Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sami Salo...100th Career Playoff Game!

                                              Sami Canucks Superskills, late 2000's

By Lisa Ovens

Since smart Canuck fans are going ONE GAME AT A TIME right now,  tomorrow's Game Five, being only one game, is actually a special occasion for defender, Sami Salo: it's his 100th career playoff game! 

It seems like yesterday I saw a news feature on Global TV welcoming Sami Salo to the Canucks roster after a pre-season trade involving the Ottawa Senators back in 2002 (Canucks sent forward Peter Shaefer to the Senators).

Now, almost ten years later, the tall, lanky number 6 has the opportunity to celebrate a milestone game by launching cannon after cannon from the point. At least that's what I am hoping for. During the most recent Canucks Superskills Competition, Salo won the hardest shot with a 102.7 MPH ripper (that's 163.5 k/ph). I know he is concerned about hurting other players with his high powered shots from the point, and I can totally appreciate that, but dang, those are certainly highlight reel goals to me each and every time.

I met Salo once, at a Canuck STH event while he autographed a frame for me. He's very laid back. Yet, some how, in my mind's eye, I could see him cranking up the speed metal during his down time. During his early days in Vancouver, I spotted Salo, his wife and a baby shopping for jewelry at The Hudson's Bay Co. I didn't bother them, but I did smile and nod as I passed them by. Those have been my only "brushes with Salo".

Aside from those typical Sami Salo goals, my other favourite Salo Moment was a 1st intermission interview he did after the Canucks played a particularly crappy period against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sportsnet's Dan Murphy asked him what was up with the Canucks play, and Salo responded, very matter of fact like, but in his soft spoken Finnish accent,  "Their kicking our asses out there." How often do we hear a player say that during an interview? That moment always sticks out in my mind. More so than the multiple times I've seen Salo on the ice, writhing in pain from the many injuries he has sustained as a Vancouver Canuck. Those I prefer to forget, because, well, those moments are so painful to watch. He is famous for all the injuries (one time he had to miss a game due to an off-ice snake bite), so I have to wonder if someone out there has collected the screen shots or footage of his on ice mishaps, and then editing them into a 30 second spot of OUCH.

It's only one game, and I am dedicating my experience watching this one particular Stanley Cup Playoff Game Five in 2012 to one of my favorite defensemen to ever don a Canuck uniform, Sami Salo.

 GO SALO GO!!...launch those rockets and make the Los Angeles Kings' heads spin just enough that Doughty and friends wet their shorts a tiny bit  ;o)

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