Canucks streaking into St. Louis

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:48 PM ET

If there’s one cliché the Canucks have repeated plenty of times this season, it’s the one about not underestimating their opponents.

You may have heard it to the tune of: “We can’t take them lightly” or “There are no easy wins in the NHL.”

Well, the Canucks can cue those quotes yet again when they head into St. Louis Monday to play a team that, you guessed it, they shouldn’t underestimate.

Vancouver has won seven of their last eight games while the Blues are struggling to stay afloat. The Central-Division team has only two wins in its last nine games and has fallen to 13th in the Western Conference.

Two teams heading in opposite directions are about to face off. Sound familiar?

The Canucks were in a similar scenario just last Monday but instead of blowing out a dismal Ottawa Senators squad, they had to hold on late for a 4-2 victory. To guarantee a win would be irresponsible but games against Ottawa and St. Louis, however, are ones the Canucks are expected to now win, convincingly. It just might go that way if Vancouver’s two red-hot forwards continue their torrid scoring pace.

Alex Burrows, who potted two goals in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames, has eight goals in eight games and points in nine straight, while Mikael Samuelsson, who also tallied twice against the Flames, has been on fire in the past three weeks with seven goals and 14 points in eight games.

It’s a vast improvement from his scoreless stretch prior when he went 14 games without a goal.

“He’s one of our most experienced guys,” said coach Alain Vigneault of the Swede. “We need him playing well, he knows that and he’s definitely starting to find his stride right now.”

If Samuelsson, and Burrows for that matter, can continue that stride into St. Louis, it will come in handy if the league-best Canucks are to breeze by the Blues.

Not that they’re expecting to come away with an easy win, of course.


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