The Goods: Twin-kle, twin-kle

Tuesday, 20.12.2011 / 1:45 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
VANCOUVER CANUCKS
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Scoring summary
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VAN
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MINNESOTA WILD
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The Vancouver Canucks saved their best for one of the best.

Facing the Minnesota Wild, who have battled for top spot in the NHL for more than a month and are off to their best start in franchise history, the Canucks took it to their Northwest Division foe beating the Wild 4-0 in front of a merry sellout crowd of 18,890 fans Monday evening.

A night after Jay-Z and Kanye West Watched the Throne at Rogers Arena, Daniel and Henrik Sedin guarded the castle with a six-point outing made up of a goal and five assists.

Henrik got the party started with a power play goal, his sixth special teams marker and ninth goal overall, with 1:08 to play in the first period to put the Canucks up 1-0 after 20 minutes.

Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows both scored in the second, both finishing off dandy plays from Henrik to Daniel to the
goal scorer.

At 3-0 in the third there were only two things to decide: would Vancouver add to its lead and could Roberto Luongo hold on for the shutout?

Yes and yes.

Jannik Hansen continues to add goals to his career high total, which now stands at 11 this season, as he scored late third period; the Danish forward is now 11 points off his
career high of 29 with 49 games to play.

As for Luongo, there were no late whoopsy daisy goals to be had as he turned aside all 33 shots faced for his first shutout of the year and the 56th of his career; he’s second among active goaltenders for career shutouts and 18th on the all-time list, two donuts behind Clint Benedict and John Ross Roach.

Luongo needed to have a strong outing against the hungry Wild, and so did the Canucks. A solid 60-minute team effort was the result.

“It was a huge game for us, we wanted to close some gap in the standings and I thought, especially in the last 40 minutes of the game we really played well as a team and that’s the way you want to be playing,” said Luongo, who credited everyone around him with helping produce the shutout.

“It’s a great team effort. It takes every guy in this locker room to get a shutout and the boys worked hard tonight to preserve it and make sure that we didn’t give up much, especially in the third period there.”

The Canucks now have nine straight home wins over the Wild, who still lead the Northwest Division by three points over Vancouver. This was the third meeting of six this season, the Canucks hold the edge at 1-1-1.

SHOOTING FOR A THIRD

The hunt for a third consecutive Sedin Art Ross Trophy just got real.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin torched the Minnesota Wild to the tune of a goal and five assists between the pair and the NHL’s points leaderboard currently looks a lot more Sedinish than it did a short time ago.

Henrik is tied with Toronto’s Phil Kessel and Claude Giroux from Philadelphia for the leadgue-lead in points with 39 (9-30-39) in 33 games.

Daniel, just a point behind, sits in fourth with 38 points (13-25-38) in 32 games.

Back-to-back Art Ross wins was unprecedented, a third and the hockey world would be shaken to its core.

It's early for trophy talk, there’s half of a season to play, but with the way Vancouver’s top line is clicking, the Sedins are sure to be in the mix for the scoring title come April.

“We’ve felt good for a while now,” said Henrik. “We’re making passes and holding onto pucks and we’re stronger on the puck when we get them, so it feels good right now."

Alex Burrows, the honorary third Sedin, scored his 12th goal of the season and although he has been making some pretty plays of late, he credits the Sedins with a lot of his success.

“I’m still a guy that goes to the net and gets those dirty goals. Those guys are going to make plays all over the ice, they’re so smart with the puck they’re able to find a lot of time and space and they’re special players.”

ASSIST TRICK

It’s a hat trick, of sorts.

Daniel Sedin, six games removed from filling the net three times for his first hat trick of the season, assisted on Vancouver’s first three goals.

Let’s not forget, he’s not the passing Sedin, he’s the shooting one. Is it a possibility he’s catching up to Henrik in terms of pass-ability?

“I have to say Hank,” smiled Daniel when asked who the better passer is between the two. “He’s done it his whole lifetime, so he’s pretty good.”

Daniel’s not too shabby himself, as the stat sheet proves. And he made it look easy.

Things that are actually easy: putting bread in a toaster, honking a horn, sticking out your tongue.

Things that are not at all easy: passing the puck the way Daniel did on this night.

“I don’t know, they were all pretty easy I think,” he said, assessing his assists. “The one to Kes, he did a good job to find the open spot, Burr went backdoor and Hank’s was backdoor too, so it wasn’t too much of an effort from me.”

Imagine the outcome if Daniel did put in the effort, in his mind.

Scary.

RULES OF THE PRESS BOX
If you go against your own rules and wear a bowtie, wear it with confidence. And expect to be heckled by EVERYONE.
Tweet of the night - “@canucksgame we are Staubitz'ing the Clutterbuck out of those Stoner's tonight!"
-@ballbreakers24, turning the Wild against themselves.
Sign of the night - Lapierre has a great derriere - I, being the thorough journalist I am, will investigate
many things, but I'm not touching this.
Play that funky music - Some Jay-Z and Kanye West tunes were rocking in the Canucks dressing room post-game.
And yes, one was same song the duo performed live 10 times straight a night earlier.
Advice of the night - "Don't ever try to tie a real bowtie, it's pretty much impossible" - Andrew Alberts,
complementing me on my bowtie and advising I stick to clip-ons. I will.