Well its official: the Vancouver Canucks have officially clinched a playoff berth. To be honest, the Canucks did not play well against Detroit when they earned the clinching point, but they will take the two points and use these next three games to prepare for the playoffs. They will play a much better game against the Blackhawks.
First order of business, the Canucks will take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at home. A single point would clinch the North West Division title [5th in a row & 6th in 7 years], but two points would be so much more satisfactory to take from Chicago [the Blackhawks do not need more points]. No matter what happens in tonight’s game, you can expect that sparks will fly as they always do when these two teams meet each other. It will be high entertainment value as always. Perhaps THIS will be the game that Daniel Sedin surpasses Markus Naslund’s record [as we know it did not happen on the road trip, but it DID tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His assist on Kassian’s goal gives him point #757 & counting as there is still 20 minutes left to play!]
#22!!!!!!!!!!!!CONGRATULATIONS DANIEL!!!!!!!!!!! Now you just have to catch your brother!!! HUGE career moment for Daniel as he has once again followed his brother’s foot steps! The Canucks are extremely lucky to have these two playing on the team.***UPDATE: 2 points so far makes it 758 & counting heading into the third!!!!]
Other notable moments from tonight so far: Canucks prospect, Frankie Corrado made his NHL debut wearing #26 tonight against the Blackhawks. He is paired with Alex Edler & playing very well! Keep up the strong effort tonight & let’s get those 2 points!!!
The Toronto Maple Leafs also clinched a playoff berth yesterday…for the first time since 2004. Welcome back to the post-season Toronto! In other surprising playoff contending news, the Columbus Blue Jackets are on the cusp of qualifying for the playoffs for just the second time in their franchise history. Columbus sits just one point ahead of Detroit for the 8th spot and has just three games left compared to Detroit’s 4 games to secure their position. In the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders are being led by John Tavares into the playoffs for the first time in 6 years and the New Jersey Devils will not be able to return to the finals as they have been eliminated from playoff contention. Oh and has anyone been paying attention that guy named Ovechkin? He seems to have regained his form….he has been a fun player to watch in this second half as he has taken over the lead for the Rocket!
As of today’s standings the Canucks would play St.Louis in round one, however as we all know that could all change come Sunday. There is just one week left in the regular season and the only thing set in stone is the top two seeds in the league [Chicago & Pittsburgh].
Speaking of playoffs….has anyone seen Chris Higgins and his beard? I think he got started a few weeks early….if the Canucks go into June that beard will have a mind of its own. Now that the playoff positions are being locked down, are there any special playoff traditions you take part in when your team qualifies and has a run of any kind in the post-season?
Back to reality that is the remainder of the regular season, there is still a third period to be played against the Blackhawks[currently the blue & green lead 3-0!!!]. Nothing like a game against the enemy to get the Canucks pumped and primed for the playoffs.
After tonight, the Canucks will take on the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers in their final two regular season games. TWO games is all that remains before the playoff madness begins, ARE YOU READY?
Playoffs, here we come!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Canucks Go!!! My favourite time of year is nearly here!
As always, until next time, nuck said.