Game File 40: Canucks 3 Flames 2

The Good

There were a lot of interesting story lines in tonights game.

First, Alex Burrows scored his first goal of the season and first in 47 games, and it was a beauty.  Okay, he’s had 4 disallowed goals, so it’s not like he’s got totally stone hand.

Trevor Linden scores another goal.  What does that make, 4 in the last 6 games or so?  And his ice time is way way up, with over 14 minutes of play tonight, including over 8 minutes on the Power Play.  Clearly Vigneault has found a use for this aging veteran.  Stick him down low on the powerplay and let him have his way. 

Jarome Iginla was yet again held pointless.  What makes this even more amazing is that other than the last 3 games against the Canucks, Iginla has been setting the league on fire with 2 goals and 5 assists since the Canucks last meeting with Calgary, yet gets shut down again by the Mitchell / Bieksa defensive pairing. 

And Brendan Morrison got a multi point night for the first time in a while.  While he’s still only on pace for just over 40 points, he’s got an improved jump in his step, which is good for the team as they head down the stretch.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on the fact that the Canucks were winning all the wrong games.  At that point, they had lost against two divisional opponents, while winning one against a central division team (we dominate against the central division) and one eastern conference team.  Since then, they’ve gone 5-1 against their division.  That’s a huge change and one that will keep in the hunt for a good finish at the end of the season.

The Bad

The Sedins were shut-out tonight, and after going on a huge tear in the last few games.  Daniel was named one of the NHL 3 stars for last weeks performance.  And then nothing tonight.  That might have had more to do with adjustments Calgary made on defending them, than it did on the Sedins.  The good thing was that there was a complete team effort and secondary scoring.

Naslund continues to stuggle, but still picked up an assist tonight.  While he is on pace for his lowest goal and point totals since 1997/98 he is showing up to play each night.  My prediction that this year would mark the end of Markus Naslunds reign as the teams scoring leader is holding true… the question is, will it be Daniel or Henrik that takes it over?

Chouinard got in the lineup tonight, putting up a total of 5:08 in ice time.  I’m not sure why Vigneault bothered.  He was brought in as a defensive specialist (read: penalty kill) and only played 29 seconds on the kill.

The Ugly

Allowing Lombardi to get down ice and score another short handed goal.  It felt at that point a comeback would be imminent. 

Then again, the kid is some kind of fast.  That’s pretty tough to defend against.

The Chief Canuck

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