This week’s column is being written under the assumption that Kyle Wellwood’s coming out party has been going non-stop for the past week. That being the case, we’ll look for another Canucks conversation.
Like, how about that game last Friday? Despite surrendering six goals to the host Ducks, the Canucks skated out of Anaheim with a 7-6 shootout victory. It might’ve been a night that goalie Roberto Luongo would like to forget – although, he did stop 12 of the Ducks’ 13 shootout attempts – and coach Alain Vigneault probably has a few more gray hairs, but the fact the Canucks put a touchdown on the board is impressive.
What’s even more impressive, though, is how the Canucks did all their scoring against Anaheim. Or, to be more precise, who did all their scoring.
In the first period, it was Steve Bernier with his third of the season. In the second period, Ryan Kesler deposited his fourth of the year, followed quickly by Alex Burrows’ fourth and then a pair of defensemen, Mattias Ohlund and Kevin Bieksa, each collected their second of the season. In the third period, Bernier notched his second of the game and fourth on the season. Overtime settled nothing and it took 26 shooters in the shootout to decide the winner. Wellwood, natch, started off the shootout with a goal (followed immediately by Ryan Getzlaf’s red-light response for the Ducks) and then, 23 shooters later, Ohlund closed the deal for Vancouver.
A high-scoring victory for the Canucks has been rare enough the past few years, but here’s what really stood out during last Friday’s game: There wasn’t a Sedin to be seen on the scoresheet. Not a goal, not an assist . . . not even a shootout goal. (Daniel was the sixth shooter sent out by Vigneault, Henrik 10th.) Imagine, neither Daniel the shooter nor Henrik the passer earned a point on a night the Canucks poured six past the opposing netminder. That’s a great sign for a team that entered the season with grave concerns about its secondary scoring. Fact is, Vancouver’s “other” forwards have been plenty productive so far; Henrik and Daniel lead the team with 12 and 11 points, respectively, but nine other players have between six and 10 points. Look at it this way: the Sedins have scored only one of the team’s 13 power play goals and just eight of Vancouver’s 44 goals overall. Someone is scoring for the Canucks, and it isn’t Stan Smyl. (Which is a shame.)
This column also appears in the Vancouver Metro newspaper.
Sam McCaig’s From The Point column appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Have a point to make with Sam McCaig? You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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