Home away from home
A whole lot can change in a weekend, and the Vancouver Canucks have had a very successful weekend. Tired of one goal extra time wins and boring hockey? How about an 11-4 combined drubbing. These are the Canucks you may recognize from last year, and these are the ones that may quietly retain the President’s Trophy.
Life is good right now, and the playoffs are finally just around the corner.
On to the Love ‘Em & Hate ‘Em for the Canucks vs. Oilers on Sunday night.
1. The Sedins Are Back
The offensive explosion can be easily traced back to the sudden re-appearance of the twins. After sleepwalking through most of 2012, the Sedins exploded this weekend against a duo of defensively inept Canadian clubs.
On Friday, Daniel Sedin was 11th in league scoring while Henrik Sedin was 7th. As of Sunday night they now sit 7th and 4th in the NHL respectively. Claude Giroux and Evgeni Malkin may still have a strangehold on the Art Ross race, but the Sedins proved this weekend they still have some fight left in them.
More importantly, Henrik Sedin is now three points back of Trevor Linden for second on the all-time franchise scoring list and 27 points back of Markus Naslund for first. He’ll pass Linden by the end of the week, but can he catch Markus Naslund this season?
2. First Goals
The Canucks got on the board early, and if that seems like a trend it’s probably because it’s the 40th time they’ve pulled it off this year. There’s nothing like playing with a lead in hockey, especially for a puck possession team like Vancouver.
In 120 minutes of hockey this weekend, there was a never a moment of doubt the Canucks weren’t taking home the two points.
3. Higgins Embiggins
After a hot start to the year, Chris Higgins‘ battles with his staph infection have derailed him. Thankfully, the problem looks to be behind him now and Higgins is back to his hard-working self.
This would be a very sexy third line in the playoffs.
Shawn Horcoff is a terrible, over-paid hockey player who seems to have a knack this year for scoring on the Canucks.
It’s annoying in the same way it is when Tim Jackman always scores in games against the Calgary Flames, but it’s a lot easier to handle in the context of a Canucks win.
It’s also nice to remember that the Oilers believe they’re only a year or two away from contending for the division. They’re so delusional.
2. Crowd Shots
This has been bugging me for a while, but why do people insist on standing up at games now during the play?
I realize they’re just trying to get seen by family and friends on TV but who really cares. Isn’t it enough to go to a hockey game and watch it without having to make it clear to everyone you know that you’re there?
Congratulations, you bought a hockey ticket. I bet you checked in on Facebook too, didn’t you?
3. We’re Probably Going To See A Quiet Deadline
With the team playing so well, it’s hard to see Mike Gillis doing a whole lot at the deadline.
The mythical defensive upgrade, either in the form of a right-handed top four or the unicorn himself Shea Weber the true number one, is still desirable but at the same time those guys aren’t really available and also Chris Tanev.
Some big name forwards like Jeff Carter and Rick Nash may be on the move but the Canucks aren’t really in the market to add yet another expensive top six forward, and especially not at the price Columbus is asking.
Look for the Canucks to make a minor move or two to shore up depth for a late pick or a middling prospect but even then don’t be surprised if they stay put.
Think of David Booth as a very very early trade deadline prize.