February 18 2012 12:30PM
Regrettably, the vandalism of Milan Lucic's families church was done in the Canucks name, or at least, in the "Canuks" name. In the aftermath of that incident, iconic Vancouver Sun sports-writer Cam Cole wrote a must-read take on the embarrassment a minority of over-zealous Canucks fans have caused the city, and the franchise. The take originally ran on-line in the National Post with a line about Mike Gillis not being able to be reached for comment. Late yesterday evening, however, the column was edited to include some choleric comments from the Canucks general manager.
February 18 2012 10:11AM
Other considered preview headlines: "Eviction Nonis" and "Baby got Burke!"
The last time the Leafs defeated the Canucks in Vancouver, the calender read 2003. Phil Kessel and I were in the 10th grade, Brian Burke was the architect of an entertaining Canucks team having a renaissance in the Vancouver market, and Dave Nonis was Burke's assistant general manager. Yep, a lot has changed since that day, and also, Dave Nonis is still Burke's assistant general manager.
Tonight, in fair Vancouver where we lay our scene, two teams both alike in post-expansion indignity will renew acquaintances. With two former Canucks General Managers in the house, it promises to be more than just another mid-February game, so expect money on the board.
At this point, the Canucks are clearly Gillis' team but Nonis and Burke were the guys who grafted the adamantium onto the exoskeleton of Vancouver's, apparently Wolverine-like, contending hockey club. Between them, they brought in the Sedins and Luongo (in hilariously lopsided deals). They drafted Kesler, Raymond, Edler, Hansen and Cory Schneider (also, Patrick White). They were wise enough to sign Bieksa to an ELC after he punched out Fedor Fedorov, and unwise enough to give us the "Byron Ritchie: power-play quarterback" era. This was the management team which took a chance on Burrows, and also, stubbornly stuck with Dan Cloutier...
The team Nonis and Burke bring with them tonight is not one of those limp-noodle, top-10 pick (Boston via Toronto), cough up a three goal lead at home to Alex Burrows (then trade half of your team the very next day) Leafs teams of the recent past. This season's Leafs are legitimately exciting to watch, they can score with anybody and, in the midst of a tight race to make the playoffs in the East, they should be desperate.
A more thorough preview and underlying numbers for both teams after the jump!
February 16 2012 08:50PM
The church Milan Lucic's family attends in Vancouver was vandalized (photo came via his girlfriend's twitter account).
8 months and one day ago, the Canucks were defeated in game seven of the Stanley Cup Final at the hands of Milan Lucic and the Boston Bruins. Yet it was only today, nearly 250 days later, that the first "Stanley Cup" rioter Ryan DIckinson, was sentenced to 17 months in jail. Today should've marked a step towards closure, a milestone along the path to putting that ugly moment in the history of the city and in the history of the Canucks and their fans in the rearview mirror. Instead, there's a new stain on the reputation of the city and the fan-base.
February 16 2012 03:15PM
If today's links post doesn't get you at least as excited as the Sedins are above, then I've failed.
Headshots are a Canucks Army feature where we link to the day's freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost, produced a tribute video or birthed a clever .gif into existence - please e-mail Thom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 15 2012 11:36PM
The Canucks confused everyone by winning a game in sixty minutes.
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
For the first time in seven Roberto Luongo starts, the Canucks managed to end a game without the use of a shootout. What the midwestern hockey fans call "Free Hockey" has become so commonplace for the Canucks, that it almost felt strange to see them take two points in regulation. It has now officially been a month since the Canucks last regulation loss (January 15th against Anaheim), but this was only the third win in the team's last eleven games that occurred without the use of the shootout or over-time. I'm downright shocked, I tell you!
For the most part, tonight's affair was a pretty even game. While Roberto Luongo was once again the difference, it was nice to see the Sedins possessing the puck, and realistically threatening to perform acts of Sedinery for the first time in what seems like months! The game also saw Jannik Hansen, who scored the game winner off a lovely set up from fourth liner Cody Hodgson, and Alex Burrows break extended goal-scoring droughts.
A more detailed recap, the statistical three stars and scoring chance data after the jump!