As we saw almost a year ago on March 16, 2011, the Vancouver Canucks once again managed to come back from a 2-0 deficit late in the second period to scoop the Northwest Division title out of the desperate hands of the Colorado Avalanche. The game started out looking pretty promising for the Avs with a power play goal scored by 19 year old Gabriel Landeskog a mere 1:13 into the first period; however, the young Swede was unable to carry his team through for the big W.
The goal was scored off a pass that came slicing through what appeared to be a sluggish defence by the Nucks, but if you factor in captain Henrik Sedin’s interview given the previous day stating that the team is “Just fine with tight games,” combined with back-up goalie Roberto Luongo’s admission that his speed and performance increase as more shots are taken on net, this defence style may very well have been by design.
Luongo stated in an interview that “For some reason when I get 40 shots, I feel like I’m at my best,” he said. “I keep telling the guys to give me some shots from the outside and we’ll be fine,” and fine he was! As the game progressed, Luongo rose as a shining star with some very impressive saves against numerous shots and countless rebounds fired back at him, and with the shots on net almost double by the Avalanche, I’d say his theory proved to be a damn fine one.
In what seemed like a virtually effortless comeback for the Canucks, with less than 5 minutes left in the game, Mason Raymond and Chris Higgins sniped a pair of goals only 95 seconds apart to close out the second period and bring Van city back into the game. From there you could see the fight in the Avalanche as they once again tried to muster enough gusto to take the division title over the Canucks as they held the tie through the third period, bringing the game into OT.
Both teams were crisp and driven in OT, but the Avs were unable to put up enough of a fight as a steal from Jannick Hansen resulted in a haphazard yet effective game winning goal by Higgins. ”It probably wasn’t the prettiest one, but I got it on net and it went in,” Higgins said in an interview about his third game winning goal of the season. With this victory cinching their 24th road win, and the team tightening their style of play, I think we can expect a pretty decent showing by the Canucks in the upcoming playoffs.
Notes: Vancouver Sun
About the Author
Written by Amanda Gloster
I'm a small town girl with a double science major, a part time cashier job, a million purses and a dirty little sports addiction! I grew up as one of the guys and it's never changed...on the inside at least. On the outside I'm a complete girly girl, but don't let the french-tipped nails and stilettos fool you, I'm just as comfortable shopping as I am yelling and throwing doritos at the ref on TV for a garbage call like the rest of you ;)