Game #40 Preview: Canucks @ Flames

Thomas Drance
April 10 2013 02:32PM

Photo Credit: The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck

The Canucks are currently riding high in the saddle - they've won their last three games and have looked damn good doing it - and will kick off a five game roadtrip, their longest of the season, in Calgary tonight against the directionless suckhole franchise known as the Flames. 

Calgary were sellers at the trade deadline and have lost four of their last five - including a five-two loss to Vancouver this past weekend. They're in full on "hit the skids for Poppeye's kid" mode at the moment, and will be further short-handed tonight as Matt Stajan and Jiri Hudler will be out of the lineup per Brad Ziemer

The Flames are the worst and this should be an easy win for the Canucks. That is unless they take it too lightly and Kiprusoff stands on his head, in which case it could be a potential trap game. That's probably not how this contest will unfold though. Read more on the other side of the jump!

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An Extended Look at Vancouver's Defence Pairings

Thomas Drance
April 10 2013 12:12PM

The Canucks have recently found some functional defence pairings beyond Bieksa and Hamhuis.

This season, up until the last ten games or so, the Canucks defence pairings have been inconsistently delineated. There's a variety of reasons for that, like injuries and the club employing only one top-four defenceman with a right-handed shot; but the fact remains that Alain Vigneault and Rick Bowness (who runs the defence) have tried out a lot of different personnel together. 

Of late they seem to have settled in on a top pairing of Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison, a second pairing of Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler, and a third pairing consiting of whomever is healthy (but preferably Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev). Have they made the right call, or are their other possible combinations that have performed better this season?

Read past the jump for more.

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Evening Headshots: April 9th

Thomas Drance
April 09 2013 08:14PM

Keith Ballard has a pretty solid poker face.
Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick/Behind the Lens

Today at Canucks Army we recapped Vancouver's two-to-nothing victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, checked out the early returns on the Derek Roy acquisition, reacted to the latest news about Chris Higgins and Chris Tanev's injuries and analyzed Cory Schneider's Major Junior-like career trajectory as an NHL goaltender.

More Lady Gaga references and other Canucks links after the jump.

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Cory Schneider's odd career trajectory

Cam Charron
April 09 2013 02:50PM

The amazing thing about Cory Schneider's career is the lack of valleys along the way. You can't point to a grouping of ten games in a row where Schneider's performance has been substandard except for right at the start of his career.

I've organized a chart looking at Schneider's career save percentage cumulative and from a rolling 10-game average. After the jump…

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Injury Bug: Higgins and Tanev out with the dreaded "lower body injury"

Thomas Drance
April 09 2013 02:04PM

After Canucks practice today - a practice at which Chris Tanev and Chris Higgins were absent - Alain Vigneault updated the media on their respective health status. While Vancouver's head coach closely guarded the actual prognosis (and admitted he was in "playoff mode" on the injury disclosure front), the update certainly sounds grim:

Read past the jump.

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