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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Blue Jackets 3 Canucks 2 (SO)

Elliott Pap (Vancouver Sun) called it a market correction:

It appears the Vancouver Canucks are living through a market correction. The Canucks, so dominant in overtime and shootouts prior to Jan. 19, fell again to a non-playoff team on home ice Tuesday, losing 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a shootout.

The defeat was eerily similar to Vancouver's 3-2 OT loss to the Los Angeles Kings last Friday.

Vancouver fell behind early, came back to tie, never led and then died in the end.
Despite the loss, I thought the Canucks played a pretty good game. Both teams stuck to a conservative game plan, but the Canucks were able to generate a few more scoring chances and even controlled a good portion of the game. Sedin, Sedin and Pyatt looked good as usual. So did Markus. And even Jan Bulis played with a lot of jump. I doubt they had the start they wanted, giving up a goal - to Anson Carter, no less - only 18 seconds into the game, but they stuck it out and at least earned themselves a point in the standings.

There was really only one thing that bothered me about last night's game - okay, one more besides how our scorers can't score on the shootout and that Josh Green seems to now be a regular option - and that's how the Blue Jackets crashed - and were able to crash - Luongo's net with reckless abandon. This has been going on for more than a few games now and the team needs to do a better job of protecting their goaltender.

Tony Gallagher (Vancouver Province) has more on this subject:

The traffic in Roberto Luongo's crease has reached ludicrous proportions. The way things are going for the Canucks' emerging league MVP candidate, he would have been lucky if his wife didn't run him down in his own driveway when he got home.

It's been a rough situation much of the year, but in the last three games, with his save percentage and goals-against average reaching absurdly good levels, it has been abundantly clear that opposing teams' strategy is to send bodies at him to make contact. If the puck is there, well, so much the better, but it doesn't seem to be necessary.
Maybe Willie Mitchell's impending return will help, though I hope the boys don't wait till then to do something about it.

More from the Mainstream

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Ty Conklin (CBJ): Wasn't looking too far ahead to tonight's game against the Oilers. 36 saves to earn only his second win of the season.
  2. Brendan Morrison (VAN): Good overall game. Only one assist but also won 17 of 28 faceoffs.
  3. Dan Fritsche (CBJ): Effective and noticeable in only 16 minutes of ice-time..

Official Statistics

Next Game

Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Game Day: Blue Jackets at Canucks

Just before the Christmas break, the Vancouver Canucks lost 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus. It was a bitter loss to one of the worst teams in the Western Conference at the time and I remember many were calling for Luongo's head on a platter.

I'm sure that loss served as a wake-up call.

Since then, the Canucks have been on an unbelievable roll. Immediately afterwards, they rattled off seven consecutive wins; in the 14 games they've played, they failed to get at least a point in only one. Even when they're not on top of their game, they're somehow finding ways - okay, Luongo is - to hang in and be in a position to win in the end.

The Blue Jackets also come to this game on a bit of a hot streak. They've won three in a row - all at home - against Buffalo, Detroit and Minnesota. In fact, the team has been more competitive since Ken Hitchcock took over from Gerald Gallant and are 15-12-3 under his regime.

More from the Mainstream

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Is Enough Enough?


I've rarely posted non-Canucks-related articles this season, but this one is too good to pass up:
Anyone who doesn't think hockey can work in America is forgetting this era. All of a sudden, hockey was challenging, if not beating, the NBA in a number of major U.S. markets – including New York. It's almost impossible to imagine now, but it happened.

As the conspiracy theory goes, Stern sensed the potential trouble in 1993 while the NHL was in search of a new commissioner. So he looked around his own office for someone so incompetent that if they got the job, the NHL would be marginalized by their mismanagement and never again be a threat to the NBA.

Naturally, Stern recommended one of his assistants, Gary Bettman, for the job.
I have my own mixed thoughts on the job Gary Bettman has done since taking the commissioner's job. Basically, I think he's done - for the most part - a great job for the owners who make money and a horrible job for the fans who pay them. Practically guaranteeing the owners a profit is good on one hand; giving Canucks fans eight games against Minnesota in the regular season isn't. Opening up the game for Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin was good; making sure one-thirds of the league only see them once every three years isn't. There are other examples of course, but perhaps I'll post them in more detail another time.

For now, grab a beer or two and enjoy the rest of the article.

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Sharks 1 Canucks 3

Tell me if this sounds familiar yet. Roberto Luongo stood on his head last night, made 38 saves, and gave the Vancouver Canucks a chance to steal a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Quite simply, if it weren't for Luongo, I don't think the Canucks come out of this weekend with any points at all. They were outhustled by a more determined Kings team on Friday and outplayed by a more talented Sharks team last night.

The losses of Ryan Kesler and Willie Mitchell are beginning to show. Without Kesler in the lineup, the Canucks lose a combination of speed and grit from the lineup; without Mitchell, the team is forced to ice a third defensive - if you can call it that - pairing of Fitzpatrick and Tremblay.

In both games this weekend, the Canucks allowed more than 20 shots in a single period and allowed the first goal in the game. Not exactly the stuff that makes three of four points and first place in the Northwest Division possible but we'll take it.

Maybe it's time to stop bashing Keenan and start thanking him for his gift to us named Louie.

More from the Mainstream

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Roberto Luongo (VAN): 38 saves, a LOT of them the awesome kind.
  2. Joe Thornton (SJ): All-Star center was tough to knock off the puck.
  3. Taylor Pyatt (VAN): It wasn't the goal and one assist that I liked. It was that he used his big frame and quick shot effectively to get them.

Official Statistics

Next Game

Tomorrow night against the streaking Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Game Day: Kings at Canucks

Finally, some real hockey getting played tonight at the Garage as the boys return to action and take on the Los Angeles Kings. Going into the All-Star break, the Canucks, of course, were one of the league's hottest teams. They had gained 21 points in their last 12 games; they had also won eight consecutive games at home before a loss to the Minnesota Wild snapped that streak.

Here are some links and stuff to get you ready for the game:

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

'Nucks Get Genoway

The Vancouver Canucks needed another scoring forward so they went ahead and got one. For the Moose.

The Vancouver Canucks acquired minor-league winger Colby Genoway from the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday in exchange for AHL defenceman Joe Rullier.

Genoway, 23, had eight goals and 29 points in 41 games with AHL Portland this season. He signed with Anaheim as a free agent over the summer.
I'm not even going to pretend I know anything about Genoway, though based on his AHL numbers (41 GP, 8G-21A- 29P, +15) and Hockey Futures write-up, he seems to have some scoring pop:

Genoway is in his second full season in the AHL and has continued the scoring ways that saw him finish eighth in rookie scoring a year ago. Playing mostly on the top line, he's been in the top three in scoring this year and is tops amongst all Portland players in plus/minus.
He was also named the Pirates' player of the week, the second time this season he's earned that honor.

I asked Finny (girl with a puck), who follows the Ducks and Portland Pirates, for some additional insight on Genoway:

I've seen some posts on MySpace from fans in Portland, and I understand that Genoway is a solid player... Pirate fans are bemoaning Burke's moves, angry that he's giving away/giving up the "better" players. I remember him from training camp, and I did like his performance there.
She also points out, however:

He was among the second to last group of players to be cut from the Ducks team during camp, but looking at his co-players that were cut? A bunch of them were called-up to play for us this season, including: Michael Wall, Curtis Glencross, Kent Huskins, David McKee (though he hasn't yet played a game for the Ducks), Bjorn Melin, Aaron Rome (even if he only played in one game).
The immediate impact of this trade will most likely be in Manitoba. Joe Rullier was a veteran defenseman, who, because of the AHL's veteran limit, was often a healthy scratch anyway. At least the Canucks were able to turn him into a player with offensive upside, something we know the organization doesn't have a lot of.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bettman Needs To Grow Some Balls (Or Something Like That)

Back when the NHL announced that they would switch to the NFL-style, unbalanced schedule, I was upset. As a season-ticket holder, I want variety. I want to see more teams, different teams, different players. I don't want to pay see the Minnesota Wild four times (actually, six including the pay-per-view games) and I don't want to wait three years every time to see Sidney Crosby.

I know I'm not the only one.

Christy Hammond (Behind The Jersey) hates the schedule as well:

Ugh. I hate the current schedule. Hate it. I hate playing every one in our division 8 times. Even if they were all fantastic teams, you don’t need to play any team that much. For more on my opinion on the topic, you can read a paper I wrote for my English class last semester here.
(Make sure you follow that last link to read her paper.)

Eric McErlain (Off Wing Opinion) says this is more of a bad thing:

As somebody who called for junking the unbalanced schedule back in November, I couldn't help but be disappointed that a minority of the Board of Governors voted to block reverting to the pre-lockout schedule that had teams playing everyone in the league at least once a year.
Jes Gőlbez (Hockey Rants) points out the true cost of sticking with this schedule:

On another note, the NHL decided to press on with the third year of their 3-year schedule rotation. Gary Bettman is so hard-on to finish his precious rotation that the league is basically screwing good marketing opportunities to save $5 on jet fuel. Say good-bye to a true Hockey Day in Canada next season.
Chuqui (Two For Elbowing) asks us not to blame Bettman but the East Coast teams:

Don't blame Bettman. He's doing what the board of governors voted to do. It's the board of governors -- the OWNERS -- calling the shots. And in fact, since this required a 2/3 majority, it's a minority of owners, primarily the east coast "bus league" teams, that's screwing this for the rest of us.
I blame Bettman anyway.

Kudos to Edmonton Oilers' chairman, Cal Nichols, for calling Bettman out (Pierre Lebrun, CP):

Edmonton Oilers chairman Cal Nichols wore his heart on his sleeve, saying the league had fumbled the ball.

"The politics seem to always enter into it," a frustrated Nichols said after the board of governors meeting. "I think we should be more concerned about the future of the game than specific interests or 'It's going to cost me a few more thousand dollars to travel a few extra miles.' This shouldn't be about that. It's about the game."

Nichols also believes commissioner Gary Bettman should have shown more leadership on the matter.

"I wish he would have," said Nichols.
Anyone else surprised that he didn't?

More from the Mainstream

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jan Bulis Wants To Clear The Air

Kinda.

From the Vancouver Province:

"It's unbelievable how out of hand it got," Bulis said of his ill-timed comments last Wednesday during an impressive 3-0-1 eastern road trip that left the Canucks 10-1-1 in their last dozen outings.

"I never said: 'I want out.' And I never said I want a trade. I don't know where it's going to go now. It was just a meeting between my agent [Jiri Crha] and [general manager] Dave Nonis."

That meeting was spurred after Bulis logged a season-low 9:37 of ice time on Jan. 2 in Calgary, one game after the winger scored in 15:06 of ice on Dec. 30 at Edmonton. It triggered his concern and has made all parties uncomfortable.

(snip)

"Janny wasn't lying or anything like that -- he was just telling his opinion of what he thinks," said Crha, who hasn't spoken with Nonis since his client's outburst. "I don't think they signed Janny because they want to trade him. Maybe they know the potential and have different ideas of what they want to do with him.

"If they don't feel he's the guy then it's a waste for everybody." Bulis believes with more ice time -- especially on the power play where he logged just 10 seconds in four of the last seven outings -- the Czech winger can improve on his 16 points [9-7] and be a second-half solution rather than an ongoing problem for coach Alain Vigneault.
Agent-speak aside, I think it pretty much reads the same as what was reported last week. While I sympathize with Bulis' desire to play a bigger role on this team - even one that I don't think he's quite capable of - going to the press certainly isn't likely to get him in it.

Earlier in the season, when Alain Vigneault gave him all sorts of opportunities to play on the powerplay, he notched a whopping total of one goal. Taylor Pyatt has scored more in that role and Trevor Linden is currently doing the same. Especially with the accompanying team success recently, I think Vigneault has done a great job of giving everyone their deserved ice-time, don't you think?

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All-Star Game Grumblings

Maybe it was a bit of the disappointment from how the whole Vote For Rory thing ended or I'm just grumpy, but I'm oddly not too excited about the All-Star game. I'll still watch it of course, but I'm almost apathetic to the festivities.

Maybe once I start watching the game, I'll get right into it. If anything, it's a good opportunity to see Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin play on the same line. And Heatley and Hossa. And Yanic Perrault and... never mind.

*****

The NHL gave us a sneak peak of the new RBK Edge jerseys. I have to admit, I don't mind them at all. We've seen several variations of the more "streamlined" jersey in the Olympics and the World Juniors and I don't think they look as bad as some hockey traditionalists were worried they might be. I still don't think I'd ever spend $349 for one, but...

Here's Roberto Luongo and his $0.02 on the new unis:

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo said the biggest difference he experienced with the new jersey was that it repels moisture.

"It's very comfortable -- light, and doesn't absorb water," he said. "It's not only sweat, but when we drink from the water bottle, sometimes it gets all over the front, so you get weighed down by the end of the period.

"It's very loose and elastic. You can move around easily in it, it's not impeding at all."
For the NHL company line, click here.

*****

The NHL Board of Governors are meeting today (link courtesy of Kukla's Corner) and part of the agenda is another vote on the league's scheduling format.

The NHL will have its much-maligned schedule dealt with once and for all when the board of governors meets Tuesday and the betting is the league will likely go back to the pre-lockout format that saw all 30 teams face each other at least once a season.

(snip)

Chances are things will go back to the format used pre-lockout, where each teams plays its divisional opponents six times instead of eight, then plays four games against each of the teams in the other divisions in their conference. That would leave 18 games against teams in the other conference. Teams would play against each team in the other conference once, leaving three games for home-and-home series against traditional rivals.
If the league were smart, they would go vote to go back to this format. If they were smarter, they would take it a step further and ensure a home-and-home series with interconference teams every season. I've always maintained that it's stupid marketing to not allow every Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Joe Thornton and Teemu Selanne to visit every NHL city every season. While the pre-lockout format is a step in the right direction, it's still not enough to ensure that this happens.

[update: 01/23/2007, 9:33 AM]

*sigh* This just in via TSN:

The NHL will stay the course and will not change the regular season schedule for at least one more year.

That was the decision made the the league's board of governors on Tuesday in an effort to deal with its much-debated scheduling concerns.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Reader's Submission: Some Pics from the Buffalo Game

Canucks Hockey Blog reader, Simon Wong, was in Buffalo on Friday night and sent in the following observations from the game:

... there were a lot of Vancouver fans from Toronto at the game. It seemed like all the nuckleheads shelled out for the good seats... it was great, we were having fun with the Sabres fans all night. It was one of the best games I've attended in a while. With Sabourin it added excitement/angst whenever the puck was in our zone. Reminds me of Cloutier's days in net. Sabourin had some flashy saves and overall a great game, but he was prone to let out a rebound on every shot and given his small size you could always see a lot of net, no way he could control the pace of the game the way Luongo does.

Thanks, Simon, for the first-hand account.

On TV, it totally looked like the many Canucks fans in the stands were having a great time. I watched the game with John and Rebecca at Fogg and Sudds, and John mentioned the atmosphere looked like something out of a US college football game.

Here are some of Simon's pics from the game. Enjoy!

Dany Sabourin in goal.

Alex Burrows stirring the pot (like he always does).

A LOT OF Canucks fans in the stands!


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Canucks 3 Sabres 4 (SO)

There's no need to be desolate even after the Canucks' 4-3 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. After they gained seven out of a possible eight points in their four-game road trip and 21 of a possible 24 points in their last 12 games, why would they?

In fact, this recent hot stretch showed a lot of positive things for our boys in Orca Bay blue. It proved that they can play with the best teams in the league. They beat Calgary three times in a row, twice in their own barn; they beat Edmonton twice, once at the drugstore-named arena; they beat Dallas and Florida in shootouts; and of course, they beat all three Eastern Canadian teams on this road trip, and with Dany Sabourin in net, took a point from the Eastern Conference-leading Sabres.

Speaking of Dany Sabourin, for one night at least, he proved that he can play in the bigs. In what was easily his best game as a Canuck, he stopped 33 shots and gave his team a chance at sweeping the road trip. And after the game, the rest of the team stood up for the little-used back-up:

"I wanted him so badly to win," Sabourin's friend and teammate, Alex Burrows, said. "He made some unbelievable saves and everyone wanted to win that first game for him. It's been tough on him for sure. He wants to stick in the NHL. He wants to prove to everyone that he's a good goalie. We know he's a good goalie."

Vigneault said: "The last five minutes of the third period, I thought, you know, maybe our guys were thinking so much about getting it done for Dany, we forgot to keep the pedal to the metal and keep going after them.

"I thought it really showed a gutsy effort for a kid who doesn't get to play a lot. It's unfortunate that we couldn't get it done ... we still had a pretty good trip. Tomorrow, we're probably going to say that coming out east here and getting seven or eight points was a pretty good feat."
Pretty good indeed.

More from the Mainstream
  • As expected, Roberto Luongo really, really, really wanted to play on Friday night, but this time, Alain Vigneault stood his ground. - Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun)

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Maxim Afinogenov (BUF): How he's not going to the All-Star game (and Jason Blake is) baffles me.
  2. Dany Sabourin (VAN): 33 saves on 36 Buffalo shots.
  3. Thomas Vanek (BUF): Only one assist but turned up his game in the third period and overtime.

Official Statistics

Next Game

Marc Crawford returns to GM Place with his new team, the Los Angeles Kings

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Game Day: Canucks at Sabres

There's not really any time to relish last night's 2-1 win over the Senators or the three-game win streak. Tonight, the Canucks head to Buffalo where they will meet the league-leading Sabres.

Here are some links and stuff for your pregame pleasure:

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Canucks 2 Senators 1

When the Canucks first embarked on this four-game Eastern swing, I said I would be happy even if they lost three games as long as their one win was against the Leafs. Lo and behold, after tonight's 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators, they have three wins on this road trip. Overall, the Canucks have now won six straight road games and 10 of their past 11 games.

The Sens were streaking going into the game. They had won five straight games, having scored at least five goals in each one. It wasn't easy but the Canucks sure stopped that streak.

The Canucks had a 2-0 lead after two periods thanks to Taylor Pyatt's 12th goal of the season and Rory Fitzpatrick's first (also his first as a Canuck). However, they got in trouble in the third period. They were outshot 14-0 in the final frame and even gave the Sens a two-man advantage of more than a minute. They killed both penalties and rode Roberto Luongo the rest of the game for the win.

What I liked most about the game was the Canucks' composure. They controlled much of the play in the first two periods, and even when the Sens came on in the third, the Canucks didn't panic. Winning does that, I suppose.

Now if I can be greedy, I hope they win one more game and sweep this road trip - tomorrow night against the Buffalo Sabres.

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Mattias Ohlund (VAN): Was huge for the defense after Willie Mitchell left the game. Was especially good when the Canucks were down two men in the third period
  2. Roberto Luongo (VAN): Stopped 34 Ottawa shots, including 13 of 14 in the third period
  3. Taylor Pyatt (VAN): One goal and one assist despite playing with a broken thumb

Official Statistics

Next Game

Friday night versus the no. 1 team in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres.

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The Crazy Canucks: Episode 17

Not like one of our regular episodes, here's a special edition of The Crazy Canucks podcast:

As promised, Rebecca and John were able to check out the Canucks game against the Leafs on the new scoreboard at GM Place this past weekend. The UBC Thunderbirds played a game against the Regina Cougars following the broadcast. Overall, a great way to spend a Hockey Day in Canada.

The audio quality is not the best, but hopefully the die hard fans out there will enjoy the sounds of what it’s like to attend an event like this in Vancouver.

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Game Day: Canucks at Senators

Besides Jan Bulis kinda (and kinda not) asking for a trade, here are more links and stuff about our 'Nucks heading into tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators:
  • Someone keep Roberto Luongo off the ice. I dare you. - Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province)
  • For all the good hockey they've played this season, the Canucks still aren't garnering much attention. Personally, I think that's a good thing. - Ed Willes (Vancouver Province)
  • The Sedins may have been snubbed in Montreal, but their outstanding playing hasn't gone unnoticed in Canada's capital. - Matthew Sekeres (Ottawa Citizen)
  • Here's an interesting tidbit I learned today. Tonight is another homecoming of sorts for Alain Vigneault and assistant coach, Rick Bowness, who both coached the expansion Ottawa Senators in '92-'93. - Ken Warren (Ottawa Citizen)

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Jan-satisfied

I wonder if "not being happy" is an annual tradition for Jan Bulis (Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun):

Enigmatic forward Jan Bulis says he wouldn't be surprised if he's no longer a Canuck by the end of the all-star break.

Unsatisfied with his role and irregular ice time since the start of the season, Bulis said his agent Jiri Crha has had meetings with GM Dave Nonis to discuss his immediate future.

Crha said he didn't demand a trade but he's prepared to ask for a deal, turning Bulis into trade bait, if the sides can't come to a mutually beneficial understanding.
This news is surprising only because of its timing. The Canucks are playing their best hockey of the season and have won nine of their last ten games. The last thing they need is another distraction.

Nonis, speaking from Vancouver, confirmed Bulis's version of events and said the veteran needs to play better.

"If he plays more like he played in Montreal, why would we trade him?" Nonis said. "That was the guy we thought we were getting. He wants to play more? Then he needs to play better."
Last season, Bulis went through the same song and dance. His inconsistent play fell him out of Bob Gainey's favor and he demanded a trade. With his same inconsistent play this season, I doubt he is one of Alain Vigneault's favorite players either and you start to see a pattern emerge.

Jan, maybe it's not the team's or the coach's fault. Maybe it's the player.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Canucks 4 Canadiens 0

It was a homecoming of sorts for many Canucks players, all of whom had a contingent of family and friends in the stands. And they didn't disappoint.

Alain Vigneault went back to Montreal for the first time since being let go by the Habs and recorded a win; Roberto Luongo recorded his third shutout of the season and 30th of his career; Jan Bulis chipped in with a goal and an assist; Alex Burrows played a key role on a PK unit that didn't allow a goal in five Montreal powerplays; and even Marc Chouinard played a good, if not spectacular, game after four games in the press box.

In fact, it didn't matter that the Sedins didn't record a point because the rest of the lineup played a good and opportunistic team game. They won a lot of puck battles and maintained possession of the puck most of the game. They didn't give Montreal a lot of chances and when they did, Roberto Luongo was there. As he always is.

Luongo was the biggest story of the game. He took a puck in the throat during Monday's practice and had to spend Monday night in ICU. Not being able to sleep or eat or drink, his status for the game was doubtful as late as Tuesday afternoon. All he did was stop all 30 Montreal shots.

It was a performance we will all remember for some time:
When the movie is made, Mark Wahlberg can play Roberto Luongo. He'll have to wear a wig, though, and a goalie mask in place of the Philadelphia Eagles helmet he donned in a recent hit film.

The name, however, can stay the same: Invincible.

In the most dramatic moment of the Canucks' season, Luongo shook off a sleepless night spent being monitored in a hospital bed to not only lead his teammates but inspire them with a storybook shutout in his hometown.
Invincible? And maybe The Godfather.
He sounded like The Godfather but played like a god. Vancouver Canuck Roberto Luongo is not only a goaltending marvel, he's a human marvel, too.

The National Hockey League's Bionic Man got out of hospital Tuesday morning and by that night was shutting out the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 despite being weak and sore from a practice shot to the throat that left him with a welt and Marlon Brando's voice from The Godfather movies.

Like Brando, Luongo seems to own the screen when he's on it.

"One day," Luongo might have rasped, "I will ask you to do a favour for your godfather." And whatever it is, the Canucks should grant it unquestioningly because they have never possessed a player like this.
More from the Mainstream

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Kevin Bieksa (VAN): Two more assists give him 17 points in his last 17 games
  2. Roberto Luongo (VAN): 30 saves and his 3rd shutout of the season
  3. Ryan Kesler (VAN): One goal, two assists, three hits and as solid a performance as we've seen from him all season

Official Statistics

Next Game

Thursday night against an equally-hot Ottawa Senators

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jovo Who?

James Mirtle has posted a list of 10 players making an unexpected impact this season. Among them are the Vancouver Canucks' own Kevin Bieksa:

Vancouver defenceman is about as unheard of as can get, but they're calling him Jovo Jr. out West after posting 10 points in his last 10 games.
After tonight's game, make that 17 points in 17 games.

Just for fun, here is a comparison of this season thus far between the man they call Jovo Jr. and Jovo himself.


Me thinks, he's no one's Jr. In fact, Kevin is carving out a nice name and nice game on his own.

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Game Day: Canucks at Canadiens

The Canucks continue their road trip tonight against Les Habs. Hopefully, yesterday's Roberto Luongo and Taylor Pyatt scares were just that, scares, and both suit up tonight.

Here are more from today's MSM:
  • Roberto Luongo got hit with a puck in practice yesterday. After much panic from Canuckland, it turns out he's okay. Whew. - Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province), Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun)
  • Taylor Pyatt apparently broke his thumb on Saturday night after a Jeff O'Neill slash. After initially expecting to miss 2-4 weeks (and much panic from Tracy), he may, in fact, be able to put it in a splint and play anyway. - Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province)
  • It turns out the giggling and joking Alain Vigneault we see in interviews is a front. - Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province)
  • After a scare caused by a life-threatening blood infection, Taylor Bouck hopes to receive some good news from his doctors today. - Ben Kuzma (Vancouver Province)
  • It doesn't happen often but I love it when our scouting staff outfoxes another team's scouting staff, especially one as successful as Detroit's. - Ed Willes (Vancouver Province)
  • If he continues the way he's been playing this season, Kevin Bieksa should soon be a household name and won't have to worry about anyone on the media side mispronouncing (or misspelling his name. That or Cole and Neale just stop calling Canucks ganes. - Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun)
  • For sure, the folks from Bieksa's hometown, Grimsby, ON and nearby Hamilton, ON don't mispronounce his name. - John Kernaghan (Hamilton Spectator)

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The Crazy Canucks: Episode 16

The crew, sans Dave, got together last night to bring to you the 16th episode of The Crazy Canucks:

There was a lot to chat about even though there hasn’t been much action since the last episode. We take a look at some of the younger guys on the team, review some of the ways that we celebrated Hockey Day in each of our own special ways, why it should be a national holiday, wander down the scheduling trail again, and dissect the NHL All-Star Game selections a little bit. J.J also drops some bombs at the end of the episode with some injury reports, and we all agree that nothing else matters since we spanked the Leafs, 6-1, on national TV, no less.
Click here to listen to or download the feed.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday Morning Musings

With Saturday night's thrashing of the team from the center of the(ir) universe still fresh in many of our memories, there is no shortage of Canucks coverage today. Here are some for your reading pleasure:
  • The 'Nucks next stop on the road trip is La Belle Province, the hometown of many Canucks. Wouldn't it be great for the team to win one for Viggy, who was once unceremoniously dumped by the Habs? - Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province), Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun)
  • While Roberto Luongo and Alain Vigneault both hailed from Quebec, neither grew up as Habs fans, but as Oilers and Sabres fans, respectively. - Iain MacIntyre (Vancouver Sun)
  • The stop could also be a homecoming of sorts for Jan Bulis, who spent five seasons wearing the red, white and blue. - Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province)
  • One win on the road trip down and the some real work starts tomorrow. The Canucks' next three opponents - Montreal, Ottawa and Buffalo - are all top five teams in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens are 14-6-3 at home and still hanging around for the Northeast Division lead; the Senators, after a slow start to the season, are 9-1-1 in their last eleven games; and the Sabres have been the class of the Eastern Conference all season and have a whopping seven-point lead on second place New Jersey. - Pierre Lebrun (Canadian Press)
  • Willie Mitchell, who missed Saturday night's game due to a groin pull, will be a game-time decision tomorrow against the Habs. - Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province)
  • The Canucks are also red-hot, having won eight of their last nine games. While Luongo has been a large part of the streak, they are also getting timely contributions from the rest of the lineup. - Tim Wharsby (Globe and Mail)
  • Here's a nice look back on Hockey Day In Canada and the season thus far for all six Canadian teams. - Eric Duhatschek (Globe and Mail)
  • A friend of mine, Ernest Salcedo, and a bunch of his buddies are following the Canucks on their Eastern Conference road trip and blogging about it along the way. Anyone else jealous? - Canucks Week

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