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Vancouver Canucks

Canucks Beat Wings Without Luongo

The Detroit Red Wings came into Vancouver last night with the best road record in the NHL and on a five-game winning streak. They can also claim the leagues most potent power play and they invariably win when they score first. The Canucks have also been hot of late but as they prepared for yesterday’s game they received the news that Roberto Luongo, arguably the NHL’s best goalie, would be out indefinitely with a groin strain suffered in Pittsburg last Saturday.

Well, the Red Wings scored first, but the Canucks struggled to tie the game and the score stood at 1-1 going into the 3rd period. The Canucks had defended against two Red Wing power plays but the Wings came through on their 3rd opportunity with less than 4 minutes to go in the game. Undeterred, the Canucks fought back and tied the game again just over a minute later. In the overtime, the Canucks were all over the Wings and had several scoring chances before Sami Salo won it on a slap shot one-timer from Demitri Pavol and Daniel Sedin.

The Canucks have taken 18 out of a possible 20 points in their last 10 games and have now beaten the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings in 2 out of 3 games this year. In the last six days they’ve beaten the Rangers, the Wild, the Penguins and the Red Wings, teams considered to be contenders for this year’s Cup. The last three wins have come with back-up net minder Curtis Sanford allowing a total of only 5 goals.

The San Jose Sharks are by far the most outstanding team in the NHL so far this year, but the Canucks at this time must be considered the most surprising. No one, including this writer, expected the Canucks to perform at the high level they have achieved in their last 15 games, a period in which they have gone 11-2-2. The Canucks have done it without a superstar leader in their lineup with the exception of Loungo. They have done it by becoming a team of all-leaders, a team that on any given night will get maximum effort from every player on the ice. They have become a team that believes in themselves individually and in their teammates collectively. Vancouver fans have been treated to great hockey so far this year and they can only hope that the treat continues.

The Canucks will play 12 more games before they meet the Sharks in San Jose on December 23rd. The way both teams have been playing this year, this game will be much anticipated. I can hardly wait.

The Old Timer
November 25, 2008

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