Two big wins, two signs that Roberto Luongo is getting into his groove once again and some recognition from the NHL for an incredible week from Mikael Samuelsson. The boys are back in town, and they just can't seem to stop winning games. Daniel and Henrik continued their torrid play as the Canucks lit up the Flames in the first and hung on for a 3-1 victory. More after the jump...
Mikael Samuelsson's 6 game goal streak may have come to an end, but he still added an assist and for his efforts was rewarded today with the NHL's first star of the week. Daniel and Henrik each had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Kesler got the winner in a 3 goal domination of the Flames in the first. Vesa Toskala played out the remaining two periods, but apart from a nice stop on a Mason Raymond breakaway, wasn't tested much as the Canucks ran out of gas in the last half of the game.
That first period may have been the best opening frame the Canucks have played all season, as Mikka Kiprusoff stood on his head to keep it at 3-0, it could have been so much worse. The Canucks outshot the Flames 20-6 and no real solid chances for the Flames.
The physical toll of 8 games in 13 nights showed in the play of the Canucks last night, by the end they had nothing left. Fortunately Roberto Luongo was solid once again, stopping 32 of 33 Flames shots. Vancouver now sits 5 points up on the Colorado Avalanche for the Northwest Division lead, and a whopping 12 points ahead of the 9th place Flames. Calgary's in tough as they return home for a battle against a rested Detroit Red Wings team who currently sit in 8th, one point up on the Flames.
Your breakfast has been suspended...
The NHL is expected to announce if Alexander Ovechkin will be suspended for his hit from behind on Chicago's Bryan Campbell yesterday. Ovechkin was assessed a 5 minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. There has been huge amounts of debate on both sides, with some bizarre rhetoric coming out from all involved. Many are suggesting that Ovechkin shouldn't receive any further punishment, and it's been reported that the Capitals organization have requested the league rescind the game misconduct.
A repeat offender with a dirty hit from behind that has ended the season of an opponent. The fact that we are even engaged in a discussion about this shows that not only does the league not get it on dirty hits, but neither do a large portion of the fans and media. I think he will get a suspension, but it will be nowhere near what he deserves. Ovechkin shows little respect for players, and it's sickening to hear people use his strength as an excuse for his actions. How bad does someone have to get hurt?
Speaking of dirty players, even more shocking was Steve Downie's disgusting attempt to injure on Sidney Crosby last night. It's a sign that a player whose past is littered with victims of his reckless disregard for the safety of his opponents has not learned a lesson and seems to not care about getting a second chance. All weekend people were gushing about how he had turned his career around in Tampa Bay, leaving his goon past behind him to be a quality player. All just an act, judging by the slew-foot on Crosby. I still don't know how Sid escaped serious injury there.
Finally I want to say thanks to everyone who came out to support our efforts yesterday to help the Canucks for Kids fund Telethon. We had an incredible number of posts, and it was awesome to see so many fans of other teams swing by to help out a great cause.