December 13 2016 10:21PM
Photo Credit: James Guillory
If there's one thing this game had in spades, it's entertainment value. I don't think anyone anticipated the league's 28th and 20th ranked offences combining for 14 goals in one sitting.
Multiple lead changes and four goaltenders later, the Canucks and Hurricanes got there. The Canes drew first blood. Sebastian Aho set the pace for Carolina just over five minutes in, sending home a tic-tac-toe passing play past Ryan Miller. Sven Baertschi evened it for the Canucks two minutes later though making good on his return after a one-game respite from Vancouver's lineup.
Going into the second frame down 2-1 to the Canes, the Canucks offence entered second, third and eventually fourth gear. Alexandre Burrows, Markus Granlund, Ben Hutton and Baertschi all found twine. Carolina pulled Cam Ward after allowing three goals on 15 shots.
The Ward pull seemed to light a fire under the Canes in the third. They scored five goals in the third (six if you count the empty net marker), four of which came in a five-minute span. Vancouver pulled Ryan Miller after the sixth goal, ending his 24 save night. Brandon Sutter pulled the Canucks within one, but a Lee Stempniak empty-netter settled the score at 8-6 for the Hurricanes.
December 12 2016 03:28PM
Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks aren't a team that can score at will at the best of time. So count me among those most surprised when Willie Desjardins sat Sven Baertschi for Sunday's game against the Washington Capitals.
In the coaching staff's defence, Baertschi had arguably his worst game of the season one night prior in Florida. The return of Jannik Hansen meant somebody had to be pulled from the lineup, too. If the goal is to remain competitive on a night-to-night basis, though, they overshot their mark.
While I don't necessarily think Baertschi is the difference between a win or loss, he's still one of Vancouver's better forwards. At the very least, he's not holding the club back. That much we can say with a degree of certainty.
December 12 2016 01:00PM
My, what an interesting week we've had. The Canucks beat the Lightning 5-1 and were summarily dismantled by the Panthers and Capitals alike in the two games that immediately followed. What a stretch.
The combination of Jayson Megna and Jack Skille combined for five goals this week. Honestly, I'd be happy with them having a five goal season. So that's nice.
Well, enough inane rambling. Let's get onto the questions. That's what we're all here for, right?
December 11 2016 06:17PM
Photo Credit: Brad Mills - USA TODAY Sports
There are back-to-back hockey games, and then there's this. You have the Canucks, at the end of a road trip, on the second half of a pair of weekend games played fewer than 24 hours apart, on their fourth game in six days. Opposite them the Washington Capitals, who last played Friday.
If ever one wanted an example of scheduled loss, look no further. It doesn't get any better than this.
Frankly, though, I wouldn't force this game upon my worst enemies Clockwork Orange style. That's a fate even the worst among us aren't apt to suffer.
The Canucks were listless. Want one statistic to really draw the message home? It took Vancouver five power plays to tally their first shot with the man advantage -- five power plays. That's par for the course on the night, though. The Capitals outshot the Canucks and shut them out to boot, 3-0.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 of 28 shots for Vancouver. Braden Holtby stopped all 20 of the Canucks shots.
December 10 2016 02:12PM
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger - USA TODAY Sports
Josh Jooris isn't an especially imposing player physically, or even on the score sheet for that matter. He does his job in an efficient, unnoticeable manner that adds value on a nightly basis. At the very worst, he's a plug and play forward capable of straddling centre or wing responsibilities on any given line.
The New York Rangers, like the Calgary Flames before them, haven't any use for such a player, apparently. At least that's the implications made in this Chris Johnston report, which indicates the Rangers have placed Jooris on waivers for the purpose of reassignment.
The #NYR have placed Josh Jooris on waivers.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 10, 2016
This claim, like countless others before it, is a slam dunk for the Canucks concerning roster composition. Given the players they've passed on previously, though, we know that's likely not enough to shake them from their waiver wire reluctance. Then again, there's a degree of familiarity here, so I wouldn't discount the possibility of a claim entirely.
You know the drill. All hands on deck, let's dive in.