But don’t worry it is going to take time. The Canucks displayed a much more physical and aggressive style of play, but they are going to need time for the new system to take effect.
The Sharks survived the early pressure put on by the Canucks, only giving up 1 goal. Jason Garrison scored the lone goal for the Canucks. In the second the Sharks showed that they are the stronger team by scoring twice and, than twice more in the third, winning 4-1. The win was San Jose’s 10th straight win against Vancouver, including pre-season and playoffs, in the last 2 seasons.
The Canucks were one of the most penalized teams in the league last season and, at least after opening night, that hasn’t seemed to change much. The Canucks were called for eight minor penalties on Thursday versus just six for the Sharks. On the bright side for the Canucks, they managed to kill off all eight of the Sharks’ power plays including a full two-minute 5-on-3 in the second period.
Shot blocking has been a big point of emphasis for Torts and the Canucks certainly heeded that message. Even though the Sharks still managed to get 35 pucks through to the net, Vancouver finished the night with 22 blocked shots. Christopher Tanev led the way with five while Alex Burrows and Alexander Edler had three each. Roberto Luongo, made his eighth straight appearance in a season opener for the Canucks, looked sharp early on and kept the Canucks in the game for most of the contest. He finished the night with 31 saves on the 35 shots.
The Canucks host the Edmonton Oilers in their home opener on Saturday at Rogers Arena. That’s a 7pm start and you can also watch it on CBC TV
Photo from canucks.nhl.com (Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)