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The Goods: Sammy-automatic

Thursday, 03.8.2012 / 10:45 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Sammy-automatic
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Welcome Winnipeg, it’s great to have you back in the NHL.

Especially when you deliver the stiff test needed to help the Vancouver Canucks bump a two-game losing streak.

The Canucks rallied from a 2-1 third period deficit to take down the Jets 3-2 Thursday night at Rogers Arena; this was Winnipeg’s first game in Vancouver since February 13th, 1996.

With the win Vancouver avoided losing a third consecutive game at home for the first time since January 2011 and the Canucks have a reconfigured second line to thank for the well deserved two points.

Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins and David Booth delivered one of their most dominant performances of the season with Kesler scoring the first goal of the game, shorthanded, 1:44 into the second period, and Higgins picking up the second assist on Alex Edler’s game-tying goal 6:28 into the third.

The trio combined for 16 of Vancouver’s season-high 45 shots, including 14 through two periods, and everything they bring to the Canucks as a line was on full display against
the Jets.

Every guy complimented the other as the on-ice chemistry continued post-game in the locker room.

“He’s one of the most underrated players in the game,” Kesler said of Higgins. “He plays with a lot of energy, has a great skill set and he’s easy to play with. I love playing with
the guy and I can’t say enough about him.”

“I think we enjoy playing together,” added Higgins. “It’s three guys that skate well and are hard on the puck in puck battles. It’s a brutal line to play against, especially in combination with how the Sedins play.”

The Sedins were again held pointless, but Kesler entered beast mode early and Higgins and Booth followed suit. Then the Canucks followed suit producing one of their best
efforts in recent weeks.

Cory Schneider wasn’t happy with the second Winnipeg goal, but overall he stood his ground stopping 30 shots for his 15th win of the season in his first home ice start since January 31st.

Schneider bent but didn’t break with 11 saves on 12 shots in the third period allowing the Canucks to forge the third period comeback missing from their previous two games,
both losses.

It started with a good start.

“It was an important win for us, we wanted to get back in the W column and I thought we came out of the gate really strong and we continued it,” said Kesler, the game’s top
star, who rang two shots off the iron on the night.

“The puck was magnetized to the iron for me tonight,” he laughed. “I got one there and had a lot of good looks and it’s a game I have to focus on and improve on.”


Sammy Pahlsson isn’t having an offensive season to remember, but we’ll remember his offensive production against the Jets.

Pahlsson teed up a drop pass from Kevin Bieksa 14:17 into the third period and blasted it past Ondrej Pavelec for his first goal as a member of the Canucks and third of the year.

The shy Swede, who said post-game it has been a disappointing year in terms of pint production, now has 13 points this season.

Pahlsson wants more, but he knows that’s not his job.

“I would like to be the guy that scores all the time, but that’s not the way it is, I’m trying to score but it’s not my role,” said Pahlsson, who took some weight off his shoulders after the game.

“It’s fun to score a goal and it’s better when it’s a game-winner. It hasn’t been going in for me at all this season, so it’s nice to get the first one with the new team.”

The forward’s career-high for goals is eight, which he hit twice, and his tops for assists is 18. Despite the fact that Pahlsson likely won’t come close to repeating those numbers, he’s still feeling the pressure to produce more than he has.

“There’s always pressure, pressure to do everything or to do other stuff and of course I want to score.”


-The Canucks lead the all-time series against the Jets (Jets from Winnipeg, never Atlanta) 53-41-16.

-Pavel Bure recorded his first ever hat trick against the Jets on October 12, 1992, scoring four goals on Bob Essensa.

-Vancouver and Winnipeg met for the first time ever on November 24, 1979 as part of a back-to-back, home-and-home set of games with each team winning at home.

-Thomas Gradin was the first Canuck to ever score against the Jets.

-The Jets once held the record for fastest four goals against the Canucks scoring four times in a span of 2:16. That record was broken and remains held by the 2004 Colorado Avalanche.

-Vancouver and Winnipeg have met twice in the post-season (1992 Smyth Division Semi-Final & 1993 Smyth Division Semi-Final) with the Canucks winning both series with eight wins to five losses.

-The Canucks lit up the Jets for 29 goals in the 1992 Smyth Division Semi-Final, which remains the most goals scored in a series in franchise history.

-Prior to Ryan Kesler scoring in the second period Thursday, Alexander Mogilny recorded the last Canucks goal against the Jets.

Limbering up is important, you have to be agile to cover hockey - BUT no stretching or yoga of any kind during play.
Tweet of the Night - "Clock strikes 9 p.m. in Vancouver meaning Pavelec will turn back into Connor Crisp. Here we go.
#Canucks" -@CanucksGame. And yes, I'm tooting my own horn, but Pavelec crumbled after 9 p.m..
Lucky number 6 - The Canucks have now gone six consecutive games without being beaten in
regulation by the Thrashers/Jets franchise going 5-0-1.
Blast from the past - On March 8, 1985, 27 years ago, Thomas Gradin became the first
Canucks player to record 500 points in a 4-3 win over the LA Kings.
Dear Kent Pearce - You love your Jets and I love my Canucks. As per our friendly wager, I will
be bugging you about this win until Winnipeg and Vancouver play again. Next year...