With a five-game Eastern swing coming up, the Canucks have everything going for them.
They’ve won six straight games, outscoring their opponents 25-12 over that stretch.
Their special teams are on a roll, tallying seven powerplay goals in the past 13 opportunities and killing off 19 of 20 penalties. And not only are they getting scoring from the top nine forwards, third-line winger Raffi Torres was also named the NHL’s First Star of the Week.
“If you want to win on a consistent basis, you need to get different types of contributions from all your players,” said Alain Vigneault, who is one win from 300 career-coaching victories. He can reach that milestone against his former team Tuesday when the Canucks visit the Montreal Canadiens.
A win will also give the Canucks (8-3-2) their best start to the season since 2005-06 when the team went 10-2-2 after 14 games.
“It’s always better,” Henrik Sedin said of Saturday’s win over Detroit prior to heading out on the road trip. “You’re leaving on a good note. We’ve played the same way on the road as we do at home and that’s been a key for us.”
After starting the season 0-3-1 away from home, the Canucks have bounced back, winning in Edmonton and Colorado last week to silence the notion that they have trouble playing on the road. A winning road trip would further solidify that turnaround.
After starting the season 7-2-1, Montreal has lost three of their last four. The biggest shocker in terms of stats comes from captain Brian Gionta, who has a measly four points through 14 games while Scott Gomez is right behind him with three points. Tomas Plekanec leads with 11 points.
Last season, Vancouver split the season series with the Habs, winning 7-1 at home and losing 3-2 at the Bell Centre.
The Canucks last win in Montreal came in January 2007 when Roberto Luongo posted a 4-0 shutout victory.