It's been a while since I woke up and was still all fired up about the Canucks game the night before. For the first time since Petri Skriko in 1986, the Canucks had a player go back to back hat tricks. Alex Burrows has really proven now he is by far the best fit with the Sedins (sure, he doesn't have the kickass dreads of Anson Carter, or Taylor Pyatt's dreamy eyes, or Trent Klatt's uh... hmm, I'll get back to you on that one), and they were huge last night. 9 points from the line who were basically shut down by the Coyotes last time around. The Desert Dogs really seemed like the 'Yotes of old in the 1st, as the Canucks came out strong, and walked out with a 1-0 lead. The second period was a little concerning. The Canucks have had an annoying habit of sleepwalking through 2nd periods this year, and though we hadn't seen it lately, they basically allowed Phoenix to run roughshod through their zone. Thank dog for Roberto Luongo, who was stellar, stopping all 16 shots in the 2nd. You know it had to kill Phoenix a little to give up a late one, as Mikeal "Swears like a drunken sailor" Samuelsson jammed one in after some nice hustle behind the net from Ryan Kesler to make it 2-0. Cue the Alex Burrows show. The 2nd goal was vintage Sedins: hard pressure on the forecheck from Daniel to cause the turnover, quick pass to Henrik and right over to Burrows who buries it past Bryzgalov and it's now 3-0. A carbon copy of his hat trick goal 2 nights earlier makes it 4 and that's basically your game.
Random thoughts on last night:
- Taylor Pyatt made an impression last night, unfortunately for Aaron Rome, it was on his forehead. I don't know what was more surprising: Pyatt hitting someone, or that Rome bleeds like a champion. If he's not concussed I will be amazed. Say hello to Brad Lukowich, everyone.
- What was scarier: Salo getting clipped by Willie's stick, or Kesler blocking a slapshot with his cup?
- I never really noticed it when he was playing here, but Ed Jovanovski has really turned into a grouchy old man. Was he always that much of a windbag?
- Canucks went 2-0 in the fight card last night, Darcy Hordichuk with a huge bomb on Paul Bissonnette, and Tanner Glass with a quick decision over former Kelowna Rocket Vern Fiddler. It looked like Fiddler called in the linesmen early in the scrap, so not sure if he was just outmatched by the deceptively tough Glass or he injured himself.
- A number of milestones last night: Luongo's 50th career shutout, Samuelsson's 100th career goal, and the 300th game from Bernier and Wellwood.
- Another day of rest before the huge matchup against Calgary Saturday night. This one was already big, but even if the Flames win tonight (they're using their game in hand) a Canucks win will give them 1st in the division by virtue of more wins. With the Flames playing their 4th game in 5 nights, the Canucks must seize the opportunity and pound what should be a tired Flames team into the dust.
- Henrik Sedin now leads the NHL scoring race by 3 points. Some of the prognosticators out there have a number of Eastern players pegged as the MVP favorite so far, but TSN, Sports Illustrated and a few others are getting hip to the Hank 4 Hart meme. I think it's up to all Canucks fans and bloggers to push this. Hell if we could make Rory Fitzpatrick a household name for a while, we can surely do it for someone deserving of the spotlight.
- Best comment from the postgame came from Coach Alain Vigneault: "We tried to tire them out in our own end in the second period, it worked real well." We have some funny guys on this team.
Will have some thoughts on other league goings on over at http://bloodontheiceblog.blogspot.com later today, as we talk about sign language with Daniel Carcillo, Ron Wilson's struggles with Bi-polar disorder, the Oilers breaking the concrete at Rexall to make a new rock bottom and more...