The Goods: A ray of light
Nothing cures a dry spell for Mason Raymond like playing in Calgary.
Raymond, who had gone six games without scoring and had only a single goal in his last 13 games, lit the Flames up for three goals leading the Canucks to a 7-2 win at the Pengrowth Saddledome Wednesday night.
The surging Canucks, winners of three straight games, scored early and often in their first matchup against their Northwest Division rivals this season; Jeff Tambellini, Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis also notched goals and 12 skaters picked up points for the second consecutive game.
Roberto Luongo turned aside a quiet 18 shots in the win, but he could have taken the night off with how powerful the Canucks were upfront and it all stemmed from Raymond’s first career four-point game.
Raymond opened the scoring just two minutes into the first period, then with the Canucks up 3-2 a minute into the third the speedy winger recorded a shorthanded tally and he completed his second career hat trick and second hat trick in as many games in his home province with a power play goal late in the third.
After playing five games in Calgary without a point to open his career, Raymond, who recorded his first career hat trick in Calgary on December 27, 2009, now has seven points (6-1-7) in his last two visits.
Raymond has a personal best eight goals versus the Flames in 14 career games, the most against any opponent; his 12 points at Calgary’s expense is second only to his 14 versus the Colorado Avalanche.
Although Raymond shot down the Flames single-handedly, this was a third consecutive team win for the Canucks and in that time they’ve outscored their opposition 17-5.
That, and the fact that Vancouver’s three wins come on the heels of a four-game losing streak, has coach Alain Vigneault pleased with his team’s efforts of late.
“As far as doing the right things at both ends of the rink, I think we are doing that right now,” said Vigneault. “Offensively we’re generating and creating grade-A scoring chances and defensively we haven’t been giving up much, so hopefully we’ll continue here as we move on to Chicago.”
Why are Hank’s helpers of note tonight? Good question.
When Henrik picked up the second assist on Daniel Sedin’s 14th goal of the season, a power play score, to put the Canucks up 3-1 in the second period, it counted as his 600th career assist making him the fourth player in franchise history to hit the 600 point plateau.
Henrik trails Stan Smyl by 72 points, he’s 132 behind Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund is 155 ahead of him, but H. Sedin owns bragging rights on having accomplished the feat in the least amount of games at 751, 133 less than Naslund, his closest competitor.
The reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner is currently 36th on the all-time points list for active players.
This was the second consecutive game, dating back to last season, that the Canucks recorded a hat trick versus the Flames as Daniel Sedin filled the hat in a 7-3 thumping of Calgary on April 10, 2010; In the last three games the Canucks have redefined balanced scoring with nine, 12 and 12 players picking up points over that stretch; Vancouver is now 11-1-1 when scoring the game’s first goal.