Canucks Blow Late Lead, Lose in OT

Thomas Drance
May 04 2013 01:03AM

I am become Raffi, destroyer of windows.
Photocredit: Rich Lam, NHLI/Getty

At the end of the day, the Canucks are a tragic franchise with a sordid history of unspeakably painful losses. 

Another chapter in that story was written on Friday night. Down one-to-nothing late in the second, Ryan Kesler began to hit everything in sight. In the third period, he came out and personally brought the Canucks even in the game with a power-play goal. Then he put them up one capitalizing off of a Joe Pavelski turnover. The Canucks shut the Sharks down pretty successfully in the third period, actually, as the Sharks managed only two scoring chances in the frame. One of those came when Desjardins sent a puck off the post. The second was a tap-in goal for Patrick Marleau with fifty-five seconds remaining...

To rub more salt in the wound, the team was ultimately defeated in overtime by former Canucks forward Raffi Torres. Torres and Brent Burns capitalized off of an Alex Edler turnover at the Canucks offensive blueline and went in two-on-one the other way. Kevin Bieksa modestly misplayed the situation, failing to take away both the shot and the pass. Torres finished easily over a sprawling Roberto Luongo, and that was that. The Canucks are now in a massive hole, one they very probably won't be able to dig themselves out of over the next five games...

Read past the jump.

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Afternoon Headshots: May 3rd

Thomas Drance
May 03 2013 04:49PM

Just a tremendous image. Via Redditer Etzio192.

Today at CanucksArmy we micro-analyzed Vancouver's faceoff issues, looked at whether or not Friday night's game qualified as a must win (it kind of does), talked at length about the Canucks 2011 draft class which is looking pretty interesting in the wake of Alexandre Grenier and Henrik Tommernes signing entry-level contracts, rounded up the Canucks week in quips, and of course previewed tonight's Canucks game, which is kind of a big one for the Canucks to win lest they end up like the frustrated T-Rex in the image above...

More Canucks links and stuff after the jump.

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Is Game 2 Really a "Must-Win" For the Canucks?

Dimitri Filipovic
May 03 2013 02:20PM

For me personally, the best part of a 7-game playoff series is the game of chess that takes place between games. The playoffs are all about adjustments; the ability to make the correct ones and push the right buttons often goes a long way in determining who comes out on top. This is especially true for the team coming off of a loss, as they have to go back to the drawing board in an attempt to figure out ways to avoid tasting defeat again.

That's where the Vancouver Canucks find themselves, after they relinquished home-ice advantage with their Game 1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night. I'd say that the biggest adjustment the Canucks can make heading into Game 2 is the way in which they utilize the Sedins. As Cam Charron astutely pointed out, Alain Vigneault has to find a way to get them out on the ice against Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan, while avoiding Marc-Edward Eduard Eduoard Edouard Vlasic's suffocating coverage.

The fact of the matter is, that the Canucks likely would've been able to sneak out a win on Wednesday night had they gotten anything from their top line, but they didn't. As a result they now face a Game 2 which they probably have to have if they plan on playing deeper into the postseason. But is it really a "must-win" as the team's captain has proclaimed? 

Read on Past the Jump for More.

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Microanalyzing Canucks faceoffs issues

Cam Charron
May 03 2013 12:30PM

Quick observation on faceoffs based on Game 1. This seems to be the target for Vancouver Canucks observers and I don't particularly get why. Any microanalysis on faceoffs I don't like to trust. For one, the NHL is inconsistent in properly rewarding winners and losers of draws. For two, virtually anybody who looks at faceoffs on a macro-level usually finds inconclusive evidence that teams that are good at winning and losing draws help teams win a lot of games.

There's some evidence to indicate that faceoffs have a hand in puck-possession, but it's not the thing. Vancouver, New Jersey and Ottawa all seemed to do well at overall possession, calculated by shot differential statistics, this season without being particularly proficient on faceoffs. Boston, San Jose and Chicago are good at draws.

It's a thing but it's not the thing.

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Sharks @ Canucks: Game 2 Preview

Thomas Drance
May 03 2013 10:56AM

All eyes will be on Luogno, as usual, in game 2.
Photograph by: (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

It didn't take long for the Canucks to get their backs up against the wall in the 2013 playoffs. Teams have come back from 2-0 deficits in a playoff series in the past, hell it happens every second year or so, but usually that team is the road team. Vancouver's already lost home-ice advantage, and the outlook for this series will turn grim if the team loses again on Friday night...

If they hope to avoid that fate, they'll need to generate more quality looks and test Niemi. The Canucks only challenged Niemi with five difficult shots on Wednesday night, a paltry number and not nearly enough, especially when you consider that none of those shots came in the third period of a tied playoff game.

Read past the jump for more.

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