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Ahead of tonight's Predators-Canucks tilt, we thought we'd reach out to B.C. to get some perspective on how Vancouver is rolling these days.
Sean Zandberg of Nucks Misconduct sounds off on Roberto Luongo, Jason Garrison, and more...
1) It seems like people have been talking about a Roberto Luongo trade forever. How tenable is the goaltending situation in Vancouver, considering that both he and Corey Schneider are performing well? Does the upcoming drop in the salary cap for next season mean that Luongo has to go?
A: The Luongo trade talk has died down. I think the biggest reason for this is that at times Cory Schneider (more than Luongo) has not looked particularly sharp. Then Luongo steps in and performs masterfully. I think that the two elite goaltender "problem" we have right now is a good thing. I have no doubt that Luongo's contract will be a problem for the Canucks to get to the cap limit next season, so Mike Gillis will move him by then. Plus, as far as I am concerned, Luongo wants out (and to be closer to Florida). Will this deal happen by the trade deadline? I am not so sure of that anymore.
2) Jason Garrison was one of the biggest free agent signings of the summer, but it looks like he hasn't been producing much so far. How is he fitting into the lineup?
A: Garrison is not fitting in yet. He is making countless mistakes in his decisions and he has not been able to establish himself as Sami Salo's replacement on the top power play unit. Now he is demoted to the 3rd pairing with Keith Ballard. It's going to take time for him to find his game here, it appears.
3) With the Canucks the heavy favorite to win the Northwest Division yet again, what's the feeling up there about the team's chances in the playoffs? Do fans like the current roster, or is there a glaring need which needs to be addressed via trade?
A: The Northwest Division is so weak that it's practically a lock. There is a lot of positivity about this team for another playoff run. It's kind of hard not to be with all the depth we have at all positions. The biggest thing is that there are some ongoing gelling issues. David Booth still does not fit in. Zack Kassian started hot and has cooled off completely. Garrison has not found a steady D partner yet. A lot of the time the defence can be very suspect and prone to mistakes. This is why we love our goaltending duo! We are really happy with the positive effect Ryan Kesler has had on our power play. He completely revived it.
Last season felt like a hangover from getting to the Finals. The guys looked gassed and like they were not physically and mentally ready for another deep playoff run. Not this season though.
Thanks to Sean, and make sure to swing by Nucks Misconduct today to check out the enemy point of view...