Goren impressing Canucks in camp

As far as impressions go, Lee Goren did his best to leave a lasting one.

Goren, a Winnipegger who starred for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose last season, had a goal and an assist in his Vancouver Canucks debut on Wednesday night, a 5-4 shootout loss to the host Edmonton Oilers in NHL preseason action at Rexall Place.

Sure it was only an exhibition game, but it was a good start nonetheless for Goren, who skated alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

“They were my only linemates all night,” said Goren, who had 32 goals, 62 points and a plus-24 rating in 79 games with the Moose last season, along with a team-best 10 playoff goals. “Everything went well.”

The opportunity to play on the line came about when free agent signing Anson Carter came down with a groin injury and Goren made it count.

Goren, Nathan Smith and Josh Green, who also had a goal on Wednesday, were among those to draw praise from Canucks head coach Marc Crawford during his post-game scrum with the media in Edmonton.

“Marc told me the day before the game that I was going to be playing with the twins on the power play and that was exciting enough,” said Goren, noting training camp has gone well to date. “So far it’s been good. I’ve been doing all the things that allow me to have success, putting the puck in the corner, grind it out and take pucks to the net, all of those little things.”

Goren said the most recent crackdown on penalties and rule changes to open up the game were on display on Wednesday.

“The rules are good for the game, as long as they are upkept and the referees continue to call everything they are saying they are going to call,” said Goren. “It increases scoring chances and the speed of the play and it allows the skilled guys to show off their skills, which is a fun thing.”

Since energy forward Matt Cooke ended his holdout and signed a three-year deal earlier this week, open spots up front with the Canucks are scarce but Goren isn’t letting that get him down.

“Hopefully I can continue to do things to give myself chances to get in the lineup and from there, to make the decision hard on the coaching staff and help this hockey club,” said Goren.

Ken Wiebe covers the AHL for the Winnipeg Sun