VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 31: Vancouver Canucks mascot Fin waves a team flag after the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Los Angeles Kings in NHL action on March 31, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Anyone have questions about whether or not the Canucks are ready for the playoffs only need watch the last two games. After knocking off the defensively stingy Nashville Predators Tuesday, the Canucks returned home last night and clinched their first ever Presidents' Trophy with an impressive 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Daniel Sedin had a goal that should be shown to everyone you who know who thinks the Sedins are soft, taking a borderline blindside hit from Drew Doughty as he fired a laser past Jonathan Quick to tie the game at 1. Then came one of the goals of the season from Christian Ehrhoff.
Ryan Kesler got off the schneid last night as well, as the Canucks to a man played a pretty damn solid game. Victor Oreskovich was a presence all night, especially on Daniel's goal when he read the pass from Doughty, picked it off and went with Daniel on a 2 on 1 that as you know ended in a goal. Chris Higgins continues to look like such a steal, and Keith Ballard was jaw-droppingly good last night, skating through the Kings players like they were standing still on a number of occasions.
So, that's that then. The Canucks have now secured home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The rest is up to them. Another interesting stat came up last night (h/t to Puck Daddy) The Canucks can be the first team since expansion in 1967 to finish leading the league in GF, GA, PP & PK. The Montreal Canadiens never did it. Nor did the Edmonton Oilers or New York Islanders. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. They still need to win those playoff games. But this is uncharted territory for us, Canucks fans. We've never had a Canucks team top to bottom as good as this one. Never had one with a better shot to win the Stanley Cup. There are many who want to see us fail. That's nothing new. But I don't feel that same trepidation as in the past. This team can beat anyone in the league. There isn't a goalie that worries them, no defensive structure they can't break down. This will be the year.
On the downside of things we have no further word on D Chris Tanev after he was nailed from behind by LA's Kyle Clifford. Clifford was given a major for hitting from behind and a game misconduct. And with Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos tweeting moments ago that Clifford will face no further discipline from the league, we can see that dirty and disrespectful hits still aren't taken seriously.
Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand may have thought mimicking a golf swing at the Leafs bench was funny, but the Leafs' efforts to make the playoffs are no laughing matter. They rattled off a huge shootout win against the Bruins to keep their faint hopes alive... San Jose Sharks became the 2nd team in the Western Conference to clinch a playoff spot with a 6-0 stomping of the Dallas Stars last night... Nashville's 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche moved them into a tie with the Kings, though the Kings have a game in hand... Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota isn't mathematically eliminated yet with a 4-2 win over the Oilers...
WAACH 'Cast's Band Of The Day- Holy Grail
Kickass Old School metal from Los Angeles, nominated for Best new Band at the upcoming Golden Gods Awards: