December 09 2013 12:25PM
In my first post on zone entries, I went over the basics of this new stat, why it's important, and how the Canucks have been performing as a team this year. 20 games have passed since then and we'll look at what has changed since then and who has been performing the best in the neutral zone for Vancouver.
December 08 2013 09:32PM
Oh, John(s).. [Image via Legion of Blog ]
Roberto Luongo was just moments away from recording his 3rd shutout of the season, and bringing his save percentage on the year right up to his career average of .919.. but then, John Garrett decided to deviate from his usual analysis of Peanut Butter and other Safeway products, and went out of his way to point the shutout bid out to the audience..
.. and of course, with just 8 seconds left in a 3-0 game, Jamie McGinn put home a totally meaningless goal to spoil all of that goodness. Oh well. I guess a 28/29 performance from Luongo, and a 3-1 win over a team currently holding a playoff spot in the packed Western Conference will have to do. It wasn't the prettiest of performances, and the Avalanche almost certainly aren't as good as their record would indicate, but it was a big win for the Canucks regardless.
Read on past the jump for more.
December 08 2013 01:49PM
Patrick Roy is a loose cannon, and it's awesome.
The Colorado Avalanche, who visit Rogers Arena on Sunday evening to take on the Canucks for the first time this season, are basically the polar opposite of the team we cover on this platform. Well, except for their coach being a loud, entertaining, loose cannon.
But they've received fantastic goaltending through the first third of the season, and have a ton of young exciting talent up front. On the other end of the spectrum their blueline is as suspect as it gets, and they've been performing over their heads due to some nice puck luck.
I know they're in a different division now thanks to the realignment, but still, it feels weird that these two teams haven't played each other yet. That'll change tonight. You'll hear about how the Canucks have dominated the Avs in the past - having gone over 3 years without a loss to them at home - but things have changed..
December 06 2013 11:17PM
We had a photographer at the game and everything
Cosmetically, it will look worse. The Vancouver Canucks will wake up tomorrow now in a playoff position, because they failed to dispatch the Phoenix Coyotes in regulation time, and they gave up a point to the team they were theoretically chasing, and the Coyotes hold onto the second Wild Card start by virtue of having played fewer games.
Realistically, the Coyotes are winning games they shouldn't, and getting points out of games they shouldn't, and their shooting and save percentages have helped along some mediocre play. The Coyotes will not finish one point ahead of the Canucks for the standings, in all likelihood. The Canucks have been better at controlling play with the score close, and with the score tied. It's just those little blown leads, those goals that go in not well-timed situations, that has cost the team points in regulation.
Ultimately though, this game will be looked back upon as a success. Vancouver won a game against a division rival 3-2, and they did it without using the shootout, which counts more in the standings. Chris Higgins scored the overtime winner, and he's okay by us.
December 06 2013 01:12PM
Pictured: the City of Glendale
Wake up everybody! A win by Vancouver and the Canucks are right back in playoff position! Granted, Phoenix will have games in hand, but that's besides the point. The truth is, the Coyotes have been slipping a little of late and having won three of four, the Canucks are right back in the race.
But really, it's December. Who cares. Until about mid-January, the standings for the most part reflect the team that's banked the most wins in the last week or so. A week ago, the slumping Canucks had lost seven of eight. Now they've won three of four, and have gone from three points out to one point out. Phoenix have won two of seven! Who is on form? Who has momentum?
Who the heck is even on the Coyotes?
(NOTE: I was discussing with a fellow Vancouver blogger that the reason the Vancouver fanbase is committed to negativism is that they have no natural rival to rally against, except for the Canucks. We decided that the Canucks needed a rival, so we're going to go with Phoenix. Stick it in your ear, Phoenicians. We hate you now.)