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 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.

Feb 132013
 

The Canucks and Wild don’t like each other much, but the only real fight tonight was the fight to stay awake while watching it.

The lovely and talented Lizz Moffat has a scholarly obligation and her usual substitute, @lyteforce, is busy riding around the Sky Train in his underwear so you’ve got me tonight!

Ummm… we better just get to the game.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jan 312013
 

After a three-game jaunt through California, the Canucks are back home against the Colorado Avalanche.

I hear Coach V made some sort of goalie announcement. I wonder how that went…

If that wasn’t enough controversy for you, some also seemed to struggle finding the game on TV. I hope it worked out for you.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jan 232013
 

Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Photo credit: National Post

With less than a week of games under the NHL’s belt in this shortened 2013 season, I’m shocked at how many things made me go hmmm…

Here are a few of the biggest head scratchers:

Goalie Drama. Again. Sigh.

The Vancouver Canucks have not traded Roberto Luongo. Despite claiming Cory Schneider is their number one, they pulled Schneider in game 1 and didn’t give him a chance in game 2. Alain Vigneault’s talk doesn’t match his walk. If Schneider is the Canucks’ number 1, he would get the start, even after being pulled. In the last few seasons, Luongo would get the start even after being pulled or a poor showing. Between Vigneault’s refusal to stick with his supposed number 1, and his further refusal to even announce his starter until minutes before a game, the goalie controversy is gaining life instead of losing it. It doesn’t matter how professional an organization is, that kind of extended drama is going to make an impact in a bad way. It has with the fan base. Luongo homers are openly tweeting hopefully for Cory’s failure.

Reality check: Schneider isn’t the only number one to struggle. The New York Rangers pulled Henrik Lundqvist in the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins after he stopped just 14 of 18 shots. Why aren’t Rangers fans screaming for Marty Biron to take over the number 1 spot? Because Rangers management isn’t wishy-washy on their faith in Lundqvist.

Does a Short Season Mean it’s a Free-For-All?

If you look at the results throughout the league over the first few days of the season, it’s glaringly obvious the favourites aren’t doing so well. A lot of sportscasters tagged the Rangers to be the team most likely to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup this year; they’ve yet to win a game. Same with the Philadelphia Flyers, who the pundits always predict some noise in the playoffs. And as we all know, same with the Canucks.

In fact the only favourite doing really well are the Penguins. The Chicago Blackhawks, much to my personal chagrin, are also starting strong. In a shortened season, getting a fast start out of the gate and winning from the get-go is important. Sure the Canucks (and Rangers and Flyers) have only lost 2 or 3 games, but with less time to catch up, it’s worrisome. I have a feeling we may be even more surprised by this year’s Cup winner than last year’s.

Jersey Off Our Backs Make Me Go Hmmm… and Mmmm

After watching the Jersey Off Our Backs presentation on Saturday, I’m left with a few questions. Bear with me as I have never played hockey.

How come the Canucks don’t all wear the same pads? I assumed they would all wear similar, if not the same pads, but Lapierre is wearing red ones that make him look like he’s still a Hab. Yes I actually looked at his pads, not just his pretty face. It was hard but I did it. Mostly everyone else on the team had white pads, or in David Booth’s case, a really bad checkered shirt. 

And does Higgins not wear anything under his pads just so he can hear the squeals of delight as he pulls his shirt off?  This is the second Jersey off Our Backs that I’ve witnessed live and in-person and once again Higgy wasn’t wearing Under Armour – he’s the only hockey player I’ve seen that goes bare under the pads. Why does he do it? Why doesn’t anyone else? Not that I’m complaining; it does make me go Hmmm… and Mmmm.

 

Apr 222012
 

The odds are still stacked against them, but you can’t help but feel the collective confidence boost around Canucks Nation after the Canucks’ Game 4 win.

After all, the offense finally managed to put 3 pucks past Jonathan Quick, the first time since Game 2 of last year’s Stanley Cup Finals they scored 3 goals in one playoff game. After going 0-for-14 in the first three games of the series, the powerplay finally broke through with 2 powerplay goals. And despite the manufactured goaltending controversy, Cory Schneider was huge, making 43 saves, including a Dustin Brown penalty shot that could have tied the game in the third period.

Now at home for Game 5, can the Canucks continue to break down the Kings and get themselves back in this series? Here’s the chatter around the Smylosphere:

Apr 142012
 
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks gets crosschecked into Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com

I’m in Seattle. This was not the best place to be for the Canucks-Kings game because, although I could easily watch the game, I had to endure NBC’s version of coverage. This includes Mike Milbury’s infuriating opinions and coming back late from commercials so I missed Jannik Hansen’s goal. Also, it involved drinking to get through the game without crying so bear with me, people.

Can We Drop Kick the Drop Pass?

The Canucks’ drop pass needs to be banned from the Canucks play book, especially on the power play. The drop pass on the PP caused two short-handed goals. In this one little game the Canucks allowed half the short-handed goals they allowed in the entire regular season. The Canucks power play had already hit rock bottom. Adding the drop pass to it is like picking up a shovel and digging. Also, can we stop with the habit of chipping/dumping the puck into the opponent’s zone and hope someone gets there to play it.  It’s so lazy and ineffective it makes me want to punch kittens.

Vancouver: Where the Hockey Team is Suddenly as Unbalanced as the Weather

I don’t know what to say here. We saw improvement and deterioration in this game – sometimes from the same player. Kesler seemed more focused, he paid attention to the net, not the drama. Lapierre’s production dwindled from game 1 to 2 and, according to Twitter (because I couldn’t hear a thing from the TV commentators over the bar noise), he got kicked out of the game. Hansen was amazing and then gone – literally. Honey Badger scored a goal and then got kicked out for a dust-up by Quick’s net. I couldn’t hear the commentary on TV to explain what caused him getting tossed. It looked like it might have been a little bit of an over-reaction by the refs, in my opinion. But whatever, the battle was too uphill by then. Luongo had another solid night, except for maybe that goal where he was doing his best dead starfish impersonation. Edler was also consistent. He stayed the same deep level of horrible he’s been since the playoffs began.

And the Upside….

After much wine, I have decided it’s not all doom and gloom going into Game 3. We’re going into Los Angeles, which when it comes to fans, is simply a warmer, more affordable Vancouver. We’ve got a ton of supporters there who should be out in force, squelching any unwelcoming atmosphere at Staples Center. Let’s shake things up – we’ve got nothing to lose. Change the lines. Bench Edler. Yes. I said it. BENCH EDLER. And – brace yourself – start Cory Schneider. Luongo played strong and hard. But changing the goalie might change the momentum. Don’t think of it as Lu being punished. Think of it as Lu being saved. He’s played too well to have to carry this team of underachievers any longer. It only takes one win to turn momentum around. Let’s get that one win.

If you’ve got ideas on how the Canucks can fix all that is broken and pull off a win in Game 3, we’d love to hear it! Leave us a comment.

Apr 122012
 
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com

A brief look back at the good, the bad and the ugly from Game 1, Round 1 of the Canucks-Kings series.

The Good:  Bobby Lu Tried to Win It for You.

If there are still Luongo-haters out there after tonight’s game, even I think you’re crazy. I’m an undeniable Schneider-supporter and although I’m not a Luongo-hater, I am a Luongo-realist. And realistically tonight, the man was a God. He couldn’t have done more to keep the Canucks in this game. He deserved to win this game. I’m confident that if the Canucks play the same way in Game 2 that they did tonight, Lu will also be the only thing that keeps the game from being 18-2. I’m also positive that Luongo can’t keep this up forever so the rest of the team better shake off the playoff cobwebs and get it done.

The Bad: No Love for Lapierre.

Did Maxim Lapierre steal Vigneault’s chewing gum or something equally worthy of punishment between the end of the regular season and this game? Because it sure seems like the coach has an issue with him. Previous to tonight’s game, Lapierre was on the first line with Henrik Sedin. He was scoring and pulling off a multi-point games. So why did AV drop him from that line? Why was Lappy’s ice time also diminished? He finished last night’s game at 11 minutes when in past games he averaged over 12.5 minutes? Not to be deterred by his apparent demotion, he helped David Booth crush Drew Doughty in the opening minutes of the game and assisted on Edler’s second period goal. Can’t help but wonder what more he could have done with a little more time and Hank by his side.

The Ugly:  The Hot and Cold that is Alex Edler.

When I look back on Alex Edler’s regular season play, the lyrics to Katy Perry’s Hot n Cold run through my head. He’s been up and down all year and tonight was no different. In the first period Edler took a delay of game penalty. In the second he came back with a much-needed goal, tying the game. Then in the third, Edler’s clearing attempt landed directly in Mike Richard’s chest, ultimately giving the Kings their third goal of the night. To be fair, Edler wasn’t the only sloppy player – not by a long shot – but he was the sloppiest defencemen. And we can’t afford defensive mistakes when our offense is acting like scoring goals is so 2011.

Apr 032012
 

[Every week, Caylie King reviews the Canucks week that was and previews the Canucks week ahead.  You can follow Caylie on Twitter (@CayKing).]

With a season-high 6-game win streak, including consecutive shutouts against the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche last week, the Canucks have obviously turned the corner. They also finished last week with a decisive 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars and an OT win against the Calgary Flames, in which Andrew Ebbett returned from injury and scored the game-winning goal in OT, and overtook the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Western Conference.

The Canucks will finish their regular season this week against three teams that are out of the playoff race: Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

Canucks Record

79 GP, 49-21-9, 107 points (1st in Northwest Division, 1st in Western Conference)

Who’s Next

Tuesday, April 2, 2012 vs. Anaheim Ducks (7:00 PM start, home)

Will tonight mark Teemu Selanne’s last time visit to Vancouver? We’re still not sure. At 41, he could very well retire; but as the Ducks’ leading scorer (26G-39A-65P), he has proven that he could still be a force in this league. A well-respected, shoe-in Hall-of-Famer, many Ducks – many hockey fans – are hoping he’d come back and play one more year.

The Ducks have won 2 of the previous 3 meetings against the Canucks. In the season series, Bobby Ryan leads the Ducks with 4 points (2G-2A); Kevin Bieksa leads the Canucks with 4 points as well (1G-3A).

Even with the talent that the Ducks have on their roster, their play this year has been surprisingly inconsistent. They’ve lost 3 of their last 4 games.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 vs. Calgary Flames (6:00 PM start, away)

With their win on Saturday night, the Canucks eliminated the Calgary Flames from playoff contention, and have now won 3 of their 5 meetings this season. They’ve outscored the Flames by a combined score of 16-10 in those 5 games.

Jarome Iginla has 3 assists against the Canucks this season. Meanwhile, Alex Edler leads all Canucks skaters with 6 points (1G-5A) against the Flames.

Olli Jokinen has had a solid season this year. With 23 goals and 28 assists, he is having his best season, statistically, since the 2007-2008 campaign.

Saturday, April 7, 2012 vs. Edmonton Oilers (7:00 PM start, home)

The Oilers have lost 3 of their last 4 games and sit in 14th place in the Western Conference and 29th place in the entire NHL.

The Canucks have won 4 of their 5 previous meetings against the Oilers this season. In their season series, Jordan Eberle leads the Oilers with 6 points (2G-4A) while Alex Burrows leads the Canucks with 7 points (3G-4A).

As bad as this season has gone for Edmonton, Jordan Eberle has had a sensational year. In just his second NHL season, he leads the team in goals (33), assists (42) and points (75).

The Oilers will be without Taylor Hall – he is done for the season due to shoulder surgery.

Who’s Hot

Chris Higgins has been one of the most, if not the most, consistent Canuck this season. With 4 goals in his last 5 games, he now has 42 points for the season (17G-25A), which would mark his best offensive season since his 2007-2008 season in Montreal (27G-25A-56P).

Higgy leads by example on the ice and makes his linemates better. Recently, he’s found some chemistry on the 3rd line with Samme Pahlsson and Jannik Hansen, and that line has proved to be able to make some big plays on both ends of the ice.

Who’s Hotter

With Daniel Sedin out with a concussion, AV decided to give Max Lapierre a shot on the “1st line” with Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows. At first glance, this seemed like a confusing decision, but much like when he originally put Burrows on the Sedins’ line, AV’s logic worked and the move has sparked Lapierre’s play.

After not recording a point in 15 games, Lappy is on a 2-game point streak and has scored 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 games. It’s nice to see him take advantage of his opportunity and increase in ice time.

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