Western Conference Quarter Final Game 5 Preview

Thomas Drance
April 22 2012 09:01AM


Banner courtesy theyslayedthedragon.

The Canucks are coming off of their belated first win of the postseason, way back on Wednesday night. That feels like ages ago, doesn't it? Now that Chris Martin and his merry band or love-songster have cleared out of Rogers Arena, the games can recommence. On Sunday night the Canucks will try to make like the Bee Gees and stay alive in their preliminary round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

In game four the Canucks were buoyed by the return of leading scorer Daniel Sedin, and the calm competence of Cory Schneider - who has been excellent in his two starts so far this postseason. The club is still in a significant hole, down three games to one in the series and facing elimination, but there is some cause for optimism. The steadying presence of Schneider, the apparently rejuvenated power-play and Samme Pahlsson's ability in game four to legitimately contain Anze Kopitar's line is a winning recipe. Can the Canucks fend off the Kings and prolong their season Sunday night? That's the big question.

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Canucks Avoid Elimination in Game 4

Thomas Drance
April 19 2012 10:37AM


(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Well that was more like it!

The Canucks remaing firmly on the chopping block, but with Wednesday night's performance they've secured a stay of execution and will live to play another game on Sunday, in Vancouver. The Canucks were slow out of the gate and frankly looked like a team resigned to their fate through twenty minutes. Cory Schneider, and the hockey gods physics and luck, however, had other plans. With the exception of a pitch-perfect Anze Kopitar snipe and some rebound control issues in the first period - Cory Schneider was absolutely dynamite, and a fortunate bounce off of a Kevin Bieksa point shot gave the Canucks their first fortunate bounce of the series.

In the third period, to their credit, the Canucks took over. L.A. had a couple of chances - a Dustin Brown penalty shot, and a Justin Williams shot from the slot that hit the post - but Vancouver successfully shut the pace of the game down and safely preserved their lead. The club's power-play looked conspicuously dangerous, cashing in twice and putting the game away in the third.

It wasn't the Canucks best game, hell, it wasn't even their best game of the series - but the club got the win they needed and will look to continue their Houdini act going forward.

Know hope, friends!

More analysis, scoring chance data and the statistical three stars (and goats) after the jump!

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Daniel Sedin Set to Return in Game 4

Thomas Drance
April 18 2012 03:08PM


Could Daniel Sedin be the Canucks' savior?
Image via Redditor BlackOutBen.

It has been a little over a month since Daniel Sedin suffered a concussion, the result of Duncan Keith's gutless, retributive elbow to his cranium. After practicing with the team on Tuesday, and skating again Wednesday afternoon without the reoccurence of symptoms, Daniel Sedin is slated to return to action in time for game four. While I'm not a doctor or an expert in concussions - the entire thing makes me queasy.

Read past the jump.

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The end of an era? Cory Schneider to start game 4.

Thomas Drance
April 18 2012 02:34PM


A tale of two 'tenders.

Even before it was confirmed by Alain Vigneault on Wednesday afternoon, all signs were pointing to Cory Schneider getting the nod for the Canucks in tonight's "Do or Die" game four against the Kings. With the team on the brink, the Canucks have tipped their hand: Cory Schneider is starting tonight, and persumably he'll be the team's starter beyond this season.

Read past the jump.

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Daniel Practices, but will he be Back for Game 4?

Thomas Drance
April 17 2012 03:36PM

Through four game in the team's preliminary round series against the Los Angeles Kings, the Canucks have barely been able to buy a goal. Despite out-shooting and out-chancing their opponents, only four of Vancouver's shots have found the back of the net, and only two of those four goals came off of scoring chances.

Clearly the Canucks miss their leading scorer Daniel Sedin, and lo and behold, with the club on the brink of becoming the first President's Trophy winner to be swept in round one of the postseason, Daniel returned to practice Tuesday afternoon. While the proposition of him dressing in game four remains presumptuous, it certainly looks like he's preparing for the possibility of suiting up for Wednesday night's game.

Click past the jump for more.

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