Canucks Finally Get Two Points for Effort

Burrows

At least for tonight, the Vancouver Canucks feel like they have had a massive load lifted off of their shoulders. 

Winless on a four-game road trip that saw them fall at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3, the Florida Panthers 4-3 in a shootout and then to the Dallas Stars 3-2 in another shootout, the Canucks limped into Atlanta to take on Ilya Kovalchuk and the Thrashers in an attempt to salvage four of a possible eight points on the road trip.

After two periods, it looked bleak.  Down 1-0, and having been outplayed in the second period, the Canucks found a way to score twice in the third period – both goals weren’t necessarily Highlight of the Night candidates, but beggars can’t be choosers – on a powerplay goal from Daniel Sedin and then a backhander from agitator Alex Burrows. 

Once the Canucks captured the lead, it turned into the Roberto Luongo show – with a little help from Mattias Ohlund, who saved the win with a toe save off of Kovalchuk in the dying seconds with the Canucks hanging onto that 2-1 lead like Maggie Simpson and that damned pacifier she always has – as Luongo robbed former Canuck Steve McCarthy from point blank range.

If you’re a Canucks fan who’s thinking of taking that leap off the Canucks bandwagon, you can’t help but feel a sense of relief and positivity for this team. 

They were down going into the third period, mustered a comeback and kept the electrifying Kovalchuk off the score sheet with the likes of Burrows, Ryan Kesler, Taylor Pyatt, Luc Bourdon and Sami Salo.

Atlanta

Hats off to the Canucks for coming back, getting the win and doing it with such a young and inexperienced defence.  Playing for the Canucks isn’t easy.  You are under the microscope of a lot of media and a nation of fans who seem to whither and fall more times in the winter then May Flies in the summer, and kids like Alex Edler, Nathan McIver, Bourdon and Mike Weaver have played admirably – albeit with very little to show for it in terms of the standings – in the last few days.

Is this one of those wins that could change the momentum of a season?  Well, if anything, it shows to the young guys on the team who may have been lacking some confidence having gone winless on this road trip before heading into Atlanta that they can win at this level, and winning is contageous, just like losing is.

When you find ways to win, when you play the next game, you can draw on what you did right last game and play with more upside and swaggar, and one or two wins in a row can turn into a 12-game winning streak.  Funny how it can work.

Now, just because the Canucks won a game against Atlanta, it does not mean they are out of the woods.  Far from it.  The Canucks can’t get complacent with their most recent success, because one win on a four-game road trip is hardly success.  However, what this win is a positive step forward.  Alain Vigneault has seen his team work hard, but come up short time and time again in the past two or three weeks, but with the win comes the idea that hard work will pay off, and this win should act as incentive to keep on winning.

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