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Saturday January 30, 2010 11:28 pm

Canucks to make NHL history with long road trip




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Editorial, NHL, Olympics,

Roberto LuongoTonight, as part of CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada, the Vancouver Canucks took on the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Not only was this special because it’s the second game of an all-day, all-Canadian triple-header, it also kicked off what would be the longest road trip in the history of the NHL. The Canucks will go 42 days without playing a home game. Along the way, they’ll play 14 games in 13 cities and cover 12,855 miles.

The reason for such a long trek is, predictably, the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver. GM Place will be the official hockey venue of the Games, and will require several additions and upgrades in order to accommodate the 14 nations who need dressing rooms, as well as upgrading the look and feel of the arena to impress fans on the world stage – all of which will need time to be taken down after the Games. In the meantime, the Canucks’ players and staff will have no access to the building.

The Canucks are holding on to a tight third-place position in the Western Conference. They are 11-11-1 on the road this season, but have been playing better on the road lately, going 7-3-1 in their last 11 games, including the victory over the Maple Leafs last night. However, a long losing streak can really test the mettle of any team, and so can a long road trip. Should both happen to the Canucks in the next month and change, there’s no telling what will happen afterwards.

Team Canada will be using the Canucks’ dressing room throughout the Olympics. Not only is this a subtle additional little perk to the Canadian players, but if any of the Canucks leave anything behind, they can ask Canada and Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo nicely if he’ll pick it up for them. Until then, the Canucks will really have to get their rest and put all of their focus into the game as they embark on this historic road trip. First stop: Toronto.

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