Canucks Get Thunderstruck, Survive

Thomas Drance
January 11 2012 10:01AM

It was the second game of a back-to-back and the team's 9th game in the last 16 days, and did it ever show. The Canucks needed a cheapish shootout goal to escape Tampa Bay with two points, despite the fact that the Lightning thoroughly dominated proceedings on Tuesday. The Canucks were pummeled at even-strength, and surrendered 25! total chances to last season's Eastern Conference bridesmaid.

Luckily for Vancouver, they had Cory Schneider in net and he had a terrific game despite the four goals allowed. In fact the play of Schneider, contrasted with the less than stellar performance of Dwayne Roloson for Tampa, allowed the Canucks to snatch two points from the jaws of defeat.

A more thorough recap, the statistical three stars and scoring chance data after the jump.

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Shawn Thornton Tells Folk Tales, Rips Tony Gallagher

Thomas Drance
January 10 2012 11:50PM

I'm writing this just after 1:30 AM EST, so it has now been roughly 81 hours since the conclusion of the Canucks dramatic 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon. Yet still, in the Boston or the Vancouver markets, that game and these two teams are all anyone seems able to talk about. The media, the fan-bases, the management, the players - they all hate each other. The Bruins have called out Shanahan, they've made Bertuzzi references, while the Canucks have mocked the Bruins' intelligence and made some vague threats about "getting back" at Marchand at some undefined time in the future. It's all very dramatic.

To that end, the video embedded above is possibly the best piece of "CANUCKS BRUINS RIVALRY OMG" media that's been produced to date. Basically Tony Gallagher joined Shawn Thornton and some Boston homer media host to discuss the Dale Weise non-fight, among other unresolved issues from Saturday's contest. Here are some highlights:

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On Rebukes, Hip-Checks and Playing to Injure

Thomas Drance
January 10 2012 09:34AM

I spent much of Monday on twitter pointing out why it's impossible to look at Marchand's "low-bridge" hit on Salo in the context of other hip-checks (as Bruins fans, and Boston media were desperately trying to do). In my view Marchand's was a uniquely predatory hit, with it's own particular context, and we certainly didn't see anything like it in last years playoffs. I thought Harrison Mooney nailed it on Sunday, and I personally saw the two punches to the head of Sami Salo prior to Marchand's submarining as indicative of intent. I'm usually reluctant to ascribe injurious intent to players on hits if there isn't tangible evidence (like multiple cheap-shots five seconds prior to the hit) to support it. In this case, I thought it was pretty clear cut.

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Why the NHLPA's Rejection of Realignment is Bad News for the Canucks

Thomas Drance
January 09 2012 09:25AM


Donald Fehr Executive Director of the NHLPA, who on Friday rejected the NHL's proposed realignment.
It's a safe bet that the Canucks organization is particularly unhappy about it.

When Donald Fehr and the NHLPA rejected the NHL's popular realignment plan, scrapping the plan at least for next hockey season, the Canucks cannot have been pleased. From my perspective as a Canucks fan, I'm disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing the Wild shipped out of the division, and to the Canucks playing in the same conference as their burgeoning rivals in California.

From my perspective as a hockey fan, however, it's nice to see the NHLPA show some back-bone and with CBA negotiations being right around the corner, it makes sense for the union to secure every available bargaining chip in advance. Nonetheless, the Canucks are clearly among the league's biggest losers in the wake of the NHLPA rejection. Let's take a look at why:

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Canucks Victorious in Boston in Regular Season Game

Thomas Drance
January 07 2012 04:58PM


On Saturday afternoon, the Bruins had no answer for Hodgson and the Canucks.

The Bruins play dirty hockey. It's true and we all know it. Today was no exception, as Boston's club attempted to intimidate and push around the Canucks in their own barn. And why wouldn't they have taken that approach, hell it won them the finals and helped them earn this "Baltimore Ravens of the NHL" mystique that they've been riding high on all season.

The problem is, if the referees call the game correctly (which, for the most part they did today, with a couple of notable exceptions) then dirty play leads to penalty minutes, which, leads to power-play opportunities for the other team. In the finals, the Canucks were unable to execute and it cost them the series. This afternoon, however, while the Bruins were out to settle scores and endanger the playing careers of well-loved Finnish defenseman, the Canucks padded their lead on the man-advantage, scoring four power-play goals on their way to a convincing 4-3 road win over the Bruins. It was awesome.

A more extensive recap, the statistical three stars and scoring chance data after the jump.

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