[Every week, Caylie King reviews the Canucks week that was and previews the Canucks week ahead. You can follow Caylie on Twitter (@CayKing).]
The Canucks went into the All-Star break with a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on home ice. While Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler and Cody Hodgson were enjoying All-Star weekend in Ottawa, the rest of the Canucks got some time off to recharge their batteries and get ready for the home stretch of the regular season.
49 GP, 30-15-4, 64 points (1st in Northwest Division, 2nd in Western Conference)
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 vs. Chicago Blackhawks (7:00 PM start, home)
After a week off, what better way for the Canucks to get started on their post-All-Star Break schedule than to play the rival Chicago Blackhawks.
After losing both games of a home-and-home series against the Nashville Predators, the Hawks currently sit in 6th place in the Western Conference, 3 points back of the Western Conference-leading Detroit Red Wings.
The Canucks and Blackhawks have split their two previous games so far this season. In the season series, Marian Hossa leads the Hawks with 3 assists and Captain Henrik Sedin leads the Canucks with 5 points (1G-4A).
Hossa is also on a 9-game point streak (3G-9A-12P) and leads the Hawks in assists (33), points (53) and plus-minus (+24) for the season.
Thursday, February 2, 2012 vs. Detroit Red Wings (7:00 PM start, home)
The Red Wings head into Rogers Arena on top of the Western Conference with 67 points. Before being pounded in their last game prior to the All-Star break against the Montreal Canadiens, the Red Wings were on a 7-game win streak.
The Red Wings and Canucks have split the first 2 games in the season series so far with Alex Burrows and Justin Abdelkader scoring the game-winning goals for their respective teams.
Ex-Canuck Todd Bertuzzi has 1 goal and 1 assist against the Canucks this season. WIth 25 points (10G-15A) in 43 games, Big Bert is on pace to have one of his best seasons, point-wise, since the 2005/2006 season. More impressively, he is a +22 so far; he has not has not been a plus player since 2007/2008 when he was playing for the Anahiem Ducks.
Saturday February 4, 2012 vs. Colorado Avalanche (12:00PM start, away)
The Avalanche have lost 3 of their last 5 games, but are still very much in the battle for 8th place in the Western Conference. The Canucks have dominated the Avalanche this season, outscoring them 9-0 in two games. Both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo have a shutout. Daniel Sedin has 3 goals and is a +4 in the two games in the season series.
In just his 3rd season in the NHL, Ryan O’Reilly is leading the Avalanche in goals (14), assists (22) and points (36). O’Reilly has also scored in 5 of his last 7 games.
Best Personalities at the All-Star Game: Superskills Competition edition
The All-Star weekend was the talk of the NHL world this past weekend. It is an event put on for the fans, but it’s hard not to notice what a great time the players have.
One of the best parts about this weekend’s festivities was Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens being all mic’d up. He had some great, funny commentary as he took part in the breakaway challenge, and showed some real personality while trying to stop the shooter while Tebowing and trying to stop a breakaway shot using the reflection of the glass behind him.
Another stand out personality was Patrick Kane. Even as a Canucks fan, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t find his breakaway move entertaining. With some help from his teammate, Marian Hossa, Kane put on a pair of geeky Clark Kent glasses and donned a Superman cape. He finished his move on his stomach passing the puck from his hand to his stick as he put the puck in the back of the net. This was the standout move and he was voted by the fans as the winner of the breakaway challenge.
Honourable mention goes to Corey Perry. He brought many of us back to our childhood days as he pulled out a mini-hockey stick and proceeded to stick handle and deke out the goalie.
In the middle of the battles during a long 82-game season schedule, it was a treat to see the players’ personalities come out and and watch them interact with one another. The weekend – or the game – might not mean much when it comes to standings, but as a fan, it’s quite enjoyable to watch.