Coming into this season there was a lot of negativity [and criticism] surrounding this team and the lack of BIG signings by GM Mike Gillis. Gillis did not make the BIG signings but rather took a few gambles in signing the hometown Mike Santorelli and former LA forward Brad Richardson. Both have some great clutch moments for the team early and today, we take a closer look at SANTORELLI.
Santa has arrived early for the Canucks or so it would seem with the emergence of forward Mike Santorelli. The announcement that the Canucks had signed local Mike Santorelli in the offseason was one that came with very little expectation. No one was really sure what would happen when Santorelli came to camp and he impressed the coaching staff and fans alike in the preseason.
1/4 of the way into the 2013-2014 season and Mike Santorelli’s ability[or versatility] to play up and down the line up has allowed John Tortorella some flexibility with his lineup with all the early injury saga that took over this team in October.
In just the Canucks third game of the year, Santorelli made his mark with his overtime magic sealing the COMEBACK victory for the Canucks.
How did Santorelli follow up his OT heroics? Glad you asked! He did exactly the same thing the following game 2 days later. The Canucks came back to tie the game at two and force overtime for the second straight game and who should once again be the over time hero? SANTA for the WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Game 12 saw the team at the tail end of a season high 7-game road trip and facing off once more against the New Jersey Devils and former teammate Cory Schneider. The Canucks found themselves down again and once again were the comeback kids forcing extra time against the Devils. Overtime solved nothing and the dreaded shoot out would be required. ONE goal was scored in the shootout…by yes that’s right…MIKE SANTORELLI.
In 21 games, SANTA has accumulated a respectable 12 points [5 goals, 7 assists] and counting while quickly becoming a fan favourite. Many people did not know much about Santorelli before he joined the Canucks other than the fact that he had played in Florida previously and grew up in British Columbia. In 21 games Santorelli’s versatility allowed Torts some flexibility with his injury riddled lineup and gave this team some much needed reliability.
Santa arrived early for the Vancouver Canucks and looks to continue his reliability as the season progresses. Here’ s to a continued great season from Mike Santorelli!
Time to get back to watching the Canucks game as they are taking on the surging Dallas Stars as they continue their 6-game home stand. As always, until next time, nuck said.