The Goods: Jersey sure
Don’t look now, but the Vancouver Canucks have moved into first place overall in the NHL standings.
And it couldn’t be more well deserved after a gritty 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils Friday night at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
Aaron Rome and Mason Raymond scored for the Canucks and Cory Schneider made 30 saves to backstop Vancouver to its league-best 22nd win on the road and 40th victory overall, giving the Canucks 86 points and a one point lead over the Detroit Red Wings in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.
If Vancouver’s win over Detroit a night earlier displayed character, this outing was all about heart. The Canucks, playing their fifth game in seven days, didn’t have much left to give in the third period as they were outshot 10-5
and heavily out chanced.
Sometimes you can get by running on fumes, especially when Schneider puts in a first start performance like he did.
“Our guys gave it all they had, they just didn’t have a lot left in the tank after a really emotional win last night and tough travel,” said Schneider. “It wasn’t a picture perfect game,
but that was the game we had to play considering the circumstances and I thought we just competed really, really hard.”
Schneider was easily Vancouver’s top player and this is a perfect example of how valuable the 25-year-old is to the Canucks. The team may have been drained following an emotional clipping of the Red Wings and a late, delayed flight to New Jersey, but Schneider was as fresh as a mountain stream.
His biggest challenge was facing a Devils team the Canucks see once a year.
“It’s tough, you don’t know a lot about them, but there’s some real high-end skill up front, it seemed like those guys were throwing out their top players every other shift.
“They made life really hard on our backend, just putting pucks in on our backend and pressuring and trying to take advantage of our fatigue. I think that was a heck of an effort.”
Teammates were praising the game Schneider brought to the table to extend his personal winning streak to seven games; over that stretch he’s allowed two goals or less five times. Schneider is now 14-5-0 on the year, two wins back of his career high of 16 from a year ago in two less starts.
“He made some really big saves for us, they had some really good opportunities, especially in the second half of the third period,” said Dan Hamhuis, who assisted on the game-winning goal. “He’s been playing great for us all year and came up big for us again tonight.”
It’s points collected on the road in less than ideal conditions that can make a huge difference when all is said and done this season, so Schneider said this win tells him a lot
about where the Canucks are headed.
“It’s great, it’s showing that we can win all sorts of games any kind of way, especially on the road, those are the ones that are even tougher. It kind of resembles last year where
we just found a way to win games no matter what and I think we’re getting a pretty good stretch of hockey here.”
Last year’s Presidents’ Trophy win doesn’t seem like such a one-off anymore with the Canucks a single point from where they were through 62 games in 2010-11.
ROME & RAYMOND BEAT BRODEUR
It was unlikely scoring that ended up being timely scoring.
Aaron Rome scored his first goal in 29 games and the Canucks improved to 4-0-0 when the blueliner finds the back of the net. He looked like an every day sniper as he calmly put a rebound past Martin Brodeur off a point shot from Chris Tanev 8:44 into the first period, but he was anything but composed.
“I maybe looked calm like a duck on top of water on the surface, but underneath I was going crazy,” laughed Rome.
Mason Raymond also had a streak come to an end with his first goal in 11 games. David Booth picked up the primary assist on the game-winning goal, Raymond's second of the season, on a play the two schemed prior to the game.
“I talked to Booth a little bit about trying to make some shorter passes, some five-foot passes, to see if we can support each other and be a little more supportive that way,” said Raymond, who scored 2:07 into the second.
“It seemed to work well there, we got a little bit of a bounce off the defender and it went in. Big sigh of relief and it feels good.”
THANK YOU DOC
You may not know the name, but you definitely know the voice.
Mike “Doc” Emrick, “The Voice of Hockey,” was honoured during a pre-game ceremony for his celebrated body of work that includes 23 years as an announcer with MSG Networks and 21 years spent with the New Jersey Devils. Emrick called three Stanley Cup seasons and won seven New York Emmy Awards before retiring in 2011.
You’d be hard pressed to find an ear that didn’t take to Emrick’s dynamic style of calling a game; here are a few of the most memorable games he called (pulled from Wikipedia).
-April 11, 1989: Game 5, Patrick Division semifinals, Flyers vs. Capitals. Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall becomes first netminder to score a goal in the playoffs - a shorthanded tally in Philadelphia's 8-5 win.
-April 18, 1999: Penguins vs. Rangers. Wayne Gretzky's final NHL game.
-January 1, 2008: Winter Classic, Penguins vs. Sabres. The league's first outdoor game in the United States, from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. (NBC)
that? #colourmeproud #Canucks" - @Lougottabelieve, with one of the best stats I've heard all season.
Baumgartner has played for 10 different teams, including the Vancouver Canucks, since being drafted in
the first round by Washington in 1994. The defenceman has seven goals and 35 assists in 99 games
with the Canucks.
winning record against on the road in franchise history at 25-21-6.