November 18 2013 11:12AM
This past Friday and Saturday at the Pacific Coliseum, Giants and Canucks fans alike caught a glimpse of the future of Vancouver hockey, as both Canucks top prospect Hunter Shinkaruk and Giants top prospect Tyler Benson both paid a visit for the first time this year. The Giants won both games, upsetting the Eastern Conference leading Tigers 3-2 before a strong showing against the Tri-City Americans in a 5-2 win on Saturday night.
Read on past the jump for a look back at the week that was for the Giants.
November 17 2013 09:43PM
There was a goal called off in the second period that perhaps shouldn't have been, but nonetheless, the Vancouver Canucks offence was squelched in a loss to the Dallas Stars. The team has now dropped a game against every team in the former Pacific Division in the last 12 days. They scored six goals in those five games.
The result against Dallas was disappointing, but probably not indicative of the way the team played. The Canucks out-shot, out-possessed and out-chanced the Stars from beginning to end, but ran into a hot Kari Lehtonen, who played just as well as Antti Niemi and Frederik Anderson. The entire Nordic region seems to have the Canucks' number, but thankfully when the Canucks play the Florida Panthers on Tuesday they'll be seeing an American goalie…
…Tim Thomas. Oh, hell. 2-1 the final at the Rog.
November 17 2013 05:05PM
Good Ontario Boy Shawn Matthias is reportedly on the market. Time for #BoldMoves?
Image via wikimedia commons.
On Sunday night when the Vancouver Canucks host the Dallas Stars, the club is expected to roll with Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Mike Santorelli and Brad Richardson down the middle of their four forward lines. Or at least that's how Vancouver's forward groups will deploy start the game. That group of four centremen is surely as strong as any group the Canucks have iced in at last three years, which sadly says a lot about Vancouver's persistent dearth of quality centre depth over the past few seasons.
While Santorelli has been excellent and Richardson has been servicable through the first quarter of the season, it's pretty clear that the Canucks remain thin at centre. One potential sollution that has emerged over the weekend is Florida Panthers forward Shawn Matthias, who is reportedly available on the trade market. Would he make sense for the team?
Let's take a quick and dirty look after the jump.
November 17 2013 11:37AM
I'm a fan of Benn's moustache, Dallas' new unis, and what they're doing over there in Big D.
After having the busiest schedule in the NHL through the first 5-6 weeks of the season, I'm sure that the Canucks have appreciated the fact that they've been able to be at home for a few days off this past week. When they hit the ice to face the Dallas Stars, they'll be doing so for just the 2nd time in 6 days.
The Canucks have had just one win in their last 5 - though they played well enough to win each of those save for the debacle in LA - and now face an interesting stretch in the schedule, with their next 5 games being played at Rogers Arena against a wide range of opponents. Two out of those 5 should in theory be winnable games (Florida, Columbus), they'll be in tough for two (Chicago, Los Angeles), and one will quite frankly be a toss-up (Dallas).
The Stars come into Vancouver riding a high having won 5 of their last 6 games, with their most recent performance featuring a 4-goal game from Tyler Seguin, and a 6-point night from Jamie Benn. They've been playing some good hockey lately, but still, these two teams are pretty much as even as it gets by the numbers.
Read on past the jump for a preview of a game that could go either way.
November 16 2013 01:05PM
Lines from practice - Sedins with Burrows. Kesler with Higgins/Hansen. Santorelli with Booth/Kassian. Richardson with Sestito/Welsh.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) November 16, 2013
The Vancouver Canucks have only played one hockey game since last Sunday, which has allowed them to get healthy and go back to the drawing board in practice. Due to a litany of injuries up-front, we've seen all sorts of different line combinations over the course of the first 6-7 weeks of the season. Some have been good, and some haven't.
This morning it was reported that, with Jannik Hansen set to be activated from the LTIR, we'd see a lineup that was probably much closer to the one we envisioned prior to the season. I've put a fair amount of time into thinking about how I'd personally like to see the 4 lines shake out, and will get into that just past the jump.