Spin it like Henrik

Thomas Drance
April 16 2012 10:03AM

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

It hasn't been a banner week for the Canucks.

Vancouver's club has been punchless in their first round series against the Kings, they've been outscored 9 to 4 and their special teams have been an unmitigated disaster. One of the club's brightest lights, All-Star defenseman Alex Edler, has struggled so greatly with his decision making that he's quickly earning "goat" status among the Canucks faithful who only ten days ago voted him as the Babe Pratt winner (best defenseman). Add all of that to the the three-games-to-none deficit the club now finds themselves in, in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series, and there aren't a lot of positives.

There's even a chance that the Canucks could become the first President's Trophy winner in history to get swept in the preliminary round of the playoffs. But for a club that has made a habit of collecting unique, notorious NHL records  like candy, that's nothing new really. This franchise is the only non-Stanley Cup winner to make it to a game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals and lose, and they've done it twice. They're also the first team to be shutout in a Stanley Cup Finals game seven...

But we'll have plenty of time for an extended Canucks autopsy over the coming months, so let's avoid that until Thursday at least. Barring a miracle sweep, however, the Canucks will almost certainly not make it out of the first round this season. The Canucks are on the brink, and there's a good deal of doom and gloom in the Vancouver market right now, but let's try to spin like Henrik and look at the bright side for a moment.

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Confirmed: Cory Schneider Starts Game 3

Thomas Drance
April 15 2012 02:20PM

With the Canucks down two games to none in their first round series against the L.A. Kings, head-coach Alain Vigneault doesn't have a lot of cards left to play. One of his possible trump cards, however, is stalwart backup goaltender Cory Schneider. Vigneault is going all in for game three, as he's confirmed that Cory Schneider will get the nod in net on Sunday evening.

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Cory Schneider Abandons his Usual Tact, Mocks Edmonton

Thomas Drance
April 13 2012 10:42AM

Throughout the past two seasons Cory Schneider has repeatedly proven to be exceptionally skilled with his use of words. When you think about it, this skill has been essential to him, after all he occupies a highly flammable position in the Vancouver sports market. Just one tone-deaf Schneider quote could bring a chorus of boo's down on already embattled starter Roberto Luongo. Certainly Schneider is popular enough, especially among certain segments of Canucks fans, that if he came out and said something even indirectly referencing the idea that he "should be the starter" all hell would break loose on the Team 1040's call-in shows.

Schneider is something of a chameleon, really. He's Boston born, but he plays for the Canucks, and if the alleged actions of his Massachusetts born girlfriend Jill are any indication, he's very loyal towards his first professional team. He can impersonate any Canucks roster player or coach with aplomb and he can talk politics without hitting a single wrong note. We've said it before, but Schneider has a politicians understanding of "messaging" and so it was a surprise to hear that yesterday, he took an all-out, tactless (albeit highly accurate and amusing) shot at one of the Canucks most moribund divisional "rivals": the Edmonton Oilers

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Bitz Suspended Two Games

Thomas Drance
April 12 2012 06:28PM

Going into the postseason, the Canucks were the only NHL team that could boast a clean sheet where supplementary discipline was concerned. That changed on Thursday evening, as it was officially announced that Byron Bit has received a two game suspension from the league for his dirty hit to the head of L.A. Kings pugilist Kyle Clifford in game one. Kyle Clifford will miss at least the next game between the two teams on Friday.

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Kings Defeat Undisciplined, Diving Canucks in Game 1

Thomas Drance
April 12 2012 01:56PM

Jarred Stoll celebrates Willie Mitchell's go ahead goal in the second period. L.A. won the game 4-2.
(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Canucks and King opened their Western Conference Quarterfinal series on Wednesday night, and while the Kings clearly handled the proceedings, out-shooting the Canucks 39 to 26 and winning the game, it wasn't all bad for Vancouver's side.

Unfortunately, however, there was undeniably more bad than good. Vancouver's power-play unit was an unqualified disaster, and a string of bad hits from Zack Kassian, Maxim Lapierre and especially Byron Bitz, ultimately cost Vancouver the game. The vaunted "PhD" line of Samme Pahlsson, Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins had their teeth kicked in by the Kings top-line, and late in the third period, Alex Edler, who had an otherwise strong game, had a brain-fart giveaway that resulted in Dustin Penner's game winning goal...

All that said, the Canucks were the better team in the third period, and overall at even-strength in the game. Vancouver's penalty-kill looked excellent (despite surrendering two, flukey goals), and Roberto Luongo was solid for the most part. This series is a long way from being over, and while it didn't exactly get off to the start Canucks fans were hoping for, there is some cause for optimism despite Wednesday's rather ghastly result.

Click past the jump for a more detailed recap, analysis, scoring chance data and the statistical three stars!

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