Any doubts or worries Canucks fans had in their minds must have certainly been alleviated after tonight’s performance in their 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. In front of a sell-out crowd of 18, 860, Ryan Kesler added his 38th, 39th, and 40th goals of the season for his 3rd hat trick this year while Mason Raymond scored the other two goals.
The Canucks were awarded the Presidents’ Trophy before the game started and assistant captain Manny Malhotra, who’s been out since March 16th with an eye injury, returned to Rogers Arena to take part in the ceremony presentation. Even though he wasn’t wearing any skates or hockey gear of any sort it was still nice to see Malhotra back on the ice in some capacity.
After the Canucks had lost back to back games against the lowly Edmonton Oilers there were some whispers from fans and analysts that the Canucks were too complacent heading into the playoffs. Any sort of concerns or criticism should be quenched for the time being.
The Canucks got strong play from top to bottom of their line-up in ending their recent mini-slide. Roberto Luongo back-stopped the Canucks to a shutout, his 4th this year, over the Wild with a 29 save performance.
Daniel Sedin added two assists, bringing him to 400 assists in his career. Those two assists brought his season scoring total to 102 points, putting him five points ahead of Corey Perry in the scoring race.
It was a nice send-off to the home fans for the regular season. Hopefully tonight’s play will carry into the playoffs.
It wasn’t all good news for Canucks Thursday. The NHL came out with their ruling on the hit to the head by Raffi Torres’ on Oilers’ Jordan Eberle and the forward has been suspended for the next four games. The Canucks were without Torres for tonight’s game against the Wild, the regular season finale against the Flames and the Canucks’ first two playoff games.
The Canucks play their last game of the regular season at Calgary against the Flames Saturday evening.