For the first time in two seasons, the Canucks sit top spot in the Northwest Division with less than 6 games left in the season. The last time the Canucks were top of their division was back in 06-07 season, the same season that landed coach Alain Vigneault his first Jack Adams trophy as Best Coach of the Year.
Of course he was closed to being fired when Gillis took over GM position in the past off season, and perhaps even closer during the 8-game winless streak this January.
But things have changed since!!! And if the playoff starts tomorrow, the Canucks will be the third seed of the Conference.
It wasn’t a very eventful game, at least not what you expect from a team desperate for a playoff spot. No-one expects the Wild to play a run-and-gun game, but you’d have to wonder what the fans, who paid good money to watch the game live, feel after a game like that.
Of course fans love to see their team wins, but we don’t really mind watching our team lose as long as the game was fun to watch. Hockey fans love the sport because it’s entertaining and exciting. It’s perhaps the fasting team sport you can find, with momentum switching every few seconds.
I hear fans and sport commentators complain about the Wild’s game, their trapping-style of hockey. I guess it’s okay for the fans if the team can win at the end, but it’s simply not acceptable if you are forced to watch sixty minutes of broken play for a 1-1 tie, only for a heartbreaking OT loss, night-in and night-out.
The Canucks know too well the style of hockey Minnesota plays, and they proved tonight that they can play that game too – maybe even better. AV has been known to be great at his defensive plays, we all remember what Markus Naslund said during the off-season when he but openly admits that he will not play for AV anymore if he has a choice.
When things are going well, a defensive-minded game can get you far, especially in the playoffs. However, when you team is struggling, you will find it very difficult to generate consistent offense. This happened to Minnesota before, it happened with New Jersey, and it happened with Vancouver last year.
I’m very happy for this road win, the team deserves to be at the 3rd spot, and top of the division, after their strong push in the last two months. This is exactly the confidence builder the team needs to contend in the playoff. Great game guys!!!!
Lastly, a side-note, don’t you just love Burrows??? I mean he takes a pay cut to stay with the team, he’s passionate and full or energy. Even in a game where he’s held off the scoresheet, you see him standing in front of the Canucks’ bench at the end of the game, “high-fiving” every player when they head into the dressing room.
It’s almost like he’s the captain.