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  1. It was a good week in Canuck Nation if your name was Ryan and appropriately in this week's edition of Number Crunching, we pay tribute to the Ryans as we look back at the best and worst statistics in the week that was. Read on to find out who takes home this week's Number Crunching Player of the Week Award...could it very well be Ryan's for the taking? THE BEST OF KES <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/van6_031410.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The big news of the week for the Canucks came off the ice on Friday when Ryan Kesler officially put his name on a brand new contract extension that will see him remain in Vancouver colours until 2015.16. In honour of Kesler's new deal, Number Crunching presents the top six Ryan Kesler stats of 2009.10: 1. When Kesler scores, Canucks win. Vancouver's record this season when Ryan Kesler tallies a goal is 15-5-0. 2. When Kesler has been held point-less this season, Vancouver's record is only 8-13-2. 3. Through 72 games played, Kesler leads all Canucks in power play goals with 12 - four more than second place Mason Raymond who has eight. The 12 PPGs are a career-high for Kesler, besting the 10 PPGs he had in 2008.09. Coming into this season, he had scored just 15 total career power play goals. Incidentally, Vancouver's record when Kesler scores a PPG this season is 8-4-0. 4. Kesler's 13-game point streak from February 6 to March 14 shattered his previous career-high entering this season which was five games. Earlier this season, Kesler tied his previous career-best point streak twice. During his 13-game run, he tallied six goals and 15 points. 5. Through 72 games played, no other Canuck forward has had more average ice-time than Ryan Kesler's 19:51 per game. In terms of overall ice-time through the whole season, Kesler sits behind only Christian Ehrhoff (1,652:54) and Alex Edler (1,472:28) with 1,429:53. 6. No stat better describes Kesler's desire to have the puck than his 74 takeaways this season through 72 games played - leading all Canuck players. Alex Burrows has the next highest number of takeaways this season with 63 while Henrik Sedin is in a distant third place with 38. Kesler had 74 takeaways in all of last season. He has been the Canucks' leader in takeaways for the past two consecutive seasons and is on his way to making it three straight. OH JOHNNY BOY <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/032010Canucks205.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Kesler wasn't the only Ryan who had reason to celebrate this week as Ryan Johnson was all smiles after breaking an 82-game goal-less drought on Thursday against San Jose. Johnson entered that game as Vancouver's leader for longest goal drought. With Johnson finally getting the goal monkey off his back the new Canucks' leader in the category is defenceman Aaron Rome, who following Saturday's game against Detroit is now at the half-century mark in games played without a goal. The goal against the Sharks was also the fourth career game-winner for Johnson. Two of his three goals as a Canuck have been game-winners. He scored the GWG against the New York Rangers back on November 19, 2008 - his first career goal as a member of the Canucks. Johnson now has a game-winning goal in three consecutive seasons. BLINK AND YOU'LL MISS IT <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/mar2010_muddle_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The Canucks have seen plenty of team and personal records fall this season but they probably were not too thrilled with the mark that bit the dust on Saturday against the Red Wings. Red Wings goals scored five seconds apart by Todd Bertuzzi at 12:34 of the second period and Pavel Datsyuk at 12:39 of the second period during Vancouver's 4-3 overtime loss on Saturday set a new franchise mark for fastest two goals by a Canucks' opponent. The previous record was seven seconds, initially set back on October 19, 1976 in the first period of a game against the New York Islanders when Bob Nystrom scored twice in seven seconds - 8:34 and 8:41 - in what ended up as a 6-1 Islanders victory. Over 14 years later, the mark was tied when the Flames' Joe Mullen and Doug Gilmour scored seven seconds apart in the first period in a 5-1 Calgary win on March 3, 1990. Just less than five years after that, the feat was once again repeated by the Rangers' Pat Verbeek and Niklas Sundstrom, who also scored seven seconds apart in the first period against the Canucks in a 5-2 Rangers victory on October 24, 1995. It seems safe to suggest that the all-time NHL mark for fastest two goals will never be surpassed, if it is even ever repeated. A pair of ex-Canucks had a hand in setting that record as members of the Minnesota Wild. Jim Dowd and Richard Park scored three seconds apart (19:44 and 19:47 of the third period) in a 4-2 victory by the Wild over the Chicago Blackhawks on January 21, 2004. FLORIDA FLASHBACKS <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/mar2010_freeze_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">For the first time since becoming a Vancouver Canuck, Roberto Luongo reached the half-century mark in saves in a single regular season game when he recorded 50 stops on 54 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Red Wings on Saturday. Luongo's previous high for saves as a Canuck in a regular season game was 49 - set back on February 21, 2008 in a 3-2 shootout win for the Canucks over the Nashville Predators. Prior to Saturday, the last time Luongo was forced to make 50-or-more saves in a single regular season game was over four years ago on December 18, 2005. On that night, Luongo's Florida Panthers were out-shot 55-34 by the Washington Capitals but Luongo stopped all-but-two shots in a 3-2 victory. Incidentally, the 54 shots surrendered by the Canucks to the Red Wings overall on Saturday not only marked the most shots they have given up this season but also the first time they have surrendered over 50 shots in a single regular season game since the aforementioned game on February 21, 2008 against the Predators (they surrendered 51 shots that night). Vancouver's all-time record for most shots against in a single regular season game is 60. That was set back on February 25, 1971 against the Boston Bruins during the Canucks' inaugural NHL season. Vancouver lost that game 8-3. NUMBER CRUNCHING PLAYER OF THE WEEK <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/mar1810_wellhappy_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Kyle Wellwood: Two goals and three points in four games played. Kyle Wellwood has taken his fair share of shots for his lack of offensive production particularly near the start of the season so now that he's playing some of his best hockey of the year it seems only fair to give him his share of praise. The 26-year-old has not only found the net with more regularity since the second half of the season began, but his newly-formed line with Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen has given the Canucks a legitimate third-line scoring threat - something Vancouver really has not had much of on a consistent basis throughout the whole season. Wellwood's two-point (1-1-2) outing against the Red Wings on Saturday was his fourth multi-point game of the season - double what he had all of last year. With 22 points (11-11-22) on the season and 10 more games left on the schedule, he would need to average one point every two games to equal the 27 points he had last year in his first season as a Canuck. CRUNCHED BY THE NUMBERS <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec2009_ehrhoff_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Shane O'Brien: One goal and three points in two games played. First, let me preface this by saying Shane O'Brien (rhymes with Ryan) being tagged with this dubious distinction actually has absolutely nothing to do with his play this week. By all accounts, O'Brien was fantastic in his return to the lineup not only finishing with a plus-two rating but chipping in with three points and a rare goal as well. If the Canucks had their way however, they might just ask Shane to stick with piling up the assists rather than netting any goals himself. If there are two things Canuck observers have been able to surmise from watching O'Brien the last two seasons it's that: 1. O'Brien can only score against Central Division opponents. Counting his playoff goal versus Chicago last season, O'Brien has also scored against St. Louis and Detroit. 2. When O'Brien scores, the Canucks don't win. Canucks lost 7-5 in Game 6 against Chicago in the Western Conference Semi-Final and also lost 3-1 to the Blues back on December 20th of this season prior to Saturday's overtime loss to the Red Wings. The O'Brien curse, as it were, only began after Shane joined the Canucks. Prior to coming to Vancouver, O'Brien's previous teams (Anaheim and Tampa Bay) were not only 3-1-0 in games where he had scored, but O'Brien personally notched the game-winning goals in each of those three wins. The best news for Shane and the Canucks? Vancouver will not see another Central Division opponent the rest of this season barring a playoff match-up.
  2. Where to start with this guy. I for one was his biggest fan to start the season, and still would gladly get a Johnson #10 jersey but the man's stock has been falling and on a bottom six that is under the microscope of every arm chair GM and Canucks fan his play has stood out even more, for the wrong reasons. Granted due to his shot blocking antics he has missed games due to injury, there's something else up with RyJo this season. I think simply put RyJo has lost some of his mojo. I'm not sure how else to word it. He's looked out of sync now for the better part of the season and with the bottom six getting so much attention from everyone due to their inconsistent and sub par play when he has been in the lineup he's not standing out as the 4th line center he stood out as last year. For a guy who doesn't bring a lot of offence, as a role player he becomes even more important because if he's not playing his role he's not doing very much for the team. On a penalty kill that Ryan Johnson was once the staple of has now been identified as Kesler and Burrows' and on that same penalty kill that has struggled the role of Ryan Johnson has stood out even more due to his lack of, well anything. Since coming from St. Louis he's seen his offensive numbers dip considerably, and this season through 40 games has a whopping 10 shots. He's looked out of sync on a fourth line that has been host to under achievers like Hordichuk, and a rotating Bernier who's seen time on both lines in the bottom six. Johnson's still trying to block shots, but you have to imagine that the 33 year old's body is catching up to his game. With the likes of Burrows and Kesler who are becoming regular shot blockers, Johnson's got to try and fall back into sync. He just doesn't look like the same player he did last year and after about 60 games it's time to start noticing. Johnson's gone from 80+ shots a season but two years ago, to exactly 10 this year. He takes the second most faceoffs on the team. His faceoff number are up, but that's of little consolation when he's expected to be one of the more consistent players on the bottom six. Johnson, as a package, comes as a shot blocking, grinding, gritty, penalty killing specialist. So far apart from his faceoffs won this year he's struggled and the only plausible conclusion seems to be that his body is finally catching up with him. It's pretty clear that this season is going to see a revamped bottom six and with the guy a free agent this off season I wouldn't be surprised if he was gone. RyJo plays a risky kind of hockey, he's gutsy, ballsy, and plain stupid with some of the blocks he makes (I watched him at GM Place dive head first to block a shot in an earlier game this season against Detroit). He's a player that has little else to offer the team and and out of step Johnson, on an underachieving and under performing bottom six is reason for second thought.
  3. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092907_oilers16_b.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed" width="320" height="240">I was disappointed when I found out that Darcy Hordichuk would be scratched in favour of Rick Rypien because in my eyes he's been invisible all year long. I made it my goal to watch Rypien carefully and critically Monday night. My assessment is in and Rypien should not be in the lineup over Hordichuk and Hansen. As a whole our fourth line was owned by Buffalo's. The line was benched for the entire third period and Ryan Johnson only got shifts on the penalty kill. Individually, Rypien was invisible all night. As the team's supposed energy player I expect him to be banging bodies when he's not fighting. On Monday night, he was credited with one hit. That is simply not enough for your energy forward. By my count, he got hit at by the opposition more than he made attempts to take runs at people. If he's not hitting, then Rypien just becomes the one-dimensional goon. If he's going to be a one-dimension goon, I would rather have a legit heavyweight in the lineup like Calgary's Brian McGrattan or Minnesota's Derek Boogaard who can intimidate the opposition. Let's face it; Rypien is not going to be intimidating anybody on the ice with his 5'11" and 170 pound frame other than the Darcy Tuckers of the world. Luongo's words after Rypien defeated the 6'7" Boris Valabik in a fight: "I've never been so pumped up after a fight in my whole life," said Luongo. "I was happy for him and he deserves it. He's a great guy. Obviously great fight, so it was pretty impressive." It's great that Rypien can bring energy through his fights, but when he's not in fights, he's invisible man out there. This season, Rypien's established himself as one of the best, if not the best middleweights in the league. As a result, it is going to be hard for him to find a dance partner unless he steps out of his weight class like St. Louis' Cam Janssen and start fighting the heavyweights. People like to bring up the fact that between Rypien and Hordichuk, Rypien has the better offensive game. But it's the fourth line, I don't expect them to score. I expect them to bring energy, emotion, and strong forecheck. If they can chip in the odd goal, great. But it's energy, emotion, and a strong forecheck first. Hordichuk is everything Rypien isn't. Hordichuk's constantly dumping the puck in and flying in on the forecheck to bang bodies. In my eyes, Hordichuk's the guy that makes the fourth line go. On Saturday night, the fourth line unit with Hordichuk and Glass on the wings and Ryan Johnson in the middle was as effective as I've seen the fourth line all year long. The line was fast; they got the puck in deep, and were on the forecheck banging bodies almost instantaneously. For the first time, we finally saw some vintage Ryan Johnson, something we haven't seen at all since he signed in Vancouver. On Monday, you replace Hordichuk with Rypien and the line seemed lost out there. There was absolutely no forecheck from the line and they were more often than not trapped in the Vancouver end of the ice by Buffalo's fourth line. Rypien had a bout with the stomach flu and lost weight from it, but why is he in the lineup if that's stopping him from playing his game? A guy like Alex Bolduc was willing to fight 6'8" John Scott to keephis spot in the lineup, but Rypien keeps on getting a spot handed to him even though he's been absolutely useless and invisible all year long five-on-five. Bolduc got the scouting report on Scott from both Darcy Hordichuk and defenceman Shane O'Brien, but still proceeded to fight Scott because he wanted to impress the coaches and keep his job in the NHL. Perhaps Rypien's body cannot hold up to the constant banging, but I rather have an oft-injured Rypien that makes a difference in the lineup once a year, than the useless Rypien we are seeing right now.
  4. <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4d/Rick_Rypien.png/225px-Rick_Rypien.png" class="imageFloatRightFramed">Ryan Johnson's anticipated return to the Canucks lineup on Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers will mean a decision will need to be made on who comes out of the lineup. Winger Steve Bernier and defenceman Aaron Rome could also return. After a 6-2 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Penguins, it's hard to pinpoint a particular player who had a bad game. As usual, the obvious candidates to take out of the lineup are Jannik Hansen and Darcy Hordichuk. You have to believe that Jannik Hansen's spot in the lineup is safe after helping to setup Henrik Sedin's bank-in goal at 14:42 of the first period and then scoring himself on a slap-pass from Henrik Sedin at 3:04 of the second. You can't take Darcy Hordichuk out of the lineup either. Since his return to the lineup on Boxing Day against the Edmonton Oilers, Hordichuk has been a physical and agitating force on the ice in his limited ice time. On Saturday night, Hordichuk drew three penalties and led the team with Brad Lukowich in hits with four. You noticed Hordichuk every time he was on the ice for the right reasons and on one occasion, he had a huge one in the corner on Sidney Crosby. And Rypien, nothing. With the exception of a shot off the post, Rypien was invisible out there and for pretty much most of the season five-on-five. I expect more of a contribution from Rypien in the hitting department as one of the fourth line energy players. Rypien has dressed in 41 games and has 62 hits. Hordichuk's played in 33 games, eight less than Rypien, and has 77 hits for third on the team. Rypien has played in more games and averages more ice-time a game than Hordichuk. On the official scoresheet for Saturday night's game, he had two hits in the game, anybody see any of those? Rypien's made a name for himself for the league already as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the NHL, if not the best. So it's not going to be easy for him to find a dance partner each game to provide energy for the team. He has to hit and he hasn't been doing that. Between him and Hordichuk, he's the better player in every aspect and the far better skater. Hordichuk always seems to have troubles staying on his feet both while playing hockey and in fights. Rypien should be able to fly into the forecheck a lot quicker and adjust accordingly to make the hit. But it's not happening. Defenceman Aaron Rome could make his return to the lineup after missing more than a week with a concussion. In the four games this season, Brad Lukowich has been steady on defence for the Canucks while Aaron Rome during the time Kevin Bieksa's been out has been guilty of trying to do much on a few occasions. Don't expect a change until Lukowich really screws up in a game. In addition, winger Steve Bernier could return as well after missing the past three games with a groin injury meaning another forward may need to come out of the lineup. Needless to say, my candidate to come out of the lineup for Ryan Johnson on Wednesday is Rick Rypien. If Steve Bernier is fit to play, the other forward for me would be Tanner Glass, not because he's played bad this season or Saturday night, but him and Rypien were the worst of the best and two players in particular that I did not notice much of on the ice. How about we see that hit on Matt Cooke by Shane O'Brien again? <object width="640" height="383" id="embed" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"><param name="movie" value="http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashVars" value="hlg=20092010,2,718&event=VAN449&server=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&pageurl=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&nlwa=http://app2.neulion.com/videocenter/nhl/" /><embed name="embed" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer" src="http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="383" quality="high" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" flashVars="hlg=20092010,2,718&event=VAN449&server=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&pageurl=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&nlwa=http://app2.neulion.com/videocenter/nhl/"></embed></object>
  5. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/08/aug1809_Johnson02_rr.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Rogers Sportsnet Canucks game host @sportsnetmurph is reporting center Ryan Johnson has been placed on injured reserve, which means his foot injury will keep him out of the lineup for at least one week. This brings the Canucks active roster down from the maximum of 23 to 22 players. With Johnson on injured reserve, this will enable the Canucks to call-up a forward from the Manitoba Moose with Michael Grabner as the leading candidate. However, the Canucks may be in no rush to call anybody up given the Canucks have won two straight games and Darcy Hordichuk's strong play last night. In 8:03 of ice time, Hordichuk had a team-high six hits with the Raymond, Bernier, Kesler, Glass, and Bieksa next with two hits each and drew a penalty in the third period on Steve Staios by driving hard to the net. Since being sent down on December 19, Grabner has yet to get into a game as the Moose just finished a one week Christmas break. The Moose host the Abbotsford Heat tonight and Grabner is expected to be in the lineup playing on a line with Marty Murray and Matt Pettinger. Although Grabner's demotion was not officially deemed as for conditioning purposes by the Canucks, if it were the Canucks probably would want him to get into a few more games before a call-up. Mikael Samuelsson will have to pickup his play or he will find himself on the third line soon. Samuelsson has one point in five games and is simply not scoring enough for a top-six forward or making contributions in other areas.
  6. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/011308_blues09_tt.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The Vancouver Canucks received two bits of news on the injury front today with Swedish defenceman Alex Edler probable to go. In the same tweet, Murphy reports that Alex Edler will be paired with Christian Ehrhoff, Shane O'Brien with Kevin Bieksa, and Willie Mitchell with Sami Salo. This means both Aaron Rome and Mathieu Schneider will be sitting out tonight's contest as healthy scratches. However, Canucks public relations officer @TC_Carling is calling Edler a game-time decision. Whether or not Edler plays tonight, it is good news for the Canucks as it was originally feared that Edler may have suffered a separated shoulder. With Edler's return to the lineup, Kevin Bieksa cannot afford to have another sub par game as Edler logs 20:51 minutes a game on average and O'Brien has played exceptionally well and shown enough discipline to play more than the 15:43 he averages. Ryan Johnson is also expected to play tonight after missing practice yesterday and nearly missing Sunday night's game against the St. Louis Blues. Good news on the Pavol Demitra front as well. While it was initially suggested by the media that winger Pavol Demitra had suffered a setback after he traveled to Slovakia to see a specialist two weeks ago, now it appears it was not a setback and he's back in Vancouver skating. "My range of motion is 90 per cent," he said, referring to his surgically repaired shoulder, "as good as it needs to be. "Strength is the issue now." Demitra is expected to make his return to the lineup in three to four weeks. <img src=" http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct25_schneider2_rr.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed">Defenceman Mathieu Schneider is still away from the team for personal reasons and coach Alain Vigneault would not divulge on the details. Just speculation here, but could Schneider be taken a leave of absence from the team to consider his playing future? It's a possibility. Thus far, Schneider has not been the factor on the power play the Canucks had hoped and in the defensive zone he is often beaten to the puck or is easily muscled off of it. Shane O'Brien has also played exceptional since being inserted into the lineup on December 2nd after sitting out seven straight games and doesn't appear to be slowing down. Schneider's a veteran and a team player, if he believes he cannot play in the NHL anymore, he knows that it would be of his best interest of him and the Canucks to leave the team and retire which would take his cap hit off the Canucks payroll and his spot on the roster. Earlier in the year, Brendan Shanahan had his contract terminated by the New Jersey Devils after he decided to leave the team and retire. Known as insubordination. Could something similar happen with Schneider? Update: Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was asked by a member of the media about whether Schneider was considering his playing future, he replied by"I'm not going to say." Based on Gillis's comments, I have to believe that Schneider is in fact contemplating is playing future as he could have just flatly denied it. With files from Gordon McIntyre/The White Towel, Elliott Pap/Vancouver Sun, playboi19
  7. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/images/upload/2009/04/alexBurrowsa4.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The no-goal For the second consecutive game, the Vancouver Canucks had referee Mike Leggo assigned to their game after refereeing the Washington Capitals game in which he called a questionable unsportsmanlike penalty to Tom Poti for making a diving hand gesture. Then he proceeded to call a penalty shot on the Canucks after Canucks defenceman hauled down Alexander Semin on a partial breakaway if you can even call it that. Tonight, Mike Leggo and the hockey operations department in Toronto made the call that Canucks forward Alex Burrows had kicked the puck into the net when replays showed that the puck was directed in my Burrows' skate before the kicking motion was made and then deflecting off the Blues defenceman Barret Jackman into the net. Kicking motion or not, should the goal have been allowed since it deflected off Jackman? If icing was called and it hits a player's leg at centre ice, the call is waived off. Right? So why not waive the kicking motion and allow the goal to stand? Jackman's Cheap Shot Alex Burrows took an extra whack at goalie Ty Conklin for a loose puck and received a nice knuckle sandwich from Blues defenceman Barret Jackman who had his glove off somehow. The punch is similar to the one that Dan Carcillo thrown at Matt Bradley in which Carcillo received a five minute major for fighting, two minutes for instigating, two minutes for crosschecking, a misconduct, and a game misconduct for a grand total of 19 penalty minutes and a four game suspension of the NHL. Bradley and Carcillo were about to engage in a fight, so Bradley probably should have expected a punch coming. In this case, Jackman had his gloves off for whatever reason and fired a punch to the face of an unsuspecting Burrows, resulting in a bloodied nose. Jackman received a minor roughing. The referees do not have the luxury of slow motion, video replays so they cannot be blamed for not giving the Canucks a nine minute power play as it appeared to be just any old hockey scrum with the face washing. Burrows has a reputation for embellishing calls in hopes of getting a penalty and it was something I thought he was doing. Colin Campbell and the National Hockey League hockey operations department have the luxury of replays, but unfortunately Barret Jackman is not Dan Carcillo and Alex Burrows is Alex Burrows. Do not expect anything more than a one game suspension, if anything at all. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/08/aug0709_bieksa01_b.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed" width="320" height="180">Bieksa Bieksa....Bieksa.... On the second goal, Blues forward David Backes walked around him and then Luongo to tuck the puck into the net. Bieksa had great position on Backes, yet somehow managed to let him walk around him.... Also worth pointing out that for the second consecutive game, Bieksa finished the game with less time than Shane O'Brien who struggled to get into the lineup earlier this month. Bieksa had just 16:02 of ice time while O'Brien had 17:02. On the season, Bieksa averages 22:14 a game, behind Willie Mitchell's 22:27. Looks like the chat with Alain Vigneault in which he broke his stick in frustration didn't do anything to change his game for the better. Ryan Johnson injured Heading into Sunday night's game, forward Ryan Johnson was questionable after blocking a shot and injuring himself on Friday night against the Washington Capitals. Johnson only saw 6:52 of ice time and the only time he was noticed on the ice was when Tanner Glass missed him with a drop pass and the Blues went back the other way to score. We will keep our eye on this story. Glass + Hit = Goal For the second consecutive game, rugged Canucks forward Tanner Glass delivered a bone crushing hit only to have the opposing team scored. On Friday, Brooks Laich was sent into the Canucks bench by Glass, only to have Alexander Semin score glove side on Roberto Luongo. Tonight, Glass flattened the diminutive Paul Kariya only to see Kariya's shot deflected in front of the goal by David Backes. Maybe Glass needs to pick his spots better, or Luongo gets distracted easily by big hits. Remember Game 5? <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/07/canucks_fans_painted_w_cup.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">O'Brien's First in 166 Congratulations to Shane O'Brien on getting his first goal in 166 regular season games. Tonight, O'Brien was everything the Canucks had hoped he'd be. A physical stay-at-home defenceman who could put up the odd goal, make simple passes or plays out of the defensive zone, make smart pinches, and clear the crease. By the looks of his celebration, it seemed like he had scored the Game 7, Stanley Cup clinching goal in overtime. Fan Appreciation Night You may know, or you may not know. Tonight was the annual Fan Appreciation Night, hosted in the middle of the NHL season once again. Much like last year, it does not appear anybody was even aware it was Fan Appreciation Night as the stands were completely empty as players took their jerseys off their backs. After a bitter loss to the St. Louis Blues, who would stick around anyways? Still puzzled as to why they moved this from the last game of the season as it is perfectly fitting players take off their jerseys at the last home game and give it to the fans.
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