Monday, March 05, 2007

Wild 3 Canucks 4 (SO)

With first place on the line, it was a playoff-like atmosphere at GM Place and the Canucks and the Wild didn't disappoint. The two evenly-matched teams traded scoring chances (though I thought the Canucks had a definite advantage in puck possession), big hits, and big saves; the game needed a shootout, in which Daniel Sedin scored the game-winner in the sixth round. If all Canucks/Wild games were like that, maybe we wouldn't complain so much about seeing them eight times a year. (Okay I still would, but I will still thought the game was entertaining.)

Final score: 4-3 for the good guys and the Canucks extended their Northwest Division lead over the Flames and the Wild to two points. The Canucks also tied the Dallas Stars with 81 points.

One fan at the game had a sign that said "Holy Cowan". Holy Cowan is right.

Not only did the fourth-line grinder take his game to another level Thursday in a 4-3 win over Phoenix -- a shorthanded breakaway goal, a fight, drawing a key penalty and being named the first star -- Cowan replaced Trevor Linden on a line with Brendan Morrison and Matt Cooke in the final period. It wasn't a brief promotion.

Citing a stretch of improved play, Vigneault had Cowan back with Morrison and Cooke on Sunday for a first-place showdown with the Minnesota Wild at GM Place. Cowan responded with two deflected goals in a 4-3 shootout victory as the Canucks kept their hold on the Northwest Division lead.
But it wasn't just Cowan that played an impressive game. It was a team effort and Alain Vigneault's group did a good job in minimizing the Wild's chances. Now, much like Brian Burke called the Wild a cult a few years back, Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun) is calling the current group of Canucks a cult:

But these Canucks are as much a cult as a team, achieving far more this season than most people expected while working with less talent. And profoundly better goaltending.

Get your head around it: these Canucks are the old Wild. Sure, they're far more entertaining -- Lemaire's combover would have stood on end had his players employed the Canucks' "four-man press" or his defenceman joined the rush as readily as Vancouver's -- but the Canucks' strengths, besides goalie Roberto Luongo, are the principles instilled by coach Alain Vigneault regarding work, discipline, merit and accountability. In Burke-speak, the Canucks are a cult.
As long as they keep winning, you can call them whatever the heck you'd like.

More from the Mainstream

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Jeff Cowan (VAN): Two more goals for the 'Nucks tough guy.
  2. Pavol Demitra (MIN): Two assists and five shots for Jes Golbez's favorite player.
  3. Willie Mitchell (VAN): Solid work by the 'Nucks defenseman. Added a couple of assists to boot.

Official Statistics

Next Game

Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:41 AM


At March 05, 2007 1:19 PM, Blogger D.R said...

how do you get a picture in your title


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