Feb 262014
 
Kes-burr

Well the Olympics have come and gone with Canada seizing glory and a gold medal to boot. It was fun while it lasted but now it’s time to shift our focus back to the remainder of the NHL season and a Canuck team in disarray. The upcoming stretch drive will surely be tense and stressful on fan and player alike as teams scramble to cement their position in the post-season.

As of late, there have not been many smiles within the Canucks locker room as they have suffered an abysmal start (if you can still call it that heading into March) to the year 2014. The players look sullen, depressed and aggravated in post-game interviews and media scrums. Perhaps, in this lies the problem. Anyone who has played sports knows that when you have fun you play well and when you play well you have fun. Yes, I realize these are professional athletes making millions of dollars but all of them started playing hockey not for money but for the love of the game. The team camaraderie and locker room horseplay constitute a large part of what makes this game so great. The Canucks have a history of comedic moments and they often coincide with strong team-play (Kesler’s 2010-2011 interview bomb-skills anyone?) Perhaps a little humor and laughter could spice up what seems to be a stale energy in the locker room.

Here are some of the funnier off-ice moments from past seasons:

5) Rookie Dance-Off – Alex Edler, and the late Luc Bourdon show off their moves in an epic battle at a charity event. Who knew quiet and solemn Edler was such an accomplished break-dancer?

4) Luongo Poetry – Roberto shows off his linguistic skills in a TSN segment. Lou wearing spectacles, a scarf and a paper-boy hat whilst referencing Byfuglien’s “big ass”. Need I say more?

3) Ryan Kesler Interrupts Pelvic Exam – This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Kesler calls a doctor with some good news and catches him in a somewhat “compromising position”. Hilarity ensues.

2) Dale Weise and a Missing Helmet – Someone hides Dale’s helmet and panic starts to set in. I wonder if he would have been this worried when Vigneault was the head coach?

1) Kesler Bomb – En route to a 40-goal season Kesler started a new trend in the locker room which became known as the “Kesler Bomb”. No one was safe – everyone was a potential target.

Jan 262014
 
Offense-schmoffense when push comes to shove, just eat your opponent.  (Photo Courtesy canucks.nhl.com)

Offense-schmoffense, when push comes to shove there’s no penalty for eating an opponent.
(Photo Courtesy of  canucks.nhl.com)

For the second time in just 10 days, the Canucks take on the Phoenix Coyotes. You may or may not remember their most recent meeting on January 16th. On the one hand hand, it was memorable for the sole reason that Martin Hanzal was a one-man wrecking crew for the Coyotes in the third period, taking out with Henrik Sedin, Mike Santorelli and David Booth with crosschecks. But then again, the game was boring as heck so we’ll forgive you if you stopped watching before Hanzal went all Donatello on the Canucks.

None of the three injured Canucks finished the game, and in fact, Hank and Santorelli remain out of the lineup, which has Dale Weise speculating some sort of response to Hanzal.

“I think we’re trying to build a team identity here that we don’t get pushed around,” Weise continued. “I think we stood up for ourselves good against Calgary. Dustin Brown kind of had to answer the bell there — and he did. I don’t think Dustin Brown had to drop the gloves but he was forced into it. Eventually if you get enough guys challenging you, I think the peer pressure kind of wears on you and you have to answer the bell.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen tomorrow (with Hanzal). We have a lot of guys who might have a few choice words for him and then we’ll see what happens.”

Like against their games against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks the other week, the Canucks can’t let their emotions get the better of them. The Coyotes are hot on the Canucks’ tail in the Western Conference for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference; the Canucks have a slim 4-point lead on the Desert Dogs, who also has a game-in-hand on Vancouver.

Who’s Hot

If there’s any positives for the Canucks, it’s been their goaltending. They’re not scoring, but they’re staying in games thanks in large part to Roberto Luongo and Eddie Lack, both of whom are in the top 10 in the NHL in GAA and save percentage. The Canucks have the 7th best goals against per game in the league (2.38), and Luongo, specifically, is looking better than ever and has a 0.949 save percentage in his last 4 starts.

Up front, tough guy Dale Weise has 2 assists in his past 2 games, and for the Coyotes, Mike Ribeiro, who leads the Coyotes in scoring, has 4 points (2 goals and 2 assists) in a 3-game point streak.

Who’s Out

Henrik Sedin remains day-to-day with a rib injury and is expected to miss tonight’s game. Mike Santorelli remains out with a shoulder injury and Andrew Alberts remains out with a concussion. Jordan Schroeder, who has missed most of the season with an ankle injury, will not play tonight, but did start his conditioning assignment and played for the Utica Comets on Friday and Saturday against the Abbotsford Heat.

Dec 142013
 

With his preseason high-stick on Sam Gagner still fresh in mind, Zack Kassian entered last night’s match-up between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers as public enemy number one. Threats of retribution followed immediately after that incident back in September, and for his part, Kass was ready regardless of whatever the Oilers threw his way.

Except the Oilers didn’t throw much of anything the Canucks’ way last night. The Canucks were as dominant as the Oilers were soft. Roberto Luongo recorded his 3rd shutout of the season, Jason Garrison had 3 assists, and hell, Dale Weise scored a powerplay goal. And Kass? He scored a goal to give the Canucks some breathing room just 2 minutes into the third period, and had irritated the crap out of the Oilers by the end of the night.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Nov 292013
 

It looked like a road trip away from Rogers Arena was just what the Vancouver Canucks needed.

Against the Ottawa Senators last night, the Canucks, playing their first of 4 games on the road, won convincingly by a 5-2 score. But it wasn’t just the final score that was impressive. David Booth played perhaps his best game in two years, and had a goal and an assist. Jason Garrison scored his first goal in 25 games. Dale Weise and Mike Santorelli both scored greasy goals from in front of the net. And Roberto Luongo made 37 saves.

With games like that, totally should have.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Nov 192013
 
Torts "Hey Kes, I'm going for all you can eat after this, wanna come?" Hansen "I never get invited anywhere cool...."

Torts: “Hey Kes, I’m going for all you can eat after this, wanna come?”
Hansen: “I never get invited anywhere cool….”

 

The Florida Panthers are in town tonight to face our bent but not broken Vancouver Canucks. It’s the first of two meetings between the two teams, who meet again in March but under the Floridian sun.

It’s been 3 years since the Canucks and the Panthers last played against each other. The Canucks beat the Panthers 2-1 in October 2010. Since then, Obama’s been re-elected, John Tortorella’s been hired, Roberto Luongo lost his starting goaltender job to Cory Schneider, Schneider got traded to the New Jersey Devils, and I’ve grown 2 inches.

The Canucks could use a little pick me up, having lost their last 4 games (0-3-1). They may still be a little bitter too after that controversial disallowed goal on Sunday against the Dallas Stars cost them a point.

If we were looking for positives, the Canucks’ offence has outshot their opponents in 3 of their last 4 games. However, finding the back of the net has been a struggle as they’ve scored exactly 1 goal in each of their last 4 games. Overall, the Canucks are averaging 32.5 shots per game, 3rd in the NHL, disproving the theory that if you keep shooting at the net one is bound to go in.

The Panthers are 2-8-1 on the road. They won their season opener in Dallas, but then lost 9 consecutive road games before winning their most recent outing last Saturday in Colorado. They beat the Avalanche 4-1 and got goals from 4 different players.

Who to Watch

Defenseman Brian Campbell leads the Panthers with 12 points, while forward Brad Boyes leads them with 7 goals, 1 of which was scored on Saturday against the Avs. Campbell, Scottie Upshall and Tom Gilbert all had multi-point games against the Avs.

Dale Weise is expected to return to the Canucks line up after missing 10 games with a knee injury. If anything, Weise on the 4th line provides the team with a physical presence.

Who’s Out

Jordan Schroeder (ankle) remains the lone Canuck on injured reserve. He’s not expected back until late December at the earliest.

For the Panthers, former Canuck Ed Jovanovski has a hip injury and is on injured reserve, and Scott Gomez is questionable for tonight with a groin injury (day-to-day).

Oct 292013
 

Brad Richardson of the Vancouver Canucks scores the OT winner against the New York Islanders.

Photo credit: CTV

Canuck goal-scoring leaders: Ryan Kesler- check. Daniel Sedin- check. Brad Richardson- che- whoa, wait a minute…..Brad Richardson? Can we really be reading this stat-line correctly? The answer is yes and while there’s no chance “Rocket Richardson” will be hitting the 50- goal mark, he’s been a pleasant surprise in the early-goings of the season.

The Canucks will be needing goals from everyone more than ever with injuries popping up all over the forward squad. Fourth line goals have been hard to come by for the Canucks in recent years but every once in a while we bare witness to a diamond in the rough. A tasty little treat from the boys who grind it out eight minutes a night for no glory. Here are the top five goals from Canuck fourth-liners both past and present.

5) Dale Weise- We think of him strictly as an edgy grinder, but during the lockout he scored a god-like 48 points in 19 games for the Dutch league’s Tilburg Trappers. Here he drives the net for a classic power-forward goal against the Sens.

4) Darcy Hordichuk (featuring Rick Rypien)- Two scrappers for the price of one. Darcy Hordichuk takes a great feed from the late Rick Rypien and slips it five-hole to give the Canucks a one goal lead in game four of the 2009 Western Conference Finals. Huge goal from a couple of guys known more for their fists than finesse.

3) Jeff Cowan- Cowan the Barbarian rips one home, bringing the home crowd to their feet and bras to the ice.

2) Gino Odjick- Poise and Precision. Not words you would normally associate with tough-guy Gino Odjick but in this case they fit. He beats Calgary goalie Mike Vernon on a penalty shot with a wrister and then solidifies the goal with a celly for the ages. 

1) Rick Rypien- How can this list be complete without at least one Rick Rypien goal? Here he outskates two Calgary defencemen, fights off hooks, manages to get in a deke and then buries it top corner. Beautiful.

Oct 252013
 

No forwards? No problem.

Already playing with just 11 forwards against the New Jersey Devils, the Vancouver Canucks lost David Booth and Dale Weise to unknown injuries in the first period. With only 9 healthy forwards – and Andrew Alberts – left up front, Hank and Dank Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Mike Santorelli and Chris Higgins all logged 21+ minutes of ice-time.

By the end of the game, it was obvious the Canucks didn’t have a lot of gas left in the tank. But Roberto Luongo came to the rescue, stopping all 17 shots he faced in the third period, when the Canucks were drastically outplayed, plus all 3 Devils’ shootout attempts.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Oct 072013
 

Welcome to the second TGATT of the Canucks 2013/14 season. Well, really it should’ve been the third by J.J. decided it was a good idea to get all hooped up on mai tais in Hawaii and dropped the ball! Talk about letting down the team, eh?

Anyhow, what did we expect from the Canucks last night? The lackluster effort like we saw in San Jose or the beating we saw them lay against the Oilers at home Saturday?

Sure you did.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Mar 202013
 

Still trying to get last night’s game out of our minds, we’re provided the best tonic – a game the following night against St. Louis rolling in hot.

SOCIABLE!!

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Feb 272013
 

Has everyone recovered from the Canucks’ 8-3 meltdown in Detroit on Sunday afternoon? How about from their Oscar hangovers? I hope so, we have a Phoenix game to watch!

That is adorable.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

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