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 252013
 

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(source: nhl.com)

Vancouver Canucks (12-9-4)
Los Angeles Kings (15-6-3)

The Los Angeles Kings are in town tonight to take on the Vancouver Canucks. This is the second of five meetings between the two teams. In their first meeting on November 9th at the Staples Centre in LA, the Kings beat the Canucks 5-1.

The Canucks are mired in a bad stretch right now with only 1 win in their last 7 games (1-4-2), including 4 losses in the first 5 games of this current 6-game homestand. Meanwhile, the Kings have lost their last 2 games, but have managed their losses and have earned at least a point in their last 9 games.

The Canucks did end a 5-game winless streak on Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 6-2 win; however, they reverted back to their losing ways on Saturday night with a 2-1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. Their offense continues to struggle with their lone goal against the Blackhawks being scored on a 2-man advantage.

If we were looking at the positives though, that powerplay goal snapped a 2-game drought with the man-advantage. It was also scored by Ryan Kesler, who had gone 7 games without scoring a goal, and was assisted by Jason Garrison, who had gone 14 games without a point. Kesler now has 3 points in 4 games (1 goal and 2 assists). Daniel Sedin, who also drew an assist on Kesler’s goal now has 4 points in his last 3 games (1 goal and 3 assists).

Who’s Out

For the Canucks, forward Jordan Schroeder (ankle) is still out.

For the Kings, starting goaltender, Jonathan Quick, is out with a groin injury, though Ben Scrivens, who has been in net the last 7 games, has been doing very well. Scrivens hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals a game in his past 6 starts, and has a .955 save percentage during that span.

Besides Jonathan Quick, the Kings are executed to play without forwards Jeff Carter (broken foot), Trevor Lewis (lower body) and defensemen Matt Greene (upper body)

Oct 062013
 

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Photo credit: canucks.com

Lately, the Calgary Flames seem to cure all things that ail the Vancouver Canucks. In the last 3 seasons, the Canucks have a 13-3-2 record against the Flames and have outscored them by a combined scored of 60-35 in those 18 outings. For all their offensive struggles in recent times (last night’s 6-goal explosion against the Oilers aside), they’ve somehow managed to average 3.33 goals per game against these Alberta rivals.

These days, both teams are going through somewhat of a transition period.

The Canucks, of course, are still learning a new system under new head coach, John Tortorella, and are doing so with much of the same roster. However, tonight, they’ll be even thinner up front with Alex Burrows and Jordan Schroeder out for a couple more weeks, Zack Kassian still serving his 8-game suspension for “accidentally” breaking Sam Gagner’s jaw with his stick.

On the other hand, the Flames are completely rebuilding their organization – finally – after missing the playoffs the last 4 seasons. Just before the start of this season, they hired ex-Canuck GM, Brian Burke, as their President of Hockey Operations. Even before that, they jettisoned long-time face of the Flames, Jarome Iginla, and franchise defenseman, Jay Bouwmeester. Long-time goaltender, Mikka Kiprusoff, also retired.

Both the Canucks and the Flames have won a game and lost a game to start the 2013/2014 season.

Last Year’s Meetings

The Canucks won 5 of 6 meetings last season, outscoring the Flames by an 18-10 margin. Burrows and Schroeder scored 5 of those goals, but neither will suit up tonight. Mason Raymond, Derek Roy and Max Lapierre chipped in with 4 goals, but all have moved on and replaced with Brad Richardson, Zac Dalpe and Mike Santorelli in the lineup.

Alex Tanguay and Mike Cammalleri paced the Flames with a couple of goals each, but Tanguay has since been traded back to the Colorado Avalanche and Cammalleri remains out of the lineup (perhaps for good).

Who to watch

Two defensemen: With 3 points each in their first 2 games, Jason Garrison from the Canucks and Mark Giordano from the Flames are off to hot starts. Garrison has 2 goals – one on the powerplay and one shorthanded (a slap shot, trick shot off the glass and into an empty net) – and an assist; Giordano has 3 assists.

The Canucks will get a first glimpse at prized Flames rookie, Sean Monahan, the 6th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Monahan, who the Flames picked 3 spots before the Canucks picked Bo Horvat, has 2 points in 2 games, including scoring the team’s first goal of the 2013/2014 season.

Both Sedins have feasted on the Flames. Against the Flames in their careers, Daniel has 73 points (25 goals and 48 assists) in 71 games, and Henrik has 66 points (12 goals and 54 assists) in 73 games.

With the Canucks playing back-to-back games, Eddie Lack will get his first career NHL start.

The Lineup

Tonight’s Lineups

Vancouver

Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Jannik Hansen

David Booth – Ryan Kesler – Chris Higgins

Brad Richardson – Mike Santorelli – Dale Weise

Tom Sestito – Zac Dalpe – Yannick Weber

Dan Hamhuis – Kevin Bieksa

Alex Edler – Jason Garrison

Ryan Stanton – Chris Tanev

Eddie Lack

Roberto Luongo

Calgary Flames

Curtis Glencross – Matt Stajan – Lee Stempniak

Jiri Hudler – Mikael Backlund – TJ Galiardi

Sven Baertschi – Sean Monahan – David Jones

Lance Bouma – Ben Street – Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie

Kris Russell – Dennis Wideman

Chris Butler – Shane O’Brien

Joey Macdonald

Karri Ramo

Oct 042013
 

Welcome to the first TGATT of the Canucks 2013/14 season! All of us at CHB are back to happy times. And while our expectations on how the Canucks season will turn out may vary, the one thing we are all absolutely sure of – The Game According to Twitter is going to do so well that we’ve already planned out a parade route for it.

So… should we do the same for the Canucks?

That can’t be good.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Apr 262013
 

Not exactly sure what happened between Monday and last night, but maybe the switch was flipped – just off? Or was it connected to the SkyTrain, because boy were there issues. Regardless, this tweet sums up the game nicely:

At least we have TGATT to make things better!

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Apr 142013
 

Ryan Kesler didn’t mince any words after the Canucks blew two, third period leads to the last place Colorado Avalanche yesterday. “We played like shit for 40 minutes,” he said. “We gave them everything they got with turnovers and miscommunication and not getting the puck out. It was shit,” he added.

Just about sums it up perfectly.

Here’s how you, Canucks fans, saw the game.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Apr 102013
 

In this latest episode of CHB TV, Chris, Ed, Caylie and I went to Library Square in Downtown Vancouver and wondered whether or not the Canucks did enough to get prepped for the playoffs and whether or not retiring Pavel Bure’s jersey was the right thing to do. Damon Holowchak, Marketing Coordinator for the Donnelly Group, also joins us on the panel.

But also, Jay Jones, Executive Bartender and Brand Ambassador for the Donnelly Group whipped up some Canucks-themed drinks – the No. 5 Garrison, Dirty Higgins and Honey Badger – that will be on their menus at Library Square, Cinema and the Lamplighter on Canucks game days until the end of the playoffs.

The drinks were amazing and Jay kindly shared with us – to share with you, our loyal readers – how to make them.

No. 5 Garrison

Vancouver Canucks-themed drink: No. 5 Garrison

Local boy, Jason Garrison has come home. This cocktail stands to represent his strong character and play. Based around the design of a classic Old Fashioned, spiced whisky defines the depth and boldness of the drink, while brown sugar mellows the bite and whisky barrel-aged bitters lend further complexity. Orange zest creates great aroma and flavor in pairing with the vanilla of the whisky. Served ‘on the rock’ as a nod to his hometown of Whiterock, BC.

Recipe

1.5 oz Canadian Club Dock
no. 57 Spiced Whisky
1 Brown Sugar Cube
3 hard dashes Fee Brothers Whisky Barrel-Aged Bitters
1 large Orange Peel Zest

Method

1. muddle sugar with whiskey & bitters in a mixing glass
2. stir without ice to dissolve sugar
3. add cracked ice & stir to chill
4. loose strain into a small rocks glass (8 oz capacity)
5. place 1 oversized ice ‘rock’ in the glass
6. zest heavily with a large slice of orange peel
*garnish with spent orange peel

Dirty Higgins

Vancouver Canucks-themed drinks: Dirty Higgins

Gritty Canucks forward Chris Higgins isn’t a ‘dirty’ player, but he certainly gets his hands dirty fighting for pucks, goals and wins with relentless tenacity. The ‘Dirty Higgins’ pays respect to that character. The Bloody Caesar is a classic Canadian savoury cocktail and inspiration for this creation – Clamato juice creates the body, but instead of vodka, the strength of character at the core comes from Bourbon, an American classic, just like Higgins himself – Jim Beam ‘Devil’s Cut’ acknowledging his devilishly determined style of play. This drink gets dirty with traditional seasoning of Tabasco & Worcestershire sauces, but with the added flavor of pickle brine to create a truly unique flavor profile. A touch of lime juice freshens the palate, while baby pickles and balsamic onions make for a crunchy and tangy garnish.

Recipe

1.5 oz Jim Beam ‘Devil’s Cut’ Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1 oz Pickle Brine
4 oz Motts Clamato® Juice
25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3 hard dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 hard dashes Tabasco sauce

Method

1. combine all ingredients and roll between mixing glasses
2. pour into a large rocks glass (12 oz capacity)
3. fill with large ice cubes- stir to chill
*garnish with cornichon and a balsamic onion

Honey Badger

Vancouver Canucks-themed drinks: Honey Badger

The Honey Badger is revered as the fiercest of all creatures – underestimated because of it’s appearance and size. Our beloved Dane, Jannik Hansen earned this nickname for the ferocious and fearless style of play he exhibits every single shift. Over the past seven years as a Canuck, his two-way skills and tireless drive have made him one of the most appreciated and respected players on the team. Somersby Danish apple cider is a nod to Hansen’s home country. Melon liqueur and vanilla-flavoured Galliano combine to add fruity, delicious honey-like tastes – in combination they pack a surprising wallop. The resultant colour is reminiscent of Canucks green – an easy-drinking and refreshing reward after hard work, or play.

Recipe

1.5 oz Bols Melon Liqueur
.25 oz Galliano Liqueur
Somersby Danish Apple Cider

Method

1. combine liqueurs in a draft beer glass
2. pack glass full with ice cubes
3. add ice and top with cider
*serve with a straw

(All photos courtesy of Jay Jones.)

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 252013
 

Dale Weise was out of the lineup so Cam Barker was back in. And Keith Ballard was back at forward. What could possibly go wrong?

Actually, it wasn’t too bad.

Against the worst team in the west, Cory Schneider got his fourth consecutive start and the Canucks extended their win streak to 4 games.

For good measure, Keith Ballard also got on the scoreboard with an assist on Alex Burrows’ game-winning goal.

Now on to the game.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Mar 142013
 

After winning just 1 of 3 games in their recently-concluded road trip, the Canucks head back to Rogers Arena for a 4-game home stand. They’ll look to build on their shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and improve on their rather average 6-3-3 home record.

Like the Canucks, the Nashville Predators are in a dogfight to make the playoffs. They currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference, but are among a group of 8 teams (including the Canucks) that are within 2 points of each other. In fact, after the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks, only 8 points separate 3rd place and 15th place in the wild, wild West.

Alex Edler and Scott Hannan

Photo by Frederick Breedon

Perhaps none of this should be a surprise to the Preds. While they managed to retain Shea Weber – thanks to Paul Holmgren, it only took them $110 million to do it – Weber himself hasn’t been as good this season as he has been in the past. Losing Ryan Suter does that. They’re also relying more on second-year players like Roman Josi and Gabriel Bourque.

Now, if you think this matters to Preds fans, or if you think the team would suffer in the box office because of the lockout, you’re wrong. The Predators have sold out all 12 home games so far this season and they expect to sell out the remaining 12 home games the rest of the way.

The Canucks and the Preds have already met once this season. Led by Roberto Luongo and his 23 saves, the Canucks won a 1-0 decision in Nashville back on February 22nd. Dale Weise, who scored the game’s lone goal halfway through the third period, was the unlikely hero.

Canucks Record

25 GP, 12-7-6, 30 points (1st in Northwest Division, 3rd in Western Conference)

Who’s Hot

Jason Garrison has points in consecutive games (1G-1A-2P). He’s also been logging some additional ice-time – in the 23 to 25-minute range – while Kevin Bieksa remains injured (and Andrew Alberts remains in the lineup to play his whopping 10 minutes per game).

After a 5-game stretch during which he allowed an average of 4 goals per game, Pekka Rinne has 2 shutouts in his last 3 games.

Who’s Not

Despite his decent play and his beauty of a spinorama move in Tuesday’s shootout, Mason Raymond only has 4 points (2G-2A) in his last 13 games.

Quickies

  • Maple Ridge’s Vic Bartley was called up by the Predators over the weekend and will play his first-ever NHL game in Vancouver. (Maple Ridge News)
  • Known as the guy who cost the Canucks Revelstoke native, Aaron Volpatti, Steve Pinizzotto finished his conditioning stint with the Chicago Wolves yesterday, and is expected to join the Canucks today. (Vancouver Sun)
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