January 18 2014 08:49PM
Just a few minutes before the puck was set to drop on Saturday night's game between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, I (and all of the other media members here on press row), received a piece of paper from a Rogers Arena employee. This piece of paper included the lineups we'd see in action tonight, and all of the scratches.
More prevalently, though, it also included a list of the 5 players each team would ice for the opening faceoff. As soon as we received it, everyone saw the writing on the wall..
Two seconds in, our collective assumption was proven correct; a full-out line brawl broke out.
January 18 2014 03:26PM
Image via Earl Sleek
The Vancouver Canucks have fallen on hard times lately. There aren't a lot of things going right for them these days, with all of the injuries and losing. As weird as it is to say this given the fact that they had endured a 9-1 drubbing the night before, I think the loss to the Phoenix Coyotes may've been something of a rock bottom for the team.
It was kind of the perfect microcosm for everything that has gone wrong in January; they looked completely listless for large stretches of the game, the power play was mindblowingly ineffective, they suffered a couple of injuries to players of varying importance, and they once again lost.
Fortunately, they're about to embark on a much more forgiving stretch in the schedule (we'd think), and it all starts when the Calgary Flames come to town on Saturday night.
January 17 2014 03:28PM
The Canucks wrapped up a road trip in which they scored just once in three games last night. I actively work to not listen to the alarmists anymore, but it's tough to ignore scoring woes of this magnitude. The Canucks did only get out-Corsi'd in close situations 59-55 in a three-game road trip that included one back-to-back and a game against one of the top possession teams in the NHL, so it's not awful. The 9-1 loss is, but the 1-0 losses that bookened the trip could have been worse. They played well and couldn't finish. That will happen.
The Canucks have 89 shots in the last three games and just one goal. The obvious inference is that a 1.1% shooting rate is unsustainable, and things will pick up, but you'd have to be braindead to think the Canucks will play out the year scoring fewer goals per game than [//checks Premiership table] Crystal Palace FC, but there is a problem brewing here, one that's been visible for years now: the Sedin twins are no longer young pups eager to destroy the league. They are hockey players, and like all hockey players, do not age like fine wine.
Daniel Sedin has just four points in eight games since the new year. Henrik Sedin has just five. That's not really my worry. My worry is that over the last two (half) seasons, Henrik is on pace for 67 points over 82 games.
January 17 2014 12:50PM
Admittedly, the outlook and dialogue on this blog has been pretty bleak lately. I guess that's what happens when the team your blog is devoted to goes through an injury-induced malaise; which includes 1 win in 9 games since December 30th, a -14 goal differential, one of the most embarrassing group performances imaginable, and having the same number of points for the season as the Minnesota Wild.
All that considered, the tone seems justified and the situation seems dire. But just as fast as things have spiraled out of control over the past few weeks, I think they can be restored. There are some very tangible reasons to expect this team to right the ship, which we'll get into right past the jump.
January 16 2014 11:46PM
I am told that there was a hockey game this Thursday night. I am also told that it was aired on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific at 6:00 PM Vancouver time. Well I am not sure about you guys, but when I sat in front of my television set at 6:00 PM Vancouver time, rapt with anticipation to witness the glorious spectacle that is an NHL hockey game, I did not get to witness a hockey game.
I was treated to watching paint dry for three whole, painful hours.
This game was just that bad. It was truly one of those hockey games that made you sit in your seat and question your very dedication to this fickle sport. I debated just turning the thing off and watching Japanese Macaques throw their feces at each other over on the Oasis channel at points during tonight's game, and in retrospect that probably would have been a better use of my time, but I ultimately decided against it so I could write tonight's postgame report. Now please do me a favour and read past the jump. I promise it won't be as boring as the 1-0 Canucks loss we all collectively witnessed.