|THE VANCOUVER SUN
|San Jose presents a tough test for Canucks
Elliot Pap knows though the Oilers have talent, the Canucks will have a challenge playing against the San Jose Sharks, Stanley-Cup contenders.
“When the Sharks were here 10 days ago, they romped to a 3-0 first-period lead and left the premises easy 3-1 winners,” Pap said. “The Canucks were hardly in that game. In fact, you might say coach Alain Vigneault's too-content warriors were still in pre-season mode until the Philadelphia Flyers spanked them 8-2 last Wednesday and sparked an awakening.”
"It will be a tough, tough task for us," conceded Canuck defenceman Mattias Ohlund as he pondered Joe Thornton and the rest of tonight's visitors to GM Place. "The last time we played them, they really took it to us."
The confidence the Canucks gained from the 2 consecutive wins against Edmonton Oilers, there is much determination to maintain a winning streak.
"I didn't feel like I was interfered with all night," Luongo noted. "I felt I was able to do my job without any problems and that's an A-plus for our defencemen. Now we're looking forward to the San Jose game . We've won two in a row and we want to string a few together and try to get some separation."
|Canucks make it seven straight over oil
Ben Kuzma notes the Canuck’s success over the Oilers for the past seven games.
“While Cowan suffered a leg injury in his brief wrestling match, the real story was a razor-sharp Luongo and more magic from Daniel and Henrik Sedin in a 4-1 victory. It was the seventh-straight triumph over the Northwest Division rival, during which the Canucks have outscored the Oilers by a whopping 30-13,” Kuzma said.
“Luongo showed signs Friday in Edmonton that any concern over a sore knee has vanished, with a 28-save performance in the 5-2 triumph. On Saturday, he went one better as the Canucks improved to 3-2-0 and the Oilers lost their fourth straight and are now 2-4-0.”
|Cooke feeling heat for lackluster start
Ben Kuzma asks the question of all questions: “Is this the way the Cookie crumbles?”
Kuzma, amongst others, are curious about this unusual scratch of a core player, Matt Cooke.
“That's the burning question after Matt Cooke was a rare healthy scratch Saturday to mark a low point in his nine-year career with the Canucks.”
“Cooke has gone from go-to guy to clam-up guy for good reason. With Rick Rypien, Alex Burrows and Byron Ritchie playing similar irritating roles for much less -- $475,000 for Rypien and Burrows, and $675,000 for Ritchie -- Cooke may be expendable in the final year of his deal at $1.525 million.”
"I'm not even going to comment on that stuff right now and I'm not in a position to," Cooke said Sunday. "I don't want to stir anything up in the paper."
"Matt's game is not where it's supposed to be for a player of his quality," said Vigneault. "He's usually very dependable defensively and he's able to create offensively with a smart forecheck, and right now he's not there.”
|Mitchell plays waiting game
Gordon McIntyre describes Willie Mitchell’s performance as one of the Canuck’s top defenseman.
McIntyre said, “You want to know how to play a two-on-one, you might as well ask Willie Mitchell, one of the game's best at breaking them up.”
"A lot of hockey is read and react. I'm lucky, it's something I'd like to think I do well -- at least, a lot of coaches have said I read plays well as they develop," the Canucks defenseman said before the wins against Edmonton. "I know how to play two-on-ones, it's all about waiting out other players, letting them -- it's hard to explain, but you deny the pass, deny the pass.”
"Finally they run out of ice and you've forced them to make a play in a contained area. So a lot of it is a waiting game and a lot of it is having a good stick, too, being able to deny those plays and those passes."
|Luongo his old reliable self against Edmonton
After the 8-2 loss to the Flyers, there was some skepticism floating in hopes that Luongo will rise again. Grant Kerr writes that Roberto Luongo has risen.
“Luongo was his old reliable self as the Canucks again were outshot on Saturday, 28-22. Luongo was the difference, along with two goals by Daniel Sedin,” said Kerr.
“It's believed Luongo has the quickest legs in the league, for his position, when he's on his game. That certainly was the case in the second period when he used his right pad to kick out a tricky bouncer from the point by Steve Staios when the Canucks were nursing a 1-0 lead.”
“It bounced off the ice and kind of went in another direction,” Luongo said. “It squirted and I kind of squared up and saw it at the last second.”
“I've reiterated since Day 1 that I'm not feeling any discomfort [from a sore knee], so we can put that to rest.”
|THE CANADIAN PRESS
|Sedins lead Canucks to win over Oilers
The Canadian Press said that the, “talented Vancouver Canuck twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin spelled double trouble for the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.”
“Daniel scored twice and Henrik furnished three assists as the Canucks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 before a sellout crowd of 18,630 at General Motors Place.”
"We play them eight times every year, so you try and take advantage of the things they do," said Daniel. "So far, it's been going pretty good."
The Sedin’s increase in performance is noticeable in the eyes of many coaches, players, media, and fans.
“The Sedins finished with seven points in the back-to-back victories over the Oilers. They have picked up where they left last season, when they combined for 24 points in eight games against Edmonton,” said the Canadian Press.