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Ryan Kesler’s hat trick, Roberto Luongo’s shutout flexes Vancouver strength over Wild 5-0

Greg Zanon, Ryan Kesler

Vancouver Canucks’ Ryan Kesler, right, celebrates after scoring his 40th goal of the season, and third of the game, as Minnesota Wild’s Greg Zanon looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Thursday, April 7, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)


News flash: Vancouver is really good.

Not a news flash: You likely already knew that.

Ryan Kesler led the Canucks to victory tonight by scoring a hat trick against the Wild in a 5-0 win while Roberto Luongo made 29 saves to earn his fourth shutout of the season.

Mason Raymond scored two goals as well for Vancouver as they handed the Wild another vicious defeat this year as the Wild head towards another season of missing the playoffs.

Kesler’s hat trick brought the defensive center’s goal total to 40 this year. With 40 goals this year, Kesler has the highest goal total for a center in franchise history. With the Canucks celebrating their 40th anniversary they’ve had more than enough to celebrate so far this season with having the league’s best team during the regular season, a Hart Trophy-worthy season from Daniel Sedin after getting an MVP from Henrik Sedin last year. Now Kesler evolves from a shutdown center into a shutdown center with a lethal scoring touch.

We’ve been touting the abilities of the Canucks for the last couple months and for good reason. We’re not in the business of over-hyping a team, but this Canucks squad is really good and anything short of winning the Stanley Cup this year for Vancouver will be a major disappointment for them. Right now, it’s setting up to be a storybook type of year as the team has never won the Cup and appear poised to make a serious run at doing so in their 40th anniversary season.

Here’s video of Kesler’s hat trick: