The Blues are coming off solid defeats of the Carolina Hurricanes and the Philadelphia Flyers, while the Canucks dropped last night's game to the Edmonton Oilers. It's a tale of two locker-room mindsets: frustration and hope.
The Vancouver Canucks had an abbreviated summer to rest and recharge, what with making it to the Stanley Cup Finals and all. Some fatigue might be expected, and some acclimation to new faces like David Booth is a gimmie. But to only have 9 points - one more than the Blues - after two weeks in the season was not part of their game plan. Is their record fatigue, or can it be pinned on Roberto Luongo, who has been pulled twice and who has a 2-3-1 record. Coupled with his .868 GAA and his 3.46 GAA, you can see why Vancouverites are wondering if Cory Schneider (.935 SV%, 1.68 GAA) should be the starter for now.
While lobbying for the trade of a Vezina Trophy nominee is considered extreme, Canucks fans' frustrations shouldn't be. Heck, Blues' fans can sympathize. Their de facto starter, Jaroslav Halak, has stumbled badly out of the gate (1-4, 3.50 GAA, .835 SV%) and no one can figure out exactly what is going on with him. Back-up Brian Elliott, however, has been on a holy tear. Elliott has won all three games that he's started, including a solid performance against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. He has a 2.10 GAA and a .935 SV%, and has gained the trust of his teammates. Elliott's even-keeled mindset might be part of the reason:
"You don't really attribute anything to much more than hard work," he said. "Sometimes you're playing just as well and the bounces go the other way. You've just got to take the positives and not get too high, not get too low, and just keep playing."