Canucks need to improve on quick starts 0
Oct 20, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin (22) attempts to beat Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski (21) during the 3rd period of the game at Nationwide Arena. (Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports)
Since embarking on a seven-game road trip, the Vancouver Canucks have discovered a way to officially flip their first-period switch.
Granted, it's a microscopic sample size in the big picture, but it just may be the beginning of a positive trend that has head coach John Torterella's fingerprints all over it.
It began the instant the puck dropped in Buffalo. The opening frame was a blur of Canucks skating circles around a clearly overmatched Sabres squad, out shooting them 19-7.
A day-and-a-half later they took to the ice for an afternoon meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins, clearly the toughest two points of the trip. After the first period, the Canucks marched down the visitors tunnel and into their dressing room feeling good about their lopsided 15-5 shots total.
The team then flew to Ohio for a Sunday date against the Columbus Blue Jackets, their third game in four nights. Still they managed to dominate the shots in the first period to the tune of 13-2.
Let me save you the math. For a team that had spotted far too many leads during the opening weeks of the season their last three first-period shot totals combined were 47-14.
They beat Buffalo, they got a single point in taking the Pens to a shootout, and lost outright to the Blue Jackets, beaten on a third-period goal by R.J. Umberger, the Canucks 2001 first-round pick who never played for the team.
The results don't matter near as much right now as does getting out of the gate fast and furious.
With just three starts to go on this is just a glimpse of what could be their identity. Before we bestow the title of the hardest working team to start a game against they need to make the leap from short trend to long-term habit.