Wednesday, April 1, 2009
With the win last night, canucks vaulted from 5th place in the west to the NW division leaders. the canucks did not play a terribly good hockey game. instead, to the displeasure of minny fans they played the trap and kept it a low scoring affair. considering canucks were playing against a team desperate to make the playoffs, the canucks held them to very few chances, and neither team looked great. To be able to beat minnesota at defensive hockey, in their own stadium, at a crucial time of the year speaks to the ability of the canucks. luongo only had to make a couple difficult saves the entire game because the canucks were forcing minnesota puck handlers to the outside, but lou still made 33 saves for the win. the canucks who were 12 points back of the flames in early february are now one point ahead of the struggling flames.
The TSN web video for the day is suggesting that the flames are "choking". they believe that if you don't admit that the flames are "choking" then you have to admit that they are not a very good team. whatever side one believes, it is clear that the flames are going to have a tough time getting the division lead back. the flames have 6 games remaining, and all of the games are back to back. In back to back games this year the flames are 6-14-2, and in the second game of the back to back the flames have gone 2-9.
The most important game of the season will obviously be on April 7th when vancouver hosts the calgary flames. both teams should bring their best game of regular season hockey to the table for this matchup.
Given the way the flames have been playing lately, and their difficult schedule to finish the season, the canucks should only need to play .500 hockey in order to maintain the division lead. And for these reasons, the canucks have this thing on lockdown... tom clancy style.