Hot Canucks Battling for First in Tight Northwest Division

Fionn ChenContributor IJanuary 14, 2008

The Vancouver Canucks once again find themselves making a run for first  place in the Northwest division after the holidays.

After having a November to remember going 9-2-2, this team has really begun to pick it up.

The Northwest Division is running very tight as usual, with the Canucks and Wild tied for first with 54 points.

The Calgary Flames are trailing by two points with 52, and the Avalanche sit at 51 points.

Injury trouble didn't look promising for the Canucks, but surprisingly this team has learned to work together with the newcomers who have filled the roles.

Vancouver lost center Brendan Morrison to a wrist injury and defenseman Kevin Bieksa to a lacerated achilles tendon early in the first half of the season.

The veteran blue-liner Matthias Ohlund has played hurt.

Many call-ups from the Manitoba Moose have really showed they can step-up, especially Alex Edler who has two shootout game winners in the past three games.

It looks like he will be in the lineup for a long time even with the return of Bieksa.

Mason Raymond and Jason Jaffaray have shown great skill and scoring ability as well.

The newest addition to the Canucks team is centreman Kris Beech, who was picked up off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets. This addition will definitely add some scoring touch and depth.

Don't expect an easy finish to the Canucks' regular season as they battle it out with their Northwest division foes for the title.

It's neck and neck right now and it seems like it will be for the rest of the season.