April 20 2012 08:21AM
Click on the image to enlarge!
April 19 2012 02:44PM
What is Mason Raymond?
Until this year, Mason Raymond was a puck-moving forward who drew penalties, pushed the play forward, and set up chances in the offensive zone. His unspectacular ability around the net didn't convince many people of his value, but the hidden things Raymond did away from the puck were why the Canucks wanted him in the lineup game after game after game.
Raymond secretly turned in a career year last season, doing things silently that helped the Canucks to a dominant regular season and their first ever Presidents' Trophy win.
April 19 2012 01:49PM
The Chicago Wolves will need Steve Reinprecht to continue to produce offensively in the playoffs.
Photo by Chris Jerina/Ahlinphotos.com
This season was a strong one for the Chicago Wolves, who won 47 games and their division. They'll go into the postseason as the third ranked seed, and look to have an outside chance at making a deep run into the Calder Cup Finals! This season, the veteran squad has been extremely effective defensively, and has enjoyed stellar goaltending from both Matt Climie and Eddie Lack. While the club struggled to score in the early part of their season, the veteran presence of Darren Haydar and Steve Reinprecht, the continued development of Jordan Schroeder and linemate Mike Davies gave the Wolves enough offensive punch to win their tightly contested division. With the addition of the Canucks first round in last years draft Nicklas Jensen, the Wolves should have enough offense so that, when combined with their penalty-killing mastery and reliable goaltending, they'll be an extremely tough out!
Read past the jump for a more detailed preview of the Wolves preliminary round series!
April 19 2012 12:41PM
With the season on the line, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault opted to start Cory Schneider in Game Four. Schneider had started game three in what was likely an attempt to shake up the Canucks after they’d lost their first two games at home, and he’d played well.
Does that decision mean that the Canucks are now Schneider’s team?
April 19 2012 10:37AM
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
Well that was more like it!
The Canucks remaing firmly on the chopping block, but with Wednesday night's performance they've secured a stay of execution and will live to play another game on Sunday, in Vancouver. The Canucks were slow out of the gate and frankly looked like a team resigned to their fate through twenty minutes. Cory Schneider, and the hockey gods physics and luck, however, had other plans. With the exception of a pitch-perfect Anze Kopitar snipe and some rebound control issues in the first period - Cory Schneider was absolutely dynamite, and a fortunate bounce off of a Kevin Bieksa point shot gave the Canucks their first fortunate bounce of the series.
In the third period, to their credit, the Canucks took over. L.A. had a couple of chances - a Dustin Brown penalty shot, and a Justin Williams shot from the slot that hit the post - but Vancouver successfully shut the pace of the game down and safely preserved their lead. The club's power-play looked conspicuously dangerous, cashing in twice and putting the game away in the third.
It wasn't the Canucks best game, hell, it wasn't even their best game of the series - but the club got the win they needed and will look to continue their Houdini act going forward.
Know hope, friends!
More analysis, scoring chance data and the statistical three stars (and goats) after the jump!