1. Roberto "Sweet fucking Mick McGeough how did he save that?" Luongo
It wasn't too long ago (literally, like October) that Luongo was being called out as being a shadow of his former self. I did it too; his numbers were awful. So to end November with a 9-2-2 record is one thing, but to shutout two upstart teams (Chicago and Columbus) and the Stanley Cup champs all in a row in a single week is pure awesomeness. At the end of October he was bringing up the rear in almost all goaltending stats; 30 days later he's tied for 7th in GAA (2.18), tied for 8th in save % (.922), tied for third in total wins (12) and tied for second in shutouts (4). Just for a good "hey remember Florida?" measure, he's also third in shots against at 628.
2. From worst to first; the Canucks are back in command of the Northwest
Much like Lui, the Canucks spent most of the opening month jockeying with the Oilers for the cellar in the division. Now they sit with a modest two point lead of the Wild while the Alberta sisters are caught on the bottom looking up. There's just something so right about that.
3. Naslund's pending domination of the franchise offensive records
JJ's been following this a lot more then the rest of the Canuck bloggers, but the captain is a few points away from yanking the franchise record in point production away from Trevor Linden (who's spending waaaay too much time in the press box these days). It's a hell of an achievement for possibly the least vocal captain in the league and a reminder to those who want him traded every other game he doesn't score that he remains a special player and key component of the top six. Here's hoping he smashes the record and gets an extension on the same day.
4. Ohlund's pending domination of the franchise offensive records (for D-men)
He notched his 82nd goal against the Blue Jackets and that moves him to within one of Jyrki Lumme's franchise goal record for defencemen. His recent slashing incident aside, Ohlund's ten year tenure as a top Vancouver defensemen doesn't get much coverage but hopefully cracking Lumme's record means he's the new "best kept secret outside of British Columbia".
5. The emergence of Ryan Kesler
RFA agreements, injuries and pissing everyone off around him defined Kesler's game last year. Being able to put the injuries behind him was key; now Kesler is still pissing other players off but now scoring in the process. He chipped in five goals in November (including two redonkulous goals against the Ducks) and is tied for fourth best on the team in points, 7 points back from his career best 23 in 2005-06. The Kesler, Isbister and Pyatt shutdown line is quietly turning into one of the best in the division, if not the conference.
6. Long awaited schedule changes (AKA Get on an airplane Lamoriello)
Sometimes even the most moronic, absent-minded room full of thick-headed mouth breathers will get something right. The NHL brass effectively said "opps" and will revert back to a league-wide schedule that makes a micon of actual sense. I am completely biased obviously: first, I haven't seen the Canucks roll through the Tri-State area since 2005. Secondly, the Canucks travel more then any other team based on the laws of geography. But more importantly, it forces an even playing field on the likes of Lou Lamoriello who thought divisional play would boost rivalries without realizing fans get bored mighty of seeing the same clowns 8 times a year while his Devils can sit on a bus to most of their games and get Crosby four times a year. Players like playing against every team and fans actually like seeing them too. And, hey, now you can ensure you don't ruin Hockey Day In Canada ever again. The schedule isn't perfect yet, but it's a step in the right direction.