They have slayed the dragon, so to speak, and who else would you have expected to do it but the reining Western Conference champions as the Vancouver Canucks ended the Detroit Red Wings home win streak at 23 games. Ironically, given all the complaining that Detroit’s record was inflated because of the shootout they lost it in just that. Wait, does that mean it doesn’t count? (Kidding)
The Canucks showed off their resiliency tonight as they came back from three different one goal deficits to keep this game close and send it into overtime against Detroit including a Daniel Sedin point blast with 16 seconds to play in the third. After a few great opportunities in overtime it was off to the shootout where everyone’s favorite player (what? not true?) Alex Burrows went to the ole patented Backhand Shelf move (#BShelf for you twitter users) to break Detroit’s streak.
All in all, that was some goooood hockey.
The Canucks had a fair portion of the scoring chances, but to his credit, Jimmy Howard really answered the bell on this one. Detroit had their moments later on in the game, but for the first half Howard did a lot of the legwork to spark the offense they ended up generating. Oh, Kyle Quincey scored so, you know, trade justified.
For what it’s worth, Detroit appeared to be out of sorts at the top of their lineup without Pavel Datsyuk (no excuse, mind you) and I really want to see this matchup again with full squads in each bench. Unfortunately we may have to wait some time and I don’t do well with the whole patience thing.
With the win, the Canucks move to within a point of the Red Wings for the top spot in the Western Conference and do some damage to the fortress aura that Joe Louis Arena has. Like it or not, a lot of a home winning streak for a particular team has to do with their opponents being intimidated to enter the building and there are squads all over the NHL looking at this and saying “Hey, I remember that.”
If we wrap up the season with Detroit in the middle of the conference (because of how insane the Central is) and Vancouver is sitting atop the Western Conference, we may look back on this game as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Roberto Luongo was pretty huge tonight, made a lot of key saves down the stretch and was even accused of being clutch. Don’t tell Cam Charron that. He’ll get mad. Real mad.
Oh and for good measure, here’s the Burrows shootout winner which was pretty cool.
I really like that move. It reminds me of this one Crosby scored in his first game at Montreal.
That’s what separates the greats from the rest of us, kids. How they pop the water bottle.