Canucks GM Gillis tight-lipped about making moves 0
Vancouver Canucks' General Manager Mike Gillis (left) and Head Coach John Tortorella (right) speak to the media during the Main Training Camp at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday September 11, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
After suffering their first loss in eight games, the Vancouver Canucks will get right back at it on Thursday.
And while their win streak met its demise, at least the points streak is still intact.
The 3-2 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild on Monday was the team's lone blemish this month — one that has seen them go 7-0-1.
Now, in the midst of a three-game road trip, the Canucks will try and continue their climb up the conference with Christmas just around the corner.
In an interview on the Canucks' website Wednesday, general manager Mike Gillis was pleased with the makeup of his team, although he held back as usual when asked about potential moves.
"I like our group but adding players is really tough in this environment," Gillis said. "We're always trying to get better so if something prevents itself, we'll be involved."
For now, the team is getting the job done — save for that lost point in Minny.
Vancouver heads to Dallas to face the Stars on Thursday in the two sides' second meeting this season. Back on Nov. 17, Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen made 42 saves in his team's 2-1 win — a game that was part of a horrid homestand for the Canucks.
But things have turned around for Vancouver since, and one of the big reasons for that is their special teams play.
"Our power play got a slow start, but it's pretty tough to generate power play goals when you're averaging one power play per game, so you have to accept the fact that having limited opportunities can get poor results," Gillis said. "Our penalty killing has been at the top of the league for the entire season and we made up for it now, our power play is starting to come on.
"If that trend continues, we'll be very happy."
One trend, though, the Canucks hope won't continue is having to decide another game via the shootout. The team is 1-4 this season with the post-overtime relay and their shooters have scored just twice on 18 opportunities — a rate of 11.1% which is ranked 27th overall.
"We suck in the shootout," head coach John Tortorella said. "We got to try different people I guess because we stink at it."
Stanton sent back
Defenceman Ryan Stanton, who was spotted with a walking boot following Tuesday's game, has been sent back to Vancouver for further evaluation, Tortorella told reporters Wednesday.
The blueliner looked to have injured his left ankle early in the second period after being shoved from behind into the boards by Zenon Konopka. He skated for one shift but left and did not return.
The team does not expect to call anyone up from the minors, with Andrew Alberts as the extra defenceman.