Something happened to the Canucks after that January 31st home loss to Minnesota. That home loss was their 9th straight at home, a franchise low; since then, they’ve gained 31 of a possible 38 points (15-3-1) and won 10 straight games at home, a new franchise high.
It was then that Alain Vigneault decided to split up Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows, and while they’ve easily been the team’s best players since that move, the rest of the team have also played much, much better.
The results are certainly quite impressive. Just look at this before and after picture of the Canucks’ play at GM Place:
Everyone’s contributing and playing their roles and they’re as balanced a team as any other in the NHL right now. When the Sedins aren’t scoring, the RPM line picks it up. When the RPM line isn’t scoring, the Sedins light up the lamp. The PK is better. They’re getting goals from the 3rd and 4th lines and they’re getting offense from their defense. Luongo, for all the criticism with regards to his puck-handling skills, is making key saves at key times. They’re playing a simple and effective game, attacking with speed when they can and making the safe play when they can’t. In other words, they’re playing as a *gasp* team.
In case you missed it, here is the video of Bernier’s oh-so-pretty tally last night (credit to Nucks Misconduct for finding it):