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Canucks Report: A Chance at History

Friday, 08.04.2011 / 6:09 PM / News
By Nolan Kelly
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Canucks Report: A Chance at History
April 08, 2011

A CHANCE AT HISTORY

By Nolan Kelly

Upon closer inspection, the Vancouver Canucks Presidents trophy winning season is more extraordinary than their record might indicate.

In the post expansion era, only one franchise has led the NHL in points, Goals For and Goals Against: The 1976-77 and 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens.

Lafleur, Robinson, Dryden and Shutt. Nine future Hall of Famers comprising what most consider the two greatest teams in NHL history.

The 1976-77 Habs team, with 132 points and the 1977-78 team, with 129 points mark the two highest totals in the history of the NHL.

The 1976-77 team led the league in Power Play percentage, while the 1977-78 team led the league on the penalty kill.

Neither did both.

The Canucks have a chance to do what  those historically profound Canadiens teams could not.

With one game left to play, the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks are first or second in every major statistical category in the NHL.

They lead the league with Goals For (259) and Goals Against (183). On specialty teams the power play ranks 1st at 24.2 percent and the penalty kill, 2nd, at 85.9 percent, just point .06 off the league leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

Makes for interesting watching this Saturday night.

DEFENSE READY

The Defense corps that Canucks GM Mike Gillis envisioned when he built the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks is finally set to make its debut.

With all six of the top regulars healthy, Saturday night will mark the first time they have played together as a unit this season.

The pairings will be comprised of Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler, Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo and Keith Ballard.

With the Raffi Torres suspension, the Canucks will dress 11 forwards against Calgary, with defenseman Aarron Rome.

Alex Edler played his first game in three months, to high praise last night. Edler finished +1 in 19 minutes of ice time, and didn’t shy away from physical play, with four hits against the Wild.

“He looked so good,” said Coach Vigneault. “He’s such a big strong defenseman that can move as much offensively as defensively.”