Last night was a great example of the complete Canucks package: speed, skill, physicality, tight checking, outstanding goaltending, and if you ask Damien Cox, borderline dirty plays. It was all on display in what was probably the most entertaining game of the year thus far. The top 3 lines each scored, the D added one, and Luongo was fantastic. After watching that game, I think I'd rather see a playoff series against the Wings this Spring than another re-match against Chicago.
Onward, ho! News and notes from the team and around the NHL coming up.
Vancouver Canucks news & notes:
A very interesting take on the Canucks/Wings game last night, from the other side. [Kuklas Korner] An excerpt:
"Well, the game would have been much closer if the Wings who dominated play over the last 10 minutes of the 3rd period and showed flashes of tremendous brilliance in the second had not waited so very long to do anything other than have the other team's will will thrust upon them as they committed mistake after mistake and plain old cheated themselves out of a game they should have at least had a chance to win, had they chosen to not be so flattered by their opponents' smile that they ignored a very obvious pair of fangs."
- As I tweeted last night, I find it interesting (and a bit frustrating) the different narratives that are used for the Canucks on different networks. CBC are such drama queens about everything, and all you hear when they're covering the Canucks is that they need a tough guy and the Bruins won the Cup because of Shawn Thornton (absolutely laughable). Last night Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro spent most of the broadcast fawning over the skill of the Canucks and Wings, and brought up each team's lack of an enforcer as a positive. No wonder so many casual fans are left with these false ideas in their heads like "Luongo sucks" and "the Sedins are soft" or "the Canucks need an enforcer".
- Daniel Sedin has his own "Bleacher Creature". That's all well and good, lots of players do, but here's my question: why does Daniel's look like it wants to murder me in my sleep? I think we may have found the star of the next sequel to Child's Play. [The Stanchion's Twitter]
- Speaking of Daniel, here's a sweet GIF of his "puck header" last night.
- Kevin Bieksa stopped by 99.3 The Fox' Jeff O'Neill show yesterday. Some funny stuff as usual from Juice, but for f's sakes, stop calling him "Boom Boom". [Pass it to Bulis]
- This is a very lengthy Sports Illustrated piece on "The Kiss" captured during the Stanley Cup riot last June. No, I haven't read the whole thing, but maybe you should? [Sports Illustrated]
- Well his absence wasn't as long, and the hype around his return didn't quite match the fever pitch of Sidney Crosby's, but the results were similar: 4 points for Claude Giroux in his return to the Flyers line-up last night. Best (healthy) player in the league right now. [CBC]
- Giroux's return was pretty inspiring, even for headline writers:
- Watch as Peter Laviolette and Steve Ott cross paths in the tunnel between periods:
- The Sharks sure embarrassed the Lightning last night, scoring 5 goals in a little over 11 minutes in the first period. Now that the honeymoon period has worn off with Guy Boucher, should we be surprised the Bolts are as bad as they are? Their goaltending and defence does not look good on paper, and they're even worse on the ice so far this season. [NHL VideoCenter]
- Marty Havlat will miss up to 8 weeks after tearing his hamstring during a line change. A line change! [Puck Daddy] Now...
- ...I've always been fascinated by the following question: why do some players get injured so much more than others? I understand everyone's genetic makeup is different, but is that all it is? Because some guys just seem to have bad shit happen to them for no reason. Nick Lidstrom has missed a little over 30 games total in 20 seasons. Now look at Sami Salo's injury list! Is that all hereditary?
- Since they're just around the corner, Ryan Lambert offers his guide to the World Juniors for those who might not be familiar with the tournament. [Backhand Shelf]
- There's a lot of talk about whether or not Canada's goaltending is good enough to get it done this year. Jonathan Wills takes a look at the recent history of goaltending in the tournament. [Canucks Army]