Game #68 Preview: Night of the Zombie Thrashers

Thomas Drance
March 08 2012 10:27AM

Over the summer, the rotting corpse of the Winnipeg Jets was reanimated, and crawled from its tomb in horror film fashion - finally sticking its creepy, decomposed hand out from the dirt in early September. The spirit of the Jets is alive again (it simply had to occupy the former body of the Atlanta Thrashers) and currently is holding down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

For what feelsl ike months the Canucks have played games that barely matter to them, against teams clawing desperately to punch their ticket to the postseason dance, and tonight will be no exception. Will Vancouver's team end their run of mediocrity, or will they lose their third straight at home?

A more thorough preview, underlying numbers and the three keys to the game after the jump!

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Joseph Labate Learning Quickly

Jeff Angus
March 08 2012 09:04AM

If you have read my articles here at the Canucks Army for the past few months, you are aware of Vancouver’s collection of unheralded college prospects. Back in October, I profiled 2011 draft pick Joseph LaBate, even going so far as to compare him to David Backes. LaBate’s freshman season at the University of Wisconsin has gone according to plan – he is playing a top six role for a strong college program, and his regular season recently wrapped up. He finished with five goals and 20 points in 34 games for the Badgers.

The University of Wisconsin has churned out some impressive NHL talent in recent years. The notables include Derek Stepan (Rangers), Craig Smith (Predators), Brendan Smith (Red Wings), Jamie McBain (Hurricanes), Jake Gardiner (Leafs), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers), and they currently have the best skater in college hockey in puck-moving defenseman Justin Schultz (Ducks). Coach Mike Eaves has done a great job preparing these guys for the NHL, as the majority of them have spent little to no time in the AHL. Leading up to the 2011 draft, LaBate was pegged as a bit of a project pick (as most 6’4” 18-year-old skaters are), but his overall improvement this season is extremely encouraging.

I have seen bits and pieces of his games on television and the internet, but to get a more thorough picture of how his game has developed, I decided to reach out to Chuck Schwartz from Bucky’s Fifth Quarter, a blog covering all things related to University of Wisconsin sports.

Give Chuck a follow on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz).

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Headshots March 7th

Cam Davie
March 07 2012 03:30PM


Great view of the Canucks as they take to the ice last week against the Blues.
(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Headshots are a Canucks Army feature where we link to the day's freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost, produced a tribute video or birthed a clever .gif into existence - please e-mail Thom at thom.drance@gmail.com.

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The Canucks Miss Ehrhoff Less Than Ehrhoff Misses The Canucks

Jonathan Willis
March 07 2012 10:59AM

When the Canucks signed Kevin Bieksa but allowed Christian Ehrhoff to become an unrestricted free agent, there were naturally concerns. Ehrhoff is a quality defenseman, and was a big part of the Canucks offense, both on the power play and at even-strength. As it turns out, however, Ehrhoff misses the Canucks’ power play more than the Canucks’ power play misses him.

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Motivation is the fire in which the Canucks burn

Patrick Johnston
March 07 2012 09:50AM


If the Sedins are frustrated, they haven't been showing it.
(Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Ok, yes, so I stole the title. Big deal. It's totally the problem with the Canucks right now.

After a listless loss to the Stars, many fans on twitter were despondent at the team's lack of effort of late. Friends text me "tell me why I shouldn't be getting anxious about the Sedins' play" It's tough to give a straight answer, so let's look at some numbers first.

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