Mikael Samuelsson has had massages to trigger points in his lower abdomen to relieve right-leg stiffness. But nothing triggers a response from the right-winger quite like when it’s pointed out that his goal total has dwindled and that he’s playing a secondary role with the Vancouver Canucks.
Not only did Samuelsson snap home a third-period goal Sunday to help spark a 3-2 victory over Edmonton, he’s on a four-game points streak with two goals and three assists because his stride is noticeably stronger. So is his resolve on a third line with Manny Malhotra and Raffi Torres to prove that an NHL playoff pedigree really means something now and especially next spring. Even at age 34.
“I obviously want to contribute and I know I can — that’s why I’m in this game,” Samuelsson stressed Monday. “I get pissed when I’m not getting ice time, but you’ve got to have that drive or you can quit this game. Once you’ve been up to a level, as soon as you go down it’s tough and not so much fun.”