January 01 2010 10:15AM
After a brilliant November, the Calgary Flames started leaking oil in December.
After an awesome start to the final month of 2009, the Edmonton Oilers crashed and burned.
So by default, the Vancouver Canucks get the nod as Western Canada's top club for December. The Canucks topped the Northwest in December with a 10-4-1 record for 21 points.
The Minnesota Wild (10-6-0), written off by some after a horrible opening month, continued their nice rebound under rookie head coach Todd Richards while the Colorado Avalanche (8-5-1) refuse to go away and in fact the Avs still lead the Northwest heading into 2010. The top four clubs in the division are currently separated by nine points.
All of which brings us to the Northwest Division Awards for December.
MVP: Thanks to a slow start and an injury, Daniel Sedin had but one goal heading into the month of December. Thw Sedish winger is now up to 10, with three of his nine tallies during the month being game-winners. He also had 13 assists and was plus-9.
Honourable mention: Vancouver's Henrik Sedin and Roberto Luongo, Colorado's Wojtek Wolski and Chris Stewart
LVP: After back-to-back 20-goal seasons, things have really fallen apart for ex-Flame Chuck Kobasew. A change of scenery after an early-season trade from Boston to Minnesota did little to kick-start his season. He had zero goals and a minus-5 figure in 13 December games . . . and then things got really bad. Kobasew is out of commission with a serious knee injury and may not return until after the Olympic break.
Dishonourable mention: Calgary's David Moss, Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano and Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak
Quote of the month: I pretty much have one comment and maybe I'll regret it. But they can go fuck themselves. That's what I really think.
-- Canucks forward Mikael Samuelsson after being snubbed by the Swedish Olympic team
Stat of the month: During December, the Oilers owned both the longest winning streak in the division (five games) and the longest losing streak (seven games).
Individual stat of the month: Jeff Deslauriers faced 400 shots in December, the most of any NHL netminder.