April 12 2012 01:18AM
Following the team's victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the first game of the Western Conference Quarterfinal on Wednesday night, the Kings official Twitter account (@LAKings) tweeted an amusing, trolly joke. The joke - seen above in a screen shot - comically referenced the well worn "the Canucks aren't Canada's team" narrative, and did so in a way that wasn't offensive, classless, cheap or inappropriate.
This wasn't a comment about Kesler's diving, it wasn't a tweet editorializing about Bitz's injurious hit on Kyle Clifford, and it wasn't a comment about what happened in last years Stanley Cup Finals. This was a harmless joke about the - frankly indisputable - fact that the LA Kings have picked up some news fans this week who will root for the team at least through this series.
Of course Canucks fans, fresh off of watching their team lose a postseason game and feeling particularly sensitive, promptly reacted to the tweet as if it was something offensive and juvenile. It's playoff time, baby!
Read past the jump!
April 11 2012 10:09AM
Many, Darryl Sutter included, think the Canucks may be playing mind-games with Daniel Sedin's head-injury.
But does that square with the caution the team has shown in dealing with concussions this season?
It's the question on the lips of everyone in Canucks Nation this morning, 'Will Daniel Sedin return to the line-up tonight?" Whether Daniel Sedin dresses tonight, or not, isn't just an elephant in the room, it's a mastodon. So it's not a surprise that when Alain Vigneault refused to comment at length on the status of his team's leading-scorer, Vancouver media members were unimpressed (none more so than the columnist who has most transparently campaigned for the head-coaches replacement).
Daniel's relative presence at practice yesterday, he didn't skate with the team, but rather, joined the "Black Aces" in a post-practice skate, set off a wave of speculation: was it a setback? Gamesmanship?
This reaction seems odd doesn't it? Why is it that our first reaction as fans, observers or writers, is to instantly begin debating whether or not the team's handling of Daniel is another example of the Canucks playing politics with head injuries?
Read past the jump!
April 10 2012 06:12PM
Love this Lord Stanley quote from the "origin of the Stanley Cup infograph" put together by Visual Capitalist.
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.
April 10 2012 12:17PM
Booth and Raymond work with Canucks skill coaches prior to today's practice.
Photo via David Ebner.
Yesterday, Daniel Sedin skated hard at Canucks practice, and it was revealed that he'd been skating in secret prior to that. That wasn't much of a surprise, if that had been Daniel's first exercise since being cleared to begin skating again, that would've been a massive violation of concussion protocol. It looks today, however, like Daniel Sedin has suffered yet another setback as he was absent from practice today.
Concussions are tricky, unpredictable things. Daniel's return to practice yesterday, and the pace he kept throughout the "zippy" hour long skate, had given us a sense of cautious optimism regarding his possibly prompt return to the lineup. With Daniel having suffered an apparent setback in the past twenty four hours, however, that optimism has quickly been replaced with the realization that, almost certainly, Daniel will miss at least the first game of the opening round series, and quite probably more.
With Daniel back out of the lineup, Vigneault has been forced to shuffle his top-six forward group: Mason Raymond has been bumped up to the top-line, and his role on the second line has been filled by Maxim Lapierre. Zack Kassian, who wore a grey "extras" jersey at yesterday's practice has slotted into Lapierre's spot on the fourth line alongside Byron Bitz and Manny Malhotra.
Click past the jump for a more thorough recap of the many mixed messages emanating out of today's Canucks practice.
April 10 2012 09:48AM
In the first round the Canucks will face an American born Vezina nominee goaltender with an unconventional style...
What can go wrong?
Throughout their mostly sordid history, the Canucks have been unable to buy a break. Now that Vancouver's hockey club ices a perennial power house, a team that has won two consecutive President's Trophies and nearly every individual award a player, General Manager and Head Coach can win - that streak of bad luck continues. Since the lockout, there have never been two more difficult eighth seeds than the 2010-11 Chicago Blackhawks, and the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings. Of course, in the two seasons that the Canucks have a legitimate shot at hockey's holy grail, they're dealt an outrageously tough test right off the bat...
Yes, the Kings are that good. They may look like they're lacking in back-end depth (which is true), and certainly they've struggled to score goals this season, but the stew Daryl Sutter is brewing down in Hollywood still possesses some deadly ingredients.
Read past the jump for our detailed advanced stat preview...