SAMUELSSON SHINES AS FIRST STAR
Canuck forward Mikael Samuelsson has been chosen as NHL's first star of the week for the week of March 8-14, 2010.
Samuelsson was the leading NHL scorer last week with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in four games. He recorded his first NHL hat trick on March 9 against the Colorado Avalanche, he scored one goal and one assist against the Phoenix Coyotes on March 10, recorded two goals and one assist in their first game back home against the Ottawa Senators and had one assist Sunday night against the Calgary Flames.
The 33 Sweden native has earned new career high records this season in goals (30), assists (23), and points (53), and he is currently on a seven game point streak consisting of nine goals and four assists.
HENRIK ALL-TIME ASSIST LEADER
Henrik Sedin scored his 416th career assist with the Canucks Sunday night putting him one ahead of Trevor Linden and making him the franchise leader in assists.
With 13 games left, Henrik (28-65-93) has surpassed his numbers from last season when he recorded 82 points (22-60-82). He is only three points away from league leader Alex Ovechkin (44-52-96), taken over the assist lead from Joe Thornton, and is third in the league for plus/minus with an impressive +35 rating.
He is on a five-game point streak consisting of 10 points (three goals, seven assists). His longest this season was a nine-game point streak earlier in December where he recorded 16 points (one goal, fifteen assists).
He is fourth for the franchise record for most points with 553. Leading the pack is Markus Naslund (756), Trevor Linden (733), and Stan Smyl (673). He is also fifth for games played with 715, 55 away from former Canuck Mattias Ohlund who has played 770 games with the Canucks.
RISING IN THE WEST
After defeating the Calgary Flames 3-1 Sunday night, the Canucks maintain first place in the Northwest division and are within seven points of being first in the Western conference.
The Canucks (43-23-3) have 89 points and are third in the West. Playoff rivals from last year, the Chicago Blackhawks, are only five points ahead of the Canucks with 94 (44-18-6), and the Western leaders, the San Jose Sharks, are only seven points ahead of the Canucks with 96 (43-15-10).
The Canucks made up ground since the Olympic break cutting down Chicago’s lead from 11 points prior to the break to just five. With the loss of defenceman Brian Campbell (7-31-38) to an upper body injury Sunday against the Washington Capitals, the Hawks know they have their work cut out to maintain second place in Conference. He was checked into the boards by Alex Ovechkin that resulted in a five-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct for Ovechkin. Campbell is the Blackhawk’s second highest scoring defenceman.
With eight of their last 13 games at home, the Canucks look to continue their success at home and continue to climb the standings and secure a playoff spot. They are 25-7-1 at home, second best in the League.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANSEN
Today Canuck forward Jannik Hansen turned 24. He was born on March 15, 1986 and is the second youngest on the team.
The Herlev, Denmark native has spent almost three seasons with the Canucks. He has played in 94 games and has recorded 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists).
He has also spent some time with the Manitoba Moose. He has played in 129 games and recorded 80 points (34 goals, 46 assists).
He was chosen 287th by the Canucks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.