Well, the New Year is here and so to is a spankin’ new copy of Over The Last 10; but in the spirit of the holidays and the gift of giving, we add in a bonus two games for your pleasure.
Over the course of the last dozen games, the Vancouver Canucks have turned their fortunes around, thanks in large part to a pair of goaltenders who have yet to cause any sort of controversy in the media. With a 7-4-1 record since last we met, the Canucks find themselves in the middle of the Western Conference playoff standings.
The great thing about this edition of Over The Last 10 is, not only are there two additional games for your favorite Canuck to plead his case for a spot on the 3 Stars list, but there is also a fresh face on of the list…
Without further adieu, let’s get to the recipients.
1ST STAR – Roberto Luongo (3-2-1)
Before his brief holiday stint on the injured list, Robert Luongo was in net for five of the seven Canucks’ victories to kick off the month of December. Nestled in his stat line was a relatively easy 4-0 shutout of the Edmonton Oilers. Although the goose egg was impressive against the young squad from Alberta, the following evening featured a more impressive effort from Bobby Lu.
Facing 41 shots, Luongo turned away 39 pucks in a 6-2 victory over the “rival” (don’t get me started on how stupid this label is) Boston Bruins. Unfortunately, the following two games as part of a three-game home stand against the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars did nothing to help highlight Luongo, dropping a 3-2 shootout and a 4-1 loss respectively.
After being peppered with over 50 shots on Saturday night at the Staples Center, the slight nod for the top spot goes to Luongo, who obviously needs some help in front of him on a more consistent basis against the NHL powerhouse teams.
2ND STAR – Eddie Lack (4-2)
OK, let’s fuel the annual goalie controversy fire! Posting a four-game personal winning streak during the period of this piece, Eddie Lack tallied two shutouts, one against the Carolina Hurricanes and the other against the Calgary Flames. Now true, neither of the opposing teams are lighting the NHL standings on fire, but why pick useless faults with the first year netminder’s success story.
Whereas Luongo notched a “W” against the Bruins, Lack had his own big-game highlight in a 3-2 shootout victory against the Chicago Blackhawks. Come to think of it, while I write this, there is no reason why Lack could not be vaulted into the 1ST Star spot, when you consider rookie vs. veteran. Maybe I’m the only one pulling for the young guy — besides, what is hockey in Vancouver without goalie drama?
3RD STAR – Daniel Sedin (3G, 5A)
Before this season, it was difficult enough for some fans to tell the difference between Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin based only on their looks. This season, it is their game that is also a challenge to differentiate.
Trailing Hank by only four helpers (26-22), Danny hasn’t been the sniper that he once was in previous years, but is still finding a way to help the Canucks put points on the board (when they actually do). Two years ago, the Canucks were top-five in league scoring; at the end of last season they were sitting at 19th; this season they are currently hovering at 14th.
The last time Daniel lit the lamp multiple times in a game was last February, and while the lack of team scoring should not fall on the shoulders of No. 22, a couple more red lights would certainly go a long way.
THREE STAR TALLY:
- Ryan Kesler (1st star = 2)
- Jason Garrison (1st star = 1, 2nd star = 1)
- Mike Santorelli (3rd star = 2)
- Roberto Luongo (1st star = 1 2nd star = 1)
- Daniel Sedin (2nd star = 1, 3rd star = 1)
- Henrik Sedin (2nd star = 1)
- Chris Higgins (3rd star = 1)
- Eddie Lack (2nd star = 1)