Is there anyone hotter than Mikael Samuelsson right now? 9 goals in his last 6 games as he became the 2nd Canucks player to break the 30 goal mark last night, leading a fired up Vancouver squad to a 5-1 romp over the Ottawa Senators. Alex Burrows continued his remarkable season with his 5th shorthanded goal of the season, and his 31st overall, that one proving to be the game winner. It came at a crucial time, not long after the Sens' Jason Spezza scored a beauty, blowing past Andrew Alberts and firing it past Roberto Luongo. More after the jump...
Daniel Sedin and Sami Salo also provided goals for the Canucks, who Ottawa 35-14, showing no sign of any letdown upon returning home. The team got standing ovations on their return to GM Place ice for the first time in 45 days, and got whipped into frenzy right from the start with the pregame ceremony honoring the Olympians from the two teams, including Canada's gold medal goalie.
Henrik Sedin added an assist to pull even with Trevor Linden for the team's all time assist mark, and also with Thomas Gradin for 4th on the team's all time scoring list. Kevin Bieksa looked surprisingly good in his return to the lineup. Bieksa had been out for 27 games after suffering severed tendons in December.
Overall a very solid game from the Canucks, all 4 lines were effective in their roles and if not for a damn fine performance from Pascal Leclaire, especially in the first period where the Canucks outshot the Sens 18-2, this game could have been a real blowout. Rick Rypien brought the crowd to it's feet in a spirited tilt with Sens tough guy Chris Neil, landing a number of quick blows and hanging on for the decision.
No time to rest on their laurels for the Canucks however, as they are right back at it tonight against the 9th place Calgary Flames. Mmmm I love the way that sounds. Say it with me, everyone. 9th place Calgary Flames. Awesome. This won't be an easy one however as the Flames are playing some good hockey right now, winners of 4 straight. They're sitting 1 point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, 10 points behind the division leading Canucks.
Make sure to swing by later for our pregame and game day threads.
Dry toast, no jam in the basement
I don't know what was worse last night, watching the (insert gentle sensitive non-offensive term that shows we can't make a joke about anything, ever here) that was the Toronto Maple Leafs battling the Oilers for basement bragging rights, or the limp-wristed effort of the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens. Edmonton is just bad, likely one of the worst teams in years, and the game made the Leafs almost look like world beaters. Almost. 'Cuz they're still the Leafs. Meanwhile at the Bell Center, a little controversy as Milan Lucic was claiming after the game that the hit thrown on him by Andrei Kostitsyn was a headshot. Kostitsyn was given an interference minor on the play.
You all probably know my feelings about the Philadelphia Flyers, but I have to say I did enjoy seeing Chris Pronger douche a goal with just over 2 seconds left to win the game. Nice work by PJ Stock on HNIC to point out Patrick Kane leaving the ice for a change with 6 seconds left on the rush for the game winning goal. That's some solid leadership right there. Maybe he had a cab waiting outside the United Center?
Chicago wasn't the only losing at home yesterday, as the San Jose Sharks blew a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 in OT to the Florida Panthers. Former Canucks Dman Bryan Allen got the winner in extra time for the Panthers. Tomas Vokoun had 37 saves for Florida, who shut the door after giving up 2 in the first period.
Just a reminder that tonight is the Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon to benefit Canuck Place. You can make donations starting at noon on the Team 1040, and 6:45 pm on Rogers Sportsnet.
In support of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, online donations are being accepted now by filling out the form below or clicking the link here.
Event day only from 12pm - midnight, donate on-linee or at 604.777.CARE or #2273 on your TELUS Mobility phone, or 1-866-480-KIDS
All those who donate before midnight on March 14th are eligible to win a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. Rules and regulations
If you can, please make a donation to this very worthwhile cause.