Too Many Sedins
Henrik Sedin battled through pain in his foot to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a commanding 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Henrik and Daniel Sedin were too much for Mikko Koivu and the Wild in what was supposed to be a warm welcome home for the team captain returning from injury.
The Hat Trick
Sedins Stand Tall
Henrik Sedin played through the pain in Minnesota and was rewarded with another pretty goal thanks to the newfound chemistry of the Sedins and forward Byron Bitz. Traditionally thought of as a grinder, Bitz has fit in well alongside the twins in his temporary elevation to the top line.
The Sedins kept the puck on a string all night Thursday in Minnesota, demonstrating their unique skill with whoever was lucky enough to land on their wing.
Maxim Lapierrewas two thirds of the way to a Gordie Howe hat trick on Thursday, giving the Canucks the lead in the first period only to give it to Cal Clutterbuck later in a second period scrap. Lapierre continues to thrive as a checking specialist traditionally on Vancouver’s fourth line, but has been including an extra amount of grit in his game recently.
Lapierre was assessed a five minute major for spearing in the last minute of Thursday’s game against the Wild, racking up a goal and 20 penalty minutes in a busy night for the master agitator.
Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin extended a pair of personal streaks in Thursday’s win over the wild. By starting the game Sedin kept his iron man streak of 553 games alive, but more importantly lead his team with his play, putting Thursday’s game winning goal past Niklas Backstrom.
Late in the third period Kesler managed to come across the puck with the Wild cage wide open, allowing him to extend his goal scoring streak to five games with the easy empty netter.
After a terrible start to the game the Canucks got their act together, slowing down the Wild attack to a halt in the second period, allowing the Sedins and company to set up in the offensive zone all night.
“It seemed like we were in their end for most of the shifts we were on, it’s easier for all of us to play that way, it’s always playing in their end.” Byron Bitz summed up Vancouver’s impressive offensive zone control versus the Wild.
Vancouver 5, Minnesota 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 9, 2012
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Referees: Mike Leggo, Dan O’Rourke
Linesmen: Andy McElman, Brian Mach