The Vancouver Canucks: Thought to be dead following the "Bertuzzi Incident" (sounds like a Tom Clancy novel) the Canucks are picking up steam near the approach of the playoffs. This team has changed remarkably with the loss of Todd; they are much faster and more pass oriented. The addition of Geoff Sanderson and Martin Rucinsky at the deadline provides depth and speed right through to the fourth line where Rucinsky is situated, and Sanderson slides in between the Sedin Sisters quite nicely. The Canucks has won 6 in a row and captured the Northwestern Division Championship and a third place finish in the Conference. They have to be considered a dark horse in the West.
Boston; 7-2-1-0 in the last 10 games, I was skeptical but a couple of visits to the Fleet center and a couple of hundred dollars later I have seen that this team is for real. They have a great young goalie in Andrew Raycroft, speed and depth at the blue line and some great leadership in Thornton, Murray and Rolston. This team has grabbed a hold of third place in the Eastern conference and they aren't going to give it up. The tough Eastern conference definitely has another contender.
San Jose; young, fast and under a great coach, this team is dangerous because they have bought into Ron Wilson's system. 7-2-1-0 in the last ten including wins against Dallas, Calgary and Detroit. Patrick Marleau is finally living up to his advanced billing. Don't take this team lightly a lot of teams have and left with their heads down. The Sharks first 100 point season is a testament to this team's ability to win big games.
Sydney Crosby Watch:
The 16-year-old star of the Rimouski Oceanic took away six trophies - including most valuable player and rookie of the year - at the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Golden Puck Awards on Wednesday night.
Crosby was also named offensive player of the year, offensive rookie of the year and personality of the year, as well as taking the Jean Beliveau Trophy as league scoring leader.
Crosby led the Quebec league in scoring with 135 points (54 goals and 81 assists) in 59 games, breaking the record for points by a 16-year-old of 125 set by Normand Dupont in 1973-74. Crosby also broke the league record of 79 assists set by Denis Savard at 16 in 1977-78.
* NOTE: I apologize for any errors in my analysis of the Owen Nolan/ Alyn McCauley trade. Clearly there was something in the water that day, thanks to all of you who pointed out my multiple mistakes.
Monte Walls Burris is Canadian citizen living in Boston M.A. He hates the trap, loves a good fight, thinks all the books are cooked He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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