Dec 312013
 

On one end of the rink was Steve Mason, whose career the entire NHL, save the Philadelphia Flyers, had left for dead. Much was made about his past poor performances, especially against the Canucks, seemingly forgetting that he’s actually been pretty damn good during the Flyers’ 15-6-4 surge prior to last night’s game.

On the other end was Tom Sestito, who was waived by those very same Flyers last season and then claimed by the Canucks, and has served as some sort of a whipping boy to Canucks fans ever since.

Both Mason and Sestito had lots to prove. And both delivered.

Mason stopped 41 of 44 shots, plus another 3 in the shootout, to keep his team in the game. Sestito scored a goal and was a pain in Philly’s side for most of the 5:45 minutes he was on the ice.

Guilty as charged.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Dec 232013
 
Clay with friends Marie, Joseph, Kevin, Pat G, Arielle, and Pat T

Clay with friends Marie, Joseph, Kevin, Pat G, Arielle, and Pat T

It’s that time of year again: time for our 4th annual Canucks Christmas Carol!

Our song this year is inspired by Wham!’s “Last Christmas”.  We lament the lockout of last Christmas and look at the most important elements of this year’s team:  Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, the Sedins, and head coach John Tortorella.

This year I’m joined by Marie Hui, Arielle Tuliao, Joseph San Jose, Pat Guevara, Pat Teodosio, and our favourite foreign exchange student Kevin who somehow always finds his way to my place just in time to be in these videos.  In fact, both Joseph and Kevin have been in all 4 Canucks Christmas Carols!

Speaking of which, you can watch the previous 3 Canucks Christmas Carols here.

Thanks for watching and Merry Christmas!

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.

Dec 092013
 
Ryan Kesler is happy as a kid on Christmas about his performance the past 4 games.

Ryan Kesler is happy as a kid on Christmas about his performance the past 4 games. (Photo credit vansunsportsblogs.com)

A “Battle of the Bros” takes place tonight at Rogers Arena with the Carolina Hurricanes gusting into town. ‘Canes captain, Eric Staal, and his brother, Jordan Staal, are here to take on our Sedin twins. This is the second and final meeting between the Canucks and the Canes this season. They met a little over a week ago with the Canucks winning 3-2 in Raleigh and kick-starting their 4-game win streak.

Since that loss, however, the Hurricanes have won 3 straight games themselves, including an impressive win on Friday night win against the San Jose Sharks. In that game, they battled back from a 2-goal first period deficit and scored 4 goals in the third period en route to a 5-3 win.

The Canes haven’t played since Friday and should be well-rested for tonight’s match-up. On the other hand, the Canucks played – and won – last night and tonight’s game will be their 3rd in four nights.

The Canucks will likely look to Eddie Lack to play. Roberto Luongo, who has been brilliant in his last 3 games (0.960 save percentage), was 7.1 seconds away from a shutout last night and may have the evening off.

Who’s Hot

Mike Santorelli had a hand in all 3 Canucks goals last night, scoring on 2 of them and assisting on the other, and was awarded the post-game Haida hat. He now has 7 points (3 goals and 4 assists) in his last 6 games, and 21 points (8 goals and 13 assists) in 32 games this season.

Jason Garrison has really stepped up his game with Alex Edler still injured. He notched an assist last night to extend his point-streak to 4 games; he has 6 points (1 goal and 3 assists) in that span.

With his goal last night, Ryan Kesler now has 5 goals in his last 4 games, and 15 goals this season. The latter ties him for 8th in the NHL with Sidney Crosby and Tyler Seguin. Beast mode activated.

For Carolina, Jeff Skinner has 7 points (6 goals and 1 assist) his last 5 games, including a couple of 3-point games during the current Canes win-streak.

Eric Staal is on a roll as well 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists) in his last 4 games. His 23 points for the season lead the Canes, and also leads all other Staals in the league.

Who’s Out

Same IR list for the Canucks with Alex Edler (knee), Alex Burrows (jaw surgery) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle) all still out.

The Canes will definitely be without Mike Komisarek, Drayson Bowman and Patrick Dwyer. Alexander Semin is also day-to-day recovering from a concussion, and is not expected to play tonight.

Dec 082013
 

Colorado Avalanche v Vancouver Canucks
(source: sports.yahoo.com)

Vancouver Canucks (16-10-5)
Colorado Avalanche (20-7-0)

As the Colorado Avalanche close out their 3-game road trip against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, the Canucks will play game 2 of their 5-game home stand. This is the first of three meetings between the two teams.

With 3 consecutive wins, the Canucks have gained some ground in the Western Conference standings. They beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday to tie them with the 8th most points in the conference (though the Coyotes do have 2 games in hand), and are just 2 points back of the Minnesota Wild, the other team on top of the Canucks for a wild card playoff spot.

Meanwhile, the Avalanche have cooled off slightly after their torrid 14-2-0 start. They’re 1-1-1 in their last 3 games, and 6-5-0 in their last 11.

Who’s Hot

Daniel Sedin notched another 2 assists against the Coyotes, and he now has 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists) in his last 5 games, and 11 points (3 goals and 8 assists) in his last 8 games.

Jason Garrison also scored the Canucks’ first goal on Friday night, and he now has 7 points (2 goals and 5 assists) in his last 5 games, and 9 points (2 goals and 7 assists) in his last 7 games since breaking out of his 14-game pointless streak.

For the Avalanche, their captain, Gabriel Landeskog, is on a 4-game point streak. He has 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists) in that span.

Who’s Out

The Canucks will be playing without Alex Burrows, Alex Edler and Jordan Schroeder. Let’s hope no one else gets added to this list.

The Avalanche will be playing without defenseman Jan Hejda, who is out for 10-14 days with a knee strain, defenseman Ryan Wilson, and forward Alex Tanguay.

Dec 012013
 
Canucks play in Raleigh Carolina Sunday Nov. 30th at 10 am pst.

The Date; December 1st. The City; Raleigh, North Carolina. The Time; 10 am (pst). Be there. 

Fresh off the loss in New York, the Canucks got right on a plane, and after an hour and a half of cocktail peanuts and Tortella yell-speaking, landed in North Carolina for another 10 AM morning matinee against the Carolina Hurricanes. Halfway through their four-game road trip the Canucks have broken even so far with a win and a loss. Early games are always a concern for me and I still have images of Luongo’s groin injury in Pittsburgh in 2008 dancing in my head.

With Luongo starting – and getting pulled – against the Rangers, expect to see Swede Eddie Lack in net for the Canucks. Lack has only played in 6 games this season (started 4 games), but does have a respectable 0.906% save percentage.

Who’s Hot

This week the streaking Sedin is… Daniel! With 3 goals and 5 assists in 5 games, he seems to have regained some confidence. Somewhat surprisingly, David Booth is another streaking Canuck with 3 points, including goals in back-to-back games, in his last 2 games.

On the opposite end of the ice, the Hurricanes are getting a lot of offensive support from defenseman Andrej Sekera, who has 3 goals and 2 assists in his past 4 games. That being said, Sekera missed the game Friday and did not practice with the team Saturday. He’s unlikely to play but we won’t know for sure until game time. The Hurricanes’ captain will definitely be playing Sunday though. Eric Staal had 10 points in 14 November games.

Who’s Out

For the Canucks Jordan Schroeder remains out with his sprained ankle. For the Hurricanes, Andrej Sekera, Tim Gleason and Anton Khudobin are all expected not to play. Alexander Semin also remains sidelined with a concussion.

Dec 012013
 

Before this morning’s matinee matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers, much of the storyline revolved around coach John Tortorella’s return to Madison Square Garden for the first time since being fired in May. And when asked whether or not he’d be visiting some old Rangers, he said, “I’m going to coach this game, hopefully kick their ass and get outta here.”

Well, a Chris Kreider hat trick, a 35-save performance by rookie goaltender, Cam Talbot, and a 5-2 Rangers win later, Torts did coach and the Canucks are off to Carolina now 1-1 on this 4-game road trip. I guess 2-out-of-3 ain’t bad, right?

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Nov 302013
 

john_tortorella.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo

Vancouver Canucks (13-9-5)
New York Rangers (13-13-0)

The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers meet for the first of two meetings this season. It’s been 2 years since these two teams faced each other; the Rangers won at Rogers Arena back in October 2011 by a 4-0 score.

After losing 6 of their first 8 games, the Rangers have started to turn things around. They’ve won 3 out of their last 5 games, and 9 of their last 15.

Meanwhile, the Canucks have only won 2 out of their last 5 games, though they did beat the Ottawa Senators convincingly on Thursday by a 5-2 score, with 4 of those goals coming in the second period. It was only the second time in 9 games the Canucks managed to score more than 2 goals in a game.

Today’s most interesting storyline? Canucks coach John Tortorella will return to Madison Square Garden and face the Rangers in his first regular season game since being let go by the Rangers at the end of the 2012-2013 season. The Canucks will face former coach Alain Vigneault, the winningest coach in Canucks history, who was also let go at the end of the 2012-2013 season by the Canucks.

Who’s Hot

Daniel Sedin has 7 points (2 goals and 5 assists) in the last 4 games. He scored his 300th NHL carreer goal on Thursday against the Senators. Henrik Sedin has 5 points (3 goals and 2 assists) in the last 4 games.

Since returning from a concussion, Rick Nash has 3 goals in 6 games, including 1 in each of his last 2 games.

Who’s Out

The Vancouver Canucks are still without foward Jordan Schroeder (sprained ankle).

The New York Rangers are without foward Derek Dorsett (sprained wrist)

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 282013
 
I sacrificed a cookie to the Hockey Gods today, hopefully it's enough to make scoring happen. Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com

I sacrificed a burrito to the “Hockey Gods” today, hopefully they like Mexican and make scoring happen.
Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com

Looking to get back on the good side of the Hockey Gods, the Vancouver Canucks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight at the Canadian Tire Centre (formerly Scotiabank Place). The first of a 4-game road trip, the Canucks are looking to correct their offense, which has been downright offensive during their current slump.

The Senators won a hard-fought game against the Washington Capitals last night, rallying back from an early 2-goal deficit to win 6-4. The tired Senators have only won 4 of 12 home games this season so home-ice advantage may not be as much of an advantage, especially considering the visiting Canucks have won 7 of their 13 road games.

For all their recent struggles, a quick road trip may be what our Canucks need. The optimist in me thinks this game could be different. Maybe some time away from Fin’s constant manhandling of his drum or the “I-bought-this-ticket-but-now-my-kid-can’t-go-to-college” crowd can help relieve some pressure from the mounting losses. Since a 4-game win-streak a month ago, the Canucks are a woeful 3-5-4, including their current stretch of just 1 win in their last 8 games.

Who’s Hot

In some Freaky Friday sort of thing, set-up man Henrik Sedin has 4 goals in 5 games, while sniper Daniel has 4 assists in 3 games.

Who’s Not

The Sens’ Craig Anderson, who garnered some Vezina attention last season, has an .899 save percentage (36th in NHL) and a 3.36 GAA (42nd in NHL). He’s let in 4 goals or more in 6 of his last 8 games, including in each of his last 3 games. But before the Canucks start salivating at the possibility of putting some pucks past Anderson, he did start against the Caps last night so chances are Robin Lehner will get the start tonight.

Who’s Out

Jordan Schroeder remains out with his ankle injury for the Canucks, while Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki is not expected to play with a strained neck.

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