April 07 2014 03:42PM
26-year-old rookie puck stopper Eddie Lack is set to start his 19th straight game for the Vancouver Canucks, a team still improbably fighting for their playoff lives, against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night. Lack has started every game for the Canucks since the end of the Olympic break way back on February 26th, a stretch that includes Lack starting the second of back-to-back games on multiple occasions, and it's fair to say that the young netminder has buckled under the mammoth burden.
It's a burden that Lack is unlikely to be relieved of until the Canucks are mathematically eliminated from the postseason.
There's a lot to unpack from Lack's performance since he was, by necessity, anointed Vancouver's everyday (literally) starter. So let's focus in on what we've learned about Lack, and what his recent performance tells us about his aptitude as a number one goalie going forward.
Read on past the jump.
April 07 2014 02:39PM
As part of a weird scheduling quirk, the Anaheim Ducks visit Vancouver for the second time in just 8 days. No, they're not just here because they love yoga pants and rain; they're here to play some hockey, and potentially fill out the paperwork to finally and mercifully euthanize the 2013-14 Canucks.
As you know by now the Vancouver Canucks need to win their final 4 games in order to have any sort of chance at a miracle playoff bid. In theory it's not like the Ducks - who have been badly sputtering lately, highlighted by a 4-2 loss in Edmonton yesterday for the second time in 10 days - are some sort of insurmountable opponent.
But they've absolutely owned the Canucks this season, outscoring them by a 21-6 margin in winning all 4 meetings between the two teams. They most recently handed them a 5-1 defeat in that aforementioned game last Saturday.
Take your final breaths, and say your last words.
April 06 2014 08:09PM
Is it just me, or does that look a lot like Zack Kassian?
Depending on how you look at it, the Vancouver Canucks were either handed a gift on Sunday afternoon or cursed to remain painfully clinging to their last ounces of life on their deathbed as old friend Roberto Luongo stepped up and delivered a quality performance, stopping 35 of 37 shots as his Florida Panthers beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in regulation to hold the Stars at 87 points on the season. Any Stars win would have given them 89 points on the year and put out of reach of the Vancouver Canucks as the Stars would own the tiebreaker.
Of course, this means that there's still a distantly remote possibility that Vancouver can make the playoffs to meet the vulnerable St. Louis Blues in the first round. Just how can they pull this off? I'm glad you asked. Read past the jump to find out.
April 06 2014 02:39PM
Heading into Saturday night's game against the Kings I mocked the notion of "moral victories", citing the unmitigated collapse by the Canucks since that term became a thing around these parts in January. That whole ordeal tied right into Mike Gillis' sentiments about "chasing moving goal posts"; winning hockey games appeared to become a secondary objective as the team tried to change the way it was perceived, and in doing so they lost both themselves and a lot of games, as well.
This particular meeting between the two teams wound up being a much, much tamer contest. There were 93 fewer penalty minutes handed out, and instead of a bunch of fisticuffs and shenanigans we had to settle for a legitimate hockey game. As it turns out that's not such a bad alternative.
We'll run through how the Canucks managed to beat a Pacific Divison adversary from California for just the 2nd time all season. Apologies on the later-than-usual recap, but some things came up last night that prevented me from posting immediately following the game like I usually do. Hopefully you managed to find some other avenue of entertaining seeing as it was a Saturday night and all..
April 05 2014 02:26PM
When the Vancouver Canucks went into Los Angeles to take on the Kings back on January 13th, they were sporting a 24-13-9 record on the season. Their opponents on that night were 27-14-5, a measly two points ahead of them in the Pacific Division.
The Canucks wound up losing the hockey game by a 1-0 score, but were widely hailed for how they "handled their business" on that night. The players themselves, sounded exceptionally upbeat basedon their remarks following the game (via Vancity Buzz).
Sure, they may've lost the game that represented the battle, but by all accounts they proved to the world - and even more importantly, themselves - that they would no longer be pushed around by the Big Bad Kings. So maybe, just maybe, they'd better positioned themselves to win the eventual war.
Unfortunately, the illustrious momentum we've all heard so much about didn't wind up carrying over. The Canucks lost by a 8 goals in their next game, and have gone 10-19-2 since. Of course, it's not just as simple as that; injuries and bad luck and all that jazz factored into their tumble, but the point about how silly the hockey community can sometimes be with all of this fighting/momentum/character mumbo jumbo stands tall.