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A Vancouver Canucks blog

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The Home Ice Advantage

After jumping out to an early 2-0 series lead on home ice, the Vancouver Canucks return to Vancouver tied after a two game Beantown beating. Roberto Luongo looks on after Rich Peverly opens the scoring in Game 4 It just never comes 'easy' for the Vancouver Canucks. Of course, being that it's the Stanley Cup Finals, one wouldn't expect it should. But at the beginning of the series, it seemed like the Bruins might never get a goal on Roberto Luongo. When Alex Burrows scored

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Canucks vs Sharks: Game 5 Preview

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Why They Are Here: Part I

As Canucks fans continue to live in the here and now, digesting every morsel of Vancouver playoff hockey, it's easy to forget the stepping stones that brought them this far. Mike Gillis, Alain Vigneault, and Rick Bowness have proven the cream rises to the top So often in professional sports, media and critics either directly or indirectly raise the question: What have you done for me lately? For the moment, let's fail to adopt that mentality, and recall a former General Ma

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Orca, Sharks and Octopi

With the Vancouver Canucks advancing to the Conference finals for the third time in franchise history, the debate is on: Who would they rather face, the Detroit Red Wings or San Jose Sharks? Roberto Luongo celebrates from his knees shortly after making his last save in Game 6 (photo courtesy of Frederick Breedon/ Getty Images) Of course, for the time being, the Canucks have the luxury of taking a well-earned 'breather' until either Saturday or Sunday. They jumped out to a 2-0

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Kesler Bites Back; Preds Fume

After infamously being dubbed "the best player to not yet score in the NHL playoffs", Ryan Kesler scores twice in the Canucks 3-2 overtime win in Nashville. Kesler is surrounded by teammates after tipping home the overtime winner (photos courtesy of AP Photo) One year ago, during their playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, Roberto Luongo was asked about the play of Ryan Kesler. "He's a warrior. That's all you can call him, a warrior." Canucks fans hearts sa

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The Game Of Their Lives

No matter how they got here, or what direction they want to take in the future, the Vancouver Canucks are literally playing the most important game of their lives. Only three times in history has an NHL team erased a 3-0 series deficit to advance to the next round of the playoffs. There has been a lot of talk about the Canucks' chances of earning the dubious distinction as the fourth team to facilitate such a collapse. Rife with drama and storylines, this series has seen it all, f

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"We've Been Through This Before"

With just enough momentum swings to keep the fans at Rogers Arena guessing, they still went home with a renewed sense of optimism: The Canucks CAN beat the Blackhawks. Viktor Stalberg and Sami Salo jostle while Roberto Luongo makes a pad save (photo courtesy of Rich Lam/Getty Images) The shift after taking a holding penalty, Jannik Hansen opened the scoring for the Canucks, adding validity to the importance of "role players" in the playoffs. Hansen's hands, as CBC color commen

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Canucks Playoff Preview: Kes Factor

Amidst all the story lines heading into the Canucks and Blackhawks third straight post-season match-up, Ryan Kesler's maturation process is perhaps the most under-reported. Ryan Kesler battles Anton Babchuk for position during the last game of the season (photo courtesy of AP Photo) I recall the solemn and hushed tone in Kesler's voice as he was interviewed by reporters some 10 1/2 months ago. He was being asked whether players on the team, himself included, were playing hurt in t

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Canucks Individual Awards

With two games remaining in the 2010/11 regular season, it's time to show some love for individual achievements within the teams' structure. Disclaimer: These are NOT official releases; the selections are yet to be announced. They are just my personal opinion, and in turn, open for debate and discussion. Ryan Kesler often keeps you on the edge of your seat with anticipation for what he'll do next Cyrus McLean: Awarded to the highest scoring Canuck and pretty self-explanatory

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Presidents', Sweet!

The 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks have reached regular season heights never before witnessed in the franchise's 40 year history. Team mascot Fin helps the Canucks with a modest, but rousing celebration (photo courtesy of AP Photo) With their 3-1 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Kings, combined with Philadelphia's 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, the Canucks claimed their first Presidents' trophy. The Kings, missing their two top offensive players (Anze Kopitar a

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If Playoffs Started Today...

Some musings on the Vancouver Canucks, and what it would mean if the Stanley Cup Playoffs were to start today. Kesler: "Hank, did you really just squeeze that backhander top shelf? Of course you did!" Though they have six games remaining, the Canucks would face their playoff nemesis of the last two seasons, the Chicago Blackhawks They would still have set a franchise record for most wins in a season, with 50 Vancouver would already be guaranteed one trophy, the President's trophy (f

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In The Driver's Seat

After defeating their nearest Western Conference competition, the Vancouver Canucks appear to be in the driver's seat with eight games remaining. Canuck fans have voiced their concern this week over the team's chances heading into the post-season without Manny Malhotra. Signed in the off season to a healthy, though well-deserved contract, the uber-checking line center instantly brought a number of intangibles to the club. Widely considered one of the best face-off players in the game, Mal

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The NHL Avs and Av Nots

Vancouver and Colorado may have started the season both atop the Western Conference standings, but my, how things have changed. The Vancouver Canucks enter tonights match-up with the Avalanche with 101 points, 11 more than second place Detroit (who hold 2 games in hand). Winners of six straight, even without their full defensive corps. Alternately, the Avalanche have lost 8 in a row, one win in their last 19, and only managed three points in February. I know, February is a short month and al

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"It's A Remarkable Thing"

With the uncertainty surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes and their ownership group, it almost seems like whatever happens on the ice for them is second page news. In one of the oddest spectacles in pro sports, the Phoenix Coyotes fans in attendance (approx. 5000) Tuesday night in Glendale, Arizona, were seemingly matched in number by visiting Vancouver Canucks fans. The Jobbing.com arena had swaths of blue and teal jerseys sprinkled amidst the the maroon colored empty seats and Coyotes fans.

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Six of One, Half-Dozen The Other

Over the last twelve games, the Vancouver Canucks have managed to alternate wins and losses evenly. In what has to be the strangest stetch of hockey in recent memory, the Canucks have hit a bit of a scoring drought. With around 17 games remaining for most teams, the Canucks are really feeling the squeeze from the more desperate style of hockey being played. Mikael Samuelsson confirmed it in comments made to Jason Botchford of the Province: "Say what you want, I will be surprised if we outw

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Canucks Add Grit, Sandpaper

The February 28th trade deadline came and went, with the Vancouver Canucks adding without subtracting. With the additions of Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre, the Canucks now find their forward ranks replete with depth and character. Roles once filled by Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows as agitating, shift disturbing defensive types, have been filled by Lapierre and Higgins. General Manager Mike Gillis added the two players without surrendering a roster player. Instead, he moved 3rd round pic

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"If It Ain't Broke..."

With less than a week until the NHL trade deadline, the Vancouver Canucks may flex their own no-trade clause. This, amidst a market that has definitely set a post-lockout benchmark - 17 trades involving 35 players in the last dozen days. GM Mike Gillis doesn't deny they'll kick the tires on a fourth line center. "We've tried different things and it's not out of the realm. There's a possibility of something coming our way that we think can help us. Right now, my feeling is that it would be

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Feeling Manitoba

Canuck fans everywhere have begun to appreciate the unexpectedly deep pool of talent in Manitoba. O.K. So they're not all recent Hobey Baker award recipients, nor do they threaten to have their names mentioned in the same breath as Orr, Lidstrom or Bourque. But, you realize the gravity of the situation when you're genuinely concerned for the well-being of Lee Sweatt's foot, or sending Alex Edler "Get Well Soon" cards (no, I didn't mail him one yet). Believe it or not, Chris Tanev a

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Resilient Sami Salo

Like a fighter that keeps getting knocked down, when you expect the next blow to put him down for the count, Sami Salo just won't stay down. There's a reason why Sylvester Stallone's Italian Stallion character Rocky Balboa spawned a series of movies. That human spirit, that innate drive is what seemed so compelling about the character. Sure, Sami Salo doesn't compare well with Sylvester Stallone, save for they have similar initials. But his resiliency, his determination to get back to his

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Duck Struck

After a 4-3 loss Wednesday night to the visiting Anaheim Ducks, the Vancouver Canucks have conceided 5 of 6 points in their season series. Though their more than modest 6 game winning streak was snapped, more were concerned about the Canucks defensive depth. After a controversial hit by newly returned Ryan Getzlaf, Dan Hamhuis needed smelling salts to be brought around. His upper body hitting the glass quite hard, while apparently turning away from an oncoming Getzlaf, whose feet left the i

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Desert Drubbing

Trivia questions: 1) What year was it when the Vancouver Canucks last lead the NHL standings? 2) Luongo's shutout was his third this season; how many career shutouts does he hold? (answers at bottom of blog) Getting better every period versus the Phoenix Coyotes, the Canucks made it 4 straight wins, adding to their lead in the NHL standings. Ryan Kesler paced the Canucks (as he often does) with 2 goals, totaling 30 so far this season After suffering a 3-2 loss to the Coyotes

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Rollin' Through the Big "D"

Earning a 4-1 win Tuesday night over the Dallas Stars, the Canucks made it three straight wins in convincing fashion over the Lone Star State. Though it wasn't quite the 7-1 manhandling of the Stars last Monday, the Canucks proved that even without their top defenseman they're a Western Conference powerhouse. After representing Vancouver in Raleigh, Carolina, Ryan Kesler showed he hasn't missed a beat, scoring his second shorthanded goal of the season, and team-leading 28th. He also drew Ad

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Canucks Without Edler 8-10 Weeks

After reporting back spasms during the game against the Dallas Stars, Alexander Edler will undergo microdiscectomy surgery. It seems every season, the Vancouver Canucks receive some bad news regarding members of their defense corps. As a matter of fact, the Canucks might want to find ways to keep their top defensemen from accompanying them to games during January. Last season, you might recall a January 15, 2010 game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was then that shutdown defender Willi

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Predators Aim to Stifle Canucks

Wednesday's match-up with the Nashville Predators highlights the two very different paths that both the Canucks and Predators have taken in the NHL. One of the NHL's longest serving coaches, Barry Trotz, has done a lot with a little. The Nashville Predators, with the 8th stingiest payroll in the league, have essentially taken a page from the Minnesota Wild playbook. Henrik Sedin collides with Krys Barch and James Neal during third period action Monday (photos courtesy of Canadian

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Kesler: Ascension

Trivia question: When was the last time the Vancouver Canucks had two of the top 5 goalscorers in the NHL? Answer: 2002/03 Markus Naslund leads the Canucks with 48 goals, closely followed by Todd Bertuzzi with 46 goals. Currently, Daniel Sedin sits third with 27 goals, and Ryan Kesler's 25 have him tied with Chicago's Patrick Sharp for fourth. Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin challenge Adam Foote for the puck, and the NHL for the scoring title Part of the storyline that

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