The Goods: Blackhawks De-Schneid
Brendan Morrison had a front row seat to watch his record fall.
Daniel Sedin scored the overtime game-winner as the Vancouver Canucks won their third straight game beating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Tuesday night at Rogers Arena; the goal was the 10th OT game-winner of Daniel’s career moving him past Morrison for the most in Canucks history.
No one was happier to see the puck elude Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford at the 3:37 mark of overtime than Cory Schneider.
The Canucks goaltender was sensational in his best outing of the season stopping 37 shots, including 15 in the second period alone when the wheels fell off for Vancouver.
Ryan Kesler opened the scoring 7:58 into the first period, but Jamal Mayers was quick to respond midway through
the frame to make it a 1-1 game.
In the second the Canucks were badly outshot and badly outplayed and the only reason the scoreboard wasn’t being lit up in favour of the Blackhawks was the stellar, smooth
play of Schneider.
Vancouver survived to see the third, but in true Canucks/Blackhawks fashion, the teams traded goals and overtime was needed. And it was dramatic, of course.
Chicago had three shots and Vancouver replied with five, the last of which came from Daniel Sedin to end another wild game between bitter rivals.
“It was a heck of a game, I think everyone got their money’s worth,” smirked a relived Schneider, after winning his fourth straight start. “There’s never a dull moment between
these two teams and again, another great game.”
Vancouver and Chicago bring out the best in one another, as the past three consecutive playoff series have proven. These teams have also split their four-game season series
2-2 in each of the last three years; round 4 of the 2011-12 series goes March 21st at the United Centre with the Canucks ahead 2-1.
First things first, the Canucks escaped a game they could have easily lost to gain a valuable point on the Blackhawks, who they entered the night even with in the standings at
“It’s huge,” said Schneider on gaining the two points. “There’s so many good teams in the West and we’re all scrambling at the top here so anytime you can gain a point on anybody it’s important.
“We didn’t want to let them come in here twice and beat us on our home ice and we stuck with it even though we didn’t play our best second period, but I thought we responded well in the third and overtime.”
The Canucks play 14 games in 27 days over February, beginning Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Arena, so coach Alain Vigneault said both goaltenders
will see plenty of ice this month.
Schneider is clearly up to the task.
SAVE OF THE YEAR?
Late in the second period with the score even at 1-1, Schneider went behind his net to retrieve a puck and inadvertently gave it to Brendan Morrison. The former Canucks forward, making his debut with the Blackhawks, swung out in front, eluding a diving poke check from Alex Edler, readying to pot an easy goal.
Schneider did what he could to get back in position as he sprawled across his crease covering as much real estate as he could. Still, he didn’t stand a chance.
Until he did.
Morrison had the puck for two Mississippis before shooting and just as the puck was sailing towards a Chicago lead, Schneider rocketed his left glove hand into the air to stop the puck in its tracks and send it flying back towards Morrison.
It was worthy of a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at Rogers Arena, heck it was worthy of 10.
“I completely botched it behind the net, I just went to move it and completely fanned on it,” explained Schnieder. “Thankfully Eddy bought me a second or two to get back in there and other than that I just remember reaching in there as far as I could and feeling the puck hit me.
“I think I was more upset with myself than happy about the save, but I lived to tell about it.”
The save, coming to a highlight reel near you, was one of 15 for Schneider in the second period, easily his best of the season, in his 17th start.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?
It’s becoming automatic.
Two months ago had Cody Hodgson streaked in alone on a breakaway, his odds of scoring were 50/50 at best.
Now, there’s almost no chance he misses. The Canucks rookie has simply been lights out.
Hodgson scored his 14th goal of the season 4:08 into the third period to even the game at 2-2; he took a stretch pass from Dan Hamhuis, walked in confidently on Corey Crawford and calmly ripped it past his glove.
Here’s the best part: he got scouting advice on where to shoot from Dale Weise.
Yes, that Dale Weise.
“He told me I could beat him glove and it was a good tip,” smiled Hodgson, defending his teammate when reporters chuckled.
“He’s actually got a great shot if you watch him in practice, he can snipe.”
So can Hodgson.
The Canucks rookie has picked up 10 points (6-4-10) in his last 11 games, including two game-winning goals in Vancouver’s two biggest games of January, versus Chicago on this night and versus the Bruins in Boston.
Even more impressive, and maybe a little shocking, is that Hodgson is two goals back of Daniel Sedin for the team lead since Christmas.
If Hodgson’s New Year’s Resolution was to win NHL Rookie of the Year, he’s well on his way.
“You can tell he’s got a lot in his head,” noted Daniel. “He might not be the best skater out there and the strongest guy, but he’s smart.”
- @ianisabigdeal, protesting the clipping penalty to Keith Ballard in the first period.
married to Rob Niedermayer, whose brother Scott Niedermayer will be inducted into the BC
Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2002-03 with the New Jersey
Devils, Scott posed with Russ Rankin of the band Good Riddance for a Cup photo. Rankin, is a
member of PETA and a strict vegan, who does not eat bacon. Speaking of bacon, Kevin Bacon.
against Chicago, too bad Vancouver was not awarded a power play for the third time this season.