Canucks' Bieksa is a game-time decision for Game 2 with reported illness

Thomas Drance
April 17 2015 03:37PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks could be without the services of veteran defender Kevin Bieksa in Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Calgary Flames on Friday, head coach Willie Desjardins confirmed at his media availability on Friday.

Bieksa's issue is more illness related than injury related according to a report from TSN's Darren Dreger, though we should keep in mind that Bieksa was the defender that the Canucks opted to rest in game 82, presumably for good reason. 

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Why Willie Desjardins needs to ride his best players in the postseason

Thomas Drance
April 16 2015 11:19AM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Willie Desjardins, in his first year as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, was disciplined in his approach to rolling four forward lines and all three defense pairings. It worked for the club, as the team improved on their 2013-14 performance by 17 points in Desjardins' first year behind the bench.

Going into this series the Canucks' two best players, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, had played fewer minutes per game than they had in over half a decade. They were thought to be rested. Meanwhile the Calgary Flames entered this series with four defenseman (three of them healthy) playing over 23 minutes per game and their third-pair defensemen rarely see the ice. 

Presumably that should be an advantage for the Canucks, particularly late in games. It didn't go down that way in Vancouver's series opening loss though.

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VIDEO: Jacob Markstrom drops the gloves for 1st career scrap

Thomas Drance
April 15 2015 08:58PM

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom got heated during Wednesday night's American Hockey League tilt between the Utica Comets and the Binghampton Senators. 

Late in the second period Canucks prospect Frank Corrado was jumped by Senators forward Darren Kramer and bludgeoned repeatedly. Kramer wouldn't let up and right from the get go Markstrom wanted in on the action, despite the efforts of the on-ice officials to diffuse the situation.

It was to no avail and Markstrom finally got his hands on (and his fists into) Senators goaltender Peter Mannino. As a result of the fight, and his actions in evading the officials, Markstrom was assessed 29 minutes in penalties for a variety of infractions including a minor for "leaving the crease" and a major for engaging in a "secondary altercation."

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Report: NCAA UFA Matt O'Connor to visit Vancouver during 1st-round playoff series

Thomas Drance
April 15 2015 03:37PM

Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks are in hot pursuit of highly regarded NCAA free agent goaltender Matt O'Connor, who will reportedly visit with the team during their opening round playoff series, according to News 1130 sports.

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Willie Desjardins won't reveal Game 1 starter: 'I think both guys are capable of starting and playing well'

Thomas Drance
April 13 2015 04:48PM

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

There's no real suspense about who will start Game 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs in the Vancouver Canucks' net. It'll be Eddie Lack, who recently ditched Twitter to focus on the task at hand.

Ryan Miller isn't talking like he's a healthy player, and he isn't looking much like a healthy player. Miller, 34, has appeared in one game since sustaining a right knee sprain in late February, and he was shaky - though he improved as the game went on - in a 6-5 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins wasn't disclosing his starter on Monday, but this is a slam dunk. Lack's been on a solid run, and Miller isn't up to speed yet. 

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