April 16 2012 02:02PM
As I've already written today, we'll start with the Canucks postmortems when that becomes appropriate: when the Canucks season is done, dead, and buried in the ground. At the moment, the season is on life-support, but I'm interested in seeing how the Canucks respond to their current deficit before wading into the muck and thoroughly analyzing what happened to the team this season.
Other bloggers, like our buddy Wyatt over at the Legion of Blog have already started in on the "Vigneault's future and expiry date" discussion. That's fair enough, and while we'll still wait until after the season to perform our more detailed autopsy - I want to briefly cover and debunk a widespread, and patently false misconception that many Canucks fans subscribe too: that Vigneault is consistently out-coached in the postseason.
We'll examine the fossil record, after the jump!
April 16 2012 10:03AM
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
It hasn't been a banner week for the Canucks.
Vancouver's club has been punchless in their first round series against the Kings, they've been outscored 9 to 4 and their special teams have been an unmitigated disaster. One of the club's brightest lights, All-Star defenseman Alex Edler, has struggled so greatly with his decision making that he's quickly earning "goat" status among the Canucks faithful who only ten days ago voted him as the Babe Pratt winner (best defenseman). Add all of that to the the three-games-to-none deficit the club now finds themselves in, in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series, and there aren't a lot of positives.
There's even a chance that the Canucks could become the first President's Trophy winner in history to get swept in the preliminary round of the playoffs. But for a club that has made a habit of collecting unique, notorious NHL records like candy, that's nothing new really. This franchise is the only non-Stanley Cup winner to make it to a game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals and lose, and they've done it twice. They're also the first team to be shutout in a Stanley Cup Finals game seven...
But we'll have plenty of time for an extended Canucks autopsy over the coming months, so let's avoid that until Thursday at least. Barring a miracle sweep, however, the Canucks will almost certainly not make it out of the first round this season. The Canucks are on the brink, and there's a good deal of doom and gloom in the Vancouver market right now, but let's try to spin like Henrik and look at the bright side for a moment.
Read past the jump!
April 16 2012 12:26AM
(Danny Moloshok, REUTERS)
Not a good night, was this?
Cory Schneider came in, and the team showed some promise early, out-shooting Los Angeles 11-5 in the first period and bringing it to 24-11 through two. The team kept LA to a minimal amount of scoring chances in the early going, but on the inverse, many of their efforts were calm attempts from out-side the perimeter. LA broke through in the third on a goal by Dustin Brown. We know this, so do the Canucks, and, for the first time since 2001, the Canucks will head into the fourth game of a series down 3 games to 0.
What's there to go over? We have a few numbers and bullet points in the next few hundred words, as usual. Since it's a tough loss, we won't keep you for very long past the jump.
April 15 2012 02:20PM
With the Canucks down two games to none in their first round series against the L.A. Kings, head-coach Alain Vigneault doesn't have a lot of cards left to play. One of his possible trump cards, however, is stalwart backup goaltender Cory Schneider. Vigneault is going all in for game three, as he's confirmed that Cory Schneider will get the nod in net on Sunday evening.
Click past the jump for more.
April 15 2012 01:06PM
It's not too late for the Canucks to become King Slayers.
Image via redditor Social Cocoon
It's one of sports-writing's great hackneyed inaccuracies, the "must win" game.
Regardless of what you may hear on the radio today, tonight's game is not by definition a "must win" and regardless of the outcome of game three, game four will go in Los Angeles on Wednesday. But conventional wisdom isn't all wrong in this case, and if Vancouver's club wants to have a serious shot at getting back into this series, they're going to need a favorable result this evening.
And what better place than Hollywood to flip the script? Vancouver's Stanley Cup aspirations are on life-support, and against a really good defensive team that plays in front of a very good goaltender - that's a especially bleak proposition. But tonight's game is also a tremendous opportunity for the team.
With two days off before game four, and three after that before game five back in Vancouver (if necessary) - the Canucks are well poised to reverse Los Angeles' momentum if they can win tonight. And if the Canucks can play a full sixty minutes, like they have in stretches five-on-five against Los Angeles, there is no doubt that they can play their way back into the series.
Click past the jump for a more detailed preview of Sunday night's game!