Some healthy protein was great in Alberta, now we look forward to Coyote meat.
The Oilers came into the game with the Canucks on a slump that they really needed to confront, but failed in every department. A 4-1 win against the Oil pushed them further into the West cellar and created some further separation between some teams that is nice to see if you’re winning. After the Oilers blew it against the Flames tonight they seem to be staying in last place in the West and next to last in the league. I feel bad for Pat Quinn to be stuck with that team that just doesn’t seem to have the grit they used to under MacT.
The Flames for their part seemed to be ready to play against the Canucks, with their Captain scoring early enough to make me think this was going to be the tough game we all expected. I was lucky enough to be able to attend this game in the Saddledome and it ended up being just about the perfect game for someone travelling into enemy territory. Usually when you go into the Dome, if the Canucks lose, the walk of shame is pretty tough to go through. You always leave with your head held high, but I had good reason to after yesterday’s performance. Keeping with Coach Vig’s post-game comments, the Flames netminder obviously had one very poor period that cost them the game, but it was also Canuck hockey at its finest. The Canucks played the very sound defensive strategy that they need to in order to be successful. Through the various high-fives I gave people while trying to forget the exorbitant beer prices, I found myself realizing that after sweeping Alberta, we have played the longest stretch of consistent hockey of the season. Mason Raymond’s natural hat trick was lucky on the one bouncer, but his one-handed tip was incredible and the other goal was of the goal-scorer variety. The Cochrane native got a nice resounding cheer when he was announced as the first star of the game and plenty of friends and family that showed their appreciation of his effort along with the rest of the Canucks fans.
Onto some other news, apparently Mikael Samuelsson wasn’t too pleased with his being left off the Swedish National Team for the Olympics. His reaction “…they can go (expletive) themselves,” was appropriate in my opinion. He was fairly upfront earlier in the season during an exclusive with Canucks TV, when he stated part of the reason he was so excited to come to Vancouver was being able to play in front of some home fans and take it all in. It really is a once in a lifetime experience and though the Swedish team definitely had their reasons, he could easily have been on this list. Should Peter Forsberg get hurt or turn out to be useless, the Swedes might regret this decision.
So lots going on in the West, we turn to the next game against the Desert Dogs. After watching them play the Sharks tonight it was obvious this team is for real. Like the Avs, they have surprised everyone and aren’t going away. Dave Tippet’s squad played an aggressive game against the Sharks but after losing, they will be fired up and ready to go against the Nucks. Leaping into 7th place in the West was nice, but the Flames beat the Oilers today and knocked us back down a peg. Tonight we find the Canucks 1 point back of 5th and 1 point ahead of 9th. It’ll be a good test against yet another team ahead in the standings.
Vancouver Canucks @ Phoenix Coyotes – Dec 29, 2009 / 6:00PM PST (PPV – HD)
About the Author
Written by Luke Mirza