December 31 2013 12:17AM
After a close and competitive game in Calgary just over 24 hours ago, the Canucks should have been a tired team on a back-to-back after a night of travel, but the Roxy Flu appeared to be in full effect as it was the Canucks who dominated the well-rested Flyers. Then Steve Mason happened; he stopped 41 of 44 shots through regulation and overtime, and all three Canucks shooters in the shootout and effectively stole a game for Philadelphia.
Yes, Steve Mason stole a game for an NHL hockey team.
December 30 2013 02:44PM
The goal above came during a simpler time, when we could make fun of Steve Mason and all share a good laugh. But a lot has changed since the first meeting between these two teams back in the 2nd week of the season. Especially for the Philadelphia Flyers, who have been playing some really good hockey for a while now thanks to Mason's (very) surprising resurgence to relevancy, and Claude Giroux bouncing back from his early season funk to lead a potent offense.
The story is a little different for the Canucks since then too, though. They're 10-1-1 in their past 12 games, they're relying far less on the Sedins due to the 2nd line's two-way excellence, and the goaltending has been top notch. Back on October 15th Eddie Lack had one career NHL appearance to his name, and now, he two shutouts. Ho hum.
Considering the way both teams are playing heading into this one, it should be a good one. Read on past the jump for the final game preview of 2013.
December 30 2013 11:45AM
Back on December 4th I wrote a lengthy review of the first 30 games of the season for the Vancouver Canucks. In the section on defensemen, I had the following to say:
"The biggest storyline on the blueline for the Canucks through the first 1/3 of the season has to be the remarkable bill of health they've been enjoying. Excluding Alex Edler's 3-game suspension back in the 2nd week of the season, John Tortorella has been able to use the same 6 defensemen for every single game.. which seems unprecedented."
I'm sorry if I jinxed it, but I think we all figured that it was only a matter of time before the pendulum swung in the other direction, and their fortunes changed. Sure enough, defensemen are dropping like flies at this point.
With the most recent injury sustained by Andrew Alberts - following an ugly incident involving a facepuncher, sigh - the team has finally succumbed, calling up young Frank(ie) Corrado after fans had been clamouring for them to do so ever since Alex Edler went down weeks ago. I'm just glad to see that the team went with the best player available in this case rather than putting too much stock into which side he plays on (Corrado is another guy that plays the right, by the way). Take note, Team Canada.
December 29 2013 08:51PM
Photo Credit: Gerry Thomas/NHL via Getty Images)
It wasn't pretty and it certainly wasn't exciting (for the most part), but the Vancouver Canucks got the job done with a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night. Vancouver's NHL club looked a bit rusty early on - especially on a painful five minute power-play opportunity early in the contest - and a couple of defensemen, most notably Andrew Alberts, got banged up; but otherwise it was a quality return to action for the team following a week long Christmas break.
Read past the jump for more.
December 29 2013 06:40PM
Andrew Alberts is brutally felled by an elbow to the head from Flames enforcer Brian McGrattan
Stick-tap Kukla's Corner
With defensemen Alex Edler and Ryan Stanton on the shelf with injury, the Vancouver Canucks are already without two left-side defenseman for the medium term. The club may be without a third lefty defender going forward after Sunday night, as depth defenseman Andrew Alberts appeared to be rather seriously injured following an elbow to the head from Calgary Flames pugilist Brian McGrattan (see the video above).
Read past the jump.