Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Linden lifts Canucks into Round 2

Three stars
1. Trevor Linden, Vancouver: The veteran came up with the right play at the right time and had the best series of any Canucks forward. He truly stepped it up in another Game 7.
Indeed, when The Province ran an online, all-time Canuck poll in 2003, Linden demolished the competition in things like captaining a Game 7 (129 votes to Mark Messier’s 12) and player you’d most like to meet for a beer after the game (32 votes to Todd Bertuzzi’s 14).
"I thought Trevor did what I expect from him, what his teammates expect of him, and what he expects of himself. He's been a great player in this league for a long time."

Canucks 4, Stars 1

Vancouver wins series 4-3

Trevor Linden may have turned 37 the day the playoffs opened, and he may no longer be the captain of the Vancouver Canucks. But without him, there's no way this team claws out of the first round of the postseason tonight.

Linden played the fourth most minutes among Canucks forwards, behind only the twins and Brendan Morrison — but he ended up netting the winner on the power play with 13 minutes remaining in the game, and finished the series leading his team in both points and plus minus.

Most Game 7 goals
Glenn Anderson 7
Trevor Linden
Wayne Gretzky 6
Wendel Clark 6
That's a long way from where he was during the regular season, when Linden averaged just 12:20 minutes ice time per game, essentially third-line minutes, and had just 25 points in 80 games.

Mainly, his was a defensive, penalty killing role — but it's not surprising after his turn tonight that sports-talk radio in Vancouver is being flooded with fans calling for the vet from Medicine Hat to be reinstated as captain. (Given how non-existent the team's current one, Markus Naslund, has been, perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise.)

A captain swap isn't likely in Round 2, but it's not as if one is really needed. This became Linden's team tonight, and just as when he was named the club's scrawny, 21-year-old captain way back in 1991, they'll go as far as he can take them.

For one night, anyway, Captain Canuck is back in action and riding high.

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At 3:08 AM, April 24, 2007, Blogger Bal said...

well said james!

what a thriller here in vancouver. Captain Canuck is back and the people are pleased!

Go Canucks Go!

At 9:53 AM, April 24, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

I thought the refs were the number 1 star for the Canucks last night ;)

At 10:16 AM, April 24, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

Five years ago, I thought a first-round pick was a huge price to pay for what looked like a feel-good morale booster. Linden looked absolutely finished in Washington. He's spent five years proving me wrong.

The first rounder? Boyd Gordon.

At 10:47 AM, April 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linden is well worth a first round pick.
No team needs a player like Martin Havlat anyways.

Kind Regards

Rejean Houle
Montreal Canadiens
official slo pitch game organizer

Circa 1999

At 12:31 PM, April 24, 2007, Blogger JavaGeek said...

Linden has been the most productive Canuck on the powerplay all season and he has continued that performance into the post season. Not sure why coaches in the past didn't use him on the power play.

Vigneault has used him on and off this series I can only be thankful Game 7 was a game where the coach choose to use him.

At 1:57 PM, April 24, 2007, Blogger Jeremy said...

They did it again. All season I've been skeptical about their chances to win, even when they were up 3-1 in this series. Sometimes I thought I was continually betting against them to prepare myself for the disappointment when they blew it (the psychology of fandom?)...but they've just kept winning.

At 10:10 PM, April 06, 2008, Blogger Samantha Orwell said...




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