Vancouver - Dec. 20, 2011 - The Division leading Minnesota Wild were no match for the Vancouver Canucks tonight as they were dropped 4-0 thanks in part to the Canucks lethal power play and Roberto Luongo’s goaltending. It was also Luongo’s first shutout of the season. The Canucks scored twice on the power play, but it was the Sedins who were up to their typical Sedinery that made it all possible.
Both Sedins figured in all but one goal tonight as they were definitely on top of their game tonight, both on and off the power play. In the first period which saw some good action on both ends of the ice, and a few close calls for the Canucks, it was the Sedins that opened the scoring late in the first on a Hank to Dank, back to Hank and in scoring play. It was a thing of beauty, and they were only just beginning!
Entering the Wild zone on a pass from Alexander Edler who just broke up a short handed scoring rush, Hank made a cross ice pass to Daniel who then returned the favor by back handing the puck back across the ice to a waiting Hank to tip the puck past Backstrom for the first goal. That puck crossed a few time zones before it went in the net, and the Sedins have a knack of making it look easy to boot! The Sedins could even make Dave Bolland look like a goal scorer if he was worthy enough to play with the Sedins, but he never will be! (I’m just throwing it out there)
The period ended with the Canucks up 1-0, and having been outshot 13-9 by the Wild. There was only one penalty called in the period, and that resulted in the power play goal by Henrik Sedin. You would think that the Wild would have learned from the first lesson that the Canucks power play was loaded and ready to fire again, but they didn’t. With Dany Heatley sitting in the box for a high sticking penalty, Ryan Kesler made the Wild pay with a beauty of a behind the net setup pass from none other than Daniel and Henrik Sedin. 2-0 Canucks, and they weren’t done yet! With the Sedins spreading the puck around, it was their other Brother’s turn turn to reap the benefits of playing with the Sedins, this time it was the familiar call of “Sedin, Sedin, Burrows, SCORE,” that was heard! Burrows was the recipient of another sweet setup pass at the side of the net for the easy tip in. Canucks were up 3-0 and Luongo was bricking up the net in the Canucks zone for 40 minutes.
With the third period starting one would expect that the Wild would come out with guns blazing to try and at least scratch up Luongo a bit in the final 20, but the Canucks weren’t having any of it as they were up to the task. The closest the Wild came to scoring on Luongo came midway through the third when newcomer Alexander Sulzer tried to clear the puck from the end boards in his own zone but somehow decided that the best way was through Luongo’s crease! What the hell was he thinking? Luongo was at least aware enough to get the hell out of the way and let it continue on to the end boards on the other side of the rink where it was picked up by a waiting Wild player who promptly got off a quick shot on Lou! But Roberto was in position top make the stop, luckily!
Cody Hodgson has obviously been a student of the Sedins and their Sedinery as he setup Jannik Hansen for the death Knell goal Sedin style. After taking a shot on Backstrom, Cody got his own rebound and headed for behind the net where he passed to a waiting Jannik Hansen for the wrist shot from the top of the crease. 4-0 for the Canucks was the final score where the Sedins dominated the scoresheet, and Roberto Luongo snubbed his nose to the Wild team as stopped all 33 Wild shots to earn his first shutout of the season. Between the Sedinery and Luongo we saw tonight, it won’t be long before the Canucks are atop the Division standings if they can keep playing like they did tonight.
The Wild were a depleted team due to injuries so let’s keep that in mind as the Canucks will face the toughest test before the Christmas break when they welcome the always tough Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. Mind you, it sure would be nice to feast on some Red Wings before Christmas, and if the Canucks can keep up this intensity, I’d say there is a pretty good chance the Canucks will enjoy the feeding frenzy.