After a couple of days filled with bad news something good finally happened for the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night. They won a game — it’s been a while. The Canucks hadn’t won since April 22. They dropped their final two games of the regular season were swept in the playoffs and had opened the pre-season with three straight losses. So Monday’s 6-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Rogers Arena was welcome. Coach John Tortorella clearly thought it was time for his team to taste victory. The Canucks were the only National Hockey League team without one heading into Monday’s action and Tortorella dressed a veteran-laden lineup. They had to do some last-minute juggling to the roster when wingers Zack Kassian and Dale Weise were handed suspensions for separate incidents in Saturday’s 5-2 loss in Edmonton. Jannik Hansen moved up to replace Kassian on the top line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin. And rookies Bo Horvat and Brendan Gaunce who were originally not scheduled to play skated much of the night on the fourth line with Tom Sestito. There were several encouraging signs from a Canuck perspective. Roberto Luongo went the distance in goal and played well. Hansen looked right at home playing alongside the Sedins and chipped in with a power-play goal. Chris Higgins promoted to the second line scored his first goal of the pre-season. Defenceman Yannick Weber scored on a blast from the right point forward Mike Santorelli continued to impress and scored another goal. Horvat had two assists and played his best game of the pre-season. “I thought we chased pucks down I thought our defencemen were up the ice and pinched really well and we just had an aggressive attitude towards the game” Tortorella said. “That was a great team game” Luongo said. “I thought we played really well right off the start with a good first period and stayed on top of them the whole game.” The first period was Vancouver’s best of the pre-season. They outshot the Coyotes 17-8 and grabbed a 2-0 lead.
Canucks finally get elusive pre-season win as six players score in a 6-1 rout over Phoenix Coyotes
Vancouver Sun | Sep 24