After two years of swimming upstream, the most prized prospect in the Canucks talent pool finally hatched a goal.
Watching many of his 2008 draft classmates play in the NHL while he battled through a series of tough injuries must have been hard for Cody Hodgson, but his perseverance was finally rewarded last night.
“It's an amazing feeling,” Hodgson said. “I wish everybody playing hockey could feel it.”
“You think back to all the years you've played hockey, you dream of playing in the National Hockey League, to score in the National Hockey League, to win a Stanley Cup. Everybody dreams that.”
Halfway through the 2nd period, Hodgson drove hard out of the Phoenix corner. He cut across the net while fighting off two hard stick lifts from Lauri Korpikoski, then snapped a quick wrister over a confused Ilya Bryzgalov.
Known for having great vision, soft hands and an excellent wrist shot, Hodgson’s goal embodied his developing skill set.
It’s easy to see why Canucks fans have been drooling since Hodgson was selected by the Canucks with the 10th pick of the 2008 draft.
Hodgson is the 6th rookie to score for the Canucks this season, joining Mario Bliznak, Alex Bolduc, Aaron Volpatti, Sergie Shirokov and Lee Sweatt.
LOOK OUT MIKE GARTNER
It was a milestone night for Ryan Kesler, as he recorded 30 goals for the first time in his NHL career yesterday against the Coyotes.
What did Kesler think about scoring his 30th?
“I like 40 better,” he said. "I got 30 in the minors, but getting it here in the NHL is something I'll never forget," he said.
Kesler has 18 goals in his last 24 games, and is now on pace for 46 this season.
But it’s not just Kesler’s goal scoring ability that’s receiving recognition; he is gaining a reputation as the best all-around centre in the NHL.
Certainly his teammates are well aware of his diverse contributions.
“He is doing it all for us,” said Alex Burrows. “Not only his 30 goals, but it’s the way he plays at both ends of the rink, the way he is able to kill penalties, block shots, win face-offs, get gritty when needed and do a great job on the power play in front of the net. He does it all.”
Perhaps buoyed by the outstanding play of Kesler, the rest of the second line is rounding into form, finding their scoring touch after a well publicized slump. Mikael Samuelsson has six points (2-4-6) in his last four games, while fellow 2nd line winger Mason Raymond has four points (2-2-4) over the same stretch.
Mike Gartner holds the all time record for most 30 goal seasons in the NHL with 17.
Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler and Dan Hamhuis were all +4 last night against the Coyotes. Both Hamhuis and Kesler moved into the top ten in NHL plus minus at +23, just shy of 2nd place Kevin Bieksa, who is +24.
Daniel Sedin holds the outright lead in NHL power play points with 28. He has registered points in seven straight games.
Roberto Luongo recorded his 54th career shutout last night, and 27th in a Vancouver uniform, seven ahead of KIrk Mclean for tops on the all-time franchise list.
The win moves the Canucks four points up on the Philadelphia Flyers for 1st overall in the NHL. It’s the latest point in the season the Canucks have lead the NHL in franchise history. Vancouver remain seven points clear of the Detroit for top spot in the Western Conference.
The Canucks have gained points in 29 of their last 32 games played.
Dust off your yellow and orange, because on Friday against the Blackhawks it’s Greg Adams tribute night. The BC born fan favorite played parts of eight seasons for the Canucks, scoring 179 goals, 190 assists in 489 career games. Adam’s currently sits 14th on the all-time franchise scoring list.