Jan 262014
 
Offense-schmoffense when push comes to shove, just eat your opponent.  (Photo Courtesy canucks.nhl.com)

Offense-schmoffense, when push comes to shove there’s no penalty for eating an opponent.
(Photo Courtesy of  canucks.nhl.com)

For the second time in just 10 days, the Canucks take on the Phoenix Coyotes. You may or may not remember their most recent meeting on January 16th. On the one hand hand, it was memorable for the sole reason that Martin Hanzal was a one-man wrecking crew for the Coyotes in the third period, taking out with Henrik Sedin, Mike Santorelli and David Booth with crosschecks. But then again, the game was boring as heck so we’ll forgive you if you stopped watching before Hanzal went all Donatello on the Canucks.

None of the three injured Canucks finished the game, and in fact, Hank and Santorelli remain out of the lineup, which has Dale Weise speculating some sort of response to Hanzal.

“I think we’re trying to build a team identity here that we don’t get pushed around,” Weise continued. “I think we stood up for ourselves good against Calgary. Dustin Brown kind of had to answer the bell there — and he did. I don’t think Dustin Brown had to drop the gloves but he was forced into it. Eventually if you get enough guys challenging you, I think the peer pressure kind of wears on you and you have to answer the bell.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen tomorrow (with Hanzal). We have a lot of guys who might have a few choice words for him and then we’ll see what happens.”

Like against their games against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks the other week, the Canucks can’t let their emotions get the better of them. The Coyotes are hot on the Canucks’ tail in the Western Conference for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference; the Canucks have a slim 4-point lead on the Desert Dogs, who also has a game-in-hand on Vancouver.

Who’s Hot

If there’s any positives for the Canucks, it’s been their goaltending. They’re not scoring, but they’re staying in games thanks in large part to Roberto Luongo and Eddie Lack, both of whom are in the top 10 in the NHL in GAA and save percentage. The Canucks have the 7th best goals against per game in the league (2.38), and Luongo, specifically, is looking better than ever and has a 0.949 save percentage in his last 4 starts.

Up front, tough guy Dale Weise has 2 assists in his past 2 games, and for the Coyotes, Mike Ribeiro, who leads the Coyotes in scoring, has 4 points (2 goals and 2 assists) in a 3-game point streak.

Who’s Out

Henrik Sedin remains day-to-day with a rib injury and is expected to miss tonight’s game. Mike Santorelli remains out with a shoulder injury and Andrew Alberts remains out with a concussion. Jordan Schroeder, who has missed most of the season with an ankle injury, will not play tonight, but did start his conditioning assignment and played for the Utica Comets on Friday and Saturday against the Abbotsford Heat.

Jan 222014
 

Sans Torts and sans Hank, the Canucks went into Edmonton last night and took on the Edmonton Oilers.

Despite not having their coach or their captain, the Canucks did okay. For starters, Kellan Lain played more than 2 seconds, and in fact, on his second shift if the game, scored his first career NHL goal. Roberto Luongo stopped 28 of 29 shots, and Zack Kassian scored the game-winner (and drove the Oilers players nuts all game). On the other hand, the Oilers offered little resistance, which, I suppose after a week like last week is a welcome change.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Jan 062014
 
Still looking for their first win of 2014

Still looking for their first win of 2014

The start of a new year is often time for reflection and resolution.  We make promises and renew commitments to our health, our finances, our hobbies, and our time and attention to loved ones.

The writers at CHB have come up with some resolutions of their own, and they are all of the Canucks-variety.  Some have to do with players, others with fans, and still others have to do with personal attitudes.  You’ll even see that some have similar themes.  Regardless, we agreed that it was certainly time for a change – not necessarily for the team – but for ourselves.

But there indeed needs to be accountability.  Otherwise these resolutions will become a world of broken promises.  Thus, I promise that I will check in with my friends here at CHB sometime in March to see how they are doing and to offer any encouragement that I can.

Thus, we proudly present to you – in no particular order – CHB’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2014: 

  1. To play the organ/synthesizer for one Vancouver Canucks home game.  Or at least sit next to the guy who does.  (Clay – @CanuckClay)
  2. To finally start the band I’ve always wanted to start:  Henrik for Hooking.  (Jocelyn – @jocelynaspa)
  3. To not mock Henrik Sedin every time he falls after taking a slap shot.  (Dylan – @dilmarkley)
  4. To stop singing “Santeria” by Sublime substituting ‘Santorelli’ for ‘Santeria’ every time Santorelli scores a goal.  (Paul – @vansport)
  5. To remember that I was actually good at math in high school and stop zoning out when people do math.  (Lizz – @lizzmoffat)
  6. To finally pursue my dream of being a video editor solely for the purpose of editing a Torts rant and changing all the swear words to the word “Waffles”.  (Ashley – @ashleyspinellii)
  7.  To offer John Tortorella my services as a restorative yoga instructor.  (Delia – @DXenophontos)
  8. To not tweet I MISS SCHNEIDER every time someone scores on Luongo.  (Victoria – @concretefluff)
  9. To break my duck and see a game at Rogers Arena.  (Jared – @JThompsondesign)
  10. To connect more Canuck fans the world over.  We are all Canucks after all.  (Myles – @VanCanucksOz)
  11. To proudly wear my David Booth away jersey to a home game without fear of verbal abuse.  (Clay)
  12. To say nice(r) things about Tom Sestito.  (Jocelyn)
  13. To learn to love Tom Sestito… or at least refrain from calling him “Tostito”.  (Ashley)
  14. To stop my drunk, profanity-laced ref-bashing tweets at least until the playoffs.  (Paul)
  15. To be more forgiving of the referees…even when I’m sure they’re wrong.  (Delia)
  16. To try harder to express my true feelings about the Boston Bruins (everyone should have a resolution they know they can accomplish, right?).  (Victoria)
  17. To not be quick to judge any anthem singer not named Marie Hui or Mark Donnelly.  (Clay)
  18. To stop saying or tweeting “They should just decline it, they’re not going to score anyways” every time the Canucks go to the power play.  (Paul)
  19. To maintain a positive attitude even after the overtime buzzer goes sending the Canucks into a shootout.  (Dylan)
  20. To not immediately cover my eyes when the Canucks go to a shootout.  (Jocelyn)
  21. To offer to participate in any and all Canucks shootouts.  I’m better than the twins, I promise.  (Victoria)
  22. To get a pet duck and name it Eddie Quack.  (Ashley)
  23. To keep my Eddie Lack love to an acceptable and legal level.  (Lizz)
  24. To do no more than 6 tweets when I’m at a game with my lovely wife Gail.  (Clay)
  25. To continue to be a fun and fan-friendly place to talk all things Canucks via creative articles and features.  After all, we are Canucks fans just like you.

Thank you to all our loyal CHB readers!  We look forward to another exciting year!

Jan 052014
 

Roberto Luongo came back from injury last night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Unfortunately, he was the only one who showed up.

He made 46 saves – many of them from in-close and as a result of odd-man rushes – but without much support up front, the Canucks dropped a 3-1 decision to the Kings, their third straight loss to their California rivals this season.

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

Dec 312013
 

On one end of the rink was Steve Mason, whose career the entire NHL, save the Philadelphia Flyers, had left for dead. Much was made about his past poor performances, especially against the Canucks, seemingly forgetting that he’s actually been pretty damn good during the Flyers’ 15-6-4 surge prior to last night’s game.

On the other end was Tom Sestito, who was waived by those very same Flyers last season and then claimed by the Canucks, and has served as some sort of a whipping boy to Canucks fans ever since.

Both Mason and Sestito had lots to prove. And both delivered.

Mason stopped 41 of 44 shots, plus another 3 in the shootout, to keep his team in the game. Sestito scored a goal and was a pain in Philly’s side for most of the 5:45 minutes he was on the ice.

Guilty as charged.

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 232013
 
Clay with friends Marie, Joseph, Kevin, Pat G, Arielle, and Pat T

Clay with friends Marie, Joseph, Kevin, Pat G, Arielle, and Pat T

It’s that time of year again: time for our 4th annual Canucks Christmas Carol!

Our song this year is inspired by Wham!’s “Last Christmas”.  We lament the lockout of last Christmas and look at the most important elements of this year’s team:  Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, the Sedins, and head coach John Tortorella.

This year I’m joined by Marie Hui, Arielle Tuliao, Joseph San Jose, Pat Guevara, Pat Teodosio, and our favourite foreign exchange student Kevin who somehow always finds his way to my place just in time to be in these videos.  In fact, both Joseph and Kevin have been in all 4 Canucks Christmas Carols!

Speaking of which, you can watch the previous 3 Canucks Christmas Carols here.

Thanks for watching and Merry Christmas!

Dec 202013
 
To finish off their three-game road-trip that  Canucks play the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center tonight  @ 5:00 pst. (photo credit: cbc.ca)

To finish off their three-game road-trip the Canucks play the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center tonight @ 5:00 pm/pst.
(photo credit: cbc.ca)

Coming off a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars last night, it doesn’t get any easier for the Canucks tonight as they take on the NHL-leading Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, where they haven’t won since November 2011.

The Blackhawks are hot, having won 5 of their last 6 games. During this span, they’ve outscored their opponents 28-15, and their powerplay clicked at a deadly 39% (10 PPG on 26 PP opportunities).

On the other hand, after winning 7 games in a row, the Canucks have cooled off and have now lost the first 2 games on this 3-game road trip. Tonight will be their their 3rd game in 4 nights, and their 4th set of back-to-backs in the last 4 weeks. Maybe a visit to the Madhouse in Madison can help wake up the Canucks.

What to Watch

Normally, Lu would get the start against a team like the Blackhawks, but he was pulled in favour of Eddie Lack last night against the Stars after letting in 4 goals on just 19 shots. Plus, John Tortorella has tapped Eddie Lack to start the 2nd half of back-to-backs all season. If Lack does start, he should still have some good confidence; he posted a shutout in his last start, a 2-0 Canucks win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Blackhawks are missing their top two goaltenders, Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin, but that hasn’t slowed them down. Antti Raanta will likely start. He’s started 7 games since Crawford was injured, and has a 5-1-1 record and 0.921 save percentage in those games.

Who’s Out

The Canucks are without Alex Edler (lower body), Alex Burrows (jaw), Jordan Schroeder (ankle) and Ryan Stanton (ankle). Stanton injured his ankle on Tuesday and is out indefinitely.

Other than the goaltenders, the Blackhawks are healthy.

Dec 202013
 
What was Roberto Luongo thinking?

What was Roberto Luongo thinking?

 

Roberto Luongo was pulled from the net early in the third period of last night’s 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars.  It was a tough night for the Canucks’ netminder as he let in the 4 goals on only 19 shots in 42 minutes of work.

Shortly after being pulled, the cameras caught Luongo on the bench making the above face. Was he replaying the goals in his head?  Sucking on a sour candy?  Fighting off a stomach ache?

With the help of the Twittersphere, I was able to discover some possibilities.  In fact, I received the highest number of submissions ever for a CHB Top 10.

Thus, here are the Top 10 Things Roberto Luongo was Thinking While on the Bench:

HM:   “That puck went left and I went right… kinda looked like this.”  – submitted by @WestCoastRidrz

HM:  “I wonder if I can get me one if those turkey legs now.” – submitted by @snacktalker

10:  “In Florida, they don’t play defense either but they at least let me see the puck.” – submitted by @Aviewfromabroad

9a:  “I wonder if I can use how much my twitter account is worth to buy out my contract.” – submitted by @paulalmeida22

9b:  “I sure hope this doesn’t affect my Twitter account value.” – submitted by @codybarendregt

9c:  “My Twitter account’s value increased by $433.20 to $270,838.80.” – submitted by @DustinStadnyk

9d:  “I wonder how this affects my Twitter account’s value.” – submitted by @Shazmodius

These 4 replies are a reference to a couple of tweets that came from Luongo’s account over the past couple days from a website or app that claims to measure your Twitter value.  Luongo has since deleted the tweets.

8:  “I should check my iPad to see how Carey Price did tonight.” – submitted by @PPGoose

7:  “I feel like Rodney Dangerfield: no respect, I tell ya.” – submitted by @watsukoguy

6:  “They told me I’d be seeing stars here in Dallas, but this is ridiculous.” – submitted by @jaybizzones

5a:  “Repeat of Anaheim in 3….2…” – submitted by @Rozzy80

5b:  “I better hit the sandbox!!!” – submitted by @pat_pendergast

5c:  “Oh damn, I hope that wasn’t a shart!” – submitted by @DevrieBeckett

5d:  “Crap. Did I remember to flush?” – submitted by @lyteforce

You can never go wrong with toilet humour.  The tweet from @Rozzy80 is a reference to the famous playoff game of May 2007 when backup Dany Sabourin had to fill in for Luongo in a playoff game – in overtime no less – for a few minutes while Luongo had an untimely case of diarrhea.

4:  “I wonder if Bryz will let me into his humongous, big universe…” – submitted by @RogerWi1co

3:  “Now is as good a time as any to pull off my best Jean Chrétien impression.” – submitted by @Swizzler16

2:  “Milk hot dogs.” – submitted by @JoshuaDykstra12

1:  “Dear Santa: This year I want a new bike, a red wagon, and peace on earth…..” – submitted by @b_cmack

Dec 202013
 

Can we just look ahead to tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks and forget the Canucks’ 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars last night didn’t happen?

Read more #TGATT goodness past the jump.

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