Alex Edler Assessed Major Penalty for Charging Mike Smith

Thomas Drance
March 21 2013 10:30PM

Late in the second period of Thursday night's Canucks game in Glendale, Arizona the Canucks were on the power-play when an unsuspecting Mike Smith left his net to play the puck in the trapezoid. What happened next will shock you! In fact there's lots of shocking things about this play.

First off, it's a bit of an uncharacteristic shot from Alex Edler - who generally plays more like a Lady Byng candidate than a thug. Secondly, it's uncharacteristic of Mike Smith to hop back up after an opposition skaters makes contact with him, as opposed to doing his best Ryan Kelser impression and rolling around on the ice. Thirdly, Alex Edler was assessed a major for charging on the play, which I found kind of surprising.

Read past the jump.

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Evening Headshots March 21st

Thomas Drance
March 21 2013 06:38PM

Chris Higgins is out of the lineup for tonight's game against Phoenix.
But don't worry, he's not injured (as is being reported elsewhere). He's just joined the Wiserhood.

Today at Canucks Army we previewed tonight's Canucks game against the Phoenix Coyotes, considered some NHL defensemen who the Canucks would do well to acquire at the trade deadline, investigated whether or not Alain Vigneault's "trap it up" game plan was unique among NHL coaches (it's obviously not) and looked at the unpredictable impact of a mid-season coaching change.

Read on past the jump if you want a longer recap of today's Canucks news and assorted hot sports takes from around the internets.

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Anatomy of a midseason coaching change

Cam Charron
March 21 2013 05:18PM

In the last two days, I've written posts in this space combatting some of the discussion about the debate over whether Alain Vigneault is the right man to lead the Canucks. This is a topic on which I take a much stronger tone because it seems like a lot of people think that the coach really matters in the grand scheme of things. A coach can put guys on the ice and make in-game adjustments, but ultimately the style of a team will be determined by the kind of players management acquires.

The first post is a defence of trusting the process. The second is about score effects and sitting back. This one is ultimately my thoughts on the positives and negatives of a midseason coaching switch. Read on the jump.

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Trade Deadline 2013: Finding a Defenseman

Jeff Angus
March 21 2013 01:44PM

I wrote last week about some centers who the Canucks could potentially have interest in (David Steckel was one of them, and he has since been traded to the Anaheim Ducks). Defensemen are the focus of today. The Canucks quite obviously need another defenseman. Ideally a right-handed shooter, but the team could probably use an upgrade regardless of what side they play on.

Who are some defensemen that the Canucks could target?

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Game #30 Preview: Canucks @ Coyotes

Thomas Drance
March 21 2013 01:05PM

The Canucks have been an inconsistent group this season, to put it mildly, and they've underachieved expectations through the first 29 games of this weird lockout shortened season. While the team continues to handle and outscore their opponents at even-strength, the club's special teams have been pretty mediocre and the goaltending has been surprisingly average too. 

Phoenix is in the same boat basically, except even worse. While the Canucks have fallen out of the top-slot in the Northwest, the Coyotes have fallen out of the top-8 in the West and find themselves tied with *gulp* the Columbus Blue Jackets with thirty points in thirty games. Getting quality goaltending has been a staple of Dave Tippett's over-achieving Coyotes teams in the recent past, but so far this season that hasn't showed up for the desert dogs (the Coyotes' 'tenders have an abysmal .909 sv% at even-strength). Worse has been their offensive production as the Coyotes have been shutout in four of their last five games. And you thought the Canucks had a pop gun offense.

Read on past the jump. 

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