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Unsung Hero


My Unsung Hero of the game is, once again, Alex Burrows. He wasn't in on any of the scoring but he was clutch at a potentially pivotal point in the game. In the latter part of the 1st period, the Canucks were down two men short for about 45 seconds. The first PK unit was Kesler-Mitchell-Burrows who usually get the nod to defend a 5-on-3. Burrows made two extra-effort plays to get the puck out of the zone and thwart the Kings' opportunity to tie up the game. It was 1-0 at the time and the soon after Salo scored to put Vancouver up 2-0. Even though it was a 1-goal game for most of the game, the Canucks never seemed that threatened again.

My expectation when I planned to pick unsung heroes for every game was that I'd often be choosing a D-man who's played an effective but unheralded game. So far, there hasn't been a D-man who's stood out in the games that I've written this blog for so far. Having said that, the Canucks have been getting improved play from several defensemen lately. Tonight that included Kevin Bieksa and for several games it's been Shane O'Brien whose impressed. Sami Salo is starting to look better on this homestand as well. The timing of the Edler injury was unfortunate as he had just started to come around after some early season struggles. Other thoughts:

- This is the second straight game where the Canucks have jumped out to a good lead in the first period and then allowed a goal in the last minute of the first. Hopefully this won't be a continuing trend -- the late goal against, that is.

- Samuelsson finally looked better tonight. He seemed to be clicking well with his regular linemates, Kesler and Raymond and has also looked like a nice complement to the Sedins on the powerplay.

- At one point tonight Schneider took a shot from the point that looked like it was intended to miss the net and bounce off the boards to a Canuck forward. There were a bunch of these shots early in the season and I remember comments about the Canuck d-men being unable to hit the net. At the time I was thinking this was a planned play that they've practiced -- shoot the puck the wide and have a forward ready to tap in the rebound off the back boards. Watch for this -- has anyone else noticed?

Bring on the Ducks!


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