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Manny Malhotra pushes Vancouver past Minnesota 5-1


James O’Brien

Vancouver 5, Minnesota 1

I’ve always been a big fan of Manny Malhotra but it’s admittedly for a pretty dumb reason: he is awesome at faceoffs in video games. In fact, once Rod Brind’amour retired - the Michelangelo of polygonal puck draws - Malhotra took the mantle as the best FO guy in the digital realm. (At least on NHL ’11.)

But one thing I’ve been keenly aware of is that Malhotra is rarely placed on the ice for his offensive acumen. The former New York Rangers first round draft pick put together a fantastic flourish of scoring last night, though, putting up a two goal, one assist performance against the woeful Minnesota Wild.

Canucks backup Cory Schneider nearly earned a shutout in this one, but he allowed an Antti Miettinen goal with two and a half minutes left in the game. Christian Ehrhoff must have had a four leaf clover in his skates as he was on the ice for every Vancouver goal, earning a +5 rating in this game.

One thing worth noting, though, is how night and day the Canucks are at home vs. the road. Vancouver moved to 3-0 at home and are 0-3-1 on the road. If they want to justify all of that Stanley Cup hype, they need to bring the same kind of efforts away from their friendly confines.