Game #73 Preview - Listless In the Madhouse

Thomas Drance
March 21 2012 11:13AM

Dave Bolland has a history of frustrating the Sedins.
Tonight, the Canucks should look to flip the script and generously deploy their Jerk-Puck tactics.

The Canucks, playing for nothing at this late point in the season, have been dogging it of late - possibly by design. As a result, the team has lost five of their last seven and Vancouverites are becoming typically restless. "Vigneault should be fired for putting that figure-skater Mason Raymond in the top-six, and why exactly is Roberto Luongo (the bum!) - who, by the way, is the team's real backup goaltender - starting tonight?"

Yep. You know the drill.

Tonight the Canucks face one of the West's hottest teams in their old arch-nemesis the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have been supplanted as the central preoccupation of Canucks fans by the Boston Bruins; while the Blues are steadily climbing up the list of teams Blackhawks fans hate, and are certainly in the same league as the Canucks now. Even if the bloom is off the rivalry rose to some extent - tonight's tilt still promises to be a spirited affair, which would be awesome, since we've only seen the Canucks play a couple of those (the win to snap Detroit's home-ice winning streak, and the 2-0 win over St. Louis) since the All-Star break.

Click past the jump for a more detailed preview, underlying numbers and the three keys to the game.

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Headshots March 20th

Thomas Drance
March 20 2012 03:26PM

Chris Higgins' abs look like bread rolls according to

Headshots are a Canucks Army feature where we link to the day's freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost, produced a tribute video or birthed a clever .gif into existence - please e-mail Thom at

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On the Proper Use of "Real-Time Stats" or, Why We Don't Use Blocked Shots to Judge Player Performance

Cam Charron
March 20 2012 10:58AM

Keith Ballard, shown here putting his body on the line for the team, is easily the Canucks best shot blocker.
But would you describe him as the team's best defensive player?

The objective, numbers centric approach we pride ourselves on at Canucks Army isn't intuitive and admittedly some of the concepts can be challenging. As such, I figured it might be informative if I explained in depth why I've taken umbrage at the way several analysts have misused the numbers over the past week.

Read past the jump for more!

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NN Hockey Pool Update: March 20th Edition

Jonathan Willis
March 20 2012 10:04AM

Another week, another leader in the Nation Network Hockey Pool.

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Wild Defeat the Canuc....Zzzzzz Recap and Scoring Chances

Thomas Drance
March 19 2012 09:45PM

Alex Burrows battles, kind of, to create traffic against Wild netminder Josh Harding who recorded the easy shutout.
(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

It's pretty clear that the Canucks just don't care. That's not an excuse, and its been so long since the team put in a solid sixty minute effort that you can forgive fans in the Vancouver market who aren't well disposed to "trusting" this particular team in a seven-game series, but I'm still convinced it's true.

In tonight's game against the Wild, the Canucks attempted more even-strength shots (52-45) than Minnesota and had roughly an equal number of shots on goal. Most of those shots, however, were of the dreaded "perimeter" variety, and by the chance data the Canucks were absolutely crushed in this game.

Vancouver's blueliners took 12 shots, and the forwards took many of the remaining 21 from odd angles, or from well over 40 feet out. Most of those shots hardly troubled Josh Harding. The way the Canucks avoided the "tough areas" of the ice, and were content to just set up point shots repeatedly, indicates to me that the team is cruising and primarily looking to avoid injury. 

When you put a half-hearted effort into just about anything, you get the result you deserve. Tonight that meant a two-zip loss at the hands of the league's worst possession team.

Click past the jump for a more thorough recap, chance data and the statistical three stars.

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