Leave to the oft-maligned Kyle "you gonna finish that?" Wellwood to not just play 2 solid games in a row, not just score 2 games in a row, but to score a jaw-droppingly awesome break away goal. Not so bizarre, you say? What if I told you it came on a tape to tape breakout pass from Aaron Rome? There's more once you've regained your composure...
Bizarre, right? Almost as bizarre as beating Detroit on the road 6-3 on the tail end of a back to back. Yet that's what they treated us to last night, a game as notable for it's milestones (Henrik Sedin setting a new season point mark, Alexandre Burrows equaling his career best goal mark) as it was for the players who stepped up with big games last night. Ok, it was no surprise that Ryan Kesler had a huge 2 goal game, but even that was a bit remarkable as he was being knocked for his lack of production on the road earlier this season.
Though Aaron Rome did look bad on one of the goals (hey, he's still Aaron Rome), he had probably his most solid game as a Canuck. And while Deadline Day came and passed without a major change to the Canucks, it is nice to see the defense tightening up a bit. The real test comes tomorrow, as they take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the final regular season meeting between the two teams. Newly acquired Andrew Alberts will be in the lineup for Vancouver, and his physical presence will likely be a factor in this first game for his new team.
Obviously not having Willie Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa in this important game against a team that is turning into quite the bitter rival for the boys in blue & green. That's going to mean Alberts, Shane O'Brien and the rest of the D are going to need to be ready for a physical onslaught from the 'Hawks, as guys like Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Burrish will likely look to repeat their playoff mode and crash Luongo all night long. They can't rely on the referees to handle this for them though, and an appropriate response should be metered out to anyone who makes contact with Lu.
People are making a big deal about Ryan Kesler playing against Patrick Kane, his linemate in Sunday's gold medal game. I fail to see where this is a big thing at all, that was then, and they're both back to work now. Ryan Kesler is very much a Canuck, and looking forward to going head to head against Kane, I can assure you.
It smells like coffee and failure
While the Canucks didn't do the Red Wings any favors last night, the Minnesota Wild did, in addition to helping themselves. The Wild shutout the Calgary Flames 4-0, as Mikka Kiprusoff continues to be mired in that Olympic funk brought on by the shelling he endured in the first 11 minutes of Finland's game against the USA. Calgary still can't score, and with a tip o' the hat to Kent Wilson, we see that the Flames chances of making the post season after last night's loss are now 20%. It's startling for a number of reasons, the most being on paper this team should be better than they are. It's also startling in that they're just a point out of 8th, but have a much tougher go competition-wise down the stretch than the Wings. Add in that Dallas is tied with them, the Ducks a point back and Minnesota 3 back, this season is beginning to look like a lost cause for the Flames.
Much respect to Florida Panthers forward David Booth, who got his shot at revenge against Philadelphia's Mike Richards last night and made the most of it. Gordie Howe hat trick as he fought Richards and led the way with a four point night as the Panthers demolished the Flyers 7-4. Anyone think that Philadelphia not addressing their goaltending needs yesterday is going to come back to bite them on the ass?