-->
CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stars 4 Canucks 3

There were some good parts in the Vancouver Canucks' 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars last night. Like maybe the first few minutes and the last few seconds. What they did in between, well, I can't say I'd file it under the good category.

Don't let the score fool you. The game wasn't close. The Stars held the territorial advantage and had the better scoring chances. They also had more 2-on-1's than Jenna Jameson. Sure the Canucks had more shots on goal, but as has been the case lately, there wasn't much finish.

It was actually quite frustrating to watch the game last night. On home ice, the Canucks should be more dominating than that. I hate to always play the injury card, but it's tough watching guys who would normally be in the press box or with the Moose get outplayed on a regular basis. Yes, I'm talking about Mike Weaver, who got outmuscled a lot, and Nathan MacIver, who got turned around a few times. And this isn't necessarily a criticism of those guys because they've filled in admirably at times. However, it's a bit much, especially with all the injuries, to expect them to replace the Mitchell and Bieksa long-term.

Curtis Sanford was just as brutal and he knows it (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province).

The Canucks lost a winnable game Tuesday and the reason was all over Curtis Sanford's face, in his disheartened body language and in his own words.

"The last two goals are saves I have to make and I should make," the backup said after getting pulled for the second time in his past four starts.

"I put the team in a bad position and I put Alain [Vigneault] in a bad position. It's embarrassing to get pulled in front of your own fans. [Vigneault] had to do that. If I was in his position I would have done the same thing. I waved at Modano's goal, basically. I didn't fight through the screen on the last goal."
It's too bad really. A couple of key saves here and there could've made a difference. Ask the Stars. They got more than a couple of key saves from Marty Turco, who seems now to relish playing against the Canucks.

More from the MSM:

About the game around the blogosphere:

Next game:

Tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning

(Note: I have a couple of family things to attend to tonight and tomorrow so I won't be posting a game-day post. I'll be back on Friday.)

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Labels: , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:12 AM | permalink/comments (2) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Game Day Post: Stars at Canucks

Tracy and I were hoping to be at GM Place tonight as the Canucks celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout, but alas, our kitchen renos are still in full swing and there's still a lot we need to do. It should be a good time as the Canucks have special plans for the fans who attend, including video tributes from players and stories from long-time season ticket holders.

200 consecutive sellouts is nothing to sneeze at - the last time the Canucks didn't officially sell out a game was on November 12th, 2002 against the St. Louis Blues (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun). I remember working Saturday night Canucks games at GM Place and there would only be 13,000 people there. I remember, one season, the Grizzlies outdrawing the Canucks. But that was also the era when both teams combined couldn't string three wins in a row. (There was a joke back then too about Orca Bay not knowing how to log on to the Internet because they couldn't put three W's together.) For the Canucks, things are much different and definitely much rosier these days (Mike Beamish, Vancouver Sun; Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail).

On the ice, things aren't quite as good. Well, they're doing their darndest to keep pace with the Flames and Wild and they're still hanging around for the Northwest Division title, but their already depleted defense just received a double dose of bad news: Willie Mitchell and Lukas Krajicek will miss tonight's game against the Dallas Stars (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun; Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province). That means Curtis Sanford will have a group of Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo, Alex Edler, Aaron Miller, Mike Weaver and Nathan McIver in front of him and I wouldn't be surprised to see Ohlund, Salo or Edler log 30 minutes of ice-time.

More preview pieces from today's MSM:
______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:16 AM | permalink/comments (2) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Crazy Canucks: Episode 57

No Canucks game last night so John, Rebecca and I (Alanah's on IR and Dave was MIA) got together to talk about the week that was in episode 57 of The Crazy Canucks podcast:
It’s two Bollwitts and JJ again for tonight’s episode where we discuss the latest loses, last night’s shootout victory and the buzz machine that is Vancouver media. We dive into this Sunday’s All Star game as Atlanta’s turn hosting is already proving to be a challenge from a viewer’s perspective.
Enjoy. :)

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels:

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:42 AM | permalink/comments (1) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blues 2 Canucks 3 (SO)

After stopping Andy Macdonald in the shootout and winning the game for the Canucks, Roberto Luongo skated out of his net and did a little fist pump. The rest of the team skated out, greeted him and patted each other in the back. The losing streak was over and everyone was excited and relieved.

To me, the most telling part of the game was just how much the fans stuck with the team, even when they were trailing in the third period. There was no bronx cheer from the crowd, even after a Louie gave up a couple of un-Luon-god-like goals, but instead, plenty of encouragement. Maybe we're beginning to shake off our reputation as a goalie graveyard after all.

The Canucks needed that win. If they had lost, they would have entered the All-Star break with five straight losses with the possibility that Columbus and Nashville would knock them down to 10th in the Western Conference. As it stands, they have a three-point lead on both teams and a chance to rest easy for a week.

More from the mainstream:

Next game:

January 29th against the Dallas Stars.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:52 AM | permalink/comments (2) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

The NHL All-Star Game on Versus


Click Here!

Versus just extended their agreement with the NHL through to the 2010-2011 season (New York Times), but their focus this week is the NHL All-Star game on Sunday. And they're offering some goodies to bloggers who would help them promote it. Far be it for me to turn down free swag so I told them I would.

Except for the odd game on TSN, I don't watch Versus as much and have relied mostly on message boards and such to see how they're showing and marketing the game. For the All-Star game, they have some ad spots on YouTube:



Not bad actually. The ads have kinda like a Friday Night Lights feel to it. I hope some of you folks tune in.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: ,

Labels:

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:27 AM | permalink/comments (0) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Game Day Post: Blues at Canucks

Dear Canucks,

For the love of people who will be listening to people calling into talk shows for the next week bitching about you, please don't lose five games in a row.

That's all. Thanks.

J.J.

Less whining and more informative pieces from the MSM:
______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:17 AM | permalink/comments (0) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Mole Hills and Mountains

All of Vancouver is up in arms because Alain Vigneault *ahem* called out Roberto Luongo during after yesterday's practice (Brad Ziemer, National Post):
"I know Roberto really wants to get onto the same roll that he was on to prior to this and he probably would be the first one to tell you that since probably the Islanders game (on Jan. 8) the goaltender that he has faced, except for probably that Detroit game, has had a slight edge there," Vigneault said. "The facts are simple. We need our best players to be at their best. And Roberto is one of them."
Has Roberto looked average the last few games? Yes. Does he deserve some criticism? Perhaps. Should we be making a big deal over what Vigneault said? Not at all.

In fact, after Monday night's game, Luongo himself admitted as much (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province):

"Listen, I'm trying to do the best I can out there," Luongo said in a soft voice. "I'm working hard.

"I'm a human being like everyone else. It's hard to be on top of your A-game for 82 games.

"Obviously I gave up bad goals tonight, but you can always do better."
And I have no doubt he will. There's no need to make a mountain out of this mole hill.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:55 AM | permalink/comments (1) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wild 4 Canucks 2

If you don't mind, I want to focus first on the positives of last night's 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. For example, the Canucks outshot the Wild 40-26, the second straight game they've put up 40 shots on goal. Much like in the Kings game, they also held the territorial advantage and generated more than a few scoring opportunities. If anything, the Canucks simply suffered from not having any puck luck and a blown call that led to Minnesota's go-ahead goal. If the Canucks keep generating scoring chances like that, I imagine they'll eventually put the puck into the net more often.

Or is it that simple?

There's no doubt that most Canucks fans will be calling for changes after a fourth consecutive loss (and sixth in seven games). I can hear the Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg rumors gaining steam. I can hear Krajicek to Pittsburgh for Erik Christensen. In other words, I can hear the sky falling in Canucksland.

For the most part, I'm willing to ride out this slide. Every team goes through this and especially a team as decimated as the Canucks. Last night, they played again without Willie Mitchell, and as a result, had problems containing the Wild in front of the net. A perfect example was the Brian Rolston goal when Mike Weaver lost a battle in front of Roberto Luongo. Weaver only logged 8 minutes of ice-time, meaning Aaron Miller (19:08) and Lukas Krajicek (20:26 and he was in the penalty box for six minutes) had to play more. In an ideal world, Miller and Krajicek should log about 15-16 minutes.

One other I did notice is that, except for the Kesler, Cooke and Burrows line, the Canucks didn't get players in front of the net. The Burrows goal was a result of Kesler crashing the net. Ditto Pyatt's. The Canucks took a lot of shots from the outside and Backstrom gave up a lot of rebounds, but unfortunately, there was usually no one there to tap them in. Against the Kings, they didn't any traffic in front of Labarbera and he saw every single one of the Canucks' 46 shots.

More from the MSM:

About the game around the blogosphere:
Next game:

Wednesday night versus the Blues.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Labels: ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:00 AM | permalink/comments (1) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bits, Bites and Tonight's Game

Tracy and I had a busy weekend entertaining her cousin from Vernon and his girlfriend, and hence, the lack of posts. It didn't help that the Canucks lost to Kings (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun), their third consecutive loss and fifth in their last six games.

Here are some random bits and bites:

. First of all, a wholehearted thank you to everyone who supported me during this weekend's BC Children's Hospital's Skate for the Cure. Thanks to you, I raised $330 and Tracy and I had a great time doing laps around GM Place. I also had a chance to meet Matt Cooke for being one of the first 325 people to raise over $250. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

. This mini-dip the Canucks are on has relegated them to fourth place in the Northwest Division and eighth place in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the ninth-place Columbus Blue Jackets and five points ahead of the St. Louis Blues. How big is that game on Wednesday against the Blues? Well, the Blues could inch to a point back of the 'Nucks with three games in hand.

. The last time the Canucks lost three games in a row was 13 months ago in December 2006.

. For playing his 1,000th career game earlier in the week, the Canucks gave Markus a classy tribute on Saturday night. So did the fans. They gave Markus a standing ovation and stayed standing up for about ten minutes while the Canucks gave him some goodies and played a video highlighting his career and his work in the community. For all the crap he gets from fans and such, it was a good to see him get some love for the ten-plus years he's given to this city.

If you missed the video, here it is:



. Matty Ohlund was back in the lineup after missing 11 games, but in what seems like the year of cursed Canucks d-men, Willie Mitchell was scratched due to back spasms. And apparently, he might not be back until after the All-Star break (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun).

. Ohlund vs. Koivu, part 2 (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province)? Probably not, though it's weird to think that tonight's Canucks vs. Wild game could be the most entertaining game this week. And yes, I know the All-Star game is this week.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:19 AM | permalink/comments (2) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Friday, January 18, 2008

Canucks 2 Red Wings 3 (SO)

We recorded an episode of the The Crazy Canucks podcast last night, and while John and I were crying about our three consecutive losses, Rebecca reminded us that it was a .500 road trip and the Canucks, believe it or not, took 3 of a possible 6 points.

Is the glass half-empty or half-full?

The Canucks had another slow start. The Red Wings outshot them 16-5 in the first period and 49-28 in the game. They built a 2-0 lead before the Canucks eventually decided to get back in the game.

Now, the Canucks did play better in the latter half of the game and they managed to salvage a point, but these slow starts are beginning to kill them. They've given up the first goal in four of their last five games. Coincidentally, they've lost four of their last give games.

About the game around the blogosphere:

More from the mainstream:

Next game:

Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Labels: ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:33 AM | permalink/comments (2) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Holy Nash

More on the Canucks' third consecutive loss later. In the meantime, check out Rick Nash's game-winning goal last night.



Holy freakin' wow.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: ,

Labels: ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:24 AM | permalink/comments (0) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Game Day Post: Canucks at Red Wings

It looks like Alain Vigneault finally realized his team needs to score more and recalled Mason Raymond from the Manitoba Moose; Rick Rypien and Mike Brown were sent back down (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province). Looking at the numbers, Trevor Linden and/or Brad Isbister should draw back into the lineup.

This gives the Canucks a couple more options up front. It doesn't really matter who plays with the Sedins, but whoever doesn't gives the second line some potential for offense. Good thing too. I love what Matt Cookie brings to this team but if I have to watch him whiff at a puck in front of the net again, I'll go nuts.

My line projections:
  • Sedin, Sedin and Pyatt
  • Naslund, Beech and Raymond
  • Cooke, Kesler and Burrows
  • Isbister, Ritchie and Linden
Today's quick links:
______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:54 AM | permalink/comments (0) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

If The Price Is Right

The 'net is abound with many suggestions on how to fix the Canucks' offensive woes. Okay, mostly Markus Naslund's offensive woes.

I don't doubt that Peter Forsberg will look good on a line with Nazzy (Barry Macdonald, 24 Hours):
Adding Forsberg to the mix? Imagine the possibilities. Like Markus Naslund finding his form, and the net with a little more regularity. Like the Canucks having another line that they can count on offensively. Like a parade.
Ditto Mats Sundin (Ken Campbell, The Hockey News via Metro Vancouver):
Vancouver needs a second-line centre in a big way, especially with the uncertain status of Brendan Morrison. Sundin has proven this season that his offensive skills and instincts are as sharp as they have ever been and that he can be counted upon to score in all situations. I’m sure Jason Jaffray is a nice young man and all, but don’t you think Sundin would be a great fit between Markus Naslund and Taylor Pyatt?
What about Marian Hossa (Bruce Garrioch, Ottawa Sun)?
A league executive indicated if Waddell decides to deal Hossa, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings will all be in the hunt.
If Dave Nonis wants to upgrade his forward group, he definitely has options. The question is, how much would it cost the team?

Sundin and Hossa are this year's Forsberg and Smyth. Both are impending UFA's and both will cost an arm, a leg and both nuts to get. The Predators and Islanders had to give up a couple of top prospects and a couple of high-round draft picks to get them, and no doubt, Sundin and Hossa will cost the same. Think Ryan Kesler or Alex Edler plus Luc Bourdon or Mason Raymond plus a first-round draft pick and perhaps another draft pick.

In a cap system where teams need young players to step up and make significant contributions for cheap, I could live with trading one Moose prospect and the draft picks for either (Sundin preferably), but not with having to give up a core part of the team or the team's future. And that's assuming that the next in lines - i.e. Michael Grabner, Jannik Hansen and Nathan Maciver - can step in and play the same role that Raymond and Edler are playing this season and that guys like Juraj Simek and Shaun Heshka can progress further. As we know from this year, you never want to keep the prospects cupboard bare in case the team goes through a rough patch of injuries.

Which brings me to Peter Forsberg. He's trying to make another comeback (TSN.ca), and if he's successful, it will cost the Canucks nothing more than $$$ to get him in the new Free Willy jersey. This is key - they won't have to give up a Kesler or an Edler; they just have to sign him.

Admittedly, there's a risk involved in signing Forsberg. He has had his share of injuries and there's not guarantee that, even with whatever procedure he has to go through with his ankle, that he won't get hurt again. Chances are, he will, but likewise, there is no guarantee that a Sundin or a Hossa won't get hurt either. The only hope is that he remains healthy enough to re-invigorate Naslund and help get the Canucks deeper into the playoffs.

With Roberto Luongo, the Canucks are as good as most teams in the league. With a Peter Forsberg or a Mats Sundin, they could even be like tonight's opponent, the Detroit Red Wings. It would be nice, but only if the price is right.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:04 AM | permalink/comments (1) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Canucks 2 Blue Jackets 3

Don't look now, but after a 10-game stretch of .500 hockey (5-5-0), the Vancouver Canucks only have a slim, four-point hold on a playoff spot. Last night, they started sloooooow, took some stupid penalties (five of them in the first 11 minutes of the first period) and spotted the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead. Yeah, I rushed home from work just in time to see that.

Bah.

After the game, Roberto Luongo stood up and took the blame for the loss (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province):
"I'm not going to throw my teammates under the bus," Luongo said. "I've got to do a better job myself and try to make an extra save in the game and maybe we make it to overtime.

"I just have to work through it in practice and make sure I get back to what I was doing in December."
Props to Louie for saying that, but the fact is, his teammates were plain awful and shouldn't be absolved of any responsibility. Except for Alex Burrows' unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the rest were the result of being lazy or being beat. Lukas Krajicek and Markus Naslund, especially, took a couple of lazy penalties each after giving up the puck in their zone. What is disconcerting is the fact that, like early in the season, the Canucks aren't winning puck battles and getting very easy to play against.

I only mentioned it in passing a couple of days ago, but I think the injuries are catching up to the team. That it's taken two months before the long-term losses of Morrison, Ohlund, and Bieksa have started to make an impact is admirable. (Luongo, Krajicek, and Salo all missed time in that span too.) For that, credit should be given to the team - and the farm - for stepping up. Alex Edler has been a godsend and his play is being recognized leaguewide (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province; Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun). Jason Jaffray and Mason Raymond both chipped in as well before their effectiveness started wearing off.

Now that both have been sent back down to the Moose, however, the next group of callups (Nathan McIver, Rick Rypien and I'll include Kris Beech as well), save for Beech's goal last night, have yet to make a significant impact. It's not a small thing. McIver hasn't been able to play more than ten minutes a game which means that Mitchell, Salo and Edler are playing 25+ minutes. Rypien hasn't even played ten shifts a game in the two games he's played.

Here's hoping for a turnaround before facing what should be a pissed off Wings team tomorrow.

About the game around the blogosphere:

More from the MSM:

Next game:

Tomorrow night in Detroit.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:52 AM | permalink/comments (0) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Game Day Post: Canucks at Jackets

Taylor Pyatt, protective cage and all, might play, and if he doesn't, Alain Vigneault says Trevor Linden will draw back in (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province). Pyatt has been the Canucks' best forward in the last couple of weeks and it would be a shame if he can't go.

You would've thought that if Pyatt couldn't go, then Markus Naslund would simply take his place on the Sedin line. Apparently, AV has other plans: Naslund will be on the wing on the team's top checking line with Kesler and Burrows (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province). Publicly anyway, Nazzy is welcoming this new challenge.

"It's obviously going to be different for me and I do have to be a little more cautious," he said.

"They're obviously out there to shut other people down. But, that being said, they're good enough to take advantage of other teams.

"It's a little bit of a new challenge for me. I do want to be able to play in all different scenarios. I like those guys. They're not just defensive guys. They can skate and they can put the puck in the net."
No doubt this is a gamble. While Kesler's line is primarily responsible for shutting down opposing teams' top lines, they've also consistently produced scoring chances in recent games. What they've lacked is finish. I'm sure Vigneault is gambling that Naslund can adjust to this new role and finish those chances without hurting the team too much on the defensive end of the ice.

More from today's MSM:
______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:10 AM | permalink/comments (1) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend Wrapup

It was Jeckyl-and-Hyde kinda weekend for the Vancouver Canucks. On Friday, they suffered a regulation time loss at home for the first time in more than two months; last night, they won on the road for the first time since Christmas. I'm actually glad they won last night. They came into the game on a two-game losing streak and I would've hated to write this post after three consecutive losses.

For the last couple of months, we've been able to somewhat sidestep the issue of secondary scoring. When the Canucks started to right the ship in November, everyone was contributing and the team didn't have to rely on the Sedins to put the puck in the net. Especially after this weekend however, the issue is noticeably beginning to rear its ugly head again.

The Canucks have scored 20 goals in their eight games since Christmas. Of those 20 goals, twelve - or 60% of them - were scored by the Sedin line. Yes, they've had revolving wingers (i.e. Naslund, Raymond and Pyatt) but that doesn't seem to matter. They're the only line right now that are consistently producing anything on offense. (The Kesler line has also produced chances but just haven't been able to put the biscuit in the basket, ya know?)

Case in point was last night's game and the third period of Friday night's game. Whenever the Canucks needed a goal, Vigneault threw the Sedin line out on the ice. At times, they were on the ice every other shift and the end result was a season-high 22:15 minutes of ice-time for Henrik and a near season-high 20:59 minutes of ice-time for Daniel.

The team has been up-and-down since the end of November, a month in which they compiled a 9-2-2 record and took 77% of the available points. In December and so far in January, they have a more average 11-7-2 record and took only 60% of available points. It's not bad but it's not great. Are their injuries - Morrison, Ohlund and Bieksa especially - finally catching up to them?

About the game around the blogosphere:

More from the mainstream:

Next game:

Tomorrow night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:16 AM | permalink/comments (3) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kris Claimed by Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks claimed Salmon Arm native, Kris Beech, off the waiver wire (Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province; Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun).
In search of offensive spark, the Canucks turned to the waiver wire Thursday and plucked former first-round draft pick and Salmon Arm native Kris Beech.

The Canucks claimed Beech from the Columbus Blue Jackets, the 6-foot-3, 211 pound centre's fourth NHL team in seven seasons, although he had two different stints with Washington.

Beech, 26, was travelling to Vancouver and couldn't be reached for comment. He's expected to play in tonight's game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
I don't mind this move at all. It's a low-risk, medium-reward move - Beech is on a two-way $585,000 contract this season and the Canucks are only responsible for the remaining half of it. He's a former high first-round draft pick and the hope is that Beech can help fill the void left by Brendan Morrison, a spot occupied by Jason Jaffray right now. Jaffray has been quiet recently and perhaps Beech can add some experience to that second line. He's also a big boy with good hands, which, especially after the Canucks were manhandled by the bigger Sharks team last night, can only help.

More on Beech from Canucks and Beyond, Waiting for Stanley and The Yankee Canuck.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels:

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 7:10 AM | permalink/comments (1) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Canucks 1 Sharks 3

There's no way around it. The Canucks sucked last night. The Sharks this season are what the Ducks were for the Canucks last season. For whatever reason, the Canucks just don't have a solution for big, bad San Jose.

I don't know if the Canucks were tired, but the Sharks were bigger and quicker last night. They were beat to the puck a lot and took seven penalties, five of them of the hook and hold variety. It didn't seem to matter what lines Alain Vigneault threw out there, but none of them worked.

Some random thoughts:

  • Jeff Cowan returned to the lineup for the first time since early December; however, I hardly noticed him. Mike Brown would've at least got himself into a scrap to try to wake the boys up.
  • I know it's only been a couple of games but Mason Raymond looks out of place on the Sedin line. He had a couple of shots tonight but both came on the rush rather than off the cycle. Plus, his skinny frame makes it hard for him to win a lot of corner battles.
  • The defense, especially youngsters Alex Edler and Lukas Krajicek, had tough games.
  • On the positive side, I thought Taylor Pyatt had another good game. Also, Ryan Kesler's goal was his career-high 11th goal this season.
More from the MSM:

Next game:

Tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Labels: , , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:38 AM | permalink/comments (1) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Extended Break For Louie


We all heard yesterday about Roberto Luongo decision to skip the NHL All-Star game in Atlanta to be with his wife, who is pregnant with their first kid. I've got a bunch of links following, but I don't have much more to add except to say that I don't mind Louie skipping the All-Star game. Family always comes first, and to be faced with a choice to be with his wife at this time or to play in a game where, quite frankly, they really don't need goaltenders, I think he made the right choice. Besides, as Louie himself said, there should be more All-Star appearances in store for him in the future.

More All-Star-related reads from: Chantal Eustace (Vancouver Sun), Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province), Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province), Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province).

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels:

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:58 AM | permalink/comments (3) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Game Day Post: Canucks at Sharks

I'll be honest. I don't have a good vibe about tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks and am wondering whether or not I should bother ordering the pay-per-view feed. Bah, who am I kidding? I probably will order it and sit and watch and hope that Shaw doesn't screw up the feed again.

Tonight's game is for sole possession of second place in the Western Conference. There may also be a bit of pride on the line. It's the last meeting this season between the two teams - unless they match up in the playoffs - and the Sharks are 3-0 against the Canucks. No doubt the Canucks don't want to get blanked out of the season series.

The Canucks are on a decent roll, winning four of their five games since the Christmas break. However, those four wins were in the comfort of GM Place and their lone loss was on the road against the Calgary Flames.

If it's any consolation, the Sharks don't have a great home record. They're 5-0-1 since the Christmas break, but four of those wins were on the road. In fact, they have a sub-.500 record (7-9-4) at HP Pavillion Place, including a 3-4-2 record since December, but mind you, one of those three wins was against the Canucks.

One thing the Canucks have to focus on tonight is getting their offense going and throwing more pucks on Evgeni Nabokov. This season, they've been outshot in every game against the Sharks and have only scored a total of five goals (two of them on the powerplay).

Another thing is that they have to find a way to slow down Joe Thornton. Believe it or not, San Jose, for the season, averages less goals per game than the Canucks (2.51 vs 2.60), but they have exploded for an average of four goals per game against our normally stingy team. Joe Thornton and his six series points (3G-3A) is a huge part of that.

More previews from today's MSM:
______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:19 AM | permalink/comments (3) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Canucks' New Spokesperson

I'm beginning to think that Pamela Anderson is on the Canucks' marketing payroll.



Kudos to Pam for trying to sell the Canucks. Boo to Jay for not only not putting the jersey, but also for rubbing it in with the Ducks and Stanley Cup thing.

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels:

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 9:52 PM | permalink/comments (4) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Islanders 2 Canucks 3 (SO)


I couldn't decide after the game if the Canucks played good, played great or were just plain lucky. They outshot the Islanders 45-28 - including 19-7 in the first period - but were only able to get the puck past Islander4L, Rick DiPietro, only a couple of times. They seemed to outplay the Islanders for large spurts of the game, but actually had to come from behind in the third period before Alex Edler won it in the shootout. Ben Kuzma's headline in today's Vancouver Province pretty much summed it all up: Canucks win a weird one.

It really was weird.

One thing I was paying attention to last night was how Markus Naslund would do without the Sedins. Playing on a line with Jason Jaffray and Taylor Pyatt, he did alright. He had six shots on goal, tying his season-high, and scored his 14th goal of the season, which puts him slightly ahead of last year's pace. He even did a little fist pump after he scored, a rare show of emotion for him. Maybe it was because it was his first goal after seven games wihtout one or maybe Jaffray's rubbing off on him a bit. Regardless, it was nice to see.

Taylor Pyatt also looked good. We all know he doesn't use his size often enough, but last night, he was tough on his skates. The Islanders couldn't knock him down and he was frequently able to get the puck to the net. A couple of times, he even used the Bertuzzi-like, one-arm move on the way to DiPietro's door step. I'm sure Naslund appreciated the extra room Pyatt's play created and I really hope he can do this game in and game out.

About the game around the blogosphere:
More from the mainstream:
Next game:

Second place in the Western Conference on the line on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks.

(Photo credit: canucks.com)

______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Labels: ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:13 AM | permalink/comments (9) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Game Day Post: Islanders at Canucks


As Gordon McIntyre (Vancouver Province) points out this morning, the Canucks owe Mike Keenan the New York Islanders for much of their lineup today.

Butterfly effect: When a remote event, like a butterfly flapping its wings, over time has huge consequences elsewhere.

Who knew when Mike (Iron Butterfly) Keenan blew up the roster in 1998 he'd be laying the foundation for much of the Canucks' success today?

When Keenan traded Trevor Linden to the New York Islanders a decade ago he set in motion an indirect process that saw the return of Linden, the drafting of the Sedins and the acquisition of Roberto Luongo.
It's an interesting trip down memory lane for sure. I was still working at GM Place when the first Linden deal happened and the atmosphere for the next couple of games felt almost surreal. No one in the stands believed Trevor could ever play for another team and the trade really came out of nowhere. The Canucks were supposed to be a very good team that year and had an opening day lineup that featured Mark Messier, Pavel Bure, Alexander Mogilny, Jyrki Lumme, Dave Babych, Adrian Aucoin, Gino Odjick and Kirk McLean. They weren't, of course, which was why Trevor was traded and we saw the likes of Enrico Ciccone, Jamie Huscroft and Garth Snow in the free Willy jersey.

Much like Iron Mike dismantled the Canucks that season, Mad Mike did the same with the Islanders a couple of years later. Here's Elliott Pap (Vancouver Sun):

Both Luongo and Weekes were dealt on June 24, 2000 -- draft day -- clearing the decks for Milbury to select Rick DiPietro first overall. The Isles adored the way DiPietro handled the puck and we all know Luongo hasn't exactly mastered that aspect of his position.

Nonetheless, it took DiPietro another three seasons to establish himself as the No. 1 man on Long Island while Luongo immediately became the Panthers' top backstop.

Florida also obtained Olli Jokinen from the Isles in the Luongo deal. Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha went the other way. No wonder Milbury is now out of hockey and cracking wise on TV.
It's almost too bad this game is on Sportsnet instead of TSN because I love it when James Cybulski asks Mike Milbury about the Luongo deal.

Why the Canucks will tonight:
  • They catch another break from the league's schedule-makers. The Islanders played last night in Edmonton while the 'Nucks haven't played since Thursday. Tonight will be the Islanders' third game in four nights.
  • The Islanders have Marc Andre Bergeron on their blueline.
  • I won't say the "S" word but Louie LOVES playing at home.
More from today's MSM:
______________
Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:01 AM | permalink/comments (2) | AddThis Social Bookmark Button | Share on Facebook | Hype It Up! |