Flying V’s Hat Trick: Canucks Remain Resilient versus Visiting Red Wings

Take Your Squid With Ya!

The Vancouver Canucks stuck with the Red Wings in a tough checking hockey game Wednesday night, emulating Detroit’s game of skating and skill on the way to a 4-2 victory.


Chris Higgins broke open the scoring against the Red Wings only 21 seconds before Cody Hodgson walked over the blue line and blasted a slap shot past Jimmy Howard to extend Vancouver’s first period lead to two.

After the Canucks put home a pair of early first period goals, the visiting Red Wings were unable to break down the deficit at Rogers Arena.

The Hat Trick – Three Game Changers

1. Sweet Lu Stands Tall

Roberto Luongo continued his solid play of late staring down 38 of 40 shots in the victory over Detroit. Luongo was quick on his feet almost all night, ready for the puck from wherever the Red Wings were willing to throw it on net.

While Luongo was caught out of position on Todd Bertuzzi’s goal Wednesday night, sweet Lu was sharp when he needed to be all evening.

The goaltender saved his best saves for the end of the game, flashing a pad to stop a sure goal only to top it off with a flashy glove save on Pavel Datsyuk minutes later.

 2. Depth and Discipline

For years the Detroit Red Wings have been known to carry one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the league.

On Wednesday the Canucks elevated their game to ensure that any surplus of skill on Detroit’s lower lines wouldn’t show on the score sheet.

Dale Weise had a solid game from Vancouver’s fourth line and didn’t even look out of place when caught out with the Sedins for an early shift in the offensive zone.

Red Wings vs. Canucks

I had pretty good seats for this one. Check em out! Flying-V on location!

Andrew Alberts and Alex Sulzer quietly went about their business Wednesday, totalling a +4 between the two of them against Detroit’s depth of talent.

3. Persistence Pays

The Vancouver Canucks brought a full sixty minute effort against the Red Wings on Wednesday, but came close to losing the lead after Niklas Kronwall added some extra excitement to the final frame.

Kronwall levelled Ryan Kesler with one of his patented punishing pinches up the boards, catching the center with his head down on the play.

Kesler immediately got up out from the ensuing scrum to challenge Kronwall, but was assessed a roughing penalty in the process.

Despite the raw deal from referees, the Canucks stuck it to Detroit, applying the pressure on the penalty kill allowing Alex Edler to extend the lead to two.

The Vancouver Canucks made the most of their chances and stuck with the game plan on Wednesday, smothering the Red Wings on their way to a 4-2 win.

Following the bad blood in the third period between the two teams, the next meeting between the Canucks and Red Wings on February 2nd promises to be another epic matchup.

Quote of the Night

“Obviously it’s not what we want in our game.

I felt the puck was there and I tried to put a good check on him,” Niklas Kronwall stayed politically correct in post-game comments after crushing Kesler on Wednesday.

3 Stars

1st. Alexander Edler – GOALS: 1| PTS: 1| ASST: 0 SOG: 2| PLUS/MINUS: 0
2nd. Roberto Luongo – SAVE PCTG: 0.950
2nd. Jannik Hansen – GOALS: 0| PTS: 2| ASST: 2 SOG: 2| PLUS/MINUS: 2

Vancouver 4, Minnesota 0
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, December 19, 2011
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Marc Joannette, Mike Hasenfratz
Linesmen: Vaughan Rody, Mike Cvik
Attendance: 18890

2nd. Henrik Sedin – 1 G 2 A +/- +1
3rd. Chris Higgins – 0 G 3 A +/- +1

Vancouver 4, Detroit 2
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Marc Joannette, Tom Kowal
Linesmen: Brian Mach, Mark Wheler
Attendance: 18890

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About Kevin Vanstone

Born in Vancouver, and a student at UVIC. "The Flying V" follows all things Canucks hockey and covers the best in CIS athletics around the Pacific Northwest. He loves to write about the athletes that used to show him up in his playing days.
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