Canucks Army Postgame: All Our Streaks Are Belong to Tampa

J.D. Burke
October 19 2014 12:51AM

The Canucks already saw their sellout streak at home spoiled, but they entered tonight undefeated to start the season. On the second night of back-to-backs, facing a team that doesn't hail from Alberta, it's fair to say the Canucks faced their first real challenge of the young 2013-14 campaign.

Tampa Bay with their lengthy list of B.C. born talent - including a very upset Jason Garrison - came to town with hopes of improving upon their 2-1-1 start to the season. The Lightning are the subject of much adulation from pundits everywhere and are generally expected to compete for the Eastern Conference title. With their high-octane offence in tow, they aimed to showcase they were better than their record. A step was taken in the right direction tonight, at the expense of our beloved Canucks.

More on the other side of the jump!

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Trade Targets for Defensive Depth

J.D. Burke
October 16 2014 05:00PM

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Should the Canucks bring B.C. native and VANCOUVER GIANTS LEGEND Cody Franson home?

If there is anything we can glean from these first two games, it's that the Vancouver Canucks are short on defensive depth. As much as the change around town is relished and providing solid early returns, this is an area of concern all the same.

This franchise could sit on its heels and watch the wheels spin without so much as batting an eye, but they've every intention of making the playoffs this season and standing pat would bode poorly for their chances. Injuries are a nasty occurrence, and they've always a knack for striking Canucks defencemen at the worst of moments. 

Before you know it one injury to the blue line has turned to three and having a good sixth or seventh defenceman won't be enough. Yann Sauve should never enter an NHL arena as anything more than a fan, let alone the three games he did last season as a Canuck.

Lets look at one of the Canucks biggest issues with their roster and what they can do about fixing it.

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Canucks Army Postgame: Canucks Still on Pace for 82 Wins!

J.D. Burke
October 12 2014 01:38AM

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Another step closer to the coveted 82-0 season that has eluded this franchise all these years. It wasn't easy, but the Canucks persevered through a boring and less than fortuitous first half en route to an exciting 5-4 victory in the shootout.

The aforementioned boredom reared its ugly head before the puck had even dropped. The Canucks made their introductions, from the training staff all the way to Top Sixtito. There's been considerable changes made to this roster and this was about as good an introduction to the new faces as could be forced upon this markets faithful. 

A delayed puck drop did little to alleviate this lull. The Canucks stepped out of the gate flat and listless. An opportunistic Oilers squad with an extended history of disdain for Vancouver hopped on this opportunity to the eventual tune of a 4-2 lead. PDO is a fickle mistress and the Canucks had clearly been neglecting her calls for the better part of this week. Score effects? That's another story.

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Canucks Army GDT #2 - Oilers @ Canucks

J.D. Burke
October 11 2014 05:46PM

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For the third time in little over a week, the Vancouver Canucks are set to face the Edmonton Oilers. Tonight's tilt is set to take place at Rogers Arena, with the visiting Oilers fresh off the heels of a 5-2 loss at the hands of their provincial rival, Calgary Flames.

Not that pride has ever been in high-supply within that locker room, but they're a year older and perhaps it's an acquired taste that they're just now beginning to introduce to their palate. It's within the realm of possibility that they come out all guns firing and better prepared for the Canucks than we could ever imagine.

By that same token, the recent matchup totals between these two clubs in Rogers Arena aren't overly flattering of the Oilers or their chances tonight. Over the past five seasons, the Oilers have accrued a 3-10-1 record in Vancouver. 

There's a great little rivalry brewing between these two clubs. Regardless of whether Zack Kassian invokes Copper and Blue's use of the the Code of Hammurabi again, it should be fun.

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Canucks Army Player Previews: Radim Vrbata

J.D. Burke
October 10 2014 05:00PM

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As dominant as the Sedins have been for the better part of this last decade, the same cannot be said of their right flank. Players with varying degrees of talent and ability have come and gone on that line, with about half of them never panning out elsewhere. Everyone from Trent Klatt, Anson Carter, Markus Naslund, Taylor Pyatt, Mikael Samuelsson and Alex Burrows all got their shot with the twins. Some stays being longer than others.

The closest that the Sedins have ever been to a permanent fixture on the right side is none other than Alex Burrows. Last season saw the Canucks take a step away from that trio, though. A series of injuries to Burrows and the concept of front-loading the Canucks offence with Ryan Kesler as their right-winger and trigger-man spelled the beginning of that end.

This off-season, the Canucks did their best to make that switch from Burrows the rule, not the exception. They did so by signing Radim Vrbata, formerly of the Arizona Coyotes. At  33 years old, it seems highly unlikely that the Canucks see Vrbata as the long-term fixture on that line. It's evident in the contract they signed Vrbata to, which runs for just two-years at $5 million per season.

What are the Canucks getting in Vrbata, though? Can he help resuscitate the Sedins offense? I'll try to answer both these questions, on the other side of the jump.

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