November 09 2013 03:05PM
Expect to see a whole lotta this matchup tonight.
The Canucks walk into the building that Eric Cartman and Matthew Perry built on Saturday night for a tilt against a Los Angeles Kings squad that we're all too familiar with at this point. Just a few days ago, prior to the team embarking on their 4-game trip out to California, we noted that the next handful of games would serve as a nice litmus test for how they stacked up against some of the league's best.
Well.. so far, so good. They played a pretty solid road game that netted them a point - which could've easily been two, if not for a few unlucky bounces - against a sneaky good Phoenix Coyotes squad. Then they submitted quite possibly their most impressive performance of the season when they went into a place that has recently been a house of horrors of sorts, the
Shark Tank SAP Center, and handled the Sharks with relative ease.
Things don't really get easier in the near future, though. The Canucks find themselves staring at a back-to-back against the Kings and Sharks, before heading home to face the Sharks for the 4th and final time this season. Their opponent tonight is sitting at 10-6 right now which is good for only 5th in the Pacific and 9th in the West, but that may fool you, because they've once again been a dominant possession team. Despite the fact that they're missing two key pieces up front they'll surely still prove to be a handful on Saturday night.
Read on past the jump for a preview of the game.
November 08 2013 01:55PM
Roberto Luongo is feeling confident. How else would you explain the headband/hat combo?
This is a regular Friday feature combining a healthy mixture of observation, analysis, and foresight on the Vancouver Canucks. If you'd like to get at me about anything covered in this column, follow me on Twitter at @yyjordan and let's start a textual relationship (wink).
November 07 2013 11:52PM
That's really what you went with, headline writer? NHL.com
The Vancouver Canucks overcame a fluky goal against in the first sequence of the game to knock off the San Jose Sharks,
improving their record against San Jose to 11-7-5 in their last 23 games to snap a nine-game losing streak against their Northern California rivals. The Canucks overall played a lights-out defensive game in the first period, and followed it up with a lights-out goaltending performance by Roberto Luongo in the third as the Sharks clawed back, but Vancouver held for a 4-2 victory.
There's some hilarious irony to hearing Sharks fans boo their team off the ice (this was their first regulation loss in eight games at home) and at the end of a third period powerplay that was held ineffective (the same powerplay that over the last several years has been the best in the league by a longshot). Vancouver, though, gets full marks for the win Thursday night, keeping the Sharks' dangerous first three lines out of the black through two.
November 07 2013 01:29PM
Presumably photographed the last time the Canucks beat the Sharks. They had Trevor Linden and Willie Mitchell on the roster. (Wiki commons)
If you laid out the Canucks worst 10-game stretches against individual teams, their current streak against San Jose wouldn't be up there historically, despite having lost nine straight contests.
After the Canucks last loss to the Sharks, I downloaded every Canuck game ever played from Hockey Reference's huge file, sorted it by franchise and calculated the points and expected wins the team should have earned in the last ten games against a particular team via Pythagorean Expectation.
Now, this includes playoffs, and it's worth noting that during the team's 9-game losing streak to the Sharks, they've lost three times in OT, and are 1-4 in one-goal games. By expected wins, it's the team's 187th worst 10-game stretch against a particular team, and by points, it barely moves the needle. The thing I really noticed downloading all this data is that the Canucks rarely won games between 1970 and 1991, which somewhat explains why everybody over the age of 40 in this town is absolutely miserable when it comes to hockey. I'll write about some of the worst streaks after the jump.
November 07 2013 09:48AM
Welcome to this week's edition of the Canucks Weekly Prospect Report where I cover as much as I can on the recent activities of Canuck Prospects in all leagues, including their farm team the Utica Comets. It has been a busy week for prospects, most notably Cole Cassels continuing to shine in Oshawa. The Comets still haven't been able to win a game but they have been close many times.
As always, follow me @nuckprospects for the latest in prospect news and feed free to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish me to cover.