In Praise of Staying the Course and the Vancouver and San Jose models

Cam Charron
March 19 2013 11:59AM


Joe Thornton and Roberto Luongo discuss how playoff success is over-rated.

If there's an NHL organization I can look at that has shared the same level of successes and failures over the past decade as the Vancouver Canucks, it's the San Jose Sharks (although the Sharks are a group that has somehow withstood more moments of wretched heartbreak and appear to be on a faster track out of contention.)

The randomness of a playoff series or a playoff tournament changes so many perceptions about how teams are built. This isn't just about how the Canucks failed to ride the percentages in a seven-game series with the eventual 2011 Stanley Cup Champions. This is about how, over years, singular seasons of a franchise become a bright beacon illuminating the success and process of a management group.

Read on past the jump.

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Process Fails The Canucks Against The Wild: Recap and Chance Data

Dimitri Filipovic
March 19 2013 12:25AM


The Canucks dominated, but Niklas Backstrom was stopping the puck from all sorts of positions.

On Tuesday night, the Vancouver Canucks fell to the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-1. They actually managed to do a lot of things well; they fired a ton of pucks in Niklas Backstrom's direction, and controlled play for much of the game. However, they also did some other things not so well, too. You may be told by some that the differences in the game were hits and blocked shots, but by now I hope our audience knows that that's not the case. You block shots and throw hits when you're scrambling in the hopes of gaining possession of the puck. That's how it works.

Really the big issue was the fact that they scored only 1 goal, while giving up 3 the other way. It's as simple as that. With the defeat, the Canucks now sit in 2nd place in the Northwest, a rather unfamiliar position, as the Wild took sole possession of the division.

Read on Past the Jump for Analysis, and Scoring Chance Data.

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Afternoon Headshots: March 18th

Patrick Johnston
March 18 2013 07:01PM


Apparently at least one of today's How I Met Your Mother re-runs features Cobie expressing her fandom.

Up, down; left, right; Wild, Canucks. It's how it's meant to be. 

Or maybe not. It's never been an enjoyable experience when the Canucks play Minnesota. The first two pairings are balanced. Not sure this matchup ever really is.

Read on for fun from around the Smylosphere and beyond.

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Ludwig Blomstrand signs; the next Hansen?

Patrick Johnston
March 18 2013 03:51PM

Ludwig Blomstrand och Philip Holm
Blomstrand and Phillip Holm discuss hair products. Also numbers, "I'm Mason Raymond!" "I'm Jannik Hansen!" (Photo: difhockey.se/Flickr)

He may not be Danish, but otherwise the comparison to Jannik Hansen sounds pretty apt.

As first reported by Daniel Wagner on Friday, Ludwig Blomstrand has signed with the Canucks and looks set to head to Chicago.

The six-foot-one forward is speedy, has a good sense of what to do in his own end and could blossom into a useful mid-order skater.

For more news in Swedish, click past the jump!

(Actually, there's no Swedish, but click anyway...)

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Game #28 Preview: Wild @ Canucks

Dimitri Filipovic
March 18 2013 12:44PM


The Canucks and the Wild are fighting for the Northwest Division title.

After the Minnesota Wild's free agent coup back in July, there was talk about how the Northwest would suddenly become a hotly contested division. I, like many others, laughed it off. They were still the Minnesota Wild, after all. Things were going according to plan in the early going; after a decisive 4-1 win in Minnesota on February 7th, the Canucks improved to 6-2-2 while the Wild fell to 4-5-1.

I guess you could say things have changed for both teams since then. They both currently have 32 points through the first 27 games of the season, meaning the winner of Monday night's tilt will (at least temporarily) take sole possession of the Northwest Division.

Read Past the Jump for More on the Game.

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