Thursday, September 07, 2006

Brendan Morrison looks forward to taking game to next level

BURNABY, B.C. (CP) -- Centre Brendan Morrison thinks subtracting Todd Bertuzzi from the Vancouver Canucks could result in an addition to his scoring totals this NHL season.For most of the last five years Morrison has been the setup man on the Canucks' high-scoring top line along with wingers Markus Naslund and Bertuzzi.Both Naslund and Bertuzzi wanted the puck as much as possible. That meant Morrison's job was pass first, maybe look for a rebound, then make sure he got back on defence.Bertuzzi's trade to the Florida Panthers this summer means Morrison may find the puck on his stick more often."When you play with those guys, the tendency is just to get them the puck," Morrison said after skating with some of his teammates at a local arena. "Now I might have the puck a little more, get the chance to create a little more and definitely shoot the puck more. That should lead to more production."Naslund said Morrison may get more of a chance to demonstrate the goal-scoring skills he showed at the University of Michigan where he was a Hobey Baker award winner as the top U.S. college hockey player."I think Brendan plays his best when he's forceful and confident," said Naslund. "Maybe it was difficult for him to play with me and Todd who both really want the puck all the time.

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