The Vancouver Canucks are off to a good start in the 2013-14 campaign, despite playing through a long and grueling road trip.
Although the Canucks are in a good spot in the standings, there is no such thing as perfect in the NHL. There is always room for improvement.
The following are solutions to the Canucks' biggest problems early on.
The Canucks finally have Alex Burrows back in the lineup after losing him to injury in the first game of the season.
But the news came on the same day as the announcement that David Booth (one to two weeks), Dale Weise (three to four weeks), Jannik Hansen (three to four weeks) and Jordan Schroeder (two months) would all miss time.
Hockey is a physical sport, and there's no way to avoid casualties. That said, it's more likely to occur when you're forced to abide to John Tortorella's shot-blocking ways.
The only solution to this would be to block less shots, but with Torts behind the bench I wouldn't expect that—nor would I want it.
Even before David Booth's unfortunate—but seemingly inevitable—injury, he was a problem.
It may be early, but Booth's three points in 11 games at a $4.25 million cap hit simply don't cut it.
Booth has been problematic since the first day with the Canucks. If he doesn't quickly prove his worth when he returns, I think we've reached the point where the only solution is a trade (if there are any takers) or a buyout.
The Canucks currently have the 28th-ranked power play, at just 10 percent. There are a few possible solutions to this, one of which is (unsurprisingly) to practice the power play. But assuming they're doing that already, let's explore the others.
The Canucks have Jason Garrison on the point of the power play, whose powerful shot is deadly in these situations. The Canucks need to work on getting the puck to Garrison and get bodies in front of the opposing goalie.
It could also be the case that there is nothing wrong with the Nucks' power play. Perhaps they simply haven't been getting the bounces, and success will come as more opportunities arise. After all, 40 power plays aren't a very large sample size.