The Goods: All they could handle
No luck of the Irish needed.
The Vancouver Canucks wrapped up a season-high seven-game homestand with a hard fought 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night at Rogers Arena led by a complete effort from the team’s Swedish contingent.
Daniel Sedin scored twice, including the game-winner (a PPG that moves him into 2nd in franchise history for power play goals), Henrik Sedin had two assists and Alex Edler had one of each to lift the Canucks to their 43rd win of the season. David Booth had the Vancouver goal, while Cory Schneider was stellar between the pipes with 33 saves.
The last of Schneider’s stops came with no time left in regulation and sealed the win for the Canucks, a win that was by no means a landslide against the Blue Jackets, the NHL’s last place team.
At this point in the season it’s about just that, points, so the Canucks went cliché calling a win, a win, post-game.
“We had a good effort tonight, it wasn’t the prettiest game, but we responded to a few goals and kept pushing the lead and were able to hang on there at the end,” said
Schneider, on the eve of his 26th birthday. “There’s no easy games in this league, they played with a lot of energy and a lot of passion and it was tough win for us.”
The victory improves Vancouver’s record to 4-4-2 in its last 10 games as the Canucks avoid dropping three games in regulation for the first time all season.
The Blue Jackets, regardless of their place in the standings, were the perfect opponent to help the Canucks regain form. Vancouver has now beaten Columbus five straight
times at Rogers Arena and the Canucks have gone 11 straight contests without a regulation loss against the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets have not beaten the Canucks in regulation since Oct. 5, 2009, and the power play was a major reason that streak remains in tact.
For the second consecutive game Vancouver went 2-for-3 on the power play. Special play on special teams leads to special wins, as do special plays from Alex Edler and Schneider.
The goal of the game, heck it might be the goal of the year, came off the stick of Edler, on the power play, 12:38 into the second period (more on that below). What makes the
goal even better is that Schneider assisted on it, pair his helper with Steve Mason’s first period assist and both goaltenders had an assist in the same game for the first time
since March 2, 2010, when Jonathan Quick and Marty Turco each had one.
And it was quite a nice pass from Schneider - right into Edler’s skates.
“I was thinking about shooting it up, but I know coach doesn’t like that, so I fired it right at his feet and he was able to corral it,” laughed Schneider. “He did the rest. I don’t think there are many guys in the league who can do what he did tonight out there on that play. It was fun to watch.”
This game as a whole was fun to watch, and be a part of, said Kevin Bieksa.
“Winning is fun, it’s a lot more fun than losing. It’s a team that’s at the bottom of the standings but there’s no easy games in this league and it took us to the last shift to beat
them. It’s good to win those one-goal games and we’ll take it.”
Vancouver is now 11 points up on Colorado in the race for the Northwest Division crown, with three games in hand, and 11 contests remaining.
Nothing was out of the ordinary when Alex Edler collected the puck from Cory Schneider deep in the Vancouver end midway through the second period on a Canucks power play.
Nothing was out of the ordinary when Edler, gaining speed, ripped over the blue line, then through a pair of Columbus forwards at centre ice.
Everything got strange and amazing after that when Edler didn’t dish the puck off, he used long strides to power past the defence and in on goaltender Steve Mason. He then shot the puck low glove side past Mason to complete the nicest coast-to-coast goal a Canucks forward has scored in a long time.
Oh, right, he’s a defenceman. What in the Bobby Orr was he thinking?
On second thought, it doesn’t matter. The goal, scored end-to-end in 10 seconds, counted as his 11th of the season, a new career-high for the 25-year-old Swede, who had been under fire for his play of late.
It’s funny how a highlight goal can change everything.
Edler received a cheer from the media when he entered the dressing room post-game.
He was as shocked as anyone his play led to a goal, and cheering, on this night.
“I was just trying to get some speed behind the net and I don’t know if they didn’t expect it or what,” he said. “There was an opening there so I took it and it went well.”
You can say that again.
HOME AND AWAY
The Canucks finish their season-high seven-game homestand with a 3-4-0 record; they won the first, fourth and seventh games and had a pair of two-game skids in between.
Sunday Vancouver hits the road for a four game trip that has the team in Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas and Colorado with four games in seven nights.
That might be just what the doctor ordered for the Canucks, who are starting to resemble February’s team more and more each outing.
“It’s been great to have this homestand and spend some times with our families,” said Cory Schneider. “It didn’t go as well as we had hoped by any means, but I think we feel real comfortable on the road, we’re not worried about or afraid of traveling to other team’s buildings and it’ll be a good measuring stick and a good test to see if we can turn this around.”
Added Schneider on if this victory can carry over onto the road: “It’s one win, you can’t turn a season around on one win, but hopefully it gets us started in the right direction and maybe heading on the road is what we need right now, just to get away from everything and get back to simple road hockey where we’ve had a lot of success.”
Vancouver owns the best road record in the Western Conference at 22-10-4.
-@KyleGoolab, does this mean you're volunteering to pinch Rick Nash?
day of the year as they improved to 14-5-1 with Saturday night’s win.
He busted out his moves and again drew a loud ovation. Jack for Prime Minister.
pre-game. A little U2, some Pixies and Scissor Sisters and a helping of The Cranberries.