Monday, March 31, 2008

Flames 2 Canucks 6

One down, three to go.

The Detroit Red Wings gave the Vancouver Canucks a gift earlier in the day - the ability to control their own playoff destiny again - and the Canucks took full advantage. They beat the visiting Flames 6-2 and took over eighth place in the Western Conference.

The game was a remarkable contrast from the one they played in Calgary just less than a week ago. Last week, they built a 2-0 first period lead and then wilted down the stretch to lose 3-2. Last night, the Canucks actually initiated a lot of the physical stuff and had to claw back from two first period deficits before finally pulling away.

With three games left in the regular season, it doesn't get any clearer than this: win and they're in. And as Ed Willes (Vancouver Province) said this morning, all the criticism the team has faced would be forgotten:
For the Canucks, the only salient facts to emerge from their 6-2 win over the Calgary Flames is they're now back in eighth place in the Western Conference and with three homes games left on their schedule, they control their own destiny.

This is all you need to know. Everything else is irrelevant. So save the deeper analysis for another time because it was out of place after this night.
Not completely forgotten, in my opinion, but at least pushed aside temporarily (like, until the next loss). Last night, the team played like a team. They looked like they cared. They hit, they scored and they stood up for each other.

Like Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf did last week, Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden stepped it up when it mattered the most and were absolutely phenomenal.

Here's Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province):
It was an improbable throwback to a different era, an iconic image that infused hope into a fan base that had no reason for any.

As a smiling Trevor Linden glided across the ice after scoring his second of the game -- his biggest, most important goal of the season, the one that breathed new life into the Canucks' foundering playoff hopes -- his arms were outstretched to the heavens. The grateful, elated, relieved, in-love crowd showered him with a lingering standing ovation. It could have been his last as a player.

It was memorable.

So was Linden's play. So was Markus Naslund's. So were the Canucks, a team who somehow beat the Calgary Flames 6-2 Sunday when the mood, the momentum and the flow suggested they had no chance.
And Brad Ziemer (Vancouver Sun):
If they really will both be gone after this season ends, Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund gave us something to remember Sunday night.

They also gave Vancouver Canuck fans hope.

Linden and Naslund are two of the big reasons why we are able to put off the post-mortem and instead are once again talking about the playoffs.
The rest of the lineup was good too. Jeff Cowan and Byron Ritchie were noticeable, which means they were doing their job. Alex Burrows got Iggy off his game. Brad Isbister played big and threw his weight around. Taylor Pyatt played big and attacked the net constantly.

It was only one game but it was a good one. Three more of those this week would be nice.

More from the MSM:
About the game around the blogosphere:

Next game:

A visit from the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.

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, 6:24 AM


At March 31, 2008 7:49 AM, Blogger nebcanuck said...

Nazzy and Linden still prove that they can step it up when it counts. I don't get why there's all this hype about letting them go. They're the leaders of this team, and even if they chip in 25 and 10 goals a year, respectively, they're worth the couple million that they'll get.

Vignault's a goof about restricting his real best players. Nonis needs to give us a good player to compliment them and add another 30 goals a year (I'm pulling for Ryder). Then we'll see how much noise players like this can make!

At March 31, 2008 2:58 PM, Blogger Temujin said...

Yergh. My hands are sore, my head hurts, and my voice is still cracking.

Let this be a lesson to you: never live-blog while mixing copious amounts of alcohol.

But what a fantastic game.

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