January 10 2017 10:03PM
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports
You can take Nashville from Barry Trotz, but if tonight's game is any indication, you can't take Barry Trotz out of Nashville. That was a lifeless game straight from the vaults of the Trotz vs. Vigneault bouts of old.
If not for a high-stick negating a Filip Forsberg goal, the Canucks would've left the first period down a goal with not but four shots to their credit. For a period at least, the Canucks looked like everything prognosticators expected of them, and that was doubly true of their opponents in Nashville.
Nashville didn't let that effort go to waste, though. They picked up right where they left off and put an Auston Watson shot past Ryan Miller for the 1-0 advantage.
The Canucks mounted something of a push soon after, though. Their hyper-modern fourth line pinned the Predators in their zone for well over a minute, generating the first period of sustained offence the Canucks enjoyed all night.
Vancouver didn't mount anything resembling a sustained attack afterwards until they pulled their goalie with roughly two minutes left in the third. They pounced on a poorly timed Colton Sissons turnover and let Brandon Sutter put the puck past a frustrated Pekka Rinne.
Both teams traded barbs in the extra frame. It looked like Vancouver had the upper hand when Mattias Ekholm took a holding penalty in the offensive zone to take down Markus Granlund. Then a quick break in the dying seconds of the overtime power play saw Calle Jarnkrok convert on the two-on-zero with Roman Josi for the winning goal with 1.5 seconds left.
Miller stopped 21 of 23 Predators shots for the Canucks. Opposite Miller, Rinne stopped 29 of 30 Canucks shots tonight.
January 09 2017 08:00PM
For the second consecutive year, Canucks Army is proud to announce its role as a sponsor and contributing member to producing the Vancouver Hockey Analytics Conference.
That isn't exactly news, though. We announced our role in this year's event as recently as October of 2015. What's changed since is that we can provide dates, times and most importantly a vendor for ticket sales so that those interested can attend the event.
January 09 2017 03:33PM
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports
The Carolina Hurricanes are among the league's leaders in waiver wire activity. They've claimed three players already this season, including Ty Rattie most recently. Eventually, though, something has to give. In this case, that something is Andrej Nestrasil's spot with the club.
Waivers: ANDREJ NESTRASIL— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) January 9, 2017
Now that the Canucks have a claim to their credit in 2017, one can imagine a shifting landscape where they invest more in this asset free acquisition space. Especially if reports that they had interest in Matt Nieto when the former San Jose Sharks forward hit waivers are valid.
Believe #Canucks among many teams hoping Matt Nieto might fall to them on waivers. Instead, last-place COL claimed ex-Shark.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) January 5, 2017
With that, let's dive into Nestrasil's bona fides and see if that's an option worth exploring.
January 05 2017 05:00PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
The Sedin twins aren't what they used to be, but who is at 36-years-old? Father time catches up with the best of us, and whether their games depended on youthful hallmarks like speed or physicality or not, they're suffering it the same as anyone.
It's not that they're necessarily bad players. Far from it, even. Whether they have enough to carry a first line without help on a nightly basis is another question entirely. As the season continues and the pair drag onwards towards their lowest point rate over a full season since their fifth season, it becomes increasingly clear that answer is a resounding no.
In fairness to the Sedins, though, it's not a question they likely anticipated responding to this season. The Canucks signed Loui Eriksson to a lucrative six-year contract with a spot alongside the Sedins in mind. Barring that, they had Jannik Hansen to fall back on.
Whether by circumstance or choice, the Sedins have played sparing with either since October. The best-laid plans, and so on. Let's dig into exactly what kind of impact the alternatives are having on their ability to push play as the Canucks premier line.
January 04 2017 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks started 2017 the exact way they finished the year prior -- by winning. String those bookends together, and that's four in a row.
While most are revving up the playoff engine, there's a contingency more reserved in their excitement. Given how the Canucks followed up their last four win run, that's fair enough. The Canucks lost nine straight, scoring in only six of those games, and went 10-18-3 leading into this four-game rise. Once bitten, twice shy.
Eight of the nine teams they played immediately following their last streak are playoff competitors, though. At the very least, they've all remained in the chase. The Canucks face playoff teams in four of their twelve games in January; four of those games, they play against teams immediately ahead of them in the West.
If the Canucks want to make good on their stated goal to make the playoffs, it's now or never. Unrealistic as that may have seemed even a week or two ago, it's not an impossibility. In fact, there are a few reasons to believe it might even be plausible. They're three points out, a distance they can cover in two games