Apr 112014
 

In the Canucks’ first game in the Trevor Linden as President era, they lost 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche and slipped to 12th place in the Western Conference, just ahead of the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. On the bright side, as it stands right now, they look to be on track for another top 9 pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Mar 272014
 
Jeff Vinnick , NHLI via Getty Images

Jeff Vinnick , NHLI via Getty Images

 

Crazy Coach-Off

Forget who will score first or who will get the first penalty – the big moment here is which coach will spaz out first? Both Avs coach Patrick Roy and our John Tortorella are fiery and animated, to say the least. Both could go off like firecrackers if this game gets chippy or a team gets one too many bad calls. So keep your eyes on the bench, people. This could be fun!

In Booth We Trust

I have no idea how it came to this, but apparently David Booth is the Canucks’ best player right now. Followed closely by the man who gave up his looks for us, Zack Kassian. Booth has scored 3 goals in his last two games which leaves me wondering if the other teams have written him off like Canucks fans have so they just don’t bother to pay attention to him much on the ice. Let’s hope the Avs haven’t been reviewing the game tapes from the last couple of Canucks wins and they still think he can only hit the back of a deer and not the back of the net. And since the above picture shows he’s got a bit of a history with the Avs, I predict a Gordie Howe Hat trick for Boothie tonight!

Who Cares?

The Canucks. The Canucks should care about this win very much. A win here – and a Phoenix Coyotes loss to Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils – inches them that much closer to almost getting a playoff spot.

With only two wins in their last six games, the Avs are kind of slumping right now too so, yeah they’d love to stop that slide on us, but if they lose one more (this one) it’s not going to toss them right out of playoffs. They still have enough games to secure their spot (and their subsequent first round exit). So really, Avs, you shouldn’t try too hard tonight. Take it easy and give us just a little more hope to be dashed later on. Thanking you in advance.

Mar 242014
 

How fitting was it that on the night Cody Godson Hodgson would return to Vancouver, on Henrik Sedin night, that Zack Kassian would notch a career-best 4 assists – a primary assist on each of the Canucks’ 4 goals on the night?

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Feb 052014
 

Raphael Diaz scores his first goal as a Vancouver Canuck.

Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com

Another game, another loss, and a lot more questions left unanswered.

  • Last night’s game was probably the most uneventful Canucks vs. Bruins game in a long time. But I suppose when one team is not only mired in a deep slump, but also missing a good chunk of their regular roster due to injury, and the ones who did dress seemed unwilling to engage, the temperature cooled down considerably.
  • Henrik Sedin is hurt. That much is obvious. He can’t take face-offs and he can’t take a hit. And after every shift, when he skates back to the bench, he has that pained look on his face, kinda like those poor puppies in the SPCA commercials. I know Hank is tough – you can’t play 679 consecutive games in this league without being tough. I understand he’s the captain, and he wants to lead his team, which is severely undermanned right now. This is all admirable, but at this juncture of the season, why the hell are the Canucks risking a longer-term injury?
  • The Canucks’ injury list includes Chris Higgins, Brad Richardson, Mike Santorelli, Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa and Chris Tanev. If you include Hank, which, really, the Canucks should, that’s four top-9 forwards and three top-6 d-men (even arguably top-4 d-men) – or half of the top part of the lineup – out of the lineup. As good friend of the blog, Gina from Canucks Corner tweeted last night, injuries aren’t an excuse, but they are a factor. In this age of parity, there aren’t many teams in the league that can withstand that many injuries.
  • Which leads me to today’s $64,000 question – what should be considered as realistic expectations for this Canucks team right now?
  • When I worked the Vancouver Grizzlies games at then GM Place a while ago, I used to remark how Bryant “Big Country” Reeves almost always played better after he was hit early in the game. It was as if a Shaq or Greg Ostertag elbow to the face served as some sort of wake-up call for the big fella. Last night, I thought David Booth was one of the better Canucks. (Giveaway that led to the Daniel Paille breakaway goal aside.) After Johnny Boychuk nailed him with a nice hit along the boards, he was noticeably more physical and had a little something-something going with Boychuk the rest of the game. Maybe, like Big Country, Booth just needed a wake-up call.
  • Raphael Diaz had a pretty solid Canucks debut. He led all Canucks skaters with 25:26 minutes of ice-time and he scored the team’s lone goal to boot. According to Extra Skater, he finished with a 65.0 CF%, which, in layman’s terms mean that, generally, good things happened for the Canucks when Diaz was on the ice.
  • Considering their depleted lineup, the Canucks were okay for the most part last night. But after their loss in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, getting up for the normally heated and emotional games against the Bruins was never a problem for them. Their problem was getting up for the games that followed.
Feb 052014
 

The Canucks lost again. And they couldn’t score on the power play again. And they lost again.

But at least the new guy scored – Raphael Diaz’s first goal of the season – and played a relatively uneventful and team-high 25:26 minutes.

Silver linings?

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jan 172014
 

After going 0-fer on this Pacific Division road trip, scoring a grand total of 1 goal in 3 games, and then potentially losing Henrik Sedin, David Booth and Mike Santorelli to injuries, I bet the Canucks can’t wait to get back home.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jan 162014
 

As far as spectacular losses go – and as we all know, the Canucks have had more than their fair share of spectacular losses – surely last night’s 9-1 ass-kicking by the Anaheim Ducks must rank among their most spectacular.


Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Dec 242013
 

Santa has made his list. He’s checked it twice. Here’s which Canucks are naughty and which are nice! (See what I did there? I’m such a poet!)

Santa Loves Bobby Lu & Boothy

Santa Loves Bobby Lu & Boothy

Santa’s Nice List

David Booth. I think even Santa is stunned about this turnaround. David wasn’t exactly on the naughty list (well maybe with the reindeer who fear for their life). He was mostly not on any list. I’m not even sure Santa knew where he was what with the whole conditioning Utica drama. You can call it a Christmas miracle, but David Booth has cemented himself on the Nice list with his play of late. He’s skating fast and hard, he’s making smart plays and he’s scoring. Yes, scoring goals not more antlers for his mantle.

Roberto Luongo.  I half expected him to maybe not play that hard since he kind of acted like he was being forced to stay in Vancouver (and he was). But Lu put on his big boy pads and stepped up. Sure there was the standard October – as @strombone1 accurately labeled it ‘How did that go in?’ – but then Bobby Lu turned it around. As if that isn’t enough he beat the Boston Bruins. Santa hates the Bruins.

Eddie Lack. He beat the Hawks. We love when we beat the Hawks and Eddie did that for us – in a shootout no less. That’s enough to earn him a sweet spot on the Nice List.

Ryan Kesler. Kesler is doing well under Torts. He’s blocking shots, he’s taking shots, he’s scoring in a shootout, he’s fighting Iginla…yeah even Santa was confused by that but he’ll let it pass. Ryan won’t get coal this year.

Chris Tanev. He takes hits that would knock other players into next season and keeps on playing. Tanev’s a Goonie. He never says die. Santa likes Goonies.

Kassian and Edler are getting coal

Kassian and Edler are getting coal

Santa’s Naughty List

Alex Edler. The nicest thing Alex Edler has done for his team this season is get injured. We’ve done better without him that we did with him. Ever since last season, Edler has struggled. He’s made stupid mistakes and he’s been a little careless with his hits, drawing penalties or suspensions. Santa doesn’t take kindly to reckless plays or repeatedly giving the puck away. It’s coal for Alex.

Zach Kassian. He just isn’t living up to expectation this year. Sure the toothless grin is cute but Santa doesn’t like slackers. Zach needs to pick it up and contribute more if he wants more than coal next year.

Andrew Alberts. I think he peed in Rudolph’s water bowl… or in Torts’ cereal. Or in the Hockey Gods’ coffee. He did something wrong because Andrew Alberts isn’t playing good hockey… on the rare time when he gets to leave the press box or dungeon or wherever it is they keep him.

 

Dec 152013
 

As far as rivalry matches go, you couldn’t ask for much more. Roberto Luongo was great. Tuukka Rask wasn’t. Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins and Mike Santorelli were in beast mode. Milan Lucic wasn’t. The Sedins didn’t back down. Brad Marchand was being a dick. As usual. David Booth scored on a helluva snipe of a shot. Chris Tanev scored. Shorthanded, no less. But most importantly, in the Boston Bruins’ first visit to Rogers Arena since Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, the Canucks won. And won in convincing fashion.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

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.

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