1st Degree Regicide
Remember when the Canucks played two straight games against teams in 8thplace. Those were actually the previous two before Monday night versus Dallas and Colorado.
Fortunately for Alain Vigneault’s club, they came away with the two points each time and I say it’s fortunate because Monday night’s opponent, the L.A. Kings are the current 8th place team in the West.
Colorado is back down in 10th and Dallas has taken a 1 point lead atop the Pacific Division.
So where do they go from here. Two wins in a row is nothing too monumental but at this time of year and coming off a major late-season slump, one could argue it is indeed something to write home about.
The players’ mothers would be joyous to know that their sons had grown tall enough to flip the switch.
Something is clear here; the Canucks have been re-inspired. Having a leader in Daniel Sedin be taken out so unfairly and unjustly has lit a fire under their butts and it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
If Daniel recovers quickly and this team can come together during the final 7 games to string a few wins together, they are sitting pretty on a wave of momentum heading into the playoffs.
So what can we watch for Monday night when the Canucks take on the Kings at Rogers Arena?
With 7 games remaining and 6 of those on home ice, the Canucks have a real opportunity to show how much they appreciate their fans.
It’s been said much during the recent slump that if the players don’t care about winning in this final stretch, why should fans care about the team?
It’s time now to show them why. The fire is lit; and they need to just play like they can and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t believe they will. The slump is over; no question about it.
Two wins in a row on the road with 6 of the last 7 at home; it’s time for big things to close out the regular season. Expect the guns to be blazing Monday evening.
The Masked #1 – Roberto Luongo
The man is coming off two stellar performances, albeit two that surround a Cory Schneider victory on the schedule, but two stellar games nonetheless.
In both games against Chicago and Colorado, his SV% is over .945. If you’re not going to get a shutout, that the next best level you can be at as a goalie to give your team a chance to win.
As much as the rest of the team has busted the slump, so has Bobby Lu. In fact, Chicago was the first time he allowed less than three goals in a game since February 18th vs. Toronto. Of course, he followed that up by only allowing two against the Avs on Sunday.
So while Cory Schneider will likely get 1 or 2 more starts to close out the regular portion of this season, it’s high-time that Roberto was given the chance to ride the wave of momentum the rest of his teammates have hopped on heading towards Game 1 of Round 1.
Lu is the man, period.
The L.A. Kings remind me of an annoying girlfriend.
Not only are they clinging to that 8th playoff spot, which will surely change hands at least 10 times before it’s all said and done, but they are one of those teams that gets by without doing much.
They’ve been one of the lowest scoring teams all year long but somehow they manage to maintain a spot from inside the playoff picture.
Additionally, the Kings have won 7 of their last 10 games, much like the Stars and Avalanche before they faced the Canucks. They’ve been hot as of late but barely good enough to currently sit in a playoff spot.
They’re like the really pretty girl who just wants cuddles all the time and nothing more, if you know what I mean. You’re disappointed there’s nothing more, but she’s so pretty, you can’t say no to cuddles…so you let her into the playoffs.
I’m sure you catch my drift.
BEST BET TO WIN: Vancouver Canucks
The slump has been busted and the Canucks’ asses are on fire, but don’t worry; not in a fiery, infectious way.
Expect the Canucks to really break out and score more than three goals while Bobby Lu deals out another exceptional showing.
It should be noted that at the time of writing this, the St. Louis Blues are yet to play their Sunday nighter against the Coyotes. Should the Blues lose, the Canucks would have an opportunity to take over 1st in the West again Monday night. NWSB will keep you updated.
Puck drop is at 7PM on Sportsnet Pacific and TEAM1040 Radio.