Finding motivation no problem for Samuelsson - Metro US

Finding motivation no problem for Samuelsson

With two goals against Ottawa Saturday night, Mikael Samuelsson became the second Canuck to hit 30 goals this season. When you consider he was the fourth player on the squad to hit 20 goals, that statistic is actually quite amazing.

Further goals will have to wait a while, as the Canucks announced yesterday that Samuelsson will miss two to three weeks with a shoulder injury.

The year 2010 has been solid for the Swedish snub. Kept off the Tre Kronor Olympic team when it was named in late December, you might say the guy doesn’t take kindly to being cut.

Aside from his now-famous remarks regarding his thoughts about the blue and gold, Samuelsson went on a seven-game point streak immediately following that omission and earned 10 points in the next 11 games.

Now, at the time, it wasn’t outlandish the off-season free-agent signing for the Canucks was left off the team. He had only managed four goals and 11 points in 25 games from Oct. 30-Dec. 26, after starting well with 12 points in 13 games. So it was reasonable to question whether he was going to be in top form for the short tournament.

With 26 points in 41 contests in the 2009 portion of this season, Samuelsson’s assist in Sunday’s win against the Flames eclipsed his first-half mark already, giving him 27 points in 28 games in 2010.

Talk about playing with a chip on your shoulder.

It’s been a career year for Samuelsson, who has surpassed his previous career high in points by eight already and his highest goal total by seven. His hat trick against Colorado last Tuesday was the first of his career and he’s even seen a little time on the Sedin line, which, with hindsight in the rear-view mirror, may have proven helpful to the disappointing Swedish Olympic effort.

His player of the week honour after garnering 10 points in four games was the first of his career as well.

It’s performances like these from Samuelsson, Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler and Christian Ehrhoff to name a few that are the reason the Canucks could set franchise highs for points and wins this season. They are looking hot for the playoffs, so long as they don’t burn themselves out along the way.

Heck, if this is how Samuelsson responds to snubs, I’d throw the guy on the fourth line for the last two games of the regular season!

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