Top 10 Canuck Killers - Part 1

Cam Davie
February 29 2012 12:57PM

They've broken our hearts, game after game, year after year.
(Photo/graphic courtesy @mhenderson95)

This is the first of a two-part post where we chronicle and count down the top 10 Canuck Killers active in the NHL today.

The term "Canucks Killer" has been around for many years and Canucks fans are well aware of what it means. There's just a few players out there, who always seem to go for the jugular when they face Vancouver's club. A "Canuck Killer" scores frequently, tallies key disheartening goals, or just racks up points game after game. When you see a Canucks Killer, you know it. He's the player who can turn any Canucks fan briefly turn into Marlon Brando from Apocalypse Now, desperately whispering "the horror, the horror" at their television set.

I decided to track them all down, quantify them, rank them and share them all with you, because Canucks fans don't have enough to stress out about these days. Let's take a look at which active NHLers consistently use voice modulation software when calling the Canucks on their cell-phones in order to threaten them...

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The Commendable Boldness Of Mike Gillis

Jonathan Willis
February 29 2012 11:18AM

“We knew we’d have to give up a good young player to get something.” – Mike Gillis, commenting on the blockbuster trade that sent Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer to Buffalo in exchange for Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani.

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The Five Stages of Grief, or a Mason Raymond Shootout Attempt

Thomas Drance
February 29 2012 10:14AM

You'll never guess what happened next... Well, that is unless you guessed "he didn't score and then fell down."

I remain convinced that Mason Raymond is a valuable forward for the Vancouver Canucks. Holding that opinon puts me in the extreme minority of Canucks fans, bloggers and observers, however. Basically for me to be correct on this one nearly everybody else who covers the team, and 98% of the team's fans have to be completely and totally wrong. Put another way, if Raymond is as valuable as I think he is, that would have to make him the most under-appreciated and misunderstood athlete in the history of the Canucks franchise.

Well, I am right about Raymond. Even though everybody hates the guy, he's a quality contributor and had a big game last night (despite his woeful shootout attempt and collection of pratfalls). Raymond consistently drive possession, helps the Canucks outshoot their opponents and plays stellar defense. What a bum. 

Anyway, I'm not going to do what you think I'm going to do - I'm not going to use objective data to prove that Raymond is a valuable contributor to the team. Instead I'm going to explore the psychological damage Raymond's mere presence on the team and in the shootout is causing Canucks fans. Click past the jump to find out more!

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February 29 2012 08:48AM

"Friend of the Nation Network - and two time Angler Cup Champion - Brian Sutherby has shared his thoughts about the Trade Deadline for the second time in less than a week. In this installment he takes a look at the difficulties of making a big move at the deadline and the impact new arrivals have on a dressing room this late in the season. He also calls a winner for this year's deadline day. - Wanye

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Canucks close out road trip with shootout loss to the Coyotes: Recap and Chance Data

Thomas Drance
February 28 2012 11:48PM

Kassian tries to direct a Henrik Sedin feed past Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.
The Canucks newest acquisition impressed in the team's 2-1 SO loss in Glendale.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Tonight's game between the Coyotes and the Canucks got off to a typically slow start, but somehow on the way to the Forum, it turned into a wide-open hockey game and a goaltenders duel. The Canucks got the opening marker on a first period power-play, when Alex Edler directed a pass in the general vicinity of the Coyotes net. The puck deflected off of multiple Coyotes defenders and past Mike Smith. 

From there the Canucks continued to generate shots, but had few scoring chances and looked lost in the first fifteen minutes of the second frame. I think it's fair to describe the team's breakout in the second and third periods as conservative, and so was their cycle game. The team fell into the "get traffic and set up points shots" offense as the Coyotes out-chanced Vancouver's club mostly against the flow of possession. 

The Coyotes caught a break with 10 minutes to go in the game, when "the Wizard" Ray Whitney capitalized on an ugly rebound that Cory Schneider coughed up off of a 120 foot Keith Yandle shot. The goal shook the Canucks out of their mid-game slumber, and they dominated what remained of the game but couldn't beat Mike Smith. Smith shut the door over the balance of the third, throughout OT and then stoned both Canucks shooters in the skills competition to earn the NHL's hottest team yet another two points.

A more detailed recap, scoring chance data, and the statistical three stars and goats after the jump!

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