May 082013
 

In this last TGATT of the season, we recap the Canucks’ final game of the season – a 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Are you disappointed? Mad? Sad? Glad?

Some people drink to drown their sorrows, some eat salad. D’fferent strokes, I suppose.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Apr 232013
 

Listen to the following exchange between Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, Duncan Keith, and TEAM 1040 reporter, Karen Thomson: audio link to TEAM 1040

Karen Thomson: Well, there was something there it looked like maybe it was a penalty.

Duncan Keith: Oh no, I don’t think there was anything. I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as a ref maybe, eh? First female referee.

KT: Yeah, maybe. I can’t skate though.

DK: Can’t play probably either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it. Okay, see ya.

I know Keith was pissed off. I would be too if my team got beat in a big game and if I was on the ice and the Sedins burned me on a couple of goals.

For context, here’s the play in question:

Maybe it’s not enough to swing his stick like a baseball bat at Daniel, but what a jerk way to respond to a reporter.

Was Keith being sexist in his remarks? Was he being a dick? You be the judge.

Apr 232013
 

It’s like the Canucks flipped the proverbial switch last night. I mean, after all their 40-minute efforts and 10-minute wins, they played perhaps their most complete game of the season and beat the rival Chicago Blackhawks by a 3-1 score.

It was an eventful night, with the Sedins producing their usual share of Sedinery, the newly-formed Higgins-Roy-Kesler line showing some chemistry, and even Max Lapierre played his most annoying game of the season (in a good way).

20-year old Frankie Corrado also made his NHL debut. After spending most of the year in the OHL and suiting up for not even a handful of games with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL, Corrado logged 17:20 of unsheltered minutes last night and looked anything but a raw rookie playing in his first-ever NHL game.

Not bad, kid. Not bad.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Apr 182013
 

Photo by Jeff Vinnick

In an effort to create more offense (or in an effort to maintain his reputation as a chronic line juggler), Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault made news by putting Ryan Kesler on the wing alongside recently-acquired centreman Derek Roy in practice. While I was looking forward to seeing them play together, many Canucks fans were up in arms at the move, citing Kesler’s preference to play in the middle and the potential of unbalanced forward lines (from a scoring perspective).

By game time, all was right with the world as Kesler took his centre position back while Roy was the one shifting over to the wing.  Kesler supporters were happy and so was I – the two of them were still going to play together.

The result against Nashville was good: both Kesler and Roy had two points apiece in the Canucks 5-2 win.  The duo was tamed in the subsequent game – a 2-1 shootout loss to St. Louis.

So why is playing centre so much better?  Along with the help of some loyal CHB readers, I present to you The Top 10 Reasons Why Playing Centre is Better Than Playing on the Wing:

10.  One word: faceoffs.  Or is that two words: face offs?

9.  The centre is the one who makes the line what it is.  (Submitted by @RyanGuevs)

8.  Centre of attention makes sense.  Wing of attention doesn’t.

7.  Because he won the friggen Selke.  (Submitted by @BrowntoBure)

I think my Twitter-buddy Dave mistook the topic to be “Top 10 Reasons Why Kesler Should Stay at Centre” but I’ll accept it nonetheless.  Then, as a reply to my reply, Dave added:

I actually prefer wing…it’s less work.

6.  The wingman never gets the girl.  (Pat on Facebook)

I hope he’s not speaking from experience.

5.  Centres can be smooth like the centre of a Caramilk.  Wings can be good too…with hot sauce.  (Submitted by @Rozzy80)

I think my buddy Jay mistook the topic to be “Top 10 Ways to Relate This Hockey Blog to Food”.

4.  Who would you rather be?  Ricky Bobby or Cal Naughton Jr.? If you ain’t first, you’re last.  (Submitted by @lyteforce and @mattlee61)

Yes, it takes 2 CHB contributors to come up with one entry:  one of them to suggest it, the other to correct it.

3.  Playing centre, it doesn’t matter if you’re a right-handed shot on the right side, a right-handed shot on the left side, a left-handed shot on the left side, or a left-handed shot on the right side.  Either side will be your strong side because you’re in the middle of the ice.

2.  Both of these guys won the Art Ross.  But only one of them won the Hart.

Photo by Jeff Vinnick

1.  No guy dreams of becoming Goose. You dream of becoming Maverick.  (Submitted by Jason on Facebook)

 

No doubt this will make fellow CHBer @lyteforce proud.  Very proud.

Apr 112013
 

Cory Schneider’s got the flu so Roberto Luongo gets a start. And the Canucks had to sign University of Calgary Dino, Dustin Butler, to back him up.

No worries though. Lu’s got this – he made stopped 40 of 41 Flames shots en route to a 4-1 Canucks win.

Yeah, he’s not bad, eh?

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Mar 302013
 

Chris Tanev of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his first career NHL goal - an OT winner against the Edmonton Oilers.

Photo credit: Vancouver Province

A question as the NHL trade deadline approaches: Are the Edmonton Oilers buyers or sellers?

On the one hand, the Oilers, with their big four up front consisting of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, and prized defenseman signing, Justin Schultz, have slogged their way through just 13 wins in 33 games this season.

On the other hand, after back-to-back wins against the the St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets, they’re only 3 points out of a playoff spot heading into tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

It’s no secret the Oilers need to add some sandpaper to complement the skill in their lineup. Earlier this season, they traded for enforcer Mike Brown. More recently, there have been rumors linking them to the Boston Bruins, who may be willing trade partners and may be interested at the likes of Ales Hemsky, Magnus Paajarvi and Ryan Whitney. Presumably, the Oilers would receive a power forward type to replace what they tried to make Ben Eager bring to the first line.

Or maybe the Oilers would want an upgrade in goal where Devan Dubnyk is 29th in the NHL in GAA (2.69) and 16th in save percentage (0.918). Not that Dubnyk has been absolutely horrid, but bringing in a Ryan Miller or even a Miikka Kiprusoff could provide a security blanket of sorts should the team make the postseason.

Or, for better or worse, perhaps they want to simply ride out the season – and maybe the postseason – and get as much future help in return for vets like Hemsky, Whitney, Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger.

Including tonight’s game, the Oilers have two games before Wednesday’s trade deadline. (They play the Calgary Flames on Monday.) Looking at the rest of the Western Conference schedule, it’s not at all inconceivable that they, currently in 12th place, could be in a playoff spot by then, and in which case, GM Steve Tambellini and company have some interesting decisions to make.

Canucks Record

19-9-6, 44 points (1st in Northwest Division, 3rd in Western Conference)

Season Series

The Canucks and the Oilers split their first 2 meetings this season: the Oilers won in a shootout at Rogers Arena in the first week of the season, and the Canucks won in OT at Rexall a couple of weeks after. In the Canucks’ OT win, Chris Tanev played hero, scoring his first career goal in the extra frame.

After tonight, the two teams meet twice more before the end of the regular season.

Who’s Hot

The kid line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle have been smokin’, combining for 14 points in their last 3 games – RNH (5 assists) and Hall (2 goals, 3 assists) have 5 points each, and Eberle has 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist).

After being separated for a couple of games, the Hank – Dank – Burr line were reunited against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and combined for 6 points; each had a goal and an assist in the Canucks’ 4-1 win.

Who’s Not

Chris Higgins scored on the empty net on Thursday, but it was only his first goal since he potted one against the Minnesota Wild back on March 10 – a span of 9 games.

Quickies

  • Enemy intel. (Copper & Blue)
  • Having Dan Hamhuis as a defense partner worked wonders for Kevin Bieksa. Now, Hamhuis is working his magic again, this time helping Jason Garrison adjust to playing the right side. (Vancouver Sun)
  • More rumblings about Roberto Luongo and a possible trade to TO. (ESPN)
Mar 292013
 

Talk about two teams headed in opposite directions.

After their 4-1 win last night over the Colorado Avalanche, the Canucks have now won 6 games in a row. The loss was the Avs’ 4th in a row and 8th in their last 9 games.

Also, with Alex Burrows reunited with the Sedins, the first line once again looks rejuvenated and accounted for 3 of the team’s 4 goals.

That’s good news for Canucks fans.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Mar 222013
 

The Canucks are battered and bruised, but made it to Phoenix. Well most of them did. Steve Pinizzotto and Zack Kassian did not. Chris Higgins did, but tweaked his back in the morning and couldn’t play. At this point they really just need to hold on and bubble wrap everyone. At all times.

Now, on to the game.

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.

Mar 062013
 

I look at the good, the bad, and the interesting from the Canucks’ 3-2 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks from Tuesday, March 5 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

The game between these two evenly-matched opponents started off a tad slowly but certainly picked up as the game entered the second-half of the second period and beyond.

In the video, I touch on the Sedins, Jannik Hansen, the Canucks’ compete level, Alex Edler, our power-play, Keith Ballard’s return (and injury), and overtime shots on goal.

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