After calling the Canucks “Cup pretenders” last Friday, I must admit that I was starting to believe they were contenders with one of the most impressive outings of the season against the Senators on Saturday followed up by a 1st period knockout of the Calgary Flames the next day. But then came the Islanders game on Tuesday night. Now I’m not suggesting that Canucks fans should begin panicking about this team because of it, but it certainly didn’t help. Another thing that didn’t help was losing first star of the week, Mikael Samuelsson. He’ll be gone 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury or so we’re told (and we’ve been lied to before, see Dan Cloutier). With that said, here are a few random thoughts going through my head as the playoffs loom:
Wonder how John Tavares had such a productive night against the Canucks Tuesday night? Maybe cause he put up two of his points either with Aaron Rome or Andrew Alberts on the ice. How do those two players end up matched up against Tavares when they only have one decent scoring line and you have the last change at home?
They could have sure used Willie Mitchell last night.
Can we please end the Andrew Alberts experiment? I put Shane O’Brien, Aaron Rome and even Nolan Baumgartner ahead of him. Especially O’Brien. He’s had a good season as far as I’m concerned, and brings everything Alberts brings, and more.
Luongo didn’t look great against the Islanders but I’m sick of the Luongo bashers. He’s having a good (not great) season, but stop freaking out. He’s human. He’s also still putting up a better save percentage than Brodeur, Thomas, Ward, Turco, C. Mason, Quick, Fleury, Backstrom, Rinne, and more. Ease up.
A potential blessing in disguise with Samuelsson’s injury is that it made room for Michael Grabner to be called up. I say this with emphasis on “potential” because his success with the Canucks earlier this season has been exaggerated a bit. Grabner put up five points in nine games, all of which came on the power play. Seems not far off what Jannik Hansen would produce with a similar chance. So lets see what happens.
If the Canucks win their division, I’m VERY worried that the Detroit Red Wings finish in 6th place and face them in the first round. If that happens, that would likely mean the Wings will be healthy and on a roll.
I’m going to be the only person defending Matt Cooke. Everyone is appalled at him not receiving a suspension, but they’re calling for a rule change to call head shots. Excuse me, but if there’s no rule against head shots, then you can’t suspend him for a head shot. His hit wasn’t late, it was with his shoulder and he didn’t jump. It might have been a hit made in bad taste, but it’s not against the rules.
I can’t believe that people are defending Alex Ovechkin’s hit on Brian Campbell. He pushed him from behind into the boards at high speed in the danger zone. That is against the rules and it’s dangerous as well as dirty.