When the Vancouver Canucks begin to analyze what went well with this season, they will first need to look to their road record and try to figure out why they have the success that they do away from Roger’s Arena.
The Canucks 4-1 mastery over the perennial 100 point per season St Louis Blues was the second such three goal victory in the Show Me State this season, and 23rd in 38 games away from home, one of the best records in the NHL.
When I look at these games for Vancouver away from Roger’s Arena, the one thing that really stands out to me is the simplicity of their game plan. The Canucks aren’t forcing the play, but they are dictating the play through what their opponents are providing them. At home, the Canucks look like a 14 year old high school boy trying to impress the cheerleaders, they try too hard to make things entertaining and instead find themselves chasing their own tail.
It has become clear to me that the Canucks are a good team, but only when they focus on the team aspect of what makes them successful. Good quick outlet passes, patience through the cycle to create their scoring chances, and timely goaltending.
After a troublesome two games at home the Canucks rebound with yet another big win against another potential Western Conference contender. The ability for this team to be ready for the big games but just playing a smart one will help them when the pressure gets turned up in April.
Off to Nashville and the Predators tonight…another powerhouse and another opportunity to convince the doubters that the Vancouver Canucks are for real, especially if they can take this road show back home.