Wild like an Afternoon Nap

Thomas Drance
January 05 2012 10:38AM

Burrows picks himself out of the Wild net after scoring Vancouver's second goal on Wednesday.

Turns out the Wild aren't some new model for "winning with team defense, and shot quality," nor are they the "the leagues most improved team." Nope, the Minnesota Wild are back to being the Wild whom Canucks fans know, and are totally indifferent towards!

On Wednesday the Canucks took it to their Northwest division "rival" in the first, and sealed the deal in the games first ten minutes by scoring two goals on their way to a three-zip shutout victory. The Wild had no answer, and seemingly no emotional push-back as they offered limited resistance. The "Minnesota Tebows" never really pressed the issue after the Sedin line's second goal, and only managed 8 scoring chances at even-strength throughout the entire game (Vancouver had seven in the first period).

Even score effects couldn't make Mike Yeo's squad look respectable, the Wild continued to be out-chanced throughout, and were out-shot in the third period despite being down two in a "statement game" ostensibly between the Northwest Division's two top clubs.

Chance Data, the Statistical Three Stars and a more detailed recap after the jump.

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Crimson Rising - Patrick McNally

Jeff Angus
January 05 2012 09:52AM

Patrick McNally playing as a member of the Harvard Crimson.
(Photo courtesy canucks.com)

The Canucks didn’t pick until the fourth round back at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, thanks in large part to the Keith Ballard trade (the team gave up its first round pick, which Florida used to select WHL winger Quinton Howden). With the 115th overall pick, the Canucks took skilled American defenseman Patrick McNally.

McNally was a very interesting pick at the time, as he represented a significantly long-term investment. He still had one more year of prep school hockey to play, as he wasn’t eligible to begin his college career until the fall of 2011 (he had already verbally committed to Harvard). The fact that he had another year of school before starting his college likely scared off a few NHL teams (he was projected to go anywhere from the second to the fourth round at the draft).

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Vintage Flame
January 05 2012 08:58AM


The other night undoubtedly registered a wide range of emotions amongst fans. From the shock at the Russian start; the anger of the Canadian’s undisciplined play; the dismay of a five goal deficit; the elation of a four goal comeback; the heartbreak of a one goal loss and finally to the agony that for the first time in eleven years, we will not be watching Canada play in the Gold medal game.

However, it’s not over just yet for the Canadian Juniors. They can still come out of the tournament with a medal. It may not be Gold, but there is something to be said about the fact that you have to lose the game to get the silver; you have to win the bronze. Canada can still end this tournament on their terms and walk away with their heads held high.

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Tales of Truth: Ballin' in the back

Patrick Johnston
January 04 2012 04:16PM

Keith Ballard has been even steadier than we realized.
(Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Much has been said about the reasons behind the Canucks' recent good form - scoring and top quality goaltending have been identified as the main reasons. But the Canucks also are getting solid contributions from other parts of the lineup.

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Game #41 Preview - Trapped in the Wild

Cam Davie
January 04 2012 12:50PM

Kesler scores. Fans celebrate. All is right in the world.
Will the same be true tonight? Or will Kes and the Canucks fall victim to the (duh duh DUH) TRAP!
(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Game Day Recon: Game #41 - Wild @ Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks are about to complete the first half of their regular season. They'll end it by finishing tops in their division and in one of the top 2 spots in the Western Conference. It's hard to say they haven't had a good first half but they need to turn around a small, recent downturn before they start the second half of the season. And that might be the big problem with tonight's game against the Minnesota Wild.

Are the Canucks looking beyond tonight to their match-up against the Boston Bruins on Saturday? Is the game tonight a dreaded TRAP GAME?!

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