Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Look After Going 2-0

Despite some good looking line combonations in their opening two pre-season games against the Edmonton Oilers, the Canucks coaching staff switched things up for a pair of practice sessions at GM Place today.

Most notable was Steve Bernier having a chance to skate with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Despite a strong showing Tuesday skating with Pavol Demitra and Cody Hodgson, Bernier got his first chance to skate with the twins. That's a line many think will be together to start the season.

Other line combos, plus defence and goalie pairings on that team include:

Darcy Hordichuk-Ryan Johnson-Alex Burrows
Michael Grabner-Cody Hodgson-Matt Pettinger
Alex Bolduc-Mark Cullen-Dan Gendur/Juraj Simek

Willie Mitchell-Kevin Bieksa
Rob Davison-Sami Salo
Taylor Ellington-Zack FitzGerald
Lawrence Nycolet-Jim Sharrow

Curtis Sanford-Karl Goehring

This team will likely dress against the Ducks in Anaheim when the Canucks wrap their two-game road trip on Sunday. The squad that will likely dress Saturday against the Sharks in San Jose looked like this in practice this morning:

Mason Raymond-Pavol Demitra-Taylor Pyatt
Jeff Cowan-Kyle Wellwood-Jannik Hansen
Jason Jaffray-Ryan Kesler-Jason Krog
P.C. Labrie-Rick Rypien-Mike Brown

Mattias Ohlund-Alex Edler
Lukas Krajcek-Nolan Baumgartner
Nathan McIver-Daniel Rahimi/Shaun Heshka

Roberto Luongo-Cory Schneider

A little humour to the end of each on-ice session took place. Every player took part in a shoot-out scenario. Before each shooter stepped up to go one-on-one, Alain Vigneault asked the others if they thought their teammate would score or not. Those who thought he would score would go on one side of the ice while the others stood on the opposite boards. Plenty of verbal jabs went back and forth among teammates in a pretty entertaining way for the players to practice their shoot-out skills.

The entire group will have the day off tomorrow for the annual Jake Milford Canucks Alumni Golf Tournament, being held at Northview Golf Club. The two groups will be back on the ice Friday at GM Place.

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