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THE ROUNDUP- Feb 2/18: Gaunce Leads Canucks To Victory (No, Really), Gudas Is Still A Giant Turd

The Canucks deal a blow to the Hawks playoff hopes with help from an unlikely source, and why is Radko Gudas a thing still?

Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

THE HOME TEAM: If anyone had mentioned before the game that Brendan Gaunce would almost pull off a hat trick, I would have suggested they probably need to move to a more well-ventilated room. Gaunce turned in his best game as a Canuck last night, as they cruised to a 4-2 win over Chicago.

It’s great to see Gaunce, who’s stayed positive through a ton of struggles, get rewarded for continuing to work hard in the role he’s been asked to play. Another sign that Travis Green’s methods are starting to pay dividends, one could say.

Another guy who had a big game was Troy Stecher, following up a strong performance from Chris Tanev Tuesday with one of his own. Stecher set up Gaunce’s first, as well as Bo Horvat’s beauty deflection, and his improving play is something the Canucks should keep in mind, as Troy from Richmond is an RFA at the end of the season.

As you know, last night was the Canucks For Kids Fund Telethon, and as usual, the people of BC didn’t disappoint. A great night for the kids made even better with a win.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Leafs sure look like they’re back to playing the kind of fun hockey they were at the start of the season. They followed up Wednesday night’s 5-0 shutout of the Islanders with a 4-0 rout of the Rangers at MSG... The Bruins are looking like the real deal as they won again, knocking off the Blues 3-1. Tuukka Rask is a mindblowing 17-0-2 in his last 19 games... Philadelphia lost a pretty important divisional battle last night, falling 4-3 to the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers are clinging to the last wild card slot in the East right now. The game featured another stellar ‘hockey play’ from Radko Gudas...

The Canucks and Senators were the only teams in the basement that won last night. The Oilers, Canadiens, Sabres, and Coyotes all lost last night... The Calgary Flames blew a lead to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night and gave us one of the things we truly treasure in hockey: an epic Mike Smith meltdown. The Flames have now lost 6 straight, and you have to wonder what Coach Glen Gulutzan is gonna do, since he already used the “swear a whole lot and throw a stick into the seats at practice” card...

The Vegas Golden Knights did it again, setting a new league record for the most wins by an inaugural franchise, with their 34th win of the year, a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. I know, it’s crazy to think they’re getting preferential treatment because it a) makes a great story for a league that struggles to find them and b) makes Bettman look good. But when you see this goal last night, it makes you wonder if maybe we should all be grabbing some tinfoil. Another day, another mind-boggling goalie interference interpretation...