A bunch of things went well for Vancouver last night so, in no real order:
- Roberto Luongo tied Dan Cloutier (page 40) for second best in franchise history with 14 shutouts, sitting six behind McLean's 20. Pimping out Luongo's achievement more is that he did this in three seasons to Cloutier's five and no biblical meltdown to Nicklas Lidstrom either (at least not yet).
- Bieksa and Burrows, bucking history as it were, both came back from temporary dings to finish out the game. Losing that much grit in one game would have been tough to fill.
- The Sedins are rolling again. While both hit the skids in terms of production a few weeks ago (Daniel especially) they are back to their normal one to two point games. Better still is that they're doing it both at EV and the PP.
- While we recognize that the ups and downs as the third Sedin brother is never the easy life, both Bernier and Pyatt have slowly started producing. Bernier has three points (2G, 1A) in three games while MySpace has three points in four games (1G, 2A). Slow and steady can sometimes win the race (or so we hope).
- Ouellet made his debut as Krog got sent down to the Moose. From what I can tell (having not seen the game) he was more or less invisible with 10:26 TOI but did make an appearance on the special teams. Give it time folks and expect good things from him. In fact, while we're at it, let's mention too that O'Brien, who leads the team in PIM's and isn't afraid to drop the gloves like he did with Tarnasky, coupled in with Ouellet's upside is far better for this team than Lukas Krajicek on his own (and his current two points for Tampa Bay, the same output that O'Brien has).
- ...inhale...exhale...and it's now become thoroughly impossible to ignore Kyle Wellwood try as I might. His two goals last night put him in the lead for both goals on the team and PP goals. On a team with the Sedins, Demitra and Bernier it's amazing he's the guy bringing the game. And the manlove for him is hilarious: Sean is out of control, Alanah is close to proposing and the mainstream rags can't help themselves either. All of that for a guy described like this:
He doesn't have pure athleticism. He lacks speed. He doesn't have size, grit, a booming shot, fire or much of anything else scouts love to quantify and fans love to rave about.
In truth, I can't really blame them all because he has been a pleasant surprise and a good story of second chances (or is this the third?). My incessant cynicism tells me that it won't take long for teams to crack down on his limited skill set but until they do I'm glad he's Vancouver's flavor of the month and not anyone else.
So I feel bad I have been mean to you Mr. Finebark so how I can I repay you? I am reminded of a Kramer quote from Seinfeld in a scene where he interrogates George to find his PIN number:
George: I am not giving you my code.
Kramer: I'll bet I can guess it.
George: Yeah, right.
Kramer: Ah, all right, yeah... Let's see... Well, we can throw out birthdays
immediately. That's too obvious. And no numbers for you, you're a word man. Let's go deeper... What kind of man are you? Well, you're weak, spineless, a man of temptation.
Kramer: But what tempts you? You're a portly fellow. A bit long in the waistband. So what's your pleasure? Is it the salty snacks you crave? No no no no... Yours is a sweet tooth.
George: I gotta go.
Kramer: Oh, you may stray, but you'll always return to your dark master... The cocoa bean! And only the purest syrup nectar can satisfy you. If you could, you'd guzzle it by the gallon... Ovaltine!? Hershey!? Nestle Quick!?"
George: [running away] Shut up!
Your dark master Kyle, the inner demon, your Bosco? I present you with my peace offering:
You keep putting points up and we'll keep bringing food to the plate. Obviously if you stop producing you're off the team faster then you can say "waivers again?" but until then I am happy to support my Vancouver Canucks scoring leader.
Chow down boss you've earned it and, don't forget, 99 cent latte's from 3-5 PM.