Okay, it’s pretty rough right now for the Canucks, at least when you look at the injury list. Adversity can be good, but maybe not this time. This will be a little bit of stating the obvious here, but I think it’s necessary in order to gain a little perspective. Remember that fateful game against the Predators, when the Canucks were playing like absolute garbage, and the Bieksa and Salo went down? The Canucks NEEDED something like that to happen. (Why did it have to be Bieksa though? Arggghh. Damn you Vernon Fiddler!! Ahem. Anyways…) They weren’t working hard or playing as a team, or showing any sign of defensive responsibility up to that point of the season. It was a necessary wakeup call, and it worked. The Canucks started playing like the Canucks again, and they started winning a few games as a result. So yeah, as much as it pains me to view a terrible injury to my favourite player in a positive light, I can’t deny it.
This time is different. Luongo went down with a rib injury. Morrison had his ironman streak of 542 games end due to a wrist injury which had been bugging him for a while. Isbister is out. Cowan is out. Kesler has the flu.
I am going to try and display a little bit more uncharacteristic positive thinking here, just for the hell of it. Here we go… Morrison’s injury is maybe not a bad thing. Sure, it sucks that his streak ended, but at the same time it may be kind of a relief to not have to worry about it anymore. I wasn’t expecting him to break Doug Jarvis’ record. I don’t expect ANYONE to break that record any time soon. I know there were a few games last season where Morrison probably should’ve sat out because of injury, but he was in the lineup anyways (I’m assuming that was to keep the streak alive) and was a bit of a liability to the team as a result. That’s done now. He’s too old to start a new streak, at least any kind of meaningful one, so when he returns to the lineup the focus will only be on the hockey. I guess that’s positive.
Isbister and Cowan don’t make a huge difference in the lineup every night, so their injuries have allowed Mason Raymond and Jason Jaffray to step up and gain a bit of experience in the NHL. That’s a good thing too. I didn’t get to watch the game against the Ducks, but it was a pleasant surprise to see each of them register a goal and an assist. That was pretty much unexpected. I would have thought that it would be against a team like the Ducks where the grit and toughness of Cowan and Isbister would be missed the most. Hmmm… Also, I’ve been waiting for Jaffray to get an opportunity in the NHL for a while (as had Jaffray himself!)
As for Kesler, he played against the Ducks even though according to Vigneault he was very ill during the game (I won’t go into the details that Vigneault did in the post-game interview, but you can probably guess what he said) and that’s just another testament to Kesler’s character and competitive spirit. I’m not surprised by that at all.
Lastly, there’s Luongo. Well… I actually don’t want to talk about it. But he’ll be back possibly on Saturday, or hopefully at the very latest on Tuesday to face the Devils. All I will say is that I hope he’s healed enough to show Mr. Brodeur and the Devils who SHOULD have won the Vezina last year. (Yeah, I said it. Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)
I didn’t get to watch very much of the Sharks/Canucks game last night, but I know that going into that game I had absolutely no expectations. The Sharks jumped up to a 3-0 lead, but the Canucks actually fought back in the 3rd and turned it into a one goal game… until the Sharks scored 2 more of course, but that’s not the point. The point is that I wasn’t expecting any fight from the Canucks at all, so I’ll take that as a positive too. That’s pretty much all the positivity I can handle right now without thinking that I’ve gone completely insane. Maybe vacation makes me crazy, but hopefully we’ll be back to this (the picture below) in no time.