The Vancouver Canucks won't have a Burr in their saddle for a few weeks but showed Saturday night that life without their versatile forward might still be worth living. Canuck head coach John Tortorella announced at the morning skate that Alex Burrows would be out for a couple of weeks (at least) after he blocked a Patrick Marleau shot during a San Jose 5-on-3 power-play Thursday. Torts' retort was to elevate Jannik Hansen to the Sedin line and put David Booth with Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins. Dale Weise also moved up a line while extra defenceman Yannick Weber dressed as the 18th skater and took some shifts at right wing on a make-shift fourth line. Everything fell nicely into place and the Canucks pounded the Edmonton Oilers 6-2 to celebrate their 43rd home opener with a resounding victory. “We were pretty consistent tonight in our attack so we're pretty satisfied” Tortorella said. “As we talked about all week it's about consistency. That was more consistent for more minutes.” The Canucks outshot the Oilers 44-23 chased Edmonton starter Devan Dubnyk scored once the power play twice shorthanded and three times at even strength. Daniel and Henrik Sedin were in elite form – they combined for five points – and set up Hansen for a lovely one-timer after the Oilers were flummoxed by their skilful passing. Even Ryan Kesler scored on one of his game-high nine shots and no one appeared to get injured blocking a shot. The Canucks in fact didn't have to block many (10) as they spent most of the evening in the Oiler zone. A novel concept it would seem. “Exactly” noted Kesler who was pleased he was able to connect with his trademark wrister. “It's not the only way I'm going to score goals this year but scoring a goal in that fashion is definitely a boost of confidence.” The only blemish on the evening was a weak first goal surrendered by Roberto Luongo who was beaten 5-hole on a bad-angle shot by Oiler defenceman Jeff Petry at 1:58 of the opening period. “I wasn't sure what I was going to do and I got caught in-between a knee and the butterfly” explained Luongo. “Then I just started falling. It was a pretty bad goal obviously. It wasn't my best game. I was fighting the puck a little bit. That's the funny thing about hockey. You feel good and lose 4-1 (in San Jose) and you don't feel so good and you win 6-2. In the end I think it will all even out.” The Canucks responded with a terrific surge after Petry's goal and began to pelt Dubnyk with rubber.
Canucks blast Oilers 6-2 in home-opening tour de force
Vancouver Sun | Oct 6