Monday, February 04, 2013

Top 5 Plays of the Month | January 2013

New CBA in hand, January began with a renewed purpose to sit for hours in front of the television.  As far as first months of the season typically go for the Canucks, Schneider's Luongo's team was not half bad.  With a 48-game season, much had been said about the Canucks not being able to afford their usual sluggish start.

After an unclimactic and severely embarassing home opener, it seemed like that's the direction Vancouver was headed.  A final January record of 3-2-2 isn't going to do much to change the team's reputation, but signs of life abound for the reigning Presidents' Trophy winners, nonetheless.

The Canucks' first month was highlighted by 5-0 and 3-0 wins against the Ducks (returning the favour for their home opener) and Avalanche, respectively.  With a different goalie in net for each win, Schneider and Luongo's matching shutouts reflected the month's central storyline in Vancouver.  Whose team is this?

For the first time since the tandem was established, the pressure is squarely on Schneider to perform and it's Luongo who's playing with nothing to lose.  With the exception of Schneider's shutout against Anaheim, it shows.

As pervasive as the crease drama continues to be, however, goaltending wasn't the only emerging storyline in Vancouver to start the year.  It's been nine months since the Canucks' first-round exit, but playoff Edler is still here.  And judging by Jason Garrison's play, he's contagious.  Meanwhile, Mason Raymond actually looks like he could score 25 goals in this league again.  And finally, Zack Kassian.  (No explanation necessary.)

As a 3-2-2 record suggests, you take the good with the bad.  Luckily, if there's one place Edler can play defence, it's in BTD's Top 5 Plays of the Month.  January edition.  Enjoy!


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