October 09 2015 11:00AM
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks' new look for the new season was triggered in large part by the shortcomings they showed during their six-game playoff loss to the Calgary Flames last April. What better way for Jim Benning to assess his offseason changes than to open the new year with two head-to-head looks at his Canucks against the team that ended their season last spring?
On Wednesday night, the Canucks passed their first test with flying colours, kicking off 2015-16 with a 5-1 win over the Flames. Were the Canucks that good, or was Calgary bad?
"We played a game that is totally out of character for us and we got what we deserved, they kicked our butt," Calgary coach Bob Hartley told Darren Haynes of the Canadian Press after the game, via The Province.
The Flames will get a chance to redeem themselves when the two teams meet again at Rogers Arena on Saturday night. Based on our one-game sample size, here's what Vancouver changed for the better on Wednesday.
Nation World HQ
October 09 2015 06:45AM
Cocaine and the NHL, Leafs prepare for misery, Flames fear some regression, how much of an impact will Canucks rookies have his year, Ference gives up 'C' in Edmonton, the NHL All-hipster team, predictions and forecasts for the 2015-16 season and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings
October 08 2015 03:00PM
Welcome back to another week of Canucks prospects updates! The major junior leagues have shaken off the early-season cobwebs and hit full stride, while the NCAA schools (except for Yale) has started playing exhibition games. In a scrubbing of SFU, North Dakota easily emerged as victors and boy did first round Brock Boeser look good.
But he's not the only one how are all of our Canucks performing?
October 08 2015 12:22PM
Jacob Markstrom is hoping that this is the season his immense success in professional leagues abroad will finally translate to the NHL level.
It doesn't seem long ago that Markstrom was considered the NHL's best goaltending prospect, but to this point he's struggled to build on that foundation to develop into a bona fide NHL goaltender. The Canucks are hoping that by adding more detailed technical elements to Markstrom's game, they can help to ease the transition for their not-quite-that-young netminder in the 2015 season and beyond.
This isn't an alley-oop by any means, but there are reasons aplenty for optimism that stretch well beyond this organization's success with Swedes. Well, once he returns from injury, of course.
October 08 2015 10:08AM
For five years now the Vancouver Canucks have hosted an annual Young Stars tournament in Penticton, British Columbia in the sunny heart of wine country.
It was a small event to begin with, but the Young Stars tournament has begun to morph into something a bit more interesting. Initially the prospects wore practice jerseys, and the games were only occasionally broadcast. Now the prospects wear full jerseys and every team live streams every game with huge viewership numbers.
I was there for the first time this year, and enjoyed myself enormously. 30 degree weather, excellent wine, the general managers and head coaches (except Willie, of course) from all four teams attended, a bevy of top-10 picks. Good hockey, good food, good weather, good access - there was a lot to like.
Unfortunately, at least from the perspective of this hockey writer, it seems that the Young Stars tournament in Penticton may become an 'every other year' event. Or at at least the Penticton part of it will, according to a report from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province.