February 25 2015 01:00PM
Back in November, I predicted that the Canucks were likely to make the playoffs. They started the year with a 16-7-1 record, which I felt at the time provided enough of a head start to enable them to make the playoffs by just being able to play better than .500 hockey for the rest of the season. Fast forward to today and the Canucks have gone 18-15-2 since December 1st, and the Canucks are very much in the thick of the playoff race in the West, sitting 2nd overall in the Pacific.
With a playoff berth looking more and more like a probability rather than a possibility, how should Jim Benning approach his first deadline as an NHL general manager? I'll have a look after the jump.
February 25 2015 11:00AM
We are back with another edition of the Canucks Weekly Prospect Report where I dig into all the latest stats, rumours, gossip, news, achievements, and even made up stories from around the different junior hockey leagues. We look into the play of all (non-AHL) Canucks prospects from the CHL, NCAA, Europe, and even the ECHL.
Without further ado, continue past the jump to see what went down!
February 25 2015 09:00AM
With Vancouver's unwillingness to part with a top prospect in a potential Evander Kane deal, some of the dialogue around the team seems to have shifted from "playoffs or bust" to beginning to plan for a future post-Sedin twins. Whether we want to believe it or not, the Vancouver Canucks are not a legitimate Stanley Cup contender in 2014-2015, and don't project to be in 2015-2016 or a couple years beyond that either, so a succession plan is necessary. And given the success of younger players like Zack Kassian and Bo Horvat of late, the Smylosphere seems more and more open to being patient for a couple of seasons before handing the keys to Horvat and company.
Still, it's unlikely that we see Jim Benning go all-in on the next era of the Canucks this season. If we were in charge of the team, we'd likely look to move pending UFAs Shawn Matthias, Derek Dorsett, and Brad Richardson at the deadline and turn the bottom end of the Canucks roster over to the Ronalds Kenins of the world, but we're also not under the same pressures as Vancouver's actual front office. There are certainly differing incentives at play for the people in charge of the team and us fans, and these different incentives could push the Canucks into making the decisions that don't explicitly benefit them in the future.
Join us after the jump to explore some of the reasons why the Canucks could be buyers come trade deadline day.
February 24 2015 09:57PM
Hobbled by injuries, Vancouver limped their way into Boston hoping to build on Sunday's performance - a 4-0 victory over the New York Islander - with another road victory over an Eastern Conference foe.
For the third time on this five-game Eastern Conference road swing, the Canucks faced off against a former Stanley Cup finals opponent. Between facing their former coach, their starting goaltender of two seasons ago, and those dastardly Boston Bruins, this road trip has quickly turned into a stroll down memory lane.
With Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the Bruins, the Canucks took another step towards exorcising one of those demons. It wasn't easy, though. The Canucks couldn't have started this game any worse, surrendering the first goal on the Bruins' second shot. Life after Ryan Miller wasn't looking so swell early on.
Then a hero emerged. Through an onslaught of Bruins chances and bodies, Eddie Lack was able to shut the door from that point forward, securing tonight's victory with 41 saves.
February 24 2015 08:00PM
Eddie Lack stonewalled the Bruins and Zack Kassian blasted a puck bar-down on Tuukka Rask to give Vancouver a 2-1 win on Tuesday night in Boston. Here's our NHL 94 graphic recap!