The NHL season has not begun yet, but Alain Vigneault's plans are already in danger of being tested, tweaked and, possibly, scrapped.
Heading into the lockout-shortened campaign, which begins for his team Saturday night against the visiting Anaheim Ducks, the Vancouver Canucks coach wants to keep his players fresh by monitoring their ice time closely.
But the absences of injured center Ryan Kesler (shoulder, wrist) and winger David Booth (groin) have created two holes on the club's second line that could dictate otherwise.
"We're going to have to do a good job, especially at the beginning, of spreading the ice time around and making sure that the minutes our players are giving us are quality minutes," Vigneault said.
Vigneault plans to stick with what he knows - a veteran lineup - and make adjustments going forward as the Canucks attempt to win a third straight Presidents' Trophy as the top regular-season team and get back to the Stanley Cup finals after losing to Boston in 2011...