March 08 2012 11:33PM
The Vancouver Canucks played the Winnipeg Jets for the first time in 16 years was the storyline coming into this one, although, I do believe they played Atlanta last spring, and Phoenix last week, so I'm not too sure about the factual basis for this one. What I do know, however, is that Winnipeg is an alright team in the playoff race, held back by some shaky goaltending.
That wasn't really on display tonight, however. The Canucks put three past Ondrej Pavelec, one by Ryan Kesler, one by Alex Edler and one by Sammy Pahlsson, but they also took 45 shots on goal and came back from a third period deficit to win 3-2.
For further analysis, Statistical Three Stars, Statistical Three Goats, and scoring chances, click after the jump…
March 08 2012 04:37PM
Daniel Sedin: Slumping. Via Pucktures.
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March 08 2012 01:38PM
Chris Higgins is smiling sweetly because he's back in the top-6!
This is a weekly feature that will highlight The Good, The Bad and The *fill in the blank* exciting things that are currently happening in the NHL. Will Logan Couture ever tweet anything exciting? Are the Sedins ever going to score goals again? Will Ryan Kesler one day have a statue dedicated to him? Hockey: it’s all fun and games until your team starts to lose.
March 08 2012 10:27AM
Over the summer, the rotting corpse of the Winnipeg Jets was reanimated, and crawled from its tomb in horror film fashion - finally sticking its creepy, decomposed hand out from the dirt in early September. The spirit of the Jets is alive again (it simply had to occupy the former body of the Atlanta Thrashers) and currently is holding down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
For what feelsl ike months the Canucks have played games that barely matter to them, against teams clawing desperately to punch their ticket to the postseason dance, and tonight will be no exception. Will Vancouver's team end their run of mediocrity, or will they lose their third straight at home?
A more thorough preview, underlying numbers and the three keys to the game after the jump!
March 08 2012 09:04AM
If you have read my articles here at the Canucks Army for the past few months, you are aware of Vancouver’s collection of unheralded college prospects. Back in October, I profiled 2011 draft pick Joseph LaBate, even going so far as to compare him to David Backes. LaBate’s freshman season at the University of Wisconsin has gone according to plan – he is playing a top six role for a strong college program, and his regular season recently wrapped up. He finished with five goals and 20 points in 34 games for the Badgers.
The University of Wisconsin has churned out some impressive NHL talent in recent years. The notables include Derek Stepan (Rangers), Craig Smith (Predators), Brendan Smith (Red Wings), Jamie McBain (Hurricanes), Jake Gardiner (Leafs), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers), and they currently have the best skater in college hockey in puck-moving defenseman Justin Schultz (Ducks). Coach Mike Eaves has done a great job preparing these guys for the NHL, as the majority of them have spent little to no time in the AHL. Leading up to the 2011 draft, LaBate was pegged as a bit of a project pick (as most 6’4” 18-year-old skaters are), but his overall improvement this season is extremely encouraging.
I have seen bits and pieces of his games on television and the internet, but to get a more thorough picture of how his game has developed, I decided to reach out to Chuck Schwartz from Bucky’s Fifth Quarter, a blog covering all things related to University of Wisconsin sports.
Give Chuck a follow on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz).