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The Goods: Downed by Flames

Thursday, 04.5.2012 / 9:30 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Downed by Flames
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The Vancouver Canucks might have to settle for the vice-presidency.

The Canucks dropped a 3-2 decision to the Calgary Flames Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, on a night when the New York Rangers lost to put Vancouver in control of its own destiny for first place in the NHL.

Vancouver needed to escape Calgary with at least a point to have control over a second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy, thanks to three third period goals from the Flames, the Canucks are again back to sitting, waiting, wishing and scoreboard watching.

Not that needing outside help is anything new to the Canucks.

It wasn’t long ago, mid-March as a matter of fact, the Canucks were on the outside looking in as far as top billing
in the Western Conference was concerned, let alone first overall. A string of seven wins, paired with timely losses from the St. Louis Blues and Rangers, and suddenly both
were in sight.

Both remain in sight, but Vancouver needs to win its season-finale against Edmonton on Saturday and hope New York loses in its final game, and that the Blues drop one of their two remaining contests.

“We’re getting some help elsewhere in the league and it would be nice to finish first overall, but at the same time what really matter is in a couple of weeks here,” said Alex
Burrows, who scored his 28th goal of the season, shorthanded, in the first period.

The Canucks are taking their first regulation loss in six games at the Saddledome, and first loss in eight games overall, in stride, staying focused on the real games that begin
next week.

“We play to win every game, obviously we know what’s on the line, but again it’s secondhand, we need to play a full 60-minutes and make sure we’re prepared for playoffs,” said Jannik Hansen, adding that the Flames should have been extinguished early on in this game.

“They shouldn’t have been in the game in the third period, we should have put them away earlier, we had the chances. Obviously Kipper did a good job in net for them and kept them in the game, but it’s up to us to score some goals on our chances.”

After Burrows opened the scoring, the Canucks rode a 1-0 lead into the third period and over the last 102 times in that situation, they’d come away with at least a single point.

Three Flames goals in the third period handed Vancouver its first loss when leading after 40 minutes since October of 2009, the longest streak in the NHL at 102 games.

Cory Schneider stopped 25 shots in losing for just the second time in his last eight starts.


Even when shorthanded, the Canucks are never shorthanded if Alex Burrows is on the ice.

When Samuel Pahlsson was called for tripping 4:25 into the first period, Burrows took it upon himself to make sure the man advantage wasn’t a disadvantage as he took a pass from Dan Hamhuis and went in alone on Miikka Kiprusoff.

Burrows got creative with his move and did a crazy spin-o-rama before going top shelf – no, no he didn’t, he went right to his patented deke forehand, roof it backhand, for his second shorthanded goal of the season and the 16th of his career.

The goal moved Burrows past Trevor Linden into second place for most shorthanded goals in franchise history, he’s now eight behind Pavel Bure, the Russian Rocket himself, for the most in Canucks history.


Maybe we’ll refer to it as a man advantage instead of a power play for the time being.

Vancouver was again unable to get anything going on the power play on this night finishing 0-for-5 with six shots; the Canucks are now 0-for-12 when up a man over the last three games and 2-for-35 going back 10 games.

What was a once feared power play, the top ranked unit in the NHL, is now sixth overall with 55 goals in 281 chances, good for 19.6 per cent – more than five points below its mark midseason.

Vancouver is 26-6-3 when scoring a power play goal this season, not that you needed stats to know the importance of a lethal man advantage.

It's tempting, but go reverse Nike and Just Don't Do It. Stray popcorn, even good stuff sitting at the top of a garbage can, is off limits.
Tweet of the Night - "Even the Harlem Globetrotters shoot the ball at the hoop once in a while... #Canucks" -@captain_Chaos,
with some constructive criticism of Vancouver's quiet power play.
Burn of the Night - "@canucksgame If you're havin' life problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems and your capslock
tweet is one" - @CapsCop, putting me in my place for an enthusiastic Canucks goal tweet.
Purple baby dude - Dear guy in suit with the purple doll sitting behind the Canucks penalty box: Who, what,
when, where, why? So many questions, so few answers. Love, everyone.
Stuck on 19 - Vancouver made a late push to make it 20, but the Canucks will be stuck on 19
all-time wins in regular season road finales with the loss. They’re now 19-16-6.