Not so Wild afterall
Maybe it was the run of California games, or maybe it was being a day removed from Canada-Russia, but last night’s game against the Wild was a pile of dead weight.
The Vancouver Canucks may have said the right things about not looking past this one to Saturday’s contest against Boston, but after watching five minutes of this game it was hard not to.
The Wild haven’t scored a goal against the Canucks in over 120 minutes now.
Onto the Love’Em and Hate’Em for the Wild matchup.
In his 700th career game, Roberto Luongo picked up his second shutout of the season.
Both have come in the last two contests against the Wild, and punctuate the incredibly strong streak that Luongo is currently on.
There’s been rumblings that perhaps Schneider should start Saturday, but Luongo has earned that start.
He is the number one after all.
2. Daniel Sedin
The Canucks have scored 10 goals on the Wild so far this year and Daniel Sedin has been involved in eight of them.
It’s not hard to explain, the Wild simply don’t possess the calibre of defencemen needed to shut down the Sedins.
It was a lesson the Sharks learned last Spring when they didn’t have a Keith-Seabrook, Weber-Suter, or Chara-Seidenberg of their own and saw the Sedins run wild in the Western Conference Finals.
Manny Malhotra‘s empty netter was a nice cap to the game in that it got Malhotra a goal and gave the fans something to cheer about again.
He’s not the same force he was last year, but thankfully the emergence of Cody Hodgson hasn’t made that much of an issue.
For Manny, going 12 of 19 on faceoffs and securing the win is all the Canucks are asking of him right now.
1. Bad Draw
It’s a surprising stat for a team normally so adept at faceoffs, and against a team where puck possession is key to generate any kind of attack.
If you’re wondering why the game was such a snoozer, there’s your answer right there.
2. Mason Raymond ain’t pretty no more
After taking a puck to the face last time these teams met, Raymond was on the receiving end of Devon Setoguchi’s skate in this contest.
You think he’s a bit nervous about returning to Boston now?
3. Changing It Up
If there was a silver lining in whatever slog resembling hockey that was last night it’s that the season series with the Wild is now almost over.
Just two more games against the Wild remain this season, and next year they’re out of the division and the Canucks will only play them twice all year.
We (almost) did it!
Also, if you hate yourself, try to imagine a Minnesota-Nashville playoff series.