Mar 082014
 

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The line brawl between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames that started their last game.
(Photo credit: nhl.com)

After an embarrassing 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks return home for a two-game home-stand. They’ve only been away for a week, but, man, has so much happened since the last time they were in town. It’s hard to believe that the Ryan Kesler trade saga, the Heritage Classic goaltending fiasco, and Roberto Luongo’s subsequent trade to the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline all happened in the last week. Welcome home, boys.

March 8

March 8 is a dark day in Canucks history. Exactly 10 years ago today, in a game against the Colorado Avalanche, Todd Bertuzzi jumped Steve Moore, who then suffered a career-ending injury.

And wouldn’t you know it, but today is also the first meeting between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames since their line brawl on January 18th started the game, and Mt. Tortorella erupted during the first intermission and had to be restrained from entering the Flames’ dressing room. Torts was suspended 15 days by the NHL for his actions.

The Turning Point

The Canucks have won 5 in a row against the Calgary Flames, including all 3 games they’ve played this season.

But truth be told, unlike the Canucks, who are sinking faster than Lindsay Lohan’s once promising career, the Flames are headed in the right direction. Since that January 18th meeting against the Canucks, they’ve won 9 of 15 games. They’ve scored 4 or more goals in 7 of those 15 games, and have allowed 2 goals or less in 8 of them.

On the other hand, the Canucks have won just 3 games since Mt. Torts’ eruption (3-11-1), and have only scored 24 goals in those 15 games.

There were some reports Canucks players, especially the veterans, were upset at Tortorella for his actions that night, and looking at the results since, the question needs to be asked: Has Torts lost the room?

Rock Bottom

As the Canucks struggle to score, of course they also struggle to win. Heading into tonight’s game, the Canucks have scored 148 goals. The fewest number of goals ever scored by a Canucks team in a full season were the 192 scored by the 1989-1999 Canucks. To beat that number, the Canucks need 45 goals in their final 17 games – that’s asking the team to score a 2.64 goals per game pace over the final 17 games of the season when they’ve averaged 1.53 goals per game in the last 17 games they’ve played.

The Struggling

For those keeping track, Captain Henrik Sedin has not scored a goal in his last 22 games and is without a point in his last 11 games. Although he’s injured right now, Daniel Sedin has also not scored in his last 22 games and has just one point in his last 17 games. Alex Burrows has yet to score a goal this season.

Dec 032013
 

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(source: nhl.com)

Vancouver Canucks (14-10-5)
Nashville Predators (13-11-3)

The Vancouver Canucks wrap-up their 4-game road trip tonight against the Nashville Predators. This is the first of 3 meetings between the two teams. Last season, the Canucks won all 3 games against the Predators.

With their Sunday morning win against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Canucks have won 2 of the 3 games on the road trip so far, and it would be good to head home for their 5-game homestand on a winning note. On the other hand, the Predators have lost their last 2 games; they were shutout by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout on Saturday.

Who’s Hot

After ending his 24-game point drought on November 23rd against the Chicago Blackhawks, Canucks defensemen Jason Garrison has been on fire. He has 6 points (1 goal and 5 assists) in his last 5 games.

For the Predators, Mr. Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher, has 3 goals in his last 4 games. Fisher also opened the scoring for the Predators on Saturday against the Flyers.

Who’s Out

Once again, the Canucks will be without forward Alexandre Burrows who is out indefinitely with a broken jaw. Forward Jordan Schroeder is still out with a sprained ankle, though he is expected to return in mid-to-late December.

The Predators will be without the bearded one, Shea Weber (eye), and Kevin Klein (lower body). Forward Filip Forsberg (upper body) has been placed on injured reserve.

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