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  1. See What Happens When The Canucks Show Up?

    <img src=" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">When Christian Ehrhoff scored in the first minute of the game to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead, you have to admit that you’d seen this story before, and not had it end well. Even after Kevin Bieksa doubled the score a few minutes later. Been there, done that, and still wondered how the hell they managed to lose. Thankfully, that didn’t happen this time. People can complain all they want about the Canucks being the victims of a “conspiracy” to keep them out of the SCF because the NHL always wants the team the Canucks are facing to get through because it would be “better for the game”. Seems like the most likely ones to spout these theories? The mainstream media types, which gets the call-in regulars foaming. Get over it. The league didn’t want the Kings to get through because it would be better for the game. They don’t want the Hawks to win because they’re a “team of destiny”. They don’t want the Sharks to advance because it’ll help them live up to their billing. Here’s what the league wants: the two teams that are able to advance to the SCF because they win when they need to. They can get it done. If that’s the Canucks, then great. If it’s someone else, well, that’s what next season is all about. What fans of other teams whine when things don’t go their way? (Leaf fans have a built-in excuse, so they don’t count). Now, when things don’t get called that should, it’s not a conspiracy against the Canucks. It’s just incompetence on the part of the officials. Or did they really think that Shane O’Brien just spontaneously started spouting blood from between his eyes? Or that Daniel Sedin suddenly lost all feeling in both feet while he was skating? Regardless. The Canucks responded exactly the way that they should have. They ignored it, and moved on. Kept playing their game, and got a very well-deserved win, to extend this thing to at least a sixth game. If the Canucks play their style, and get the Hawks to buy into it, they’ll win this series in seven games. But if they play the Hawks style, the way they did for games three and four, this thing won’t end well. We’ll have to see who the Canucks insert into the lineup after Sami Salo went down with a scary looking injury. Sami has sat out for weeks with injuries that didn’t look nearly as bad as that one did. So it unfortunately looks like his year is done. It’s both a good sign when your defensemen can get three of your team’s goals, and also a bad sign. Secondary scoring is good, but they have enough guys who get paid big bucks to put the puck in the net. They need to do so. Tuesday night’s gonna be fun. Go Canucks Go. This post originally appeared on CanuckNation.ca - not all posts that appear here will be cross-posted from that site, and not everything that appears here will be posted on the original site. Feedback on posts is always appreciated.
  2. Canucks Advance

    <img src=" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">As was pointed out on TEAM 1040 this morning, the Canucks got all kinds of scoring from those who weren't really counted on to provide it. Sure the Sedins picked up right where they left off at the end of the regular season. And yeah, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler only got one apiece (and empty netters at that), but Mikael Samuelsson led all scorers in the post season. And who would have thought that Steve Bernier would pick up four goals in six games? If Roberto Luongo keeps getting stronger, which he did as the series went on, the Sedins and Samuelsson keep doing what they've been doing, and Alex Burrows starts scoring the way that he did in the regular season, the Canucks are going to go deep into the playoffs this year. Do they still have some issues? Sure. The penalty kill, while it's been much better the last couple of games, still needs to be ironed out so that they don't wind up with another game where every time the Canucks are shorthanded they give up a goal. That will end your season really fast as you get later into the playoffs. Roberto Luongo also needs to be consistent, which he is starting to show signs of doing. Getting pulled from a game (particularly in the playoffs) would tend to have that sort of an affect on a guy like him. The Canucks could know as early as tonight who they'll be facing in the next round of the playoffs. If the Hawks beat the Preds, the Canucks get to face the Hawks again, in a rematch of last year's second round. But if Nashville wins, it's the winner of the Phoenix – Detroit series. The Coyotes give the impression that they're going to find some way to win, no matter how improbable it seems. Kind of like the Canucks teams of '82 and '94. The Red Wings have massive amounts of deep playoff experience, but age may be starting to creep up on them finally. Personally, I'd like to see the Canucks play Chicago again, if for no other reason than Luongo can finally get the image of last year's game 6 out of his mind, and move on. It'd be a hell of a series. Particularly if they can find some way to take Dustin Byfuglien on his donkey, and out of the series. But, more on that when we know for sure. And now, some thoughts from various places around the Canucks and Kings blogs. Another Third Period Rally Helps Canucks Advance – Nucks MisconductA Farewell To Kings, Thanks to Jekyll, Not Hyde – Canuck PuckCanucks Beat Kings 4-2 – LAKings.comWhy – Jewels From the CrownKings 2, Canucks 4: So That's How It Ends – Purple Crushed Velvet This post originally appeared on CanuckNation.ca - not all posts that appear here will be cross-posted from that site, and not everything that appears here will be posted on the original site. Feedback on posts is always appreciated.
  3. Was there in 82 and 94 and have been loyal Season tix holder but feel like I'm the only one on the planet that thinks Raycroft should draw in until Lu figures why he has played like crap for months!

  4. What To Look For In Game 3

    <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/04/apr0110_lak_raymond2_t.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed">While Game 2 was hardly a disaster (only the outcome was - the effort wasn't bad at all), there are some things that the Canucks need to work on for Game 3. First up, the penalty kill. It's GOT to be more effective than it has been in the first two games. Keeping Andrew Alberts off the ice, and thus, out of the penalty box, would be a good start. I know that it's not always simple, but the first rule on the PK should always be, "if it touches your stick, slap the thing down the ice". Or flip it out, as high as you can. Try and hit the frigging scoreboard. Just get it out. Please. Alex Burrows needs to focus on picking up the points, and not just yapping with Drew Doughty. It's good to see Burr getting involved in that way, but goals and assists are what win the games, not arguing. Both he and the Sedins were off a little in Game 2. Nothing they can't change, but still... And speaking of Doughty. Someone needs to go out there and knock that kid down a couple of times, and wipe that grin off his face. He's having way too much fun out there on the ice, and that ain't good. He's going to be a great defenceman, but someone needs to put a little fear into the boy, and soon. Rypien? O'B? Bieksa? Anyone? Discipline is another thing the Canucks need to work on. Despite what Alain Vigneault might have said the other night about the too-many-men call, CBC had indisputable proof. The Canucks had *7* skaters on the ice when the penalty was called. And as Don Cherry has famously said before, "A too many men call is ALWAYS the coach's fault". Even if they were trying to get players off the ice, Rob Scuderi has already admitted that he saw the Canucks had too many skaters and shot the puck towards the bench, trying to hit one of them, so the penalty would be called. Cheap? Yeah. Smart, though? Hell, yeah. Doesn't matter, though. What's done is done, and as long as it doesn't happen again, things will be better. Finally, Ryan Kesler needs to get a bit of luck. He played better in Game 2, but just didn't have things bounce the right way for him. If the Sedins and Burrows start scoring again, and Kes and Demo start getting points like Mikael Samuelsson, this thing will be over early. And that would definitely be a good thing. Regular postings, including game recaps, are also available on CanuckNation.ca - your feedback is always appreciated.
  5. Canucks Looked Good, But It Ain't Done Yet

    <img src="http://canucknation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/vanlos32_thumb.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">If the rest of the series goes the way that last night's game did, this has the potential to be the most exciting series in the first round of this year's playoffs. As badly as the Canucks outshot the Kings, it didn't feel like the Canucks weren't making the most of their chances. This wasn't a matter of having a wide open net and shooting it wide. Jonathan Quick played pretty well for the Kings, and if it hadn't been for him, the game probably would have been over at the end of the second period. Sometimes you just roll up a goalie like that. You deal with it anyway you can, and hope it doesn't repeat in game 2. Except for the lack of ability on the PK, and Andrew Alberts' tendency to PUT the Kings on the power play, there wasn't a whole lot lacking in the Canucks' game last night. Alex Edler played like a man possessed, and Roberto Luongo showed no signs of the struggles he's gone through the last few weeks. Of course, it'll take more than just one game to say that he's got his game back completely. The Sedins showed no signs of slowing down from what they accomplished in the regular season, and what else can you say about Mikael Samuelsson? The guy scored two goals, and was out there hitting people, too. That's the kind of thing that some of the others could learn from, definitely. It was even great to see Alex Burrows yapping with Drew Doughty. Just because he didn't pick up a point doesn't mean that Burr was ineffective. What else do the Canucks need to do? Work on the PK, obviously, but also not lose sight of the fact that if it hadn't been for a rather spectacular reach by a certain goalie-captain, this series would have been 1 - 0 in the other direction. The Kings might not be any division champions, but they're in this to win. There's nothing to be gained in taking any opponent lightly. Just ask Ovie and the Capitals. Regular postings, including game recaps, are also available on CanuckNation.ca - your feedback is always appreciated.
  6. Is he suddenly going to turn perfect as soon as the puck drops in game 1? Not likely. But is he going to keep getting better if the Canucks keep winning. Yeah, I believe he is. And his playoff record is much better than that of Jimmy Howard, Pekka Rinne, and Jonathan Quick. Or would you rather have one of those guys between the pipes? I'm not saying the guy is unbeatable. He is. But knowing how he CAN play makes me feel a whole lot better that he's playing for the Canucks.
  7. No Need To Worry About Luongo

    All I’ve heard since the weekend is that the Canucks are in trouble with suspect goaltending. Really? Maybe Luongo hasn’t been as good as he was in his first year, but he’s hardly had a bad year. The guy got 40 wins this year. Except for his first season as a Canuck (47 wins in 2006-07), this was his most productive year. 5th in the league in wins. Has he been stellar down the stretch? No, he hasn’t. Does this automatically signal an early exit from the playoffs? Hardly. Sure the defense isn’t what it once was, but it’s been widely documented that Luongo hates losing more than just about anything. Once the playoffs start is there any reason to think that he wouldn’t be ready? What’s the other knock against Luongo? That he hasn’t been past the second round of the playoffs in his career. How much does that matter this year? Let’s see….the number of goaltenders with Stanley Cup Finals experience this season numbers precisely, two. Martin Brodeur and Marc-Andre Fleury. Sure, Ilya Bryzgalov went to the Finals a few years ago, but sitting on the bench does not qualify as experience in the Finals. Who would you rather go into the post season with? A goaltender who’s widely considered among the best three in the game, or one of these guys (with their playoff experience): Nabokov? Bryzgalov? Ryan Miller? Craig Anderson? Jimmy Howard? Pekka Rinne? Please. It wasn’t Fleury who got the call when things went rough for Martin Brodeur during the Olympics, was it? It was Roberto Luongo who came up with four crucial victories to help ensure Canada’s gold medal. I have a strong feeling that the Luongo you see skate on to the ice on Thursday is going to be different than the one who struggled after the Olympics. And much better. This post originally appeared on CanuckNation.ca - not all posts that appear here will be cross-posted from that site, and not everything that appears here will be posted on the original site. Feedback on posts is always appreciated.
  8. Luongo's Upcoming Time Off

    Listening to the TEAM 1040 show this morning, I caught a couple of callers noting that they didn't think that Roberto Luongo was a 70-game goalie and that the guy would get burned out towards the end of the season if the Canucks didn't sit him for a few games, and let Andrew Raycroft get some time on the ice. Fair enough. But did anyone remember that there's this tournament coming up in the middle of February, which is going to give most NHL players a bit of a break? Sure, Luongo's going to be a part of Team Canada, but let's just say that things roll along as they are for the balance of January. If the coaching staff decides to go with Martin Brodeur for the whole Olympic tournament, then there's Luongo's much-needed time off at a rather crucial point in the season. Of course I'd love to see the guy between the pipes winning a gold medal for Canada, but I'd also like to see the Canucks go deeper into the playoffs than they have in a long time, too. And while teams and their fans always worry about players getting hurt in tournaments like these, I think about the only one I'd worry about is Sami Salo, who seems to be able to get injured in ways that just make you shake your head. Not quite as bad as Brent Sopel, but close. Personally, I think that if the Canucks could find a way to block Pavol Demitra from playing in the Olympic tournament, they should explore it. If he's too injured to play a single game for the team that pays him, then he should also be too injured to play in the Olympics. Just my opinion. Regular postings, including game recaps, are also available on CanuckNation.ca - your feedback is always appreciated.
  9. <img src="http://canucknation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/vannj52.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed"> Last night's game between the Devils and the Canucks was just that – a regular season NHL game. It wasn't a "showdown" between Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur to see who should be the starting goaltender for Canada in the Olympics. It was an opportunity to see two of the best goalies in the game facing off against each other. Nothing more. Nothing less. Hell, the way the game started, you'd think that Brodeur not only wouldn't get the starting job, but would be dropped from the roster completely. But then you'd think the same thing about Luongo if you watched the last five minutes of the first period, too. But that's not the way that Steve Yzerman or Hockey Canada work. And that's not the way people should be thinking about it, anyway. Alex Burrows has settled in quite well with the Sedins again, picking up his 7th goal of the year. The Sedins had four points between them on those first three goals, and it was sure great to see Sami Salo rip one in from the point. Without a doubt, the Canucks outplayed the Devils for almost the entire first period, just having those lapses at the end to make the game appear a little closer than it actually was. It was fundamentally sound, if not the most exciting thing to watch, save for the final outcome. There were no obviously glaring errors that showed up. Definitely a good thing. One thing that kind of struck me was how empty the Prudential Center seemed to be. I saw a whole lot of empty seats for a game against a decent team that doesn't turn up too often in Jersey. I mean, it's not like it was St. Louis in town. I checked the box score on NHL.com, and I wasn't imagining it: 13,586 in attendance. This for a team that's 8 games above .500 and 3 points out of first in their division? Or maybe New Jersey's always like this? I don't know. I think tonight's PPV game against the Flyers will have a little more emotion in it. Roberto Luongo will probably be starting tonight and then Andrew Raycroft will most likely be getting the start against Carolina on Saturday morning. 10:30am? Jeez, it only used to be Sunday games in Boston that started at weird times. - This post originally appeared on CanuckNation.ca - not all posts that appear here will be cross-posted from that site, and not everything that appears here will be posted on the original site. Feedback on posts is always appreciated.
  10. Pinhead: Agreed. Toews: Don't like it? Fine. Don't read it.
  11. I agree that the timeliness of the scoring makes a big difference. However, someone you could count on for 40 goals year after year would go a long way to changing a lot of those one goal losses into one goal wins. Unfortunately that's not what the Canucks have at this point, so yeah, we have to keep getting frustrated and hoping for bounces to go their way. Thanks very much for the comment.
  12. What Needs To Be Done In December

    I don't think that there are many Canucks fans who would have predicted that the team would have been only two games over .500 at the end of November. A repeat of last year's 'November to Remember' certainly would have been preferable. Sure, they've suffered through some injuries, including Roberto Luongo, but pretty much everyone is back now, save for Pavol Demitra. Considering the fact that the Canucks will have a 14 game road trip extending from the end of January until March coming up in about 8 weeks, it's time to consider what needs to be done before they embark on what's probably going to be one of the weirdest time frames in the team's history. Since the 2000-01 season, or thereabouts, the Canucks have had a tendency to have a so-so first two or three months of the season, and then once the Christmas holiday passes, they wake up and go on what occasionally turns out to be a monster of a tear throughout the NHL, racking up huge numbers of wins. It doesn't happen every year, but when it does, it sure is fun to watch. The Canucks need to get on another streak like that this year. Although, this time, it's one that they have to focus on making a reality. A lot of times, huge streaks happen for no apparent reason. Picture last seasons' two back to back streaks. They had the longest losing streak in team history in the month of January, and then turned it around and didn't lose again until late February or early March. There's no reason to suggest what magically happened between January 31st and February 1st, but whatever it was, the Canucks rode it for all it was worth. But back to this year. The Canucks need to make their points NOW, and December 2nd is as good a time as any to start going on a tear. No one expects the Devils or the Flyers to roll over and hand the Canucks any victories, but they need to win at least one of those two games to get their focus right for the balance of the month. Obviously, two would be better. After that, games for the rest of the month are ones that the Canucks should win if they play the way that they're capable of playing. Hurricanes. Predators. Kings. Thrashers. Wild. Ducks. Blues. Oilers. Coyotes. The exceptions are the Caps and the Flames. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that any team is going to be an easy game. But these are teams that the Canucks should beat three out of four times they play them. I have a feeling that if the Canucks can go 10-5 in the month of December, barring any disasters, they'll be fine for the balance of the season. If they go 8-7, they'll probably have to play lights out for the rest of the year. Yeah, it's only a two game difference, but it's mindset, y'know? Anything less than .500 for the month means that it could be a long limp to the finish line in my opinion. So, let's hear it Canuck Nation. Agree? Disagree? --- Regular postings, including game recaps, are also available on CanuckNation.ca - your feedback is always appreciated.
  13. The Team That Can't Score, Does

    <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/nov2209_kesler_fps.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">One of the things that you'll hear at the start of every season (both from the media and the fans) is that the Canucks don't have any scoring. Let's see about that. Canucks 7, Oilers 3. Canucks 4, Kings 1. Canucks 5, Avs 2. Canucks 8, Avs 2. Canucks 4, Stars 3. Canucks 7, Canadiens 1. Yeah, they've got no scoring at all. If they score at least four goals in a game, the Canucks are 6 – 0 this year. Look, the Canucks don't have a "pure" goal scorer, and haven't really since earlier in this decade when the West Coast Express was in its prime, when Markus Naslund came close to 50 goals. Incidentally, Todd Bertuzzi is not a "pure" goal scorer. so what he did in that year was great, but not expected. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/06/Bure_1993_thumb5.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed">In fact, you could say that the Canucks really only have ever had one pure goal scorer who was with them in their prime – Pavel Bure. The Canucks aren't really near the top of the league in Goals For this season, but they're nowhere near the bottom, either. Seventy eight goals is certainly respectable. They certainly seem to be finding ways to score goals in bunches. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/nov0109_celebrate_t.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">It always seems that with the lack of a dominant scorer each year, the Canucks always seem to have somebody step up to score more goals than they have at any other time in their career. Last year it was Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler. This year, Mason Raymond, Mikael Samuelsson, and Henrik Sedin are stepping up. They may not necessarily be career-years, but the contributions are definitely helping. Sure, the Canucks could use someone who could chip in with 40 goals year after year, but that's not the way they've gotten things done for the last half of this decade. And I don't think it's fair to say that without that 40 goal scorer they won't do anything in the playoffs, either. While your top scorers in the regular season are a benefit in the post-season, it's usually the secondary scoring that helps contribute to a Stanley Cup win. So unless their ability to score dries up completely, the Canucks should be just fine.
  14. Still Not A Complete Game

    Any time your power play is effective 80% of the time, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re going to wind up with two points for the win. Which is exactly what happened last night. The fact that it happened against the Oilers made it even better. While having a four goal lead after the first 12 minutes of the game is great, it’s not always the best position for the Canucks to be in. Once they have a lead like that, they can have a tendency to try and sit on the lead, which is a dangerous tactic to try, regardless of whether you’re playing San Jose or Toronto (okay, maybe not so dangerous against the Leafs). After Gilbert Brule gave the Oilers some vague hope of at least scoring, Tanner Glass restored the four goal lead, and that appeared to be the end of the Oilers. Then the second period started. And in a span of just a minute and four seconds, the Oilers were within two, and I’m sure the tension was starting to creep back into GM Place. They couldn’t really blow a four goal lead, could they? Thankfully, that didn’t happen, with Alex Edler and Mikael Samuelsson contributing to the effort to put the Oilers away, for the Canucks’ fourth win in five games. It was a night when a number of players got the scoring monkey off their backs. Daniel Sedin finally got his first of the year, Edler got his first dating back to last year, and Alex Burrows seems to have benefited from Daniel’s return, scoring his second goal in as many games. A lot was made about the fact that the Oilers were a tired, injured team, and while that might be the case, I don’t remember hearing the Canucks using the injuries as an excuse when they had a lot of regulars out of action. They just sucked it up and kept playing. Did pretty well, too, if I recall. The game against the Sharks tonight should be really interesting, as San Jose had an emotional win over the Oilers themselves a couple of nights ago. The Sharks are looking like the scary team that they were at the start of last season, although maybe not quite as completely dominating, but you still can’t dispute their record. If the Canucks want to show what they’re capable of doing, tonight’s the night. -- This post originally appeared on CanuckNation.ca - not all posts that appear here will be cross-posted from that site, and not everything that appears here will be posted on the original site. Feedback on posts is always appreciated.
  15. Canucks Knock Off The Kings

    I'm the first to admit that I get a little lax when it comes to covering the PPV games. I don't pay for them, and don't feel that I can offer as much just by watching the highlights and commenting on what Sportsnet chooses to show. But I have to admit to being a little pissed off hearing about the fact that people were actually booing when they heard that what was initially thought to be Kyle Wellwood's first goal of the season had been taken away and given to Tanner Glass. Look, I understand that people want Welly to get his first goal, but for God's sake, don't boo Glass because the on-ice officials made a mistake. Does it really matter who scored the damn goal? Wellwood wants to start scoring too, but do you think he'd whine about it? No. He wouldn't. At least he got his first goal later in the game, so now people can get over it. The other thing I wanted to mention was the incredible goal line save Roberto Luongo made on Teddy Purcell, throwing his glove back to pull the puck off the line. There's no way that they could have called that a goal because there was no way to see the puck, seeing as how it was covered by the glove. Was the puck across the line? Possibly, but without proof, they couldn't have called it a goal. Only Luongo knows for sure. From the reports I've heard, the first half of the first period would pretty much put you to sleep, but then the Canucks came out flying to leave the Kings in the dust in the third period. But it was good to see that Henrik Sedin hasn't slowed down since Daniel's return, and that putting Alex Burrows back on a line with the twins has paid off with him opening the scoring. The Oilers and Sharks should make this an interesting weekend indeed. A couple of wins would get the Canucks right back into the playoff hunt. We'll see what happens. The only other Canucks' bloggers with a recap of the game were Sean and Mike at 'Nucks Misconduct (and this is even with the Yankee Canuck partaking in the American Thanksgiving). So here's the link. -- This post originally appeared on CanuckNation.ca - not all posts that appear here will be cross-posted from that site, and not everything that appears here will be posted on the original site. Feedback on posts is always appreciated.