Canucks earn Reeves reviews with 4-1 victory over Flyers on 'Grizzlies night'

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 11:38PM

Courtesy: Matthew Henderson

The Vancouver Canucks celebrated Vancouver Grizzlies night on Monday, baffling Philadelphia Flyers beat writers and Canadian Press national reporters with a discordant sort of celebration of a team that left the city 15 years ago.

Shareef Abdul-Raheem was in attendance! So was the original Grizzlies dance squad! Alex Burrows played his 700th game! Henrik Sedin recorded his 1000th career point - cumulative between playoffs and the regular season. And Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen, respectively, had the strongest games of their respective seasons. So there was a lot to like.

"It's pretty special getting your first one on home-ice in front fo the fans, pretty special," Virtanen told reporters of scoring his first career goal on Monday, somehow forgetting to mention that it was special because the goal occurred on Grizzlies night...

Read Article | 11 Comments

Jake 'Big Country' Virtanen scores 1st career goal on Grizzlies night

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 10:32PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

In what has to be one of the strangest moments in Vancouver sports history, prized Canucks rookie forward Jake Virtanen - nicknamed Big Country by his teammates - scored his first career NHL goal during a Vancouver Grizzlies-themed home game at Rogers Arena. 

What a time to be alive.

Read Article | 9 Comments

Benning: next pressure point for McCann, Virtanen will be the World Junior tournament

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 09:54PM

Photo Credit: Hockey Canada

The Vancouver Canucks have opted to allow Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann to play NHL hockey beyond the nine-game mark, after which point their respective entry-level contracts will be tolled. 

Despite the pomp and circumstance of this weekend's video-meeting prank, Canucks general manager Jim Benning has made it clear that McCann and Virtanen will have to continue to prove themselves lest they find themselves playing hockey at a level below the NHL in the not-too-distant future.

Read Article | 0 Comments

VIDEO: McCann and Virtanen find out they're staying in the NHL following scathing video meeting

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 07:07PM

Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

In what's become something of a tradition for the Willie Desjardins era Vancouver Canucks, the club notified teenaged forwards Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen on Sunday that they were remaining in the NHL past the nine-game barrier. The twist: the club elected to do so during a video meeting in which they first brutally tore McCann and Virtanen's performances to shreds. 

Well now we can watch the video!

Read Article | 5 Comments

It's going to be hard to remove Yannick Weber from the Canucks lineup

Thomas Drance
November 01 2015 02:51PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Since returning to the Vancouver Canucks' lineup four games ago, and staying out of the press box all week partly as a result of Dan Hamhuis' lower-body injury, depth defender Yannick Weber has been crushing it. 

The 27-year-old blueliner has been dynamic at 5-on-5 and particularly effective on a pairing with Ben Hutton. He's opened things up on the power play and, lo and behold, the first unit is suddenly humming with Weber manning the right point. 

Throughout his NHL career, Weber has managed more auspicious on-ice results than the meagre opportunities generally afforded him. And once again he's taking full advantage of a defensive injury, and establishing himself as a useful blueliner. Once Hamhuis is back to full health, you have to think it'll be extremely hard to remove Weber from the lineup.

Read Article | 20 Comments