November 22 2013 12:09PM
I guess one potential positive stemming from the recent woes for the Canucks is that people won't run with the narrative of the "trap game" if they don't put together a good performance on Friday night against the Blue Jackets. Sure, they've got the Blackhawks and Kings on their schedule in the next handful of days, but at this point, who are the Canucks to be looking past an opponent? They just got it handed to 'em by the Florida Panthers on their home ice.
The positives? The Columbus Blue Jackets aren't a very good hockey team themselves. They're 8-11-3, and recently lost 7-0 to the Edmonton Oilers. The West has owned the East this year, and that trend has held true for the Canucks, who are 7-3-2 against the other conference.
The negatives? Well, you know them by now. The Canucks can't buy a goal to save their collective lives, yadi yadi yada. If you're looking for some entertainment on a Friday night, you might want to look elsewhere, because this one was the makings of an absolute snoozer..
November 19 2013 01:09PM
Oh, Timmy. What have you gotten yourself into?
On paper you'd think that the Florida Panthers, a team with a 5-12-4 record and a -24 goal differential, are just what the doctor ordered for a reeling Canucks squad that can't buy a goal these days. After all, only two teams have allowed more goals (the Oilers and the Flames, which automatically makes this a fun stat) than the Panthers. That must be music to the ears of the Canucks players, coaching staff, and the fans; their team has managed to score exactly once in each of the past 4 games despite quite handily dominating 3 of them.
But let me caution you from assuming that it's far from a sure thing, because it's not. The Panthers most certainly aren't a good hockey club, but their underlying data is actually significantly better than you'd think a team that holds the type of Win-Loss record that they do would have, and they've got a goaltender in net that could very conceivably put together a brilliant performance to stifle the Canucks for what seems like the millionth time in a row.
Read on past the jump for a preview of Tuesday night's contest.
November 17 2013 11:37AM
I'm a fan of Benn's moustache, Dallas' new unis, and what they're doing over there in Big D.
After having the busiest schedule in the NHL through the first 5-6 weeks of the season, I'm sure that the Canucks have appreciated the fact that they've been able to be at home for a few days off this past week. When they hit the ice to face the Dallas Stars, they'll be doing so for just the 2nd time in 6 days.
The Canucks have had just one win in their last 5 - though they played well enough to win each of those save for the debacle in LA - and now face an interesting stretch in the schedule, with their next 5 games being played at Rogers Arena against a wide range of opponents. Two out of those 5 should in theory be winnable games (Florida, Columbus), they'll be in tough for two (Chicago, Los Angeles), and one will quite frankly be a toss-up (Dallas).
The Stars come into Vancouver riding a high having won 5 of their last 6 games, with their most recent performance featuring a 4-goal game from Tyler Seguin, and a 6-point night from Jamie Benn. They've been playing some good hockey lately, but still, these two teams are pretty much as even as it gets by the numbers.
Read on past the jump for a preview of a game that could go either way.
November 16 2013 01:05PM
Lines from practice - Sedins with Burrows. Kesler with Higgins/Hansen. Santorelli with Booth/Kassian. Richardson with Sestito/Welsh.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) November 16, 2013
The Vancouver Canucks have only played one hockey game since last Sunday, which has allowed them to get healthy and go back to the drawing board in practice. Due to a litany of injuries up-front, we've seen all sorts of different line combinations over the course of the first 6-7 weeks of the season. Some have been good, and some haven't.
This morning it was reported that, with Jannik Hansen set to be activated from the LTIR, we'd see a lineup that was probably much closer to the one we envisioned prior to the season. I've put a fair amount of time into thinking about how I'd personally like to see the 4 lines shake out, and will get into that just past the jump.
November 16 2013 10:38AM
As you can tell, Hunter Shinkaruk probably bit off more than he could chew on Friday night.
The Vancouver Giants are making no secret of the fact that they're not exactly poised to make a run this season. Heck, their slogan for the campaign is "Champions UNDER CONSTRUCTION" written inside of a big road hazard sign. They were a league worst 21-49-2 last season, and they're 9-11-1 this year. As a result, fans of the team - and even casual fans that may have otherwise being going because after all, it's still hockey - haven't exactly been going out to the games in droves.
But on Friday night the Pacific Coliseum saw its 2nd biggest crowd of the year, and with good reason, as Vancouver Canucks 24th overall pick Hunter Shinkaruk came to town with his Medicine Hat Tigers squad. I was there, and while there wasn't much to speak of in the way of worthwhile happenings for the first 2+ periods, the 3rd more than made up for it. After the game I got the chance to speak to Shinkaruk himself, so I've gone ahead and transcribed the interview just past the jump.