March 27 2012 02:07PM
It's an odd quirk in the Western Conference Standings at the moment, that nine teams are more than 60% likely to make the playoffs at the moment (according to sportsclubstats.com). In the battle for the final three spots (and those final three spots are 3rd, 7th and 8th because divisional winners earn an automatic top-3 seed regardless of their record), there are four Pacific Division teams that are currently neck and neck (and neck and neck). Those teams are Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Dallas - and it's 88% likely that the Canucks will face on of those four clubs in the first round.
So which of those clubs should you be rooting to see end up in the seventh? Click past the jump for more!
March 27 2012 01:33PM
The relationship between Roberto "Luuu Bledsoe" Luongo and Cory "Schneider-Brady" Schneider has always seemed to be exceedingly supportive and professional. One might even go so far as to call it "chummy." But don't be fooled their eerily similar butterfly styles or their mutual difficulty handling the puck, because when it comes to their respective personalities, they are impossibly dissimilar. Where Cory Schneider is relaxed and as cautious with his choice of words as a politician, none of those adjectives really apply to Luongo. It's what makes him so good at Twitter.
Recently, for the first time, Cory Schneider revealed what's been obvious to anyone with empathy who understands the nature of competitive sports: that he'd like nothing more than to be the Canucks starting goaltender this postseason. Of course, he managed to convey that sentiment diplomatically, but Schneider is a competitor and a stellar performance on a long playoff run could earn him an extra million dollars this offseason (or more). Schneider believes he's good enough now, and so do most Canucks fans and seemingly all of the Vancouver sports media, for that matter.
March 27 2012 12:36AM
Not quite sure what happened here, but the crowd sure liked it.
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Canucks, who play in a city generally well disposed towards the monarchy, toppled the Kings this evening in a hard-fought if offensively challenged affair. The only goal was scored within the first five minutes of puck drop, and came off of the stick of Manny Malhotra, who rarely so much as sniffs the offensive end, for his seventh tally of the year.
Though it was a low-event game that sagged in the second period, it was tightly contested and fraught with intensity. Usually games with so few scoring chances (there were 23 total in the game) bore me, but from my vantage point tonight's game was an excellent tight-checking confection, infused with a helping of playoff-like intensity.
A thorough recap, chance data and the statistical three stars after the jump!
March 26 2012 03:31PM
Mike Burnstein got Keslurked. Pass it to Bulis has more.
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March 26 2012 11:36AM
Fresh of their final extended roadtrip of the regular season, the Canucks will renew acquaintances with the the new-look Los Angeles Kings on national television tonight in Vancouver. The Kings are a tough team, and while they've struggled offensively this season, they absolutely dominate possession and have received superb goaltending from Jonathan Quick. The combination makes the Kings nigh impossible to score on.
The Kings are currently holding down eighth spot in the West, but are only a single point out of third place in the conference. If the Kings fail to win their division (though, I suspect they will figure out a way to win it) they'll be a nightmare first round opponent for either of the top-two seeds. Tonight's game is a potential playoff preview against a physical team that has punched the Canucks squarely in the mouth several times this season, and have spoken openly about their animosity for the Canucks players. Sounds pretty fun!
Click past the jump for a more thorough recap and the underlying numbers!