Vancouver captured the Northwest for the fourth straight season and fifth time in six campaigns when the second-place Calgary Flames failed to claim two points in a 4-1 loss to Dallas on Saturday afternoon. The Canucks became the second team in the Western Conference to secure a place in 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they are assured a top-three seed when the tournament begins next month.
Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.
— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals