Roberto Luongo's Third Straight Shutout Puts 'Nucks in First

Joel LefevreAnalyst INovember 8, 2008

A game that was expected to be a tight checking, low scoring game did not disappoint.  Two teams that are the class of the league in terms of goaltending put on a clinic with neither team ready to blink. 

After a very up and down opening to the season, the Canucks have now won four of their last five, and have vaulted into first place in the Northwest division with their 2-0 win against the Minnesota Wild. 

Roberto Luongo showed once again Saturday why he is the best goalie on the planet, and why he is the saviour of this Canucks team.  Luongo stopped 29 shots for his third straight shutout.

Goals from Sami Salo in the first and Daniel Sedin late in the third were enough to overcome their Northwest rivals at GM place.  Luongo's shutout string now runs at 2:01:08, and will look to break his old shutout string record on Wednesday against the Avalanche. 

This was Luongo's 43rd career shutout, and he currently leads the league with five shutouts this season. 

The Canucks have now won five of their last six games and have come together nicely since Demitra was lost to injury a couple weeks ago. A good sign for Vancouver fans, the Canucks are now 4-0 against the Northwest division and are 9-3 so far against the Western conference. 

Another great reason the Canucks have been on such a hot streak as of late has been the play of their defense.  Their defense has been stellar on both ends, they have stayed healthy and really buttoned down the last few weeks. 

Sami Salo had the game-winning goal, with Kevin Bieksa assisting. After being the hot trade topic at the start of the season, Bieksa responded with 10 points in nine games to lead the Canucks blue line. 

In the long run, the Canucks have been great as a team. They have been sound defensively, and the forwards have been great at back checking. 

Most importantly, Roberto Luongo is carrying this team on his shoulders. He is seeing the puck really well and is silencing any doubt people may have about his heart and his play in goal.

The Canucks will be looking for their fourth in a row against the Avs on Wednesday as they have two more at home before embarking on a four game road trip. 

Good news for the Canucks. Pavol Demitra skated the other day and could be with the team on their upcoming road trip in a little over a week's time.