Schneider, Devils defeat Canucks 3-2

Thomas Drance
November 22 2015 11:03PM

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Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

The second meeting of the season between the Vancouver Canucks and the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night lacked the drama, the controversial hits, and the accusations of inappropriate trash talk that punctuated the first contest. If you were expecting hostilities to carry over from the first game, you were sorely disappointed. The closest this team got to any heat or shenanigans was when Bobby Farnham dove and drew a silly penalty on Derek Dorsett early in the game. 

Ultimately the Devils were the more rested team and the better side for 40 minutes, Cory Schneider out-duelled Jacob Markstrom and the Canucks squandered too many glorious opportunities in a 3-2 loss. 

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Markstrom starts Sunday vs. Devils; Canucks 'hopeful' Vrbata will return

Thomas Drance
November 22 2015 12:26PM

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Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of a 6-3 victory over the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks will host old pal Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils on Sunday at Rogers Arena. It's the Canucks' fourth set of back-to-back games this season, and for only the second time this campaign, starter Ryan Miller will get the second leg off.

Canucks backup Jacob Markstrom will get the start against the Devils, head coach Willie Desjardins announced on Sunday afternoon following an optional skate. Meanwhile the club is hopeful that Radim Vrbata - who says he's ready to go - will return to the lineup following a two-game absence with what's reportedly a groin injury. 

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Jim Benning won't meet Islanders' ask for Hamonic: 'We're going to stick with what we've got'

Thomas Drance
November 22 2015 11:02AM

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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

When Travis Hamonic's trade request first surfaced, we covered the news from a Canucks perspective and pointed out that it was difficult to see how the New York Islanders and the Canucks made sense as trading partners. We updated the situation on Saturday by pointing out that the Canucks had reportedly not discussed the possibility of a Hamonic deal (as of Thursday) and seemed unlikely to be involved.

Now Canucks general manager Jim Benning has confirmed that the Canucks aren't going to aggressively pursue Hamonic:

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Canucks will be without Vrbata, Sutter, Hutton vs. defending champion Blackhawks

Thomas Drance
November 21 2015 06:59PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks figuratively limped back from their season-long seven game road trip this week. Actually they literally limped back too, as the club will be without a handful of key contributors when they host the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Radim Vrbata will not play, the club announced on Saturday. And though fourth-line winger Brandon Prust will return, Brandon Sutter remains sidelined and Ben Hutton is similarly on the limp. Vrbata will join Sutter and Hutton on the sidelines on Saturday night. 

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Milan Lucic on possibility of playing in Vancouver: 'Your dream is to play for your hometown team'

Thomas Drance
November 21 2015 05:30PM

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Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Milan Lucic wearing a Vancouver Canucks jersey? As recently as May it was unthinkable with how several of the city's rotten apples treated the Vancouver-born forward in the wake of the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup victory.

A vandalized church. Threats that caused Lucic to alter his Cup celebration plans. Weird, drunk attempts to provoke fights with Lucic at late-night Pizza chains on Granville St..

When Lucic was on the block, though, the Canucks were interested and Lucic indicated that he'd actually had his hopes set on coming home. It's an understandable impulse, especially in the wake of a family tragedy, which Lucic made public last weekend in a touching Sportsnet piece.

And the pull of returning home is still strong for the prototypical NHL power forward, as he made clear in a recent interview with TSN's Frank Seravalli.

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