Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Welcome Back Willie

Good news first.

After missing nine games to post-concussion syndrome, Willie Mitchell feels great and hopes to return to action tonight.

"I've had a few days here where I have felt really, really good so I'm kind of anxious to get back going," Mitchell said. "I feel great but whether I play or not, I guess that's the coach's decision. I have just had one skate so far, so we'll see. We'll talk about it tomorrow."

If Mitchell says he's ready to go, you can bet that coach Alain Vigneault will return him to the lineup against a red-hot Red Wings' team.

"If he comes in tomorrow again symptom-free, what I saw today in practice, he looked fine," Vigneault said.

If Mitchell does play, rookie defenceman Alexander Edler will likely be returned to Manitoba. Vigneault said he likes the work fellow rookie Patrick Coulombe has done on the power play and he will remain with the team.
The biggest beneficiary of Willie's return is Loo-kash Krajicek. I've mentioned in the past how Loo-kash and Willie play well together. Their pairing is a little reminiscent of the Lumme-Murzyn one in the early 90's, with the exception that Willie isn't a pylon. Anyway, since Willie's injury, Loo-kash has a -6 rating and has had a tough time adjusting to the extra ice-time; Willie's return will help take some of that pressure off.

The bad news?

Much like Saturday, the Canucks are again entertaining a streaking team, this time a Detroit Red Wings team that has won eight straight games.

The Wings have reeled off eight-straight victories -- including shutouts in their last two -- and are allowing just 1.94 goals per game, second lowest in the NHL.

Meanwhile, the Canucks are reeling with five losses in their last six games and just 10 goals in that span despite a shot advantage in five of those games.
Talk about two teams going in the opposite direction.

For the second time in a week,Vigneault cracked the whip and organized a skills practice session so the Canucks can work on their finish.

What has been especially frustrating for Vigneault is that his team is not being rewarded for its hard work. Vigneault suggested that in all but two or three games this season, the Canucks have "outchanced" the opposition. Saturday night's loss to Calgary was just the latest example of a game that the Canucks lost after carrying much of the play.

"The last game was another example of what our season has looked like so far," Vigneault said. "We outchanced Calgary 16-7 and we lost 3-2. The process is right. I feel right now we're not getting, whether you want to call it the bounces or the breaks or whatever. We're hitting posts and they're going out rather than going in. We're not getting a lot of bounces or breaks at our end and we're not getting a lot of bounces and breaks at the other end. But I really believe that teams that work hard, sooner or later, that balances itself out ... offensively we are more gifted than what we have shown so far. There's no doubt."
Geez, I sure hope he's right. We're getting restless over here.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:58 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home