March 24 2012 09:43AM
In the wake of Duncan Keith's five game "punishment" I expect we'll see a fired up Vancouver squad this evening, which should help the team match the intensity level a bubble team like the Avalanche should bring tonight. The Avalanche are a sneaky good team, they have a legitimate "shut-down" pair in O'Byrne and Hejda, and Erik Johnson has gone from being an over-rated underachiever last season, to being an under-rated game-changer this season.
Up front the Avalanche forwards are quality, Landeskog is a two-way beast and so is O'Riley. Stasny brings some elite passing skill, and the likes of Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie have made the Avalanche appreciably more imposing to play against.
That said, they don't boast the overall depth and team quality that the Canucks do. If we're lucky, we'll get some vintage fall of 2009 Henrik Sedin. I'm hoping he'll play angry, become a big green Hulk-like playmaking machine and carry the Canucks to victory tonight.
I'm busy today so the game preview will just include underlying numbers and the three keys to the game, so click past the jump for more.
March 23 2012 12:16AM
Bieksa celebrates his game-winning goal with Henrik Sedin during Thursday night's game in Dallas.
(Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Canucks have been reeling of late, both generally and against the Dallas Stars, who have earned the win over Vancouver's club in the team's last two meetings. Considering the Canucks lost their leading goal scorer to a (likely) concussion, and were facing the Pacific Division Leader on the second night of road back-to-backs - they put in a solid effort, handily controlling the game while holding the lead throughout.
A more detailed recap, chance data and the statistical three stars and goats after the jump.
March 22 2012 11:19AM
In the aftermath of Duncan Keith and Daniel Sedin's dueling elbows, Sedin is flying back to Vancouver for further evaluation (it's suspected that he's concussed) while Duncan Keith is readying his preposterous "I didn't even feel the first headshot" defense for his phone hearing with Shanahan.
After Keith's hit the game devolved into an ugly one, as the Canucks gooned it up and targetted Keith (as well as netminder Corey Crawford) with a series of retributive plays. The official, Dan O'Halloran, blew the call on Sedin's headshot of Duncan Keith, and then blew the call on Keith's hit on Daniel (how that wasn't a major penalty, I'll never understand). The result was that he completely lost control of the game for about thirty minutes of game-time, and it wasn't until the pace of the game normalized during a high-flying third period that one remembered how entertaining games between the Blackhawks and Canucks can be, when they're not marred by petty thuggery on both sides.
Read past the jump for more on the aftermath of the two hits.
March 21 2012 03:10PM
OH MY GOD BIEKSA! What have you done!
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March 21 2012 12:03PM
The Canucks announced today that they have signed their 6th round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, goaltender Joe Cannata to an entry level deal. The deal doesn't come as a surprise, as Lorne Henning told the Vancouver Sun a week ago that the team is "very high on [Cannata] and are in the process right now of trying to sign him." Guess that process if complete then!
Joe Cannata just completed his senior season, in which he nearly carried the Merrimack Warriors to an NCAA tournament berth that ultimately fell short. Cannata's masterful performance this season earned him First Team Hockey East honours. Here's the full press release from Canucks.nhl.com.
Read past the jump for more on Cannata.