The Goods: Twin bill
You’ve got to love when history repeats itself – for the 10th time.
The Vancouver Canucks swept up the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at Rogers Arena for their 10 consecutive win against their Canadian rivals dating back to November 24, 2003.
Go back 3,010 days ago and it was Ed Belfour with 25 saves, while Gary Roberts scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 Toronto win at the Air Canada Centre.
Since then the Canucks have outscored the Maple Leafs 44-21 and taken 20 points, including this win, the fifth straight against Toronto in Vancouver. Some of those 10 Canucks wins have been close, some have been downright ugly, and by ugly of course I mean amazing for the Canucks.
That was the case as Vancouver wrapped up a three-game home stand against the Centre of the Universe as this
game was a laugher midway through the first period when Alex Burrows and Manny Malhotra scored goals in a span of 87 seconds at 7:49 and 9:16.
Burrows scored his second of the game early in the second and although Dion Phaneuf replied for the Leafs to make it a 3-1 Canucks lead, the home team kept pushing with 12 shots in the frame and another two goals, this time from Daniel Sedin and Sami Salo, a mere 94 seconds apart.
Kevin Bieksa and Nikolai Kulemin scored in the third, but this game was won with Vancouver’s retort to Phaneuf’s goal in the second.
“That finished the game off, it could have easily gone the other way,” said Daniel Sedin, who had four points as part of an eight point contribution from the Sedins.
“We responded right away,” added Roberto Luongo, “it was a key moment in the game and it was nice that the boys went right back on the other side and scored a couple of goals.”
Nine Canucks had a point or more to help Vancouver improve to 9-0-3 over the last 12 games and 6-0-2 at home; this was the second consecutive outing the Canucks have
won by at least two goals after nine of their previous 10 games were decided by a goal.
The Canucks didn’t fret while winning close games, they knew a breakout performance was in the cards if they stuck to the game plan.
This was that win. It was Canucks hockey at its best.
“It was a good balanced game for us,” assessed Kevin Bieksa. “We showed our depth and we had a lot of different guys pitch in, the twins got going again, it was only going to
be a matter of time before they were back on the scoresheet, big game by that line. Everybody chipped in tonight, Lui made some big saves when he had to.”
Luongo finished with 24 stops in the win. There were a lot of LUUUs to be heard during the game, but also a lot of BOOOs.
As expected, there was a battle on the ice and in the stands and it made for a playoff atmosphere.
“It was fun, it was a fun game to play in,” said Luongo. “The crowd was really into it, the Leafs fans early on but then not so much later on in the game.”
No rest for the wicked as the Canucks are now in Edmonto preparing to face the Oilers Sunday as part of five games in seven nights during a six-game road trip.
BURRYING THE LEAFS
Alex Burrows better watch himself or his hatred for the Toronto Maple Leafs might wear off.
The Canucks forward scored two of his team’s first three goals bringing his total to 22 for the year and although it’s never a gimme someone scores, Burrows has lit up Toronto throughout his career to the tune of eight goals and seven assists in 10 games versus the Leafs.
The Quebec product grew up despising the blue and white, but the Leafs pad his stats like few other opponents.
“I think it’s a little bit of luck, but it seems like there’s a lot of room against those guys,” said Burrows, sporting a new gash on his nose post-game after running into the linesman late in the third period. “Me and my linemates, we thrive against teams that like to cheat on the defensive side, so it we play well defensively, we’ll get our chances.”
Burrows took advantage of his chances and so did the Sedins as Vancouver’s top trio had a combined 10 points (3-7-10) in the win.
What’s that? You heard the Sedins were washed up following a few slow outings?
Give your head a shake.
“We know they do a lot of good stuff on the ice, they’re hard working, they’re leaders and everybody goes through a couple of game slumps,” said Burrows, defending the Sedins. “Their work ethic and the way they prepare themselves, it’s only a matter of time and we saw it tonight, they had a good game and I’m fairly confident they’ll have a great road trip.”
THIS AND THAT, THAT AND THIS
I love when Toronto comes to town. It’s always a circus. Here are some of the oddball highlights from the game and the stands.
-Late in the third period someone threw a Maple Leafs jersey onto the ice. So much for cheering your team on through thick and thin.
-Speaking of thin, that was the size of the window the fan from the lowerbowl had to toss a large fish onto the ice before the game ended without getting caught. I’m hearing it was a salmon, but I can’t confirm. All I know is that it was slimy.
-Chris Tanev finished his first game since being recalled with two hits. That doesn’t seem like much, yet he had two hits combined in his nine previous games with the Canucks dating back to last post-season.
-Vancouver has seven wins against original six teams this year (7-3-1).
-Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul combined for 10 more points than Daniel and Henrik Sedin coming into the game. Now, they lead by just three. Sedinery at its best.
-Congratulations to the happy couple that got engaged in the stands during the third period. This win is for you.
-On Salo’s second period power play goal, a monster slap shot that followed a dizzying passing play, the Canucks touched the puck 17 times before the goal.
-The Canucks are 6-0-2 in February, the franchise record for longest undefeated streak in February is 9-0-2 from 2003.
team the Manitoba Mooses?" - @TheFalconer, questioning why it's Leafs, not leaves.
and the goals are pretty!" @katiesmith_96, with a Guns N' Roses remix for the ages.
with the #StorageWars guys and gal. That would be neat." @tilKJisSinginLa, being as random as can be.
October 29th. Vancouver will be on HNIC for five of final six Saturday night’s pre-playoffs.