Canucks Relinquish Northwest Division Lead After Ugly Loss in Minny

Thomas Drance
March 10 2013 11:26PM

I can't possibly imagine a photo that better sums up Sunday's game.
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

On Sunday the Canucks rolled into Minnesota on the heels of three straight losses, to play for first place in the Northwest Division. They had every incentive to show up, tighten up their game defensively and maintain their Northwest Division supremacy. Also they were facing a team that isn't really all that good and was coming off of an emotional game in Nashville the night before. Against a tired, inferior opponent, the no-show the Canucks put in on Sunday is pretty much inexcusable.

It started off badly for the Canucks, as Zach Parise beat Cory Schneider with a relative softy just twenty-four seconds in. It only got worse from there as the Minnesota Wild crushed the Canucks in possession, chances and on the scoreboard too. It's true that the Canucks have a "stinker at Xcel" quota that needed filling this season, but that's an easy excuse that obscures a pretty pathetic effort...

Read on past the jump.

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Game #24 Preview: Canucks @ Wild

Thomas Drance
March 10 2013 03:08PM

Charlie Coyle - about to get stoned by Cory Schneider (who starts tonight).

With realignment now approved by the NHLPA, the Canucks have only two more games left against the Minnesota Wild during the "Wild v. Canucks forced rivalry" era. And thank goodness. The Wild this season are improved over a year ago and legitimately have an opportunity to takeover first place in the Northwest Division with a victory over the Canucks on Sunday (though I still don't buy that they're even a playoff team). But they still play a boring style of hockey and score as effectively as your average 15 year old male. 

This contest will have some standings implications so perhaps that'll add some fire to it. More likely we'll see Alain Vigneault and the Canucks play down to their opponent on the road, in an effort to win the game by a single goal. Yep.

Read on past the jump.

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Canucks Army Presents: The Canucks Fan Roundtable for March

Thomas Drance
March 10 2013 02:13PM


(Editors Note: in February month we debuted the Canucks fan round-table with a "super table" featuring five questions and seven guest writers. It was a massive success and I really enjoyed putting it together and reading the post, so I figured I'd continue on with this feature going forward - but I've decided to limit myself to four guests and four questions.

Today's featured guests are "Captain Calm" Kirk Paul (@captain_kirk87), Cool lady Ellen Ransford (@_EllieNuck_), a couple of ADHD goofballs in Sam and Charles (both of whom tweet weird stuff from @Sedinitronic) and our good pal Colin (@notafullcolon). Here's the four questions I posed to our esteemed panel:

  • Have Cory Schneider's struggles to begin this season caused you to alter your opinion on his future outlook as a starting NHL goaltender? Has it changed your thinking about which goalie the Canucks should keep?
  • How far can this Canucks team go as currently composed (but assuming Kesler comes back at, say, 75% before the playoffs)? 
  • What's the team's biggest area of need less than a month out from the trade deadline? 
  • What "thing that a majority of Canucks fans think about the team or organization" do you find most annoying?

If you'd like to participate just let me know in the comments section and I'll consider you! Read on past the jump for the round table!)

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On Drop Passes, Power-Play Execution and Push Ups

Thomas Drance
March 09 2013 05:29PM

Alex Burrows failed to score on this golden power-play opportunity on Tuesday.
That fact pretty much sums up Vancouver's power-play the past two weeks, actually.
Photo Credit: Derek Leung/Getty Images

We've talked about it a bunch this week, but Vancouver's power-play has gone cold.

Since an Alex Burrows' power-play marker scored way back on February 21st against the Dallas Stars, the Canucks have failed to ripple the mesh on twenty-two straight power-play opportunities. Since Ryan Kesler (the team's most efficient power-play scorer and power-play shot leader for the past three seasons) went back onto the injured reserve with a broken foot, the power-play has gone zero for ten.

Much, much more on Vancouver's power-play woes after the jump.

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Matt Calvert the Magician: The OT Goal in Columbus

Jeff Angus
March 09 2013 01:28PM

The Canucks are struggling to score goals right now, and they were on the wrong end of a 2-1 overtime loss in Columbus on Thursday evening. Young winger Matt Calvert picked up the puck in his own zone and made a few Canucks look foolish on his way to scoring the overtime winner.

How could the Canucks have played the goal differently to prevent it? Who was at fault? Read on for more.

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