Well that may have taken you by surprise seeing Roberto Luongo start last night for the first time in 12 games. Yes heaven forbid Cory should miss a game, perish the thought! Some may have been worried he would struggle or let a bad goal in. Did you see what happened ? He was extremely sharp early and late, making 40 saves on 41 shots[18 stops in the 3rd period alone!]. Luongo is the reason we won the game as he made sure to keep it a tight 1-1 tie until the rest of the team took over to score 3 late goals in the final 7 minutes to secure the victory. Luongo’s ability to win games needs to stop being a media hot topic, he is more than capable and proved that last night which was impressive given that he has had to watch Schneider play the last 11 games. The Canucks are extremely lucky to have the luxury of 2 excellent goalies down the stretch and heading into the playoffs.Let’s enjoy this tandem or one-two system while the Canucks are lucky enough to have BOTH goalies.
If you missed the Luongo starting surprise, you also may have missed Kesler notching two assists late in the game, giving him 3 points in 2 games since returning to the line up. HELLO power play! That has been missing nearly all year long from the Canucks resume! That was the tic tac toe play from the Sedins and Kesler that has been missing ALL season long. Hopefully their recent success will carry over the final 8 games of the regular season and into the playoffs.
The Canucks have put together a strong 2nd half, so far posting a 12-4-0 record with 8 games remaining. They currently sit 6 points up on Minnesota[the Wild play tonight] and will have to continue their solid play to stay atop the North West Division. The Canucks are 3rd overall in the West but there is just a 2 point differential between everyone in the Western Conference that sits in 4th-7th; which means the playoff match ups change daily. There are just two and half weeks left in the regular season and we will see a surprise or two yet before playoff match ups are set and the quest to win 16 games begins.
Next up for the Canucks, they will play the Colorado Avalanche in a matinee game Saturday afternoon [12 PM pacific time]. It is the 2nd game for them on a 5 game road trip. The Canucks will be looking to extend their win streak to 5 games [fun fact: that win streak also coincides with Derek Roy’s Canuck debut, making the Canucks 4-0-0 with him in the lineup!]. Ryan Kesler has points in back to back games and will be looking to extend his points streak to 3 games.
I look forward to whatever these last 8 games of the season bring and to seeing how the standings will eventually finish determining what the first round match ups will be for all teams. There is still a lot of hockey to be played before it is all said and done.
As always, until next time, nuck said.
One last thing, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX BURROWS!!!!!!!!!