Monday, March 05, 2007
Wild 3 Canucks 4 (SO)
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.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:
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 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.As long as they keep winning, you can call them whatever the heck you'd like.
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.
More from the Mainstream
- The local media is gushing all over Jeff Cowan, the team's newest goalscorer. - Gordon McIntyre (Vancouver Province), Brad Ziemer (Vancouver Sun)
- The Canucks apparently aren't getting a lot of respect around the league. That's a good thing. - Ed Willes (Vancouver Province)
- Postgame from the Minnesota side of things. - John Shipley (Pioneer Press)
About the game around the blogosphere
- Count Waiting For Stanley in the Jeff Cowan fan club.
- Canucks Fangirl is still in a state of disbelief about the win.
- Same as Wild Puck Banter.
- Puck Wild has another recap from a Wild fan's perspective.
My 3 Stars of the Game
- Jeff Cowan (VAN): Two more goals for the 'Nucks tough guy.
- Pavol Demitra (MIN): Two assists and five shots for Jes Golbez's favorite player.
- Willie Mitchell (VAN): Solid work by the 'Nucks defenseman. Added a couple of assists to boot.
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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