It wasn’t exactly the Mona Lisa of hockey games against the worst team in the league, but it sure beats losing. But hey, at least the Canucks seem capable of scoring goals again, right?!
For those wondering where Omar is tonight as I fill-in for his usual segment…
K who’s going out in Whistler tonight
— omarcanuck (@omarcanuck) March 23, 2014
And now for the SixPack:
1. Cody Who?
I’m still not a fan of the Cody Hodgson-Zack Kassian trade (I never have), but at least on this night Zack Kassian made it look pretty good for the Canucks. Hodgson, who hasn’t had a very good season, wasn’t very noticeable. Meanwhile, Zack Kassian may well have had his best game as a Vancouver Canuck. He was physical, strong on the puck and made some intelligent passes that earned him four assists. It was the first 4 point game of his career (he never had more than 2 points in a game before) and only the second multi-point game since the last time he played his old team two years ago.
Kassian scored the last time the Sabres were here right after trade, 4 assists this time. Cody who? — Ricky Sangha (@Van_city_Nucks) March 24, 2014
CODY WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO? — Josh Messenger (@Jarsh019) March 24, 2014
Kassian with a natural assist hat-trick — Taj (@taj1944) March 24, 2014
It just doesn’t seem like the Canucks can catch a break. On the night they finally get Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler back in the lineup, Burrows misses the game due to injury and Henrik Sedin didn’t finish the game because of an injury of his own.
3. 1000 Games
The night started off on the right foot with a nice tribute to Henrik Sedin’s 1000th game in the NHL. As a lifelong Canucks fan, it’s nice to see one of our own getting an achievement like this, doing it all with Vancouver. Watching games in the 1990s, they didn’t exactly have a lot of ceremonies for players of yesteryear, with apologies to Thomas Gradin, Tony Tanti and Petri Skriko. I also thought the Canucks did a great job paying tribute to Henrik (I have been a critic of some of the ceremonies in the past). Interviews with past teammates (Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Kyle Wellwood, Taylor Pyatt, etc) was a particularly nice touch.
4. “Daniel my Brother”
Brendan Morrison offered up a funny tidbit, sharing a story about Henrik Sedin during his video tribute. Apparently during the Sedins’ first training camp in 2000, Adrian Aucoin would prank the Sedins by playing Elton John’s “Daniel my Brother” on the CD player every single time the Sedins walked into the room. It took Daniel and Henrik a while to figure it out, while the rest of the team had a good laugh at the rookies’ expense.
5. Finally a youth movement
At the beginning of the year, there was a whole lot of talk about the Canucks playing their young guys more this season. Just one problem, they didn’t have any young guys that were good enough. Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk and Brendan Gaunce simply weren’t ready. Nicklas Jensen was injured, Frank Corrado needed ice time and Zack Kassian was struggling. A few months later, things seem to be a little more encourgaging as Nicklas Jensen exploded onto the scene, Shawn Matthias looks like a perfect third line centre and Zack Kassian seems to be improving.
Is it misleading to say Kassian has 5 points in his last 5 games? Up to 23 pts on the year..
— Blake Price (@blakeprice1040) March 24, 2014
— Mike S ™ (@Mike_Stefanuk) March 24, 2014
6. Two in a Row
The Canucks won their second game in a row for the first time in over two months tonight! That’s a remarkable string of futility, even with an Olympic break mixed in the middle. Still, if they can get on a roll, they might, just might have a chance to squeak into the playoffs. Yes, I know I know…
Call me crazy (many of you will), but I must admit that I’m checking the out-of-town scoreboard again and hoping for Dallas and Phoenix losses. The Canucks are 3 points back of Phoenix and 1 point back of Dallas, although they have 2 and 3 games in hand respectively. The games will get tougher for Vancouver, but I’m saying they’ve got a chance.