Game 21 Preview: Canucks @ Flames

Thomas Drance
March 03 2013 05:12PM


"Aww come on, really? No snow day?!!!"
Photo Credit: @sportsnetmurph

I think it's fair to assume that the Canucks watched the weather (and airport) reports out of Calgary this afternoon with the intent, hopeful interest of a child crossing their fingers and hoping for a snow day. Due to a severe snow storm that has battered Calgary for the past couple of days, the airport was closed (partly because the runway lights were malfunctioning) and the Canucks had a hell of a time getting into town. In fact, for a couple of hours there it looked like tonight's game might be cancelled or postponed. Ultimately the Canucks managed to land in cowtown, and will face a quick transition as they rush to the rink, get a game day skate in and prepare to battle a Flames team they've historically dominated.

With a hectic travel schedule and coming off of an emotional victory last night against the Kings, the Canucks could struggle to find their legs in this one. On the other hand, the Flames will start Danny Taylor in net so yeah...

Read on past the jump for a (not very) thorough preview.

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Gillis says he knew that Ryan O'Reilly would've had to clear waivers

Thomas Drance
March 03 2013 04:36PM


Did Canucks management really know that rule 13.23 would apply to O'Reilly?
Photo Credit: Our pal (and fancy-beard analyst) @thestanchion.

Following the Canucks' emotional 5-2 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions on Saturday night, General Manager Mike Gillis appeared on CBC's After Hours segment with Todd Simpson and Scott Oake. The three covered a fair bit of ground in the interview: talking @strombone1, the two bluechip netminders in goalie-ville, Gillis' decision to shut Manny Malhotra down, and tacked on briefly at the end of the segment, they chatted Ryan O'Reilly.

For those of you who've spent this week in solitary confinement, Ryan O'Reilly was signed to an offer sheet by the Calgary Flames earlier this week and the Colorado Avalanche quickly matched the two-year pact. Had the Avalanche decided against matching the O'Reilly offer sheet, they would've recieved a first and a third round pick from the Flames and also Calgary would've had to put O'Reilly on waivers before he could play in their lineup. The reason? O'Reilly played a couple of games in the KHL past the January 19th deadline and was thus subject to CBA rule 13.23.

So do we buy that Mike Gillis was aware of this rule and a step ahead of Feaster on this? Read on past the jump.

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Which forward is the better option at centre: Alex Burrows or Mason Raymond?

Thomas Drance
March 01 2013 12:19PM

Okay so this is weird. According to Jason Botchford, the Canucks have decided to return centreman Andrew Ebbett to Chicago in favour of adding a heavy-weight in Tom Sestito and playing a winger out of position at centre. This is a confusing move, though Ebbett has been over-matched and unimpressive in his time with the Canucks so far this season, so I think I get what angle the Canucks are playing at (somewhat).

But the question remains which player is the better option at centre - Raymond or Burrows? We'll get into it after the jump.

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Canucks Claim Massive Winger Tom Sestito

Thomas Drance
March 01 2013 11:14AM


Tom Sestito and Zack Kassian have some level of familiarity.

In the wake of the Volpatti affair, and the negative suckholism that has infected the tenor of the conversation about the Canucks in the Vancouver sports market this week, it appears that the Canucks were in the market to add a one some toughness. They did so using the waiver wire today, claiming 6,5 228 pound enforcer Tom Sestito (not to be confused with former teammate Tim Sestito) who was placed on waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

Read on past the jump.

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On Vancouver's Center Depth, Steve Pinizzotto versus Aaron Volpatti, and Mindless Panic

Thomas Drance
March 01 2013 10:10AM


"Welp the Canucks lost this guy on waivers, guess we're screwed" - a dummy.
Photo Credit: Rich Lam/Getty Images

I can't remember a more histrionic week in Canucks coverage. I suppose that's inevitable when the team loses a couple of games in ugly fashion, will be without their best two-way forward for another month at least, and waives a fourth liner (who they maybe could've traded for a late-round draft pick, I guess). But nothing we've seen this week dramatically changes my assessment of this club or their trajectory, and the tone of the conversation seems particularly divorced from reality (even by Vancouver sports media standards).

Look, I get it, it's tough to sell papers these days, but here's the thing about cogent analysis: if the tone shifts dramatically from week to week, then that analysis probably isn't of a very high quality. We all know that the Canucks aren't a contender without Ryan Kesler, this isn't a surprise, but the timeline we've been given for his return suggests that he'll be back in time for the playoffs. It strikes me that this recent "panic" is unfounded and simplistic and we may as well address that at length. 

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