Pretty hard to find anything to complain about in last night's 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks last night at GM Place, the Canucks righted the ship and best of all, didn't suffer a 2nd or 3rd period let down. Henrik Sedin had 3 assists to wrestle the NHL scoring lead back from Washington's Alexander Ovechkin, and brother Daniel chipped in with a goal and two helpers of his own. Other goals came from Alexandre Burrows, Christian Ehrhoff and an empty netter from Ryan Kesler. A solid performance from Andrew Raycroft last night in goal, as he looked more like the one time rookie of the year than the goalie run out of Toronto. More after the jump...
A big win against a team that's been a thorn in their side for years, the Canucks were full value for the two points last night. They now sit 5 points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the Northwest Division crown with 8 games remaining, the Avalanche have a game in hand. So it's far from a lock, but if they play like this the rest of the way it's likely they'll win their 3rd division title in 5 years.
It's a nice situation to be in, masters of their own destiny. And it's not going to be a cakewalk, as they round out the month with games against San Jose and Phoenix, then finish the season with games in Los Angeles and Anaheim, back home to face the Wild and Avs, back to San Jose one more time before the season ender at home against the Calgary Flames.
I said it last night and I will say it again: There is NO goalie controversy in Vancouver. Isn't the whole idea of having a backup goalie finding one who can win games so you can give your number one guy a rest? Has Luongo been at his best? No. Can he do it? Absolutely. The best thing about this season is that he hasn't had to be the best player every night for the Canucks. It speaks volumes for the depth on this team, in spite of all the injuries, turmoil and hellacious road trips they are where they are. Many didn't give this team a chance in light of that road trip. The forecasted doom and gloom. Some even thought we'd miss the playoffs. We knew different.
So let the outsiders speculate. Let the so called 'fans' bash certain players. I have news for you: We don't give a rats ass. I believe. We believe. This team can and will emerge triumphant. Believe in Blue. More than ever.
Just dry toast for me, still nauseated from last night...
If you're one of those tinfoil hat guys, you could certainly look at some of the games last night and scream 'conspiracy!!!!!'. From the sickenengly obvious shootout in Washington, to the two goals with the goalie pulled in Buffalo, to Los Angeles getting a late penalty and scoring with 90 seconds left, one could hardly be blamed for thinking parity isn't the only thing manufactured in the NHL.
The thing that really sucks is that the Washington/Pittsburgh game was great. Ending it with a shootout felt dirty. Even some Capitals fans felt that they could live with a tie after the OT. Yet 50% of last night's action was decided by a skills competition and not actual hockey.
Can we stick a fork in the Flames yet? The worst possible scenario played out for them last night, as the Red Wings won, and the LA/Colorado game was a 3 pointer. They're 4 points down with 9 games to go. Tonight they take on an Islanders team that got thoroughly embarrassed (in 3D, no less) by the Rangers. Yeah, I smell a Flames loss, and an ugly one at that.
A couple other games to watch tonight: Phoenix and Nashville battling for position in the West. A Predators win can vault them from 7th to 5th. A Toronto loss to Atlanta will pretty much officially eliminate the Leafs from the post season. Funny, I thought we passed that point in October...
Carolina looks to continue their strong play against Washington tonight. Here's to the Hurricanes holding Ovechkin off the scoreboard, eh?
And finally, the Bloge Salming/Down Goes Brown guys are back with a video that tops their Gold Medal rap video, as they do a PSA for NBC Sports to explain to American hockey fans that there are Canadian based teams in the NHL.