- Canucks stand pat at NHL trade deadline (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Attract with winning environment (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- O’Brien O’happy he’s still in Vancouver (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- One phone call was all it took Gillis (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- We’d like to show you the newest Canucks but there aren’t any (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- ‘Perfectly content’ GM doesn’t budge on trade day (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks sit on money from Sundin’s discounted salary (Cam Cole, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks stand pat on deadline day (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Canucks wrap (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Bouwmeester’s price was too high: Gillis (Scott Rintoul, Metro News Vancouver)
- Canucks quiet for a reason (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- Big picture looks good for Moose (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- No news is good news (Tim Campbell, Winnipeg Free Press)
- Sami Salo stokes Vancouver Canucks’ stunning comeback (Jeff Patterson, Georgia Straight)
- Gloom meets Canucks in Montreal (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Attention gets deflected (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks reach rock and roll status on road trip (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Revenge is a dish best served in blue-and-white (Michael Traikos, National Post)
- Sundin returns to haunt Leafs (Tim Wharsby, Globe and Mail)
- Sundin gets some loving, then boos (Bill Lankoff, Slam Sports)
- Sedins, tempting twins (Lance Hornby, Slam Sports)
- Too many Clark Kents, no Superman (Gary Lawless, Winnipeg Free Press)
- Sports teams plan for deepening recession (Bruce Constantineau, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks take lead and keep it to beat Senators 5-2 (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Scoring was never really his thing (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)
- Sundin circus to Sedin circus (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- Yes, they can: Canucks beat Senators 5-2 (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Rebuilding the blueline (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Sundin’s road show arrives in Ontario (Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail)
- The Sundin train to TO stops in Ottawa (Wayne Scanlan, Ottawa Citizen)
- Double trouble for Sens (Ken Warren, Ottawa Citizen)
- Sundin deserves nothing less than cheers in TO (Sam Craig, The Hockey News via Metro News Vancouver)
- Top prospect trade bait? (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
- Burke’s European adventure (Gary Loewen, Toronto Sun)
- For Mats it feels like a homecoming (Don Brennan, Toronto Sun)
- Will Leafs fans cheer Mats Sundin’s return? (Paul Hunter, Toronto Star)
- The centre of attention (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Kesler carving out new career path (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province)
- Auld still has Sens-e that he will improve as goalie (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- Canucks’ Burrows barges ahead (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Sedin contracts remain a stumbling block (Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail)
- Swedish compatriots eagerly await Sundin’s return to Toronto (Tim Wharnsby, Globe and Mail)
- Confident Sens get their groove back (Sean Gordon, Globe and Mail)
- Sens offer Shannon great opportunity (Rob Brodie, The Daily Observer)
When it was put together 3 games ago, the Demitra-Sundin-Kesler line was expected to provide some secondary scoring and take the heat off the Sedin line. It has, of course, done more than that, outscoring the Sedin line 22 (9G-13) – 6 (3G-3A) in 3 straight wins.
The other thing I noticed is that Vigneault has taken to putting the Sundin line (with Bernier on the wing, and sometimes, Demitra on the point) out first on the powerplay. In fact, Demitra, Sundin and Kesler combined for 36:58 minutes of powerplay ice-time the last 3 games vs. Sedin, Sedin and Pyatt’s combined 30:58 minutes.
I don’t think even the most optimistic of Canucks fans would have expected this when Sundin signed.
The beauty of the emergence of the RPM line (Ryan, Pavol and Mats), as they’ve now been dubbed, is it forces opposing teams to choose which of their best defending players they should play against which line. Against Chicago, the Sedins played primarily against Chicago’s best defensemen, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, while the RPM line played primarily against Brian Campbell and Matt Walker. Against St. Louis, it was the RPM line that faced Barrett Jackman and Carlo Colaiacovo, while the Sedins faced Jeff Woywitka and Jay McKee.
I realize this is a small, 2-game sample, but at least it’s a glimpse of the goodness of having some secondary scoring. Not all teams are blessed with dynamic defensive duos a la Niedermayer/Pronger, Chara/Wideman, Lidstrom/Rafalski, Blake/Boyle or Phanuef/Regehr that can defend more than one scoring line. In fact, most teams don’t and those teams would have to pick their poison. Defend the Sedins and hope the RPM line doesn’t score? Or vice-versa?
- Canucks beat the Blues (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks fight back for victory (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Ask, and ye shall receive (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Goal-surge is good, Luongo’s uneven play isn’t (Vancouver Province)
- Talented Perron worth the trouble (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- Blues squander 3-1 lead in loss to Canucks (Norm Sanders, News-Democrat)
- Blues collapse, stay in cellar (Jeff Gordon, St. Louis Today)
- On the road again. And again and again and again and again. (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- Blues down but surely not out (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- Case of Blues dogs Wellwood (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- More room for Sedins (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)
- Net gain for Luongo (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- Sundin to get taste of ‘real’ Canucks travel in next two weeks (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- ‘Bottom-feeding’ Blues still present a tough challenge (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks ready to hit road after win (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun)
- Lacking killer instinct (Hosea Cheung, 24 Hours Vancouver)
- McDonald’s healed ankle leaves him ready to go (Norm Sanders, News-Democrat)
- GM goes back, back, back (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province)
- A rusty Luongo will come around: Gillis (Vancouver Province)
- O’Brien provides welcome distraction (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
- For the time being at least, Sedins’ man is no agent of change (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province)
- How I got Sundin moving (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun)
- A turning point? (Scott Rintoul, Metro News Vancouver)
- McIver back on blue line (Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun)
The losing skid has been broken, we cover the Mats Sundin topic once again, try to figure out why the seats in the lower bowl have a variety of noticeable lack of bodies lately, wonder why our PK is lacking, and try to answer the question of why we just traded Mike Brown away to Anaheim in order to get Nathan McIver back (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Finally, the slump is over. Or is it?
Alex Burrows, right after he scored the shorthanded game-winning goal on a breakaway, celebrated by trying to break his stick on his knee presumably to symbolize the team finally breaking out of their 8-game losing slump. Burrows tried twice; the stick didn’t break. I hope that’s not a bad omen.
At any rate, the Canucks were good last night, but they were also lucky.
First the good.
On my Twitter feed the other day, I commented that I didn’t like the idea of splitting up Burrows and Ryan Kesler, who has been the team’s most consistent forwards all season. Boy, did they prove me wrong.
Burrows’ line with Kyle Wellwood and Steve Bernier were a constant threat and combined for 6 of the Canucks’ 24 shots. Kesler, Pavol Demitra and Mats Sundin combined for 5 shots and 7 points (2G-5A). And of course, Kesler and Burrows played together on the penalty-kill and manufactured the game-winning goal.
Sundin also had a strong game. He logged 16:30 minutes of ice-time, recorded a goal, an assist and a +2 rating, and won 15 of 19 faceoffs (79%). In fact, he took a key faceoff in the Canucks zone with less than a minute left and trying to protect the lead. More importantly though, it looks like he’s finally moving his legs.
Now the lucky.
While the effort was definitely better, it still wasn’t complete. After building a 2-0 first period lead, they allowed Carolina to get back into the game. In 25 seconds. They also had some help from a shaky Cam Ward. (To be fair, Lui allowed a couple of iffy goals too.)
The trick of course is to sustain this level of play. That’s 2 fairly good, back-to-back efforts now and they gained 3 out of 4 points to boot. Who knows? Maybe they finally did exercise those GM Place demons for good.