Mar 162014
 

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?

The Canucks stroll into Florida, face Roberto Luongo and the Panthers, blow a late lead, and then win a shootout.

Again, the kids – especially Nicklas Jensen and Eddie Lack – played well.

All things considered, I guess we can’t ask for more than that.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jan 302014
 
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A wake up call, a kick in the ass, a pep talk: whatever you want to call it-these guys need it. And while the whole team has been in a funk that could give Rick James a run for his money, the core group is on a level of its own. The top players that brought the Canucks to within one win of the coveted Stanley Cup have apparently fallen off the map into Mariana’s Trench. The leadership seems fragile (even more so with Henrik Sedin out) and the energy lacklustre. The upcoming Olympic break will hopefully bring some much needed perspective to a group that is struggling to find its place in a tough division.

If a change in momentum is going to happen its gonna have to start with the big boys. The guys who get paid the big bucks and have accepted the reins as team leaders. Cliches are starting to lose their cache  and the core need to put their money where their mouth is ( Yes, that was a cliche but shut-up). These guys have to jumpstart their seasons and in turn provide that spark for the rest of the team to follow.

These 5 Canucks need to WAKE UP:

5) Alexander Edler –  A two-time 40 point scorer and one-time all-star, Edler seemed poised to take the position as the number one d-man on the Canuck back-end. Injuries and a lack of confidence plagued the big swede and his struggles have continued under Torts. Edler’s at his best when he’s throwing the body around and working the powerplay.

4) Ryan Kesler – Despite leading the team in goals, Kesler has been too streaky to consider this season a success. He’s trying hard but seems to be a half step behind on the offensive side of the puck. Kesler thrives in the rough-and-tumble games but needs to put up points for this team to be successful.

3) Dan Hamhuis – This normally steady defenceman has had his ups and downs this season. Slow to adopt Tortorella’s aggressive style, Hamhuis has been caught up ice often and seems to be chasing the puck more than usual. Hamhuis needs a strong first-pass and a better-timed game to truly be effective.

2) Daniel Sedin – Could have put both Sedins in this position but since Henrik is injured he gets a break. This one-time 40 goal scorer currently sits at a pitiful 13 goals. At times looks completely lost out there. Danny needs Henrik, but even more so he needs some confidence- a multi-point game, possibly a powerplay snipe to show that he’s still the top-dog in terms of goal-scoring.

1) Alex Burrows – An absolutely epic slump, poor Alex has completely left behind his 20 goal days. There’s still hope he can regain form for a late season run but no goals in 23 games is devastating. The Canucks cannot be paying what they are for Burrows and get paid bagels in return.

Jan 152014
 
download

It’s that special moment when one man swerves his hips in a quick fluid motion and uses his momentum to launch his butt at another man. Yes, you guessed it, I’m talking about the hipcheck.  Unique, strange, rare- the hip check is one of the most exciting plays in hockey because of its ability to send a guy flying. Unconventional in it’s technique, the hip check takes a special blend of timing and balance to be completed perfectly. When it is done efficiently, the result is glory for the hitter and shame for the hittee.

We’ve been lucky as Canucks fans to be privy to some beautiful hip checks in recent years. What our back-end lacks in size it makes up for in bum-swinging.

Here are the top 5 Canucks hip checks:

5) Mason Raymond on Brad Marchand -  Not known for his hitting prowess ,Raymond surprises ratboy with a beauty hipper.

4) Keith Ballard on Jordin Tootoo - Ballard gives Tootoo the topsy turvy in this 2011 playoff series game.

3) Dan Hamhuis on Milan Lucic - Another from the 2011 playoff run, the Olympian gives Milan Lucic the ‘howdoyoudo’ via hip/butt.

2) Jan Bulis on Jack Johnson - This was Jan’s only hip and bodycheck in his career! Just kidding (but probably not). Here, Jan welcomes a very green Jack Johnson to the NHL.

1) Keith Ballard on Jamie Mcginn - SICK Flip-ch, er sorry HIP-check by Keith Ballard in 2011 (year of the hip-check) during the Western Conference Finals.

Jan 042014
 

Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings

(Photo credit: thescore.com)

Vancouver Canucks (23-12-7)

Los Angeles Kings (25-13-4)

Tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings could mean more for the Vancouver Canucks than avenging their disappointing loss in their last meeting on November 25th. In that game, the Canucks took a 2-1 lead early in the third period, only to see the Kings tie it up with less than 3 minutes left, and then eventually win it 48 seconds into the overtime period.

That game was the last game of the Canucks’ 6-game homestand, one in which they won just once (1-2-3). By the end of that game, the Canucks were in 5th place in the strong Pacific Division, 6 points back of the Kings, and having played 1 more game than them.

Tonight, in the third of five meetings between the two teams this season, the Canucks sit just 1 point back of the Kings and having played the same number of games. They haven’t beaten the Kings this season, but a win tonight in regulation would move them into 3rd place, past Los Angeles, in the division.

Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is back tonight, having recovered from his lower body injury.

Who’s Hot

Tom Sestito. Yes, you read that right, Tom Sestito. Sestito is on a two-game point streak (1 goal, 1 assist), his first multi-game point streak since 2010 when he was still a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Defenseman Dan Hamhuis has been doing well on the scoresheet. He played almost 30 minutes against the Tampa Bay Lightning and was on the ice for all 6 goals scored by both teams. He has 4 points – all assists – in his last 5 games.

For the Kings, forward Anze Kopitar has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in his last 6 games.

Who’s Not

After winning his first 8 games, Kings rookie goaltender, Martin Jones, has now lost his last 3 games.

Who’s Out

The Canucks are still without forwards Alexandre Burrows, Jordan Schroeder, and defensemen Alexander Edler, Andrew Alberts and Ryan Stanton. However, Burrows, Schroeder and Edler all skated this week.

Dec 182013
 
lou bad goal

You love when the Canucks score them but hate when they give them up. Those fluky goals that can pop up out of nowhere and change the momentum of the game at the drop of a helmet.  These goals are bizarre but admittedly entertaining.  Canucks fans have been “entertained” by them early and often so far this season with a number of bizarre goals going in already before the Olympic break. Coach John Tortorella has remained adamant that these moments even out over the course of an 82-game season but if that’s the case I think the Canucks may have already used all theirs up. It’s only December and we can already compile a list of wacky Canucks-related goals from this season!

Here are the top 5 bizarre Canucks-related goals from the 2013-2014 season thus far:

5) Alexander Edler – In an afternoon game Edler uses his booming slapshot to snipe a beauty from center ice….just kidding! Fleury bobbles it BIG TIME. We’re used to seeing Fleury lose the puck though (World Juniors anyone?).

 

4) Ryan Kesler-  A goalie’s nightmare, but a player’s fantasy. In a game against Philly, Ryan Kesler gobbles up a lucky bounce and distributes it into the yawning cage with ease.

 

3) Joe Thornton on Roberto Luongo – “Once it got on top of the net I was like: Oh S***! What’s going on here?”- Roberto Luongo on this insane bounce from a Jumbo Joe dump in.

 

2) Jannik Hansen – A recent goal from a memorable game this Jannik Hansen snipe looks more like an R.A. Dickey knuckleball then a slapshot. It helped shake up the confidence of Bruins goalie Tukka Rask and got the Canucks off to a good start against their Arch-rivals.

 

1) Lars Eller on Roberto Luongo via Dan Hamhuis – This was one fans hated. Not only was it completely avoidable but it led to a weak third period and an eventual loss. Still, it’s hard not to smirk at Lou’s stance as he carefully looks for the puck between his own legs.

 

Dec 112013
 

With the recent emergence of Mike Santorelli as a legitimate piece of the Canuck Puzzle, it’s clear Mike Gillis is the guy you want next to you on “Black Friday”. This guy can find a bargain. And while he’s had the disapointments that every GM has during their tenure, he’s also had an abundance of pleasant surprises. Sure, the “fairweather fan” is quick to point out the Keith Ballard debacle or the Luongo/Schneider escapades but the true fan can see that, despite those controversies, Gillis has put together a pretty successful squad. He has brought in players to complement the core and has developed a cache of depth to account for injuries and ailments.  Not only that but we’ve seen the most successful Canuck team in the history of the franchise and numerous records broken in his era. This list compiles the mark Gillis has made on the Franchise since his induction as president and general manager.

Here are the top 5 Mike Gillis Acquisitions:

5) Manny Malhotra: A faceoff percentage among the league’s top 5 and 30 points. What every coach wants their third line center to do and what Manny Malhotra did. Unfortunately, a freak injury disrupted what could have been a symbiotic relationship between player and team. But for the few years Manny was here he was effective both on the ice as a player and in the dressing room as a leader.

4) Mikael Samuelsson: This trigger happy swede put up 106 points in 155 games for the Canucks before being traded to the Florida Panthers. His game fit in nicely with the Canucks both on second line duties and with his fellow compatriots the Sedins. The Canucks miss his 30 goals to this day.

3) Christian Erhoff: Acquired in a deal with the San Jose Sharks, Erhoff proved to be an offensive force on the blueline. The german had a seeing-eye shot and tremendous puck-moving skills helping the Canucks to a league-best powerplay. Unfortunately his stay was shortlived as his elevated play allowed him to sign for a bigger contract with the Sabres.

2) Chris Higgins: The ultimate utility player, Chris does it all. He plays a hardnosed game with a bit of touch and is the type of player teams covet in the spring. It’s no surprise Mike Gillis resigned him after initially trading for Higgins at the deadline as a rental.

1) Dan Hamhuis: Hamhuis is the type of player who makes those around him better. His arrival instantly brought out the best in Kevin Bieksa’s game and together the two became one of the more dominant shut-down pairs in the league. Hamhuis is a mainstay on the backend for the Canucks and is the only player besides Luongo to get shortlisted for Team Canada at the upcoming Olympic Games.

Honorable mention: Pavol Demitra, Maxim Lapierre, Mats Sundin, Cody Hodgson.

Nov 102013
 

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Vancouver Canucks Dan Hamhuis and Anaheim Ducks Ryan Getzlaf
(source: canucks.nhl.com)

Vancouver Canucks (11-6-2)
Anaheim Ducks (14-3-1)

The Vancouver Canucks end a four-game Pacific Division road trip against the Anaheim Ducks tonight, looking to bounce back after a 5-1 loss against the Los Angeles Kings last night. However, the Ducks have yet to be defeated at home with the NHL’s only perfect home record (7-0-0). Meanwhile, with last night’s loss, the Canucks are now 7-3-2 on the road.

This is the first of five meetings between the Canucks and Ducks this season. The Ducks won two out of three meetings last season, including their latest one on April 23rd by a 4-1 score.

Who’s Hot

Despite his gaffe last night on one of the Kings’ goals, Canucks defenseman, Dan Hamhuis, has actually started playing better. He’s scored in 3 of the Canucks’ past 4 games, including the team’s lone goal last night.

For the Ducks, Ryan Getzlaf has 6 goals and 9 points in the Ducks’ past 4 games. He scored his first NHL hat trick against the Sabres on Friday night.

Who’s Out

Nothing new on the Canucks’ side. They’ll be playing without Dale Weise (lower body), Jannik Hansen (upper body) and Jordan Schroeder who is recovering from ankle surgery. David Booth is also still in Utica completing his conditioning stint.

The Ducks will be playing without forwards Saku Koivu (head), Jakob Silfverberg (hand), and Matt Beleskey (finger), and as well, defensemen Sheldon Souray (wrist) and goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body).

Nov 102013
 

The Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings renewed their rivalry, as both members of the Pacific Division, last night. It was a good battle – both teams produced some good scoring chances, their goalies made some good saves, and it was a relatively even-fought affair… until the Kings scored 3 goals in 2:33 in the second period and ran away with it.

Yup, pretty much what we felt.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Nov 032013
 
TGATT - The Game According to Twitter

Fittingly, on the night the Vancouver Canucks retired Pavel Bure’s number up to the rafters, they played perhaps their most exciting, most entertaining game of the season.

On a typical Saturday Fall afternoon in Vancouver, the Canucks took on the Leafs and slugged it out with them. All four lines scored and Roberto Luongo recorded his 64th shutout – yes, his 64th shutout, just 2 shutouts behind Patrick Roy, who had 66 shutouts in 269 more games, in the NHL’s all-time shutout leaders list – en route to a 4-0 dismantling of the Eastern Conference-leading Leafs.

It sure looked like it, eh?

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Oct 182013
 
Photo credit: canucks.com (Getty images)

Photo credit: canucks.com (Getty images)

Roberto Luongo picked up his first shutout of the young NHL season last night in a 3-0 win over the Sabres in Buffalo.  Luongo played a solid game while getting some help from the crossbar and post, and Ryan Stanton in two different situations in the third period.  Regardless, it was great to see Bobby Lu get the goose egg after an uneven start to the year.

While not privy to the post-game congratulatory handshakes and head butts, it’s still fun to imagine what Luongo was saying to his teammates after the game.

So here’s CHB’s Top 10 Things that Luongo Said Upon Completing His Shutout:

HM:  “It’s Buffalo so does it really even count?”  - submitted by @MikeVersace1

HM:  “Ok, which one of you said shutout?  What’s that?  I did get a shutout?  Awesome!”  – submitted by @HabsLions

HM:  “DeSchneid!”  – submitted by @dcrwrites

10:  “Oh yeah!  It’s the mask.”  – submitted by @JDCGA

9:  “Yeah baby! Karma’s a b*tch!”  – submitted by @cefair

8:  “I never let those ones in EITHER!”  – submitted by @bettyhenderson7

7:  “Mr. Hodgson is gonna be maaaaad.”  – submitted by @forevercanuck

6:  “We grounded the Flyers, we rattled the Sabres, now to ice the Penguins.”  – submitted by @tony_p_power

5:  “All those Fantasy poolsters who own me love me tonight!”  – submitted by @DaveLeeSon1

4:  A text to Cory Schneider:  “How many shutouts you got?”  – submitted by @basketballphil

3:  “Let’s get the hell out of this city.”  – submitted by @BrowntoBure

2:  “Cody…Cory…Cody…Cory.  Which one should I call first?”  – submitted by @THECooop

1:  “Good thing Hamhuis wasn’t on the ice in the last minute.”  – submitted by @ScreamHockey

"They didn't think they were going to score, did they?"

“They didn’t think they were going to score, did they?”

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