Brandon Prust spears Brad Marchand in the groin late in blowout loss

Thomas Drance
December 05 2015 10:41PM

USATSI_8948328_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

At some point you knew the Vancouver Canucks were going to 'get' Brad Marchand.

The Boston Bruins forward has been a thorn in the side the Canucks and their fans for years. He's even annoying to the club's former coach Alain Vigneault! And while some of the hatred is based on a petty reaction to a player that performed well in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, some of it is also well earned.

The punches on Daniel Sedin late in Game 6 drew the ire of Canucks fans, as did the cheap, dangerous low bridge that concussed Sami Salo in January of 2012. Then there was the time that Marchand kissed his ring and mimed lifting the Stanley Cup on Rogers Arena ice during a blowout loss in the fall of 2013. 

You knew that at some point a Canucks player was going to exact some form of payback on Marchand, and on Saturday night Brandon Prust did just that: spearing Marchand in the groin with apparent intent.

Read Article | 32 Comments

3 reason the Canucks won't trade for centre depth in the wake of Brandon Sutter's surgery

Thomas Drance
December 04 2015 10:03AM

USATSI_8875442_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning admitted during a radio appearance on TSN 1040 this week that he'll "look to" find a short-term upgrade at centre in the wake of the news that defensive centreman Brandon Sutter will be out of the lineup for the next four-to-six weeks following sports hernia surgery.

"I’ve made some calls around the league the last few days, just to kind of check in on the marketplace," Benning said, according to Chris Nichols' transcript. "There’s not a lot really going on. But we’re going to continue to talk to other teams and look out there. If there’s something that makes sense that can help us in the short term, we’re going to look to do it."

Canucks fans hoping that the club can acquire a veteran pivot to push 19-year-old Jared McCann and 20-year-old Bo Horvat into less demanding roles a bit further down the lineup shouldn't hold their breath though. 

Read Article | 27 Comments

Why the Canucks should send Virtanen (health permitting), but not McCann to the World Junior Championship

Thomas Drance
December 01 2015 10:46AM

article_2075d9f7-f3b5-48b4-842c-475d49283fc0
Photo Courtesy: Hockey Canada

On Tuesday morning Team Canada's U20 men's ice hockey team invited 30 players to the 'selection camp' for the upcoming World Junior Championship. For the first time in a while, there were no Canucks prospects on the invite list.

Canucks teenagers Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen would've been slam dunk invitees if they were playing in major junior though. They're NHL players now so they won't take part in the selection camp, though that doesn't necessarily mean that McCann and Virtanen won't represent Team Canada at the 2016 tournament in Finland later this month.

Read Article | 8 Comments

Canucks bullied, beaten, blown out in Orange County

Thomas Drance
November 30 2015 10:41PM

USATSI_8965401_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

If you want to find some positive takeaways from Monday night's 4-0 Vancouver Canucks loss to the Anaheim Ducks, well, I hope you have a jumbo-sized magnifying glass.

The Canucks were flat, they were pushed around and didn't push back, a variety of their best players were hurt or injured, their special teams were a non-factor and the goaltending was bad. It was easily the club's worst performance of the season.

Read Article | 21 Comments

Canucks' Virtanen knocked out of game vs. Ducks by Getzlaf cross-check

Thomas Drance
November 30 2015 09:22PM

USATSI_8923642_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks rookie Jake Virtanen sustained an upper-body injury in the first period of Monday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks. 

Virtanen, 19, was attempting to blow the zone with control of the puck when he was cross-checked from behind by Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. Virtanen collapsed to the ice in obvious pain, as the on-ice officials assessed a minor penalty against Getzlaf.

The young Canucks winger left the game and will not return with what the Canucks have confirmed is an upper-body ailment, according to the Sportsnet broadcast.

Read Article | 3 Comments