As we reach the end of the regular season, Clay, Chris, Ed, and our special guest, Jordan Bowman from the Legion of Blog, talk Keith Ballard, pirates, astronauts, old media, new media, and oh, Zack Kassian, in this, the 6th episode of CHB TV.
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.
So Corrado hit a Blackhawk AND a referee at the same time? That's how you endear yourself to these fans. #TGATT
— j.Bowman (@jBowmancouver) April 23, 2013
Not bad, kid. Not bad.
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.
— Justine Galo (@Aviewfromabroad) April 13, 2013
Here’s how you, Canucks fans, saw the game.
The Canucks really couldn’t start a game than they did against the Edmonton Oilers last Saturday. I mean, they gave up 3 goals on 3 shots in the first 3 minutes. Would love for that not to happen again.
— Robyn Crystal (@RobynCrystal11) April 5, 2013
It really was an entertaining game. A 4-0 win against a streaking divisional rival, some big plays, big goals… and a return visit by the most exciting player to ever put on a Canucks jersey, Pavel Bure.
Here’s the game in your tweets.
Photo credit: The Globe and Mail
After last night’s 8-2 whooping of the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers woke up this morning to find themselves in a playoff spot – in 8th place in the Western Conference. After falling out of the playoff picture with a 3-6-3 stretch in the beginning of March, the Oilers have clawed their way back and are now one of several teams fighting for the last couple of playoff spots in the West. With most teams having only 11-14 games left in their schedule, the difference between 8th and 13th place in the West is just 4 points and the difference between 3rd and 10th place is just 6 points.
While the Oilers are on the second game of a back-to-back, the Canucks have had two days of rest, or for some, two days to think about their long weekend no-shows against these same Oilers (a 4-0 loss on Saturday) and the San Jose Sharks (a 3-2 loss on Monday). Not that the Canucks should need any more motivation, but I hope atoning for giving Taylor Hall a hat trick just 8 minutes into the game on Saturday and allowing the Sharks to score 3 goals in under 3 minutes on Monday would be on their agenda tonight.
The addition of Derek Roy should help. Cory Schneider is getting the start tonight – on Roberto Luongo’s birthday.
19-11-6, 44 points (2nd in the Northwest Division, 4th in the Western Conference)
Offensively, the Canucks and Oilers are going in opposite directions. The Canucks have lost 2 straight games, and dating back to the Vancouver Millionaires night against the Detroit Red Wings, have only scored 15 goals (plus 2 empty-net goals) in 10 games. The Oilers, on the other hand, have won 5 straight games and have outscored their opponents 25-7 in that span.
2010 1st overall pick, Taylor Hall, has been exceptional. Currently on a 6-game point streak (7G-8A-15P), Hall leads the Oilers in scoring and sits 5th in the NHL in assists (28) and 7th in overall scoring (41).
Daniel Sedin has just 2 points in his last 7 games.
- Zack Kassian is back with the Canucks after a brief demotion to the Chicago Wolves. (CKNW)
After Ray Whitney decided to take his talents to Dallas this past off-season, the Coyotes were left with a big hole in their offense. Whitney had a team high 77 points (24G-53A) last season, so without his production players like Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan were expected to carry the offensive load.
To say that the Coyotes have struggled to score as of late is an understatement. They have not won in their last 4 games (0-3-1) while being shut out in 3 of those 4 games and outscored 11-2 altogether. In fact, the Coyotes went a franchise record 245:30 minutes of scoreless hockey before Shane Doan scored in the 3rd period in their last game against the Los Angeles Kings.
The notion of peppering shots on goal but not getting results is all too familiar for Canucks fans. And although the Canucks’ scoring troubles aren’t quite as bad as the Coyotes’ at the moment, there is still cause for concern – the Canucks have scored 2 or less goals in 9 of their last 12 games.
This is the second meeting between the two teams. By current standards, their last meeting in February was a “high-scoring” match-up when the Coyotes beat the Canucks 4-2. Kyle Chipchura led Phoenix with 2 goals that night.
14-9-6, 34 points (2nd in Northwest Division, 6th in Western Conference)
Hard to say any of the Coyotes are “hot” right now, but Shane Doan has been the only ‘Yote to score more than once in their last 4 games. (He has 2 goals.) Doan is 1 point behind the team lead with 18 points (11G-7A) on the season.
Daniel Sedin is currently riding a 3-game point streak. He has 4 points (1G-3A) in that span.
Radim Vrbata has been sidelined with injuries this season and has missed 16 games so far. In his 14 games played he has just 4 goals – a far cry from his 35-goal season last season.
Chris Higgins has gone pointless in his last 5 games and is a dreadful minus-7 in that span.
- With Chris Higgins, Steve Pinizzotto, Zack Kassian, Ryan Kesler and David Booth all injured, the Canucks have summonned Andrew Gordon from the Wolves and will likely play a defenseman as their 12th forward. In the over/under, pick the under. (Vancouver Sun)
It’s an early game in Detroit today. Luckily NASCAR finished on time, so there were no TV conflicts in my house. None of the duct taped cars won, so I was pretty disappointed.
— Justine Galo (@Aviewfromabroad) February 24, 2013
Welcome to Dallas, Texas, where everything is bigger. None bigger than Brett Hull’s skate.
Tonight, the Stars celebrate Marty Turco. Canucks fans have fond memories of him.
Marty Turco. The man who shut out the #canucks three times in one playoff series and still lost.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) February 22, 2013
You Wanna Go?
This season has had more than it’s fair share of fights. As of February 5, the Vancouver Canucks have had 7 fights. Same with the Habs, but I preface the date because as I’m writing this, they’re about to play the Boston Bruins. Their fight count could be 20 by the end of that game.
A fight gets a crowd going, gets a team going, and fuels a good rivalry, but no one wants a player to sustain serious injury. Two fights in the last couple of weeks have me going hmmm… because they involve the same team and show the right and wrong sides of fighting in the NHL.
First, we have the right: During a fight between the Philadelphia Flyers’ Max Talbot and the New York Rangers’ Ryan Callahan, all the shirt-tugging, pushing and pulling injured Callahan’s shoulder. Sensing that something was wrong, Talbot stopped and waved over a training, calling for medical help.
Now, the wrong: On Tuesday, the Flyers’ Zack Rinaldo fought the Tampa Bay Lightning’s BJ Crombeen. After Crombeen slipped to the ice, Rinaldo continued to pound him.
Rinaldo is a notorious fighter in the league, but that doesn’t mean he has to be a jerkoff. Would Kevin Bieksa keep throwing punches once a guy is down? I don’t think so.
To me, fighting is part of the game, but what makes it tolerable is the code – the etiquette – and Rinaldo broke it just days after his teammate, Talbot, was a poster child for it. Hmmm… I never thought I would say this but Rinaldo needs to take a lesson from Talbot.
Disney came out with a movie in the 1970s called Freaky Friday in a mom and daughter switch bodies. Every time I watch a Vancouver Canucks game this season, I can’t help but wonder if this has happened to Henrik Sedin and Zach Kassian.
First, Zack started scoring goals, and at one point, he was among the league leaders in goals scored. Then, Zack’s leading the Canucks in scoring, and as of today, he’s still tied for 3rd with Henrik in team scoring.
As if that wasn’t weird enough, our demure Swedish Captain is turning into a goon taking roughing penalties and throwing checks like he’s… well, Zack Kassian. The Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is actually sidelined – missing the Oilers’ game last night against the Dallas Stars – due to an injury resulting from a Henrik Sedin hit. It’s a total head scratcher. If Henrik drops his gloves next, I may just lose my mind.
The Mysterious Coin
The Canucks announced that Cory Schneider will get the start against the Minnesota Wild. Sure, Roberto Luongo is on a hot streak, but this isn’t about what makes sense. This is about what the coin says. Coach Alain Vigneault once again flipped his coin, and this time it came up Cory.
I am honestly starting to believe that AV soaks his chewing gum in vodka. He’s enjoying this too much, especially considering the media, the fans, and Schneider’s agent are all taking the goalie controversy very seriously.
I want to see this coin. Is it a loonie? A twoonie? A quarter? Does it have pictures of Cory and Bobby Lu on either side? Where does AV keep this coin? Is it always in his pocket? Does he lock it away somewhere with his crystal ball, voodoo dolls and a pack of vodka-infused chewing gun? If the media doesn’t insist on filming a coin toss before the end of the season, they’re not doing their job.
I think we’re finally starting to see signs of life from our Vancouver Canucks.
They played this week with some consistency, a lot of physicality, and while they still can’t put the puck in the net as much as they’d like, it’s helped them to a 2-0-1 record.
They started the week with a heartbreaking shootout loss to the LA Kings. The Canucks built a 2-0 lead, but couldn’t convert on the powerplay to put the Kings away, allowing the Kings to come back and steal the game in the shootout.
On Wednesday, the Canucks continued their dominance against the Colorado Avalanche with a tidy, 60-minute effort, Roberto Luongo’s 61st career shutout, and a 3-0 win.
On Friday, they faced the rival Chicago Blackhawks. After an intense lead up, most expected a physical and ugly game, but none of the rough stuff materialized. By the end of it, the Canucks didn’t exact their revenge on Duncan Keith and instead came away with the 2 points. Jordan Schroeder experienced his first big NHL moment as he snuck one past Corey Crawford’s five-hole for the shootout winner in his first shootout attempt.
8 GP, 4-2-2, 10 points (1st in Northwest Division, 3rd in Western Conference)
Monday, February 4, 2013 at Edmonton Oilers (6:30 PM start)
After being named the NHL’s 3rd Star of the Week, Roberto Luongo will get his 4th consecutive start in goal. Bobby Luo has looked like vintage Luo of late. With great positional play and timing, he seems to be making key saves at key times.
The Oilers, who currently sit in 2nd place in the Northwest Division, won the two teams’ first meeting back in January, so look for the Canucks to come out strong and get some payback.
Sam Gagner (3G-6A) and Taylor Hall (2G-7A) are both tied for the team lead with 9 points. Rookie sensation and the master of cellys, Nail Yakupov, leads the team with 5 goals.
Thursday, February 7, 2013 at Minnesota Wild (5:00 PM)
With the huge off season acquisitions of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, the Minnesota Wild have their sights set on competing for the Northwest division title. Mike Rupp, acquired today from the NY Rangers, will add some veteran savvy and toughness and will join his new team for this game.
Zach Parise leads the team in goals (5) and points (9) in 8 games played.
The Canucks took 10 of a possible 12 points (4-0-2) against the Wild last season. They were led by Daniel Sedin’s 10 points (3G-7A) and plus-2 rating. Kyle Brodziak and Devin Setoguchi led the Wild with 2 goals and 2 assists each.
Saturday, February 9, 2013 vs. Calgary Flames (7:00 PM)
As of this writing, the Flames sit last in the Western Conference, to the surprise of no one, except maybe the Flames.
This will be the second meeting between the two clubs. Two weeks ago at Rogers Arena, the Canucks won in a shootout, paced by Zack Kassian, who scored a goal and the shootout winner.
Alex Tanguay leads the team with 6 points, but it has been the play of Jiri Hudler that has Flames fans excited. Hudler was brought in for top-6 production and he has done exactly that with 5 points (2G-3A) in just 3 games played.