How great was it to see Kyle Wellwood score his first goal of the season last night against the Los Angeles Kings? Sure, it was an empty netter, sure he needed two cracks at the empty net, but to have a game where the crowd chanted his name, booed the announcement that his goal earlier in the game would be credited to Tanner Glass and have a standing ovation for a meaningless empty net goal was pretty special. And Kyle Wellwood is a special character for Canucks fans.
He’s amazingly popular considering that it took him almost two months to score a goal this year (check out the jubilation on the Canucks message board) and has a mere 14 points in his last 67 regular season games! Lets face it, he’s been terrible and everyone loves him… including me! The guy is just too damn lovable. Maybe it’s cause he’s a little guy, maybe it’s cause he doesn’t like to workout and stay in shape, maybe it’s cause he uses a wood stick, but it just seems like he’s someone that people can relate to.
Wellwoodmania overshadowed the return to form of Alex Burrows. Burrows had a goal and an assist, was plus two and had seven shots on goal against the Kings last night. This return to form, not surprisingly, has coincided with the return of Daniel Sedin. Nice to see, because if the Canucks want to go deep in the playoffs this year they’ll need a potent top line.
“Welly” also overshadowed the amazing game by Roberto Luongo. He was simply spectacular, and has been very good for a few games in a row now. He hasn’t given up more than two goals in a game since returning from injury and has a .934 SV% in that time. Those are Vezina trophy numbers. Needless to say, the Canucks are at the best when Luongo is on top of his game.
So was the game against the Kings a blip on the radar or a sign that a healthy Canucks lineup will mean chalking up a lot of victories? Probably too soon to tell, especially since they haven’t played a road game since the return of Daniel Sedin. The Canucks still need to prove that they can win consistently on the road to improve their 4-8-0 road record.