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Hong Kongese Feb 4, 2009 6:12 AM

Canucks Central

Sundin and Burrows lead Canucks to victory

By Elliott Pap, Vancouver SunFebruary 3, 2009 10:01 PM

VANCOUVER — Mats Sundin came alive Tuesday and so did the Vancouver Canucks. The much-maligned almost 38-year-old Swede scored once and assisted on another as the Canucks snapped their mind-boggling nine-game losing streak on home ice, edging the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3.

Alex Burrows emerged as the ultimate hero, however, as he scored on a shorthanded breakaway with 1:22 remaining in the third period to break a 3-3 tie.

Coach Alain Vigneault’s newly concocted line of Sundin, Pavol Demitra and Ryan Kesler was Vancouver’s best on the night and combined for six points.

Leading 3-2 after 40 minutes, the Canucks took no time in squandering the advantage as their penalty killing again collapsed with Mattias Ohlund in the box.

Ray Whitney found Eric Staal completely uncovered on the backside and Staal had little trouble sliding the puck past Roberto Luongo at the 33-second mark.

The Canucks struck early in the first when Carolina captain Rod Brind’Amour tripped Kyle Wellwood and Kevin Bieksa made them pay at the 2:21 mark, thanks to a nice screen from Taylor Pyatt.

Kesler made it 2-0 Vancouver at 12:41 as he one-timed Demitra’s feed after Sundin ambitiously retrieved the puck on a dump-in.

The Canucks couldn’t stand the prosperity, however, and surrendered the lead during a horrific 25 seconds midway through the second period.

With Bieksa off for high sticking Brandon Sutter (Brent’s son), Joe Corvo blasted a shot off Luongo’s right arm as the Canuck netminder was scrambling to find his fallen goal stick.

On the next shift, the Sedins and Taylor Pyatt were drawn completely out coverage and Joni Pitkanen was left all by his lonesome on the faceoff dot where he drilled a shot right through the Canuck captain.

Sundin restored the lead at 15:10 of the second when he collected his own rebound, circled the Hurricane cage and banked a wraparound forehand off Carolina goalie Cam Ward.


Kodii Feb 4, 2009 6:27 AM

And it feels glorious. There's hope again!

KPELLY Feb 4, 2009 6:35 AM

It was soo unexpected when Burrows scored shorthanded, that sort of thing just hasn't happened to the Canucks lately. It's nice to see Sundin have a good game for once too. Hopefully they'll get on a roll.

Kwik-E-Mart Feb 4, 2009 7:18 AM

It's long overdue for the team and its fans. The game vs. Chicago this saturday will be a litmus test to see if the Nucks really have turned the corner... or not.

Hong Kongese Feb 4, 2009 7:32 AM

If the Canucks lost this game, coach Allain would be history. GM Gillis can not afford to let the team keep on sliding.

GeeCee Feb 4, 2009 7:46 AM

It's a Christmas miracle!!

Distill3d Feb 4, 2009 8:04 AM

Sundin did what!?! you sure it wasn't Sedin?

deasine Feb 4, 2009 8:04 AM

Well the win has a lot to do with luck, but the Canucks seem to have played a little better in todays game.

agrant Feb 4, 2009 8:26 AM

I'm not getting on the bandwagon until they win 8 straight.

Distill3d Feb 4, 2009 8:30 AM

^won't be this season, thats for sure!

...cue Sconadian...

Vancity Feb 4, 2009 11:18 PM

I agree with one of the posters. While it's nice to FINALLY get a win at home no less, I think the real test whether this team has turned the corner or not is against the Blackhawks on Saturday. I was at the game vs. Carolina - what a game it was. The Canucks started off really strong, and then they lost their way in the 2nd period. Luongo seemed average. Every time the 'Canes shot the puck at him, I wasn't sure if he was going to stop it. That was how suspect his play has been of late.

There is an 8 game road trip coming up for the 'Nucks. If they lose badly on that trip, you can bet that we'll be out of the playoff picture by that point. The trade deadline would just be around the corner, and if we lose even half of those games, and the other teams (i.e. Minny, Edmonton, etc) all pull away, we will become sellers. IF, however, we manage to put a strong string of wins - we'll be buyers, and the city will jump on the bandwagon once again. I gotta add, the crowd last night was amazing. Vancouerites really do love their team :yes:

At least we have a winning streak - of 1

Hong Kongese Feb 8, 2009 8:29 AM

We did it again! Two wins in a row now...

Canucks dominate Blackhawks 7-3

By Jason Botchford, The ProvinceFebruary 7, 2009 11:01 PM

No, that wasn't a team of 15-year-olds the Canucks beat Saturday.

It just looked that way.

It was a game no reasonable person thought the Canucks could win, let alone dominate. The Chicago Blackhawks rolled into Vancouver as the NHL's latest it-boys. They were like teen idols who had it all except for the Tiger Beat cover story. Swimming in wins for three months, the youthful Hawks were deemed too fast, too deep and too good for the Canucks.

But that's before Vancouver took the ice and revealed a metamorphosis as sudden and as unlikely as what we saw from the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL playoffs. It was like Michael Phelps' reputation going up in smoke, but in reverse.

For anyone who follows the Canucks, their 7-3 win against one of the hottest teams in hockey was something odd to watch and that's exactly what the Blackhawks did for most of two periods. They played like they were rubber-necking their own car accident.

Coming off a cathartic win Tuesday, the Canucks started the game like they had sluiced the pent-up feelings of self-doubt and incompetence which plagued them for six weeks. It wasn't just a win Tuesday, that was an exorcism.

"[Tuesday's win] was really important, it was weighing on everybody," Roberto Luongo said. "The losing and the home losing streak as well. It was getting tough to play. But at a certain point you have to go out there and do the job. It was really big for us to get that win out of the way and move on. We were playing a hockey game [Saturday] without thinking about coming out of a slump.

"It's not as easy coming to the rink when you're losing. Guys are happy [now], they're enjoying themselves. When you're more relaxed, you tend to play better on the ice."

The Canucks looked emotionally cleansed from the start when the Sedin twins whirled the puck around the Hawks playmakers before Henrik tipped in a 45-foot shot from his brother just 53 seconds in.

After the Sedins scored off the rush, Mats Sundin emerged as a force around the net and Ryan Kesler continued to show that yes, he does have peripheral vision. The pair combined for two power play goals and the Canucks had a 3-0 lead after the first period.

Everyone was expecting the Hawks to wake up but by the time they did it was the third period and they were down 6-1 and they were way too late for work. By the end, the Canucks had seven goals and only two came from the Sedin twins. Not only that, they had three power play goals and only gave up one.

"Guys were looser than they've been in a long time," Alex Burrows said. "We have been so close for so long. We always felt we weren't that far and everyone here has had good intentions. We put it all together and did it against a very good team."

Alex Edler, such a non-factor throughout so much of the past two months, piled up four points and Steve Bernier scored, meaning the Canucks had three lines, not one, that scored.

If that's a sign of things to come, the Canucks could have a lot to look forward to during the final two months of the season.

Head coach Alain Vigneault talked of slaying the beast, which is that prolonged slump that finally ended in dramatic fashion Tuesday.

Now, the Canucks will get exactly what they have wanted for about a month — a road game.

"All of a sudden we've won two in a row," Luongo said. "It was big . . . now the boys are excited to get out on the road and spend some time together as a team."

In the end, Luongo made 36 saves. He was great when he had to be, especially in the final 10 minutes of the first period when the Hawks made a valiant effort to get back into the game. He still isn't happy with where his game is at.

Luongo's passion doesn't translate well in his TV interviews and you can drink away a night debating his value, his skill and whether he's overrated or not. But you should never question his resolve, or his single-minded desire to improve in an effort to make himself and his team better.

Feeling the immediacy of February in his mind and the rust of October in his legs, Luongo has spent much of the past two weeks showing up 45 minutes early to practice, tirelessly trying to get his game back.

Metro-One Feb 8, 2009 8:32 AM

I wonder how often "Blawkhawks Down" will be used as a pun in local papers. :D

NetMapel Feb 8, 2009 8:39 AM

I'm among those who were completely shocked after hearing the final score. Sometime in today's afternoon, my friend said he's going to see the game tonight and I blatantly told him it'd be such a waste of his money watching the Canucks lose badly. Now I'm pleasantly surprised :D

GeeCee Feb 8, 2009 9:13 AM

I was at work.. saw the score was 6-0 at one point in the second. I got confused and went to find another tv to make sure that it wasn't broken. :koko:

CoryHolmes Feb 8, 2009 5:28 PM


Originally Posted by GeeCee (Post 4074879)
I was at work.. saw the score was 6-0 at one point in the second. I got confused and went to find another tv to make sure that it wasn't broken. :koko:

Same here. I was just getting settled into my nightshift when I saw the clock and scrounged up a radio. When the commentators said it was the middle of the 2nd and 6-0, I didn't know what to say.

Go team go! :notacrook:

Hong Kongese Feb 11, 2009 4:08 AM

WE WON AGAIN!!!!!!!!

:banana: :banana: :banana:

Us 6 and the Blues 4

deasine Feb 11, 2009 5:18 AM

I thought it was kind of a messy game... but at least we won.

mr.x Feb 11, 2009 5:46 AM

I don't believe it.....they probably perfected the 2010 Opening Ceremony's hologram technology inside GM Place.

excel Feb 11, 2009 6:42 AM

it was messy cus of luongo. the demitra sundin kesler line was clutch tho.

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