January 31 2014 10:43PM
Great teams have Michael Frolik on the fourth line, Andrew Ladd on the third, and play Dustin Byfuglien as a complimentary forward. Mediocre teams have Andrew Ladd and Michael Frolik on their first line, and lean on Dustin Byfuglien as their promary offensive weapon. Bad teams lose to teams who employ Frolik, Ladd and Byfuglien in major roles. Tonight, as with most nights of late, the Canucks were a bad team.
They were thoroughly out-played by a streaking but still below average Winnipeg Jets team, hemmhoraging scoring chances like a hemophiliac at a Gillette factory, and ultimately losing 4-3 on a late goal by Devin Setoguchi. And if things weren't bad enough, Vancouver lost yet another defenseman to injury. Read past the jump for a recap of tonight's events.
January 31 2014 03:35PM
It's been nearly 18 years since the Canucks last touched down in Winnipeg to play an NHL game, and the last time they did, they faced off against a Winnipeg team that included a young Teemu Selanne, Nikolai Khabibulin and Shane Doan. Suffice to say that a lot (read: everything) has changed since then, except for the fact that the Jets are still painfully mediocre. Then again, so are the Canucks.
Speaking of mediocrity, Vancouver is 7-9-4 in the past 20 games and just 3 points up on Phoenix for the final Wild Card spot. They need a win tonight, and they'll have to do it against some old acquaintances: Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, and Dustin Byfuglien's ass.
January 31 2014 08:23AM
The Vancouver Giants have hit a rough patch of late, dropping 5 of their last 10 games for their worst stretch since early October. Not coincidentally, injuries to Dalton Thrower and Jared Rathjen have left their mark as Vancouver has struggled to keep pucks out of their own net and control the puck at their traditionally strong rates. Read past the jump for a look at Vancouver's recent struggles, and how the post-trade deadline WHL is shaping up.
January 26 2014 11:19PM
Really, I have no idea how to describe Vancouver's 5-4 overtime win against Phoenix in any way that isn't a series on nonsensical grunts and surprised-sounding noises. Vancouver was badly outshot, but carried a lot of the possession. Antoine Vermette scored on one of his shots, but registered a hat-trick. Mike Smith did Mike Smith things.
Really though, the powerplay reached a season low-point, which is saying something considering that its prevailing ineptitude in January was quite a low point on its own. The Canucks were out-shot and out-scored on their own powerplays, but still managed to come away with a victory because hockey is stupid sometimes.
Zac Dalpe was one of Vancouver's best players for god sakes. It was that type of night.
January 26 2014 04:03PM
That wonderful video is courtesy of Paul Almeida and it pretty much sums up everything wrong with the Canucks powerplay right now: they're generating a lot of shots, they can't score on any of their shots, and Dan Hamhuis is on it. Now, we're big Dan Hamhuis fans here on Canucks Army, but the simple fact of the matter is that Vancouver is better off having literally anybody on the powerplay in place of Hamhuis at the moment. The good news is that it looks like Mike & Gully have heeded our desperate pleas ahead of tonight's game against the Phoenix Coyotes and have taken Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa off the first unit powerplay in favour of Jason Garrison and Yannick Weber.
The bad news is that this comes at the expense of David Booth.
Now, I can hear some of you snickering right now. "David Booth!?" you may say. "What the hell good is David Booth!?" you may say. Well, David Booth is absolutely a useful player, and benching him, especially in light of recent injuries and scoring woes, is an insane move. We'll get into why after the break.