There wasn't a lot of penalties taken, no fights but the refs played an interesting game. One ref had to jump behind the Minnesota bench at one point, one took a puck in the back (ouch) and one had to leave the game after a hand injury in the 2nd.
As for scoring we can thank Vancouver's top line for the 2 scored in the 1st. Daniel Sedin scored about 7 minutes in, assised by brother Henrik and defenseman Dan Hamhuis. Second goal 4 minutes later by Alex Burrows, assisted by the twins. Vancouver took an early lead and it was quiet for the rest of the game. The remainder of the 1st saw no more scoring, the 2nd period had no scoring as well. Start of the 3rd was scoreless. The entire 3rd period was scoreless until Minnesota pulled their goalie with 1:40 left. With 6 attackers on the ice Minnesota had a chance until Manny Maholtra cleared the puck with 30 seconds left and it went right into an empty Minnesota net. Game done Vancouver takes it 3-0.
It was also Luongo's 700th NHL game. His 57th career shutout and his 2nd of this season. Daniel and Henrik are also on top of the scoring race again. Henrik sits handsome at 48 points, while Daniel (equally as handsome) has 46 tied with Philly's Claude Giroux. Henrik is often called the "Set Up Man" for Daniel. Meaning Henrik sets up the goal, passes to Daniel and Daniel gets it in the net. Here are their numbers: Henrik has 10 goals, 38 assists in 41 games. Daniel has 18 goals, 28 assists in 40 games. I also want to point out that their 3rd linemate Alex Burrows has found his groove with the twins beautifully. Maybe call him the triplet? Good things come in 3s. Burrows has a way of distracting the defense, leaving the twins more room to set up plays. When you have 2 defense on Burrows alone it means one Canuck is not being watched.
This is a great win for Vancouver to have after a shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks monday night. The Canucks now head out on a 4 game road trip. First stop, Boston's TD Gardens. This will be the only game played this season between the Bruins and Canucks. If you break it down by numbers Vancouver is 1st in the league right now with 53 points. Boston is not far behind with 51. By Saturday Boston could tie Vancouver for points, they play the Calgary Flames tonight. A win means two points. Vancouver has played 41 games, Boston 36. Both teams have 25 wins, Vancouver has 13 loses and 3 OT, Boston has 10 loses and 1 OT. Vancouver has 134 goals for and Boston has 129. Vancouver has 99 goals against and Boston is 69. Vancouver has a 13-8-1 record on the road and Boston has a 13-6-1 record at home. These two teams are pretty evenly matched up by the numbers. Did I mention both teams not only have amazing starting goalies, they have unbelievable backups?! At the end of the day I actually believe Vancouver to be the more skilled and creative team. Again not saying that because the Canucks are my number one team. Boston plays an old fashion game, physical. Some Boston players have taken questionable hits on opposing players this year, resulting in suspensions. Vancouver on the other hand has had no suspensions this year. Regardless it will be a game to watch. Two teams by the numbers almost identical but by playing styles day and night. Game time 10:00am on NHL Network or Sports Network or 1040 radio. Enjoy and GO CANUCKS GO!
On to the Dallas Stars. I love a good fun brothers in hockey story and here is another! This one hits close to home for me and I will tell you why. A phone call made saturday to Texas Stars AHL player Jordie Benn was a call up from the NHL team the Dallas Stars. This would be Jordie's 1st game in the NHL. Phone calls like these are made pretty often in the NHL but this one has a twist. Jordie, 24 and from Saanich BC would be playing his 1st game along side younger brother and NHL hot shot Jamie Benn, 22. They would be the only brothers playing on the same team besides the Sedins. What a special moment for these brothers. I heard Jordie say that when he got the call, Jamie got on the phone and flew their parents down to Dallas to watch the brothers play together. What a great moment for those parents. The brothers both picked up assists on the 1st Dallas goal. My personal attachment to this story is I grew up dancing with the Benn brother's sister Jenny and my younger brother Dane played with Jamie growing up. I always heard their names and knew they were great players. I was told that my brother got a lot of goals thanks to Jamie. My brother being 6'3 would get in front of the net, while Jamie would skate around every other player on the ice. Nobody came near my brother because of his size and nobody could get Jamie because of his skill so Jamie would get the puck to my bro and Dane would get it in the net. Dane goal, Jamie assist. Watch the Benn brothers play together tonight against the Nashville Predators. Keep in mind Jamie is a forward, Jordie a D Man. Since both their jersey's while either say J.BENN or BENN, Jamie wears #14, Jordie #58. GO BROTHERS GO! Check out the goal the brother's assisted on in "If You Need a Visual."
Moving on to the last day of the World Juniors. Sweden will be taking on Russia for the Gold Medal and Canada will be taking on Finland for Bronze. This is the 1st time in 30 years Sweden is going for the Gold. Russia could win Gold twice in a row after their comeback last year. Canada is after Bronze and their 14th consecutive year of getting a medal at WJCs. Canada lost to Russia tuesday in an amazing game that ended with a 6-5 win for Russia. Russia scored early and by the start of the 3rd it was 5-1 Russia. Russia got one more goal in the 3rd period but then Canada answered back. With 12 minutes left in the 3rd period Canada got 3 goals in 5 minutes to make it a 6-4 game. On more by Brandon Gormley and it was 6-5 with 5 minutes left. You couldn't write this any better. Canada pulled their goalie and rang one off the post but came up short. It was amazing to watch. Canada's Scott Wedgewood was pulled after letting in the 4th goal and being bulldozed down by a Russian player. Mark Visentin then went in net. Russia's goalie Andrei Vasilevski was great but after letting in 3 goals in 5 minutes in the 3rd he was replaced by back up Andrei Makarov. Final Russia 6, Canada 5! Canada did us proud, they fought all the way to the end. On the other side Russia may have a few other players on their minds. That plane crash in the summer that claimed an entire KHL team had 2 players from last year's Gold Medal WJ team on it. Two players who also most likely would have been on this 2012 team also died. In perhaps the biggest hockey tragedy ever, it is wonderful for Russia to be celebrating hockey again. It is lovely to see Russia waving flags for a hockey win rather then a hockey tragedy. Canada plays Finland noon(PST) and Russia plays Sweden 5:00pm (PST).