February 02 2013 12:10AM
Photo via Jeff Vinnick/NHLInterative
When our pal Thomas sent out an email Friday afternoon putting himself out for the night with a lower-body injury, I sympathized. It did remain that we needed somebody to step in and count the scoring chances and write a post-game recap for this contest. Hockey is a physical game, and blogging can take a toll on a human being as well. You may laugh, but without being in the right creative mindset, or generally feeling uncomfortable, blogging feels like work, man.
I think I would have preferred to spend my Friday night messed up on painkillers nursing a back injury than re-living this dud of a game. A hockey game was scheduled to start just after 7:00 p.m. on a gorgeous February night in Vancouver. A little over two and a half hours later, the game was over, and the Canucks found themselves with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. There was supposed to be a furious pace, there was supposed to be furious retribution for Duncan Keith's elbow to Daniel Sedin's head when the teams last faced each other. Neither of those things happened.
Neither team deserved to win. Neither team dressed more than one line for the contest. But somebody did and, to the readers of this blog, the right team won. Analysis below.
January 31 2013 12:04AM
Photo from Rich Lam/NHLInteractive
Well, a lot of things happened in the Vancouver Canucks most recent win over the Colorado Avalanche. I missed part of the game because I took a time machine back to the year 2007, because it's been a while since Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins so obviously carried a game for this team.
That's not too fair to the rest of the forward group. I haven't watched every Canucks game this season, but my impression has been that the group has been the weaker team most nights. That, combined with a 2-2-2 start, and it was probably a good night for the team to face a weak divisional foe missing inarguably its best two players in Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly. Also, the Canucks have seemed to have beaten Colorado every single game since the Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic era.
And the team responded well. They, well crushed Colorado in every aspect of the game, as they probably should have done. Our detailed recap is below.
January 30 2013 01:45PM
Luongo starting for the Canucks tonight isn't a controversy.
Ryan O'Reilly not starting for the Avalanche? Now that's a controversy.
Roberto Luongo is starting for the Vancouver Canucks tonight against Colorado, for the second game in a row, the latest inexplicable move by the milt of a bench boss who seems determined to keep this goalie controversy active and festering in the minds of his players, players who are performing below their expected ability because of the mental distraction wrought on them by not knowing in the back of their minds who the clear No. 1 goaltender is for this once proud franchise.
Gee, that's a mouthful, and difficult to write without placing my tongue firmly on the part of my keyboard analogous to the cheek, and spewing nonsense out of my mouth. The words are certainly in English, but the thoughts don't make any sense.
January 29 2013 06:44PM
A hypothesis: the rumours concerning the Canucks' defensive demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Looking through my time-line on Twitter, I've read that Alex Edler isn't deserving of his contract, that Kevin Bieksa is the worst No. 1 in the league, that Dan Hamhuis looks terrible this season, and I've also read people calling for Jason Garrison's head just six games into a new contract. Rest assured, all of that is mostly over-wrought pablum.
Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev get a pass online, though, and as much as I'd like to say that Chris Tanev's minutes should be upped to include prime powerplay and penalty kill time, as well as thrust the young, undrafted defenceman into a shutdown role at even strength, now is really not the time.
January 20 2013 02:30PM
Photo uncredited via NHL.
It's been nearly ten hours since the Vancouver Canucks were lit-up by noted sniper Daniel Winnik and young gun Teemu Selanne in their home debut against the Anaheim Ducks. On a quick turnaround, the Canucks will face-off against a veteran Edmonton Oilers squad, one that has finished 30th, 30th and 29th in the league in the past three seasons, poised to take the next step.
Okay, well none of the modifying words in the above paragraph were true. The Oilers do play the Canucks tonight, though, and the Oilers have finished out of the playoffs every season since their Cup Finals run in 2006, they've gone through one rebuild already, but their group this time around looks much better than the last one. They're led by the excellent young players Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, while top prospects Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz get their first taste of NHL action at the Rog.