Kesler, Canucks to Support You Can Play

Thomas Drance
March 19 2012 02:43PM


The You Can Play project was launched by the Burke family in honour of Brendan Burke, a gay athlete who perished tragically in late 2009. I'm proud of the way the hockey community is leading the way on a critical social issue, the acceptance of LGBT athletes in professional sports, and I was thrilled today to hear that the organization has added their newest spokesman - Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.

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Game #72 Preview - Expunging The Xcel Demons

Thomas Drance
March 19 2012 12:19PM

The Canucks, fresh off a win over Columbus on Saturday that was altogether too close for comfort, will look to continue to shake out some cobwebs tonight as they roll into the home-base of the Minnesota Wild. The Canucks are hated in Minnesota, and generally speaking have had some memorably godawful games at the Xcel Energy Center over the past couple of seasons. From the Rypien incident, to the 5-2 shellacking they took in November - the Canucks are occasionally ambushed by their Xcel demons, despite consistently being a far superior side to the one the Wild ice.

Tonight, they'll face Josh Harding, with Mason Raymond in the press-box, Manny Malhotra back in the lineup and Cory Schneider in net. Will the twins be reunited with the Burrows? Is the Edler-Bieksa experiment finally over?

Read past the jump for a more thorough recap, underlying numbers and the three keys to the game!

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Game #71 Preview: Canucks Look to get off the Schneid

Thomas Drance
March 17 2012 11:20AM


Of late the Canucks are reeling. Or, more accurately, they're mired in a minor losing streak punctuated by defensive breakdowns, and general indifference. Results aside, the team has played a much better possession game since the trade deadline, and I'd argue that they've been better over the past two weeks than they were in January for example (when they were winning every game, but playing really brutal hockey).

If the Canucks can stop giving up odd-man rushes by the dozen, they'll be fine, and a game against the league's worst team on Hockey Night in Canada should be a good opportunity to turn things around. Though the defensive play has been spotty, Roberto Luongo's McSofty coupon book (2-for-1 special!) has also been wide open over the past couple of weeks. He'll be on the bench tonight, as the Canucks look to get off the Schneid with Schneider between the pipes.

For a more detailed preview, underlying numbers and the three keys to the game click past the jump!

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Headshots March 14th

Thomas Drance
March 14 2012 02:39PM

Maybe Mason Raymond really IS evil.
Now I understand why Canucks fans greet his appearance with jeers, like he's the bad guy in a pantomime.

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

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Hodgson's Sabres Struggles

Thomas Drance
March 14 2012 08:09AM


Since the Canucks granted Cody Hodgson's trade request, the talented rookie pivot has played in 8 games with the Buffalo Sabres. During that stretch Buffalo's club has been extremely successful, going on a 6-2-0 run that has them squarely in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Despite the team's success: Cody Hodgson has been struggling to produce offense, generate opportunities and drive play. In 8 games with Buffalo, Hodgson has generated only 12 shots on goal (four of them in his first game), and he's been held pointless while averaging slightly more than 15:15 of ice-time per game. To contextualize how much the rookie's ice-time has increased since he was freed from the iron tutelage of Alain Vigneault - the Canucks bench boss only doled out in excess of 15:15 minutes to Hodgson five times total, in fifty-five games in Vancouver this season.

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