Another day, another win
The Vancouver Canucks are 8-0-2 in their last 10, and two points back of Detroit for first in the West with one game in hand, but you wouldn’t know it by checking the pulse of this city.
The pitchforks have been coming out because this team isn’t winning in regulation or winning exciting enough, but let’s step back. Yeah, the team is slumping but they’re 8-0-2 in that slump.
My god, they can’t even lose when they suck.
Also, just try to imagine being a Maple Leafs or Oilers fan right now. #1stplaceproblems
Here we go, onto the Love ‘Em & Hate ‘Em for the Avalanche vs. Canucks game on Wednesday night.
1. Gee, Booth is Mobile
One game after scoring the only goal in an eventual win over Phoenix, David Booth once again stepped up and found the back of the net. In a tribute to former Canuck Mats Sundin, this time Booth scored just 13 seconds in. He now has goals in three straight games and points in four straight games.
Even better he went into a Colorado game on a hot streak and left with both of his knees intact.
2. Bobby Lu
No one’s really talking about it, but the reason the Canucks are racking up wins on a team working to rule and composed only of essential services is thanks to the guy who is no longer giving up any goals, bad or not, Roberto Luongo (Keith Yandle goal notwithstanding for purposes of this narrative).
I’ve talked a bit before about the progression this team has taken in that where once they needed Luongo to have a chance to win games now he’s just another cog in the machine next to the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, or the multi-headed support staff.
Shirking the spotlight probably works for his personality, and it’s certainly nice not to hear a chorus of Luuus everytime he plays the puck. When Roberto Luongo is your secret weapon, life is good.
3. A Little Bit of Jannik Hansen
Sportsnet ran a graphic during the game highlighting how Jannik Hansen‘s game has fallen off a cliff after a red-hot December, so of course the Honey Beaker fired back with the game-winning goal.
In a stanchion-esque play, linemate Cody Hodgson used a fortuitous bounce off a linemate to set up Hansen for the one-timer.
Good on Alain Vigneault for shuffling the lines and moving Cody up late in the game. It paid off with the two points.
Of course, there’s the other side of the coin…..
1. We Are All Cody Hodgson’s Parents
Seriously can we stop dissecting his ice time like we have some kinship with him? Cody Hodgson is a rookie, and rookies in Alain Vigneault’s system rarely see tons of responsibility.
Outside of Vigneault, look how Claude Julien handled Tyler Seguin last year as a rookie on a cup contender. This isn’t Columbus or Edmonton. At the end of the day, the Canucks need to win, and Cody Hodgson needs to play the right amount of ice time for the Canucks to win, not to win the Calder.
Somehow, this then turns into a rift between AV and Hodgson, because none of them are mature professionals I guess. Vigneault doesn’t hate Hodgson, he’s sheltering him because he loves him, didn’t your mother ever tell you that?
And Hodgson isn’t demanding a trade, unless he’s somehow jealous of Michael Grabner in Long Island.
No kid grows up dreaming of playing 20 minutes a night in the NHL but a lot grow up dreaming of winning the cup.
Everybody just settle down or you’re all going to swallow your tongues.
2. Wait, no overtime?
A strange thing happened in this game when the third period ended….and so did the game.
Where was overtime? Where was the shootout? Only 60 minutes of hockey seems kind of like a rip-off.
When you don’t give a visiting team a point in your own building, what kind of host are you?
3. Twin Power Deactivate
A big reason why the Canucks have been involved in so many extra-regulation games is that the Sedins aren’t contributing that goal that would put the game over the top.
It’s weird, but the twins just haven’t had that same gear since the Boston game (there it is again).
They occupy a measly 7th and 11th in league scoring, which means we may have to prepare ourselves for a year in which a Sedin does not win the Art Ross.
Even weirder, we may have to prepare ourselves for a year in which Jason Spezza does, seeing how he’s second (!!!) in scoring.
Please come back guys.