After lets face it, a boring first 20-30 games this season, there are now lots of things going on in Canuckland. In fact, I can think of at least ten of them:
Henrik Sedin, Art Ross Trophy winner… could it happen? You would have been laughed at if you suggested this even a month ago. But not now. Henrik was named the NHL first star for the month of December and is currently tied for first in the league in scoring! This is not just a small streak that he’s on, we’re more than halfway through the season. Take notice: Henrik (and Daniel) have arrived as elite players.
2. Mathieu Schneider is Gone
“You’re speaking to a guy who generally believes in forgiveness,” assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said. “But there’s been a certain amount of water under the bridge at this point. He hasn’t been happy with what has occurred here, and we haven’t been happy with what has occurred.”
Doesn’t sound like they’ll be interested in recalling him anytime soon. Something was obviously said/done behind the scenes that we don’t know about.
3. Lukowich is Back
Brad Lukowich is back in town! The Canucks entered this season with 9 defencemen under contract and it looks like it was a good decision. They’ve used them all. Luckily Lukowich got through re-entry waivers (a little surprising if you ask me).
4. Jannik Hansen Gets No Respect
Jannik Hansen is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Vancouver Canucks. He has seven points in 20 games so far, playing only 12 minutes a night on the fourth line. Those are great numbers, he has an even plus-minus rating and I think he checks well also. So why has he been a healthy scratch since the December 27 win in Calgary? I know why: no respect.
5. Louie’s Lights Out
So why are the Canucks playing so well of late? Well as usual, the Canucks go as Roberto Luongo plays. He’s been lights out lately and so has the team. He’s starting to climb up the ladder in goalie stats to where he belongs.
6. Tickets to Canucks Games
Notice how many times the Canucks have released tickets for games at GM Place lately? I can’t remember another season like it. Any chance they’re not actually selling out all of their games anymore? Maybe they’ve finally reached the ceiling for ticket prices, especially in this economy.
7. Rick Rypien
Need we say more?
8. Pavol Demitra
He practiced this week for the first time in months and he’s almost back from his injury. Lets just hope he can stay healthy once he gets back.
9. Cody Hodgson
Watching the World Juniors without Cody Hodgson got me thinking, has he played this year yet? Well the answer is no. It also got me thinking once again: why was he playing in the NHL preseason again?
10. On the Right Side of the Bar
Finally the Canucks have re-joined the top 8 in the Western Conference! I don’t think I was the only one who was getting nervous about that. Don’t look now, but they’re knocking on the door for the division lead too.