an a**hole older brother, push him around repeatedly and need to make no apologies for their behaviour.
Roberto Luongo seems to be rounding into form as he has played solidly in his last two starts. And you just know that he will be looking to make amends for the debacle that happened the last time he played in the United Center. Luongo plays best when he has something to prove and a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. Hopefully he has both tonight.
The Canucks shot-taking prowess has been remarkable of late, as they have fired 36.0 shots per game this season. But they have to make their shots count, instead of firing darts right at the goalie’s chest. Although with a team like Chicago, who plays run-and-gun for 60 minutes, they should fire anything and everything at net, especially at a rookie goalie, in hopes that ANYTHING will get through.
Canucks needs to play mean, nasty and brutish. Can they bump the slump on the road tonight? The more they hit, they better chance they have of picking up their first road win this season.