"They defy logic"

During an interview with Team 1040 radio station in Vancouver, CBC’s Jim Hughson responded to a question about the Canucks comeback capability of late, saying: “They defy logic”.

Team USA olympian Ryan Kesler and Milan Hejduk chase down a loose puck in Denver, Colorado (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/David Zalubowski)

During their 13th straight road game Tuesday, March 9th, the Vancouver Canucks found themselves in familiar territory:  Losing a hockey game after 2 periods.  Realistically, the game appeared all but over after the first period, as a shoddy performance left them trailing 3-0.    But, the “Cardiac Canucks” seem to be playing ‘rope-a-dope’ with their opponents, saving their best hockey for the 3rd period.

Sami Salo and Ryan Kesler help Roberto Luongo protect the net as Paul Stastny shoots on goal

Jim Hughson pointed to NHL given percentages as the catalyst for his comment on defying logic.  Approximately 75% of NHL teams that score first win the hockey game, and 85% of teams that lead after 2 periods go on to win also.  Here’s an astonishing fact, if you apply that logic to the Canucks: Vancouver has 25% of their total wins from games they trailed after 2 periods.

As a matter of fact, Vancouver now leads the NHL in that category.  Washington lead the category prior to Tuesdays game, but with their 6-4 victory over the Avalanche, Vancouver now has 10 wins in that fashion.

"Well Mikael, since I gave Burrows a couple of these already, I guess you deserve one for your hat trick..."

John Shorthouse, the voice of Canucks hockey, feels that something pretty special is brewing, but he added a caveat.  “This may be the best team we’ve ever seen in Vancouver,” he announced this morning on Team 1040 radio.   But he also cautioned that it can’t continue happening this way:  “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.  It has to.  Only 1 team can win a championship (the Stanley Cup), and so for 29 other teams, the shoe has to drop.”

This season may indeed be the best product the Canucks have put on the ice to date.  Eight players are currently (already) enjoying career highs in goals scored.   GM Mike Gillis made two very important signings in the offseason, Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff, both of whom were instrumental in their come from behind victory.  It would appear that many of those that voiced concern for “secondary scoring” have been quelled.  Jannik Hansen added his second game-winner in as many contests, and Kyle Wellwood was fantastic at both ends of the rink.  Samuelsson notched his 25th through 27th goals, and has 9 goals during this road trip.  Alex Burrows tallied his 30th, with an ever so slight deflection on an Alex Edler blast from the top of the circle.

Any concern about production from the Twins (Daniel and Henrik Sedin) was also muted, with both enjoying 3 point nights, on their tweaked line with Samuelsson.

Mikael Samuelsson gives the Canucks a small glimmer of hope after they spotted Colorado a 3-0 1st period lead (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS,David Zalubowski)

With the puck drop only hours away in Phoenix, the Canucks have an opportunity to improve to 9-5 on this road trip.  The Coyotes have been stingy all season at home, showcasing the league’s 3rd best record, 24-10-2.  Vancouver’s 18-16-1 road record is good for 10th overall.  The Canucks offense has been firing on all cylinders, ramping them to 2nd in the league, while their goals against is ranked 8th overall.  Andrew Raycroft gets the nod in goal to finish the trip.

Roberto Luongo: "This might have possibly been the worst game of my career". He righted the ship, though, with some clutch saves

The team will head back to Vancouver following tonights match-up with the Coyotes.  They play 7 of their next 9 at home, and the majority of their remaining schedule will be in front of the home crowd.  The only remaining question:  How many of those contests will they need to come from behind?  Either way, to this point, they really have “defied logic”.

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