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Vancouver Canucks

PHD Line Shines for Canucks

The P is for Pavol, the H for Henrik, and the D for Daniel in what is turning out to be one of the best lines in the NHL. After almost a month out of the line up due to injury, Pavol Demitri was inserted on a line with the Sedin twins when he rejoined the Canucks November 15th against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. Since then, the trio has scored 23 points in five games with Pavol netting 5 goals, Henrik 7 assists and Daniel 4 goals. Meanwhile the streaking Canucks have become the hottest team in the league with 9 points out of 10 since Demitri returned.

The Canucks followed up the Maple Leaf game by departing the next day on a brutal road trip that started with a cross country flight to New York for a game against the Islanders Monday night, half way back across the country for a Thursday match up with the Wild after Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers, followed by a return east to meet the Penguins on Saturday afternoon.

After a disappointing shoot out loss in the first road game against the Islanders, the Canucks lifted their game by beating three of the top teams in the NHL in their own buildings. The rangers fell 6-3 after being beaten early and often and trailing 5-1 before the mid way point of the second period. The Wild employed their usual tight checking game and played most of the game with the lead which usually means a victory for them. The Canucks came from behind twice before taking the lead mid way through the third period. In a rare start in goal, Curtis Sanford won for the first time in eleven months.

The rare Saturday afternoon game in Pittsburg was one hockey fans in Vancouver were waiting for with Matt Cooke playing for the Penguins against his old teammates and Sydney Crosby trying to score against Roberto Luongo. At the 25 second mark of the first period, Cooke made a questionable hit on Canuck defenseman Alex Edler. He was immediately challenged by Alex Burrows but wanted no part of him. While Burrows was quickly engaged by another Penguin, Canuck, Janik Hansen tracked down Cooke for a second contest. As a result, both Hansen and Cooke were given game misconducts. Less than 5 minutes later Roberto Luongo suffered what appeared to be a groin injury and had to leave the game. With the highly anticipated matchups out of the way quickly, the game progressed nicely in Vancouver’s favour and they held on to win 3-1.

The extent of the injury to Luongo is not yet known, but the team has gained confidence in backup Curtis Sanford who now has 2 wins in 3 games. After going 9-1-2 in their last 12 games the Canucks are feeling good about their chances as they return home to play Detroit tonight and Calgary on Tuesday before departing on a seven game road trip. The rest of the league has taken notice of this new Canuck team and the scoring prowess of the newly constituted PHD line.

The Old Timer
November 23, 2008

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