Mar 082010

I almost spit out my coffee when John Shorthouse referenced Miley Cyrus’ song at the end of the Canucks’ 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators yesterday. Better than daddy Billy Ray’s Achy Breaky Heart, I suppose.

As you all know by now, it was the 9th time this season the Canucks had overcome a 3rd period deficit to come back and win the game – that’s 3 wins more than any other team in the league. While it’s disconcerting that they seem unable to produce the proverbial 60-minute game, it’s also remarkable that they somehow manage to find a win anyway.

Here’s Roberto Luongo (via Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province):

“How many times have we come back in the third to win on this road trip?” Roberto Luongo said, including the pre-Olympic stretch as well. “It’s probably four or five.” [It's five].

“If there’s anything positive, it’s that even if we don’t play our best hockey, we can always come back if we just keep battling.”

And coach Alain Vigneault (via Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun):

“You never critique a win,” Vigneault lied. “It was another comeback-from-behind game. We played better in the third, but obviously we had moments in this game where our puck management wasn’t very good and gave them momentum. They played a strong game, but we were down by a goal going into the third and again we found a way to get it done.”

How does this keep happening?

“Our guys have the mentality that they never give up,” Vigneault said. “Conditioning is a huge factor. I think we’re No. 1 in the league now at coming back and this is not an easy league to come back in.”

Yesterday’s win was the Canucks’ 40th win of the season. With 17 games left in the season – and 10 of those games at home – they’re within reach of setting a franchise record for win in a season. (When the Canucks set their current franchise record of 49 wins in the 2006-2007 season, they had 5 wins in the shootout. So far this season, they only have 3.)

Count me among those impressed that the Canucks are even in this position. 12 games into their record 14-game road trip, they’re 7-5 and assured of a .500 record. They still lead the Northwest Division with a game in hand over the surprising Colorado Avalanche, who, incidentally, they play tomorrow night. They’ve done this without two of their top-4 defensemen in Willie Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa for almost a full quarter of the season. In fact, they’re 12-5 since Mitchell suffered a concussion against the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 16, and the Canucks, until the Andrew Alberts acquisition, have had to rely on a combination of Aaron Rome, Nolan Baumgartner and Brad Lukowich as their 3rd defense pairing.

It’s happy times for sure for Canucks fans, and after a month and a half away from GM Place, it’ll be good to see them come home with a modestly successful record. If they get at least 2 more points on this road trip, they would have survived it without giving up any ground to teams like the Predators, Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames, all of whom are battling for the final playoff spots. Party time indeed.

Mar 022010

Alain Vigneault admitted that waiving Brad Lukowich this morning was a salary cap move. It gives the Canucks some flexibility approaching the trade deadline tomorrow and I’m going to attempt some fuzzy math to show how much flexibility this gives them. (Dangerous, I know, but please do correct me if I’m wrong.)

With Lukowich on the roster, the Canucks were carrying $306,360 in daily salary, about $12,059 more than the maximum allowable $294,300 teams are allowed to carry. Without Lukowich, the Canucks now carry $298,243 in daily salary.

Because Kevin Bieksa is currently on LTIR, the Canucks can technically carry $313,730 in daily salary (the maximum allowable of $294,300 plus Bieksa’s daily salary of $19,430). This leaves the Canucks with about $15,487 in daily cap room. (Well, not really cap room per se, but they can use Bieksa’s LTIR exemption to add $15,487 in daily salary to the roster.) Without moving any other salaries from their current roster, this means that the Canucks can acquire the equivalent of about $2.989 million in annual salary.

The wrinkle to all this is that Bieksa is scheduled to come back in a week or so. When he does, the Canucks will have to comply with the cap. At this point, we have to assume that Willie Mitchell is out for the remainder of the regular season and the Canucks will have to put him on LTIR. (As far as I can tell, Mitchell is on IR right now, not LTIR. Again, please point out if I missed something here.)

Because Mitchell’s daily cap hit ($18,135) is slightly smaller than Bieksa’s, then the LTIR exemption is obviously smaller. Once Mitchell is on LTIR, then the Canucks can only carry $312,435 in daily salary. Using his exemption, the Canucks can add, without moving any other salaries, about $2.739 million in annual salary.

Just some food for thought as the NHL trade deadline approaches and the trade rumors come fast and furious.

Sep 152009

It’s the day after Terrace’s turn in the spotlight. Kudos to them for hosting their first NHL game and doing a damn fine job.

Here are today’s links:

Sep 142009

The puck finally drops for some preseason action tonight as our beloved Vancouver Canucks take on the New York Islanders in Terrace, BC.

Here are today’s Canucks chatter around the web:

May 152009

- Cody Hodgson made his Moose debut tonight and scored his first pro point as the Moose took game one against the Aeros 2-1. That’s so exciting! If Canucks fans get what they’re hoping for, Cody won’t spend much time at all with the Moose, but it’s nice to see he’s fitting in so well. It sounds like Cory Scheider was great as well because the baby Canucks were outshot 32-18. It’s going to be good news for Gillis if guys like Cody, Cory, and Michael Grabner can step in for the big team next season. Game summary here

- The Canucks website is putting out specials about the mum’s trip and the players that brought their mummies and they are absolutely charming. So far we’ve learned that Willie Mitchell was in the shower when the Devils drafted him and asked his Grandma to take a message, Ryan Kesler was the only 8 year old that knew what backchecking was, Alex Burrows’ mummy asked him to speak to her class of students, and Mason Raymond knows how ride a horse and played hockey with his dog.

- Darcy Hordichuk wrote his last blog of the season and it is pretty delightful. It’s been fun learning a bit more about him behind the scenes and he really seemed to love playing in Vancouver this past year.

- Richard and J.J are doing a great job of covering the Canucks UFAs and the whole discussion over keeping Lui or not, so I figured I would do a little research about some of the baby draft picks the Canucks could possibly pick in June. I went to the draft last year and it was a total blast. These little babies in suits make me cooo. You just want them to do well. We’ve got to pass this off season somehow, so look for that in the next few days.

- My most favourite Swede and hockey boyfriend Matty Ohlund is really sounding like he’s leaving Vancouver. It makes me a sad panda but I guess all good things have to come to end eventually. He’s a classy gent and he understands and I’m sure he’ll be fab wherever he goes. But anyways, darlings, this means I’m going to be out a favourite player next season. Any thoughts on what Canuck I should line up for next season? I might do a series of posts on that later in the off season. It’s going to be jumping around here don’t you worry!

May 122009
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Apr 302009
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