ALSO ON SLAM!
Wednesday, February 9, 2000
CANUCKS 4, Flames 3 (OT)
Even game won in overtime by Canucks
VANCOUVER (CP) -- If you have to have a heart-to-heart chat with the boss, it doesn't hurt that you scored two goals and set up the overtime winner the night before.
Mark Messier, who has been the object of trade speculation, will meet today with GM Brian Burke after leading a 4-3 Vancouver Canucks victory over the Calgary Flames.
The Vancouver captain, who gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead with a pair of second-period power-play goals, has said he will not stand in the club's way if the Canucks want to deal him before the NHL's March 14 deadline.
The 39-year-old is in the final guaranteed year of his contract that pays him $6 million US annually. The deal also has a no-trade clause that can be waived.
While Messier said other big names like Brendan Shanahan of the Detroit Red Wings, Keith Takchuk of the Phoenix Coyotes and Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche have been mentioned in trade reports, he told reporters not to expect any big news from him today.
"I think you're trying to create a scenario that really isn't really going to be there and I wouldn't hold your breath to hear any blockbuster news," Messier said.
But asked if his goal is to remain a Canuck and lead Vancouver into the playoffs, Messier dismissed the question as hypothetical.
Messier said he is not motivated by the trade stories.
"I'm motivated by winning. That's what's always motivated me. But I'm not the only one in the league in the news about what's going to happen at contract time and trade deadline time."
While the Canucks rank 21st overall in power-play production, they were 3-for-6 against the Flames, including the winner by Mattias Ohlund whose shot went in off goalie Fred Brathwaite's glove.
"It was a case of 4-on-3 and you want to make something happen there for sure," Messier said. "We've been working on it a lot in practice because when you get an opportunity, no matter what time of the game it is, but especially in overtime, you want to execute well."
The goal couldn't have come at a better time for Ohlund who has been struggling on the Vancouver blue-line.
"Every game we play right now is must-win but this was really big," said Ohlund who scored his second goal in 14 games since coming back from a serious eye injury.
"I just have to find a way to play better hockey than I have and help the team more."
The victory was the Canucks' first over the Flames in six games this season and it extended Calgary's winless streak to six games.
"We've played three games in a row in overtime and that tells you you're doing a lot of things well," said Calgary coach Brian Sutter. "An unfortunate call (penalty against Derek Morris) went against us in overtime and that was the difference."
Calgary got its goals from defencemen -- two from Bobby Dollas who has three in his last 10 games, and one from Phil Housley. Dollas's third of the season tied the game after Alex Mogilny gave Vancouver a 3-2 lead early in the third period.
Housley's goal was the 311th of his 18-year career and moved him past Denis Potvin into third place on the NHL's all-time scoring list for defencemen.
Notes: With goalie Felix Potvin back at practice after a Jan. 25 knee sprain, the Canucks are completely healthy for the first time this season ... the Flames have a depleted blue-line corps, with Tommy Albelin and Steve Smith gone for the year and Denis Gauthier out with a hip pointer ... Calgary has claimed Stuart Malgunas on waivers from Nashville ... the Flames have four games remaining on their road trip.