The Canucks at the Half Way Mark (or Near Enough)

Thomas Drance
March 08 2013 06:14PM

Roberto Luongo: in the background but still the main focus.
That's just a description of the photo, I'm not alluding to his trade status or anything.

Over a typical hockey season any given team is going to have their ups and downs. Of course, a forty eight game season isn't a typical hockey season but even so, as the old saying goes: a team is never as bad as they might look at their worst, nor as good as they might look at their best. 

Last night the Canucks lost to Columbus and though they were marginally the better team overall, they weren't nearly good enough. As such the Vancouver market demands blood and I understand that. But I think it's worth remembering that Thursday night's loss to Columbus shouldn't change our overall assessment of the quality of this hockey team, and neither should Vancouver's recent, more extended run of mediocrity (three wins in ten games, with a 3-3-4 overall record). 

Read on past the jump.

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Where Art Thou, Alex Burrows' Goal Scoring?

Dimitri Filipovic
March 08 2013 01:21PM

A sight for sore eyes.

These days people have differing opinions on the state of the Vancouver Canucks. Which is fitting, quite frankly, given the team's topsy turvy performance this year. Some feel obliged to call for coach Alain Vigneault's head once they see lackluster efforts like the one the Canucks submitted against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Others see performances like the one against the Los Angeles Kings, and say to themselves, "hey this makes sense, this is a top-5 possession team!" I'll let you guess which of the two camps I reside in.

Nonetheless, one thing we can all agree on is that this team has had their share of troubles scoring goals of late. Over the past 7 games - a stretch in which they went 2-3-2 - they managed to score 15 goals. Keep in mind that 5 of those came in one game. Now the team sits at 17th in the league in goals/game, a far cry from their top-5 finishes in the past two seasons.

Yesterday, Thomas Drance highlighted the issues on the power play. It also wouldn't hurt their cause if first-line winger Alex Burrows started converting on some of his chances.

Read Past the Jump for More.

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The Canucks Week in Quips for March 8

March 08 2013 11:52AM

Want to play mediocre hockey in Canucky Thompson's town? Someone has to pay
(via Twitter).

This is a regular Friday feature combining a healthy mixture of observation, analysis, and foresight on the Vancouver Canucks. If you'd like to get at me about anything covered in this column, follow me on Twitter at @yyjordan and let's start a textual relationship (wink).

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Canucks Take off their Pants and Blue Jacket

Thomas Drance
March 07 2013 10:52PM

This is the exact moment that Cory Schneider realizes his team has lost to the worst club in the NHL.
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Over the past week the Canucks have played four games, posting a 1-1-2 record in four games against the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings, the Calgary Flames and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Their Sybil-like inconsistency over the past week has been something of a microcosm for their season: they were excellent against Los Angeles and San Jose and pretty damn dreadful while facing AHL-quality goaltending in Calgary this past Sunday. On Thursday night they reprised the subpar form they flashed in Calgary, against the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

There were some bright-spots: Zack Kassian had jump throughout the contest and looks to have left his February doldrums in the past month. Meanwhile Jannik Hansen was involved and impressive (again), and the pairing of Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis put on an exhibition in steadiness. But there were more negatives, and those negatives were of the big picture variety. While Cory Schneider continued his average play, Chris Tanev looked not-quite-ready to handle tougher matchups in the top-four. Meanwhile Alex Edler - well - he had a flaming tire fire of an outing. Add it all up and the Canucks weren't good enough to beat the league's worst team.

Read on past the jump for more analysis and scoring chance data.

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Game #23 Preview: Canucks @ Blue Jackets (Also Headshots)

Thomas Drance
March 07 2013 04:18PM

Dan Hamhuis and David Booth taking a wiz (out of the play).

Today at Canucks Army we wrote a treatise on Vancouver's power-play struggles and discussed the disappointing returns the Canucks have recouped on the Booth gamble so far. We also put off writing a game preview for too long (I'll admit that I forgot that Columbus is located in the Eastern timezone) so we're going to do a "Game Preview/Headshots mashup" today!

Read on past the jump for that! 

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