Well we are now officially less then 2 weeks away from the start of the Vancouver Canucks 1st regular season game of the season in Calgary. There are a few question marks on the team right now; will the Canucks start the season with 3 goaltenders? Will Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk make the team? Will the additions of Nick Bonino, Linden Vey and Radim Vrbata be able to help carry the Canucks to atleast a playoff spot?
The Canucks are going into the season with 3 goalies on the roster. Ryan Miller who is clearly #1 on the depth chart as of right now and I don’t expect that to change, Eddie Lack who carried the load after Roberto Luongo was traded to Florida and did a pretty good job in relief as he was basically thrown in there after not having much experience, and Jacub Markstrom who was acquired in the deal coming back with Matthias in the Luongo trade. The team is unable able to send any goalie to the minors as they would have to clear waivers first, which I don’t think either of them would able to do. The easy solution would be to deal one of the backup goaltenders for a piece that can help contribute right away, the last thing we need in Vancouver this year is another goaltender controversy. Eddie Lack seems like the guy that would most likely be on his way out if the team went in that direction as his value would be much higher then Markstrom due to what he proved to the team and the league at the end of last year. We’ll just have to wait and see what the coaches and the management decide to do with this situation.
Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk have been looking really good so far in the prospect camp and in the preseason games as of now, they have both scored goals and have been contributing nicely. It is gonna be tough for either one of them to make the team as I think the team is actually very deep this year, but Bo might get his 9 games and then get sent back to the juniors. As for Hunter Shinkaruk I expect him to be sent to the AHL and then come up to the NHL when theres an injury with a player or if someone is really struggling.
Nick Bonino seemed to have a pretty game from what I heard in the game the Canucks played in Stockton against the Sharks and pitched in with a goal in a losing cause. Radim Vrbata had some great chemistry with the Sedin twins in the only preseason game they’ve played so far, though they didn’t score any goals Vrbata did pick up a helper on an empty net goal by Linden Vey. They were cycling the puck great most of the night and the powerplay looked very good moving the puck around. Linden Vey made an instant impact flying all over the ice, he has some great speed and I think his play will go very good with the way Willie Desjardins system is.