November 05 2013 02:52PM
I'm sure that Mike Smith will make himself the centre of attention, yet again.
After taking care of business against the hated Toronto Maple Leafs on Pavel Bure's special night, the Vancouver Canucks have been rewarded with a 4-game trip out west to take on the Coyotes, Sharks, Ducks, and Kings. Those teams have a combined 41-13-5 redcord, which is the reason the 10-5-1 Canucks are only good for 4th place in the Pacific at the moment.
The next 5 games - including another meeting against the Sharks when they return home from the trip - will surely tell us quite a bit more about where this team stands in relation to its contemporaries. The team responded admirably to the adversity it faced during its Eastern trip, but I don't need to tell you that this is a whole 'nother animal.
No it's literally a different animal.. it's a Coyote. Read on past the jump for a look at tonight's game.
November 04 2013 11:52AM
Ryan Stanton is loving life right now, and making Mike Gillis look real smart. [Image via Timothy Ludwig]
If you live in or around Vancouver you know that the majority of the summer around here was spent verbally eviscerating the job Mike Gillis was doing running their favourite team. It wasn't fair for the most part given the way the lowered cap had tied his hands, but still, it was hard not to look around and see teams getting better while the Canucks were standing pat. That anger was only exacerbated by the four game sweep at the hands of the Sharks that had put a bow on a rather miserable lockout shortened campaign.
By hook or by crook the Canucks had lost Derek Roy, Mason Raymond, Max Lapierre, Keith Ballard, and Andrew Ebbett (all of whom had contributed to the team in some way, shape, or form). They ultimately replaced those guys with the following list of players, which I mockingly tweeted out back on September 30th. It's safe to say that I wasn't overly optimistic about the way the roster was constructed heading into opening night.
Obviously five weeks later, myself and many others have been made to look silly by a team that has managed to go 10-5-1 despite a series of unfortunate events. Even Lemony Snicket couldn't have made this stuff up. Their best players can be thanked for the success, no doubt, but it's hard not to appreciate what three of the players on that aforementioned list - Mike Santorelli, Brad Richardson, and Ryan Stanton - have brought to the table. We all know about Santorelli's accomplishments by now. And Richardson has done a fine job moving around the bottom-6 and contributing on the penalty kill.
But it's quite possible that the best acquisition of the summer was the one that Mike Gillis made just a day before the preseason, and that was bringing in undrafted AHL veteran Ryan Stanton. Read on past the jump for more on the unsung defenseman that will finally get his due.
October 30 2013 03:39PM
The matchup to follow tonight, no doubt. [Image via Jeff Vinnick]
Things are good in Vancouver right now, with the Canucks - who have won 4 in a row to improve to a 9-4-1 record, which is rather significantly better than I expected it to be at this point - coming off of a dominant performance against the Washington Capitals on Monday night.
The Detroit Red Wings come into town tonight and while they're certainly not your father's Wings they still provide intrigue. I'll save my thoughts on their lineup until we get past the jump, but - in something that's seems like a curious decision by quite possibly the best coach in hockey - expect to see a familiar (toothless) face on their top line.
Can the Canucks win their 5th game in a row and become the 4th fastest team to get to double digit victories on the season? Well..
October 28 2013 11:48PM
The Sedinery was strong in this one.
In the preview I highlighted two reasons this could be an exciting affair; Alex Ovechkin's brilliant play, and the troubles the Washington Capitals have had in stopping opposing teams from doing what they've wanted to against them thus far. One of those came true, and considering that this is a Canucks blog, I'm sure that many of our readers will be happy with which one it was.
Read on past the jump for a recap of how the Vancouver Canucks were able to win their 4th straight game en route to improving their record on the season to an impressive 9-4-1. I'll give you a quick hint: it had to do with the picture above.
October 28 2013 03:30PM
Image via @JacqSparrow
In the preview of tonight's game against the Washington Capitals (which will be taking place in the friendly confines of Rogers Arena for what seems like the first time in ages), I mentioned that this past weekend was a pretty slow one from a Canucks perspective with the team getting a few days off to recuperate from their trip.
But now we've got a new week on our hands, and there's a bunch of news and notes to discuss. I didn't think that any of it really warranted a full post for itself, so instead I decided that this would be a good opportunity to dust off the ol' Afternoon Headshots.
Just past the jump we'll take a look at some injury news, recognition for Ryan Kesler's play, and some other goodies.