Sunday, April 08, 2007

Canuck's clinch division title

Roberto Luongo is going where he's not been seen before, the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Vancouver goaltender who normally can make his summer vacation plans by the middle part of April, is going to finally get to see what his fellow union members do with their time once the regular season comes to an end.

Vancouver won a 4-3 overtime victory over San Jose on Saturday afternoon, a hard hitting playoff style of game that saw the Canucks surrender leads and fight back to take the needed two points to secure their spot atop the Northwest division.

Mattias Ohlund's power-play marker just as overtime began clinched the division title for the Canucks, a goal that came as assistant captain Joe Thornton was sitting in the penalty box with an untimely penalty, one of a few he took on Saturday.

It was a game that featured a lot of hard hits, none harder than Thornton's boarding penalty assessed on a hit on Matt Cooke, at the time it left Cooke dazed on the bench and sent Thornton to the dressing room with a suspected broken nose. Which may or may not pose problems for him and the Sharks as they prepare for their playoff games later this week with Nashville.

The San Jose loss handed the Anaheim Ducks the Pacific title , which will now see them prepare for a visit from the Minnesota.

Back in Vancouver Luongo will barely have time to polish his latest award as the Most Valuable Canuck before he has to prepare for the arrival of the Dallas Stars in Vancouver Wednesday for his debut in post season play.

The MVP is a fitting reward for the Canucks goaltender, his play all season long has been the most improved aspect of the Canucks game and the most important ingredient to their success and a good omen of what may be to come for them.

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