Apr 142014
 

In typical 2013/2014 Canucks fashion, the Canucks ended their train wreck of a season with a 5-1 plastering of the Calgary Flames. I mean, 5 of their 36 wins this season were against the Flames.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Mar 132014
 
horvatbo640

We all could have predicted the epic slumps by the Sedins, Burrows, Edler, and Booth right? Well, maybe Booth, but for the most part this year has been a huge surprise and not in a good way. The offence has completely dried up and the players look fatigued, unemotional and simply out of sorts. Management is underfire constantly from the fans and media and change could be coming soon.

I, for one, consider this year an anomaly. Typically, when players get into the twilight of their careers, their play simply goes a bit downhill, not right off a cliff. I believe this core still has some good hockey left in it and I expect to see some more predictable stats next year. That being said, on the EXTREMELY rare chance that I am wrong, we may have to look to a younger, greener core, one with lots of questions, albeit lots of potential. In this countdown, I’ve compiled a list of those young hopefuls that the organization expects will eventually fortify a solid team. We’re going with the youngins’ here so only 90′s babies allowed (sorry Chris Tanev and Eddie Lack). A lot of ifs and maybes on this list, but hey, that’s the fun of being a sports fan, isn’t it?

The top 5 up and coming Canucks are:

5) Frankie Corrado: A young, composed d-man who seems to be cut from the same cloth as Chris Tanev. Not an offensive force but reliable and poised. Probably no less than a year removed from being a mainstay on the Canuck blueline.

)

4) Hunter Shinkaruk: Not exactly a physical force or an intimidating player, Shinkaruk relies on his skill and positioning to provide offence. One of two 2013 first round draft picks, Hunter looked like one of the better young prospects during the preseason and even chipped in with a few goals.

)

3) Nicklas Jensen: The Canucks’ first round draft pick in 2011, Jensen brings size and skill to a team which needs both. The big Dane has been slow to develop but was the most productive Utica Comet before his latest call-up to the big squad.

)

2) Zack Kassian: Already a regular on the Canucks, Kassian is getting better every game. While he was coveted for his grit, it’s his passing and powerful skating that has kept him with the club. If Kassian can crack the top 6, expect good things offensively.

)

1) Bo Horvat: The number 9 overall pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft came at a heavy price. In losing Cory Schneider, the Canucks gained Horvat, a skilled, clutch forward with future captain written all over him. They need Bo to step in and be an impact player. Plain and simple.

)

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 222013
 

Photo credit: The Vancouver Sun (Jeff Vinnick photo)

The word “rivalry” has been overused so much in the NHL. Just because you’re playing on an NBC “Rivalry Wednesday” broadcast, it doesn’t mean you have a rivalry.

The Canucks and Blackhawks are the epitome of a true rivalry. They have a recent history of having some heated playoff battles. They hit each other, legally and illegally. They hate each other. The fanbases hate each other. Even Chicago’s professional media throw all journalistic integrity and professionalism out the door when these two teams meet.

And as much as Patrick Kane denies it, tonight’s game shouldn’t be any different.

After all, there are still seedings and regular season titles at stake. The Blackhawks are on an historic run, not having lost a game in regulation in a zillion days (okay that might be an exaggeration, but they are 9-0-2 in their last 11 games), and is a win away from clinching the Presidents’ Trophy. Meanwhile, 44 games into a 48-game season, the Canucks are still trying to find their way, though they’re somehow 1 point in 3 games away from winning their 5th straight Northwest Division title anyway.

20-year old Frankie Corrado will make his NHL debut tonight – on a top-4 pairing with Alex Edler, no less – in place of the injured Keith Ballard. What better way to get acquainted to the NHL than playing your first ever NHL game against a heated rival and the best team in the league, eh?

After missing 5 games, Chris Higgins will also make his return to the lineup. He practiced on a line with Derek Roy and Ryan Kesler this morning so here’s hoping his return somehow gets the Canucks offense going (again).

Canucks Record

25-13-7, 57 points (1st in the Northwest Division, 3rd in the Western Conference)

Season Series

This will be the 3rd and final meeting between these two teams this regular season. They split the first 2 meetings; both previous games went to a shootout.

Who’s Hot

Jonathan Toews has had a Hart Trophy caliber season and many believe he deserves to be in the running. He has 14 points (5G-9A) in his last 11 games. He’s also tied with Kane for the team lead in goals (21) and is second on the team in scoring with 46 points.

Overall, he’s 5th in the NHL in goals, 10th in points, and 3rd in plus/minus with an impressive plus-27 rating.

What’s Not

After a stretch of scoring 23 goals in 6 games earlier this month, the Canucks offense has hit a bit of a rough patch. In their last 3 games, they’ve been outshot 108-66 and have just 3 goals in that span. If Henrik Sedin thought last Saturday’s game against the Wings, in which the Wings carried much of the play and outshot the Canucks by a 34-14 margin, was “one of our best games in a few weeks”, then they have a way to go yet to be able to truly contend when the real season begins next week.

%d bloggers like this: