Had he not debuted in Vancouver with a 30-goal season, there’s a good chance that Mikael Samuelsson might have had the same relationship with Vancouver as, say, Jan Bulis. Like this blog’s namesake, Samuelsson was a pretty weird guy.
There were the stunningly blunt quotes, such as when he told the media where Sweden could go or that he was incapable of fighting; there were the bizarre on-ice decisions, such as his complete unpredictability when it came to holding, shooting, or passing the puck; there were the sudden bouts of on-ice rage, seemingly uncharacteristic for the guy insistent that his teammates play whistle to whistle. Mikael Samuelsson was a genuine enigma, and Canuck fans don’t generally have much time for guys like that.
Unless they outscore their weirdness. And, as I said, Mikael Samuelsson did that. The Swedish winger put up 48 goals and 103 points in his two seasons in Vancouver. He quarterbacked the powerplay (better than anyone else the Canucks employed, contrary to popular opinion — a point I never got to make), and he was a great backup winger for the twins.
The dude could play, and he scored some meaningful goals in a Canucks uniform. Here are his five best.
———————- 5 ———————-
This goal features two elements I can always, always get behind. The first is wizardous sedinerie, as Henrik Sedin threads this puck to Daniel at the side of the net, and Daniel pulls it around his check and goes cross-crease to Samuelsson. The second element is a ridiculous goal celebration. If you can’t get behind Samuelsson’s robo-dad fist pumps, you have no soul.
———————- 4 ———————-
Samuelsson went off in the first round of the 2010 playoffs, scoring seven huge goals in five games versus the Los Angeles Kings. This was one of his best, an off-balance one-timer on a Sedin rush to put the Canucks up 4-1 in a game 5 they would win 7-2. His post-goal roar is the shout of a happy man.
———————- 3 ———————-
Mikael Samuelsson never met a play that didn’t call for a head juke or seven. He was an owl on skates. Here, he completely undresses Henrik Tallinder, juking like a running back before freezing the Sabres defender, stepping around him, and going backhand on Ryan Miller.
———————- 2 ———————-
Samuelsson’s game-winner in an October 2009 tilt versus the Chicago Blackhawks came completely out of nowhere. With five minutes to go in the game, Samuelsson swept the puck away from Patrick Kane and Brian Campbell, then stepped up to the dot and whipped the go-ahead goal past Antti Niemi. Samuelsson became notorious in his debut season for goals that came against the flow of the play, and this was his best.
———————- 1 ———————-
Back to the 2010 playoffs, where Samuelsson scored his first and only overtime winner for the Canucks, giving Vancouver the opening game of their series versus Los Angeles. The goal was a beauty, as Samuelsson stepped into the slot and one-timed a Henrik Sedin feed past Johnny Quick.Tags: Angry Samuelsson, Blogs are for lists, featured, Samuelsson, samuelsson is brutally honest, The YouTubes