Game #40 Preview: Canucks @ Flames

Thomas Drance
April 10 2013 02:32PM

Photo Credit: The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck

The Canucks are currently riding high in the saddle - they've won their last three games and have looked damn good doing it - and will kick off a five game roadtrip, their longest of the season, in Calgary tonight against the directionless suckhole franchise known as the Flames. 

Calgary were sellers at the trade deadline and have lost four of their last five - including a five-two loss to Vancouver this past weekend. They're in full on "hit the skids for Poppeye's kid" mode at the moment, and will be further short-handed tonight as Matt Stajan and Jiri Hudler will be out of the lineup per Brad Ziemer

The Flames are the worst and this should be an easy win for the Canucks. That is unless they take it too lightly and Kiprusoff stands on his head, in which case it could be a potential trap game. That's probably not how this contest will unfold though. Read more on the other side of the jump!

Read Article | 5 Comments

An Extended Look at Vancouver's Defence Pairings

Thomas Drance
April 10 2013 12:12PM

The Canucks have recently found some functional defence pairings beyond Bieksa and Hamhuis.

This season, up until the last ten games or so, the Canucks defence pairings have been inconsistently delineated. There's a variety of reasons for that, like injuries and the club employing only one top-four defenceman with a right-handed shot; but the fact remains that Alain Vigneault and Rick Bowness (who runs the defence) have tried out a lot of different personnel together. 

Of late they seem to have settled in on a top pairing of Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison, a second pairing of Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler, and a third pairing consiting of whomever is healthy (but preferably Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev). Have they made the right call, or are their other possible combinations that have performed better this season?

Read past the jump for more.

Read Article | 8 Comments

Evening Headshots: April 9th

Thomas Drance
April 09 2013 08:14PM

Keith Ballard has a pretty solid poker face.
Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick/Behind the Lens

Today at Canucks Army we recapped Vancouver's two-to-nothing victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, checked out the early returns on the Derek Roy acquisition, reacted to the latest news about Chris Higgins and Chris Tanev's injuries and analyzed Cory Schneider's Major Junior-like career trajectory as an NHL goaltender.

More Lady Gaga references and other Canucks links after the jump.

Read Article | 2 Comments

Injury Bug: Higgins and Tanev out with the dreaded "lower body injury"

Thomas Drance
April 09 2013 02:04PM

After Canucks practice today - a practice at which Chris Tanev and Chris Higgins were absent - Alain Vigneault updated the media on their respective health status. While Vancouver's head coach closely guarded the actual prognosis (and admitted he was in "playoff mode" on the injury disclosure front), the update certainly sounds grim:

Read past the jump.

Read Article | 9 Comments

Early Returns: Derek Roy's First Week with the Canucks

Thomas Drance
April 09 2013 12:05PM

Derek Roy selects his weapon of choice.
Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick via NHLI

The day before the trade deadline Mike Gillis and the Canucks acquired centreman Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars. Though Gillis made more calls that day than Kobe will get in a first round matchup between the Lakers and Spurs later this month, it was his only meaningful move.

The lack of action disappointed some Canucks fans who empathized with Roberto Luongo and got ahead of themselves when Laurence Gilman went on the radio and told fans that the team was "all in." But as we wrote at the time, Mike Gillis managed to go out and get the one piece his team absolutely had to get - another NHL quality top-six centreman - and he did so at a relatively affordable rental price too.

So how is Derek Roy fitting in so far, and what changes has he wrought in the Canucks lineup? Let's wade into some numbers on the other side of the jump.

Read Article | 6 Comments