It was revealed during the second intermission of yesterday’s Canucks game on Hockey Night in Canada that the NHL has told the Green Men to knock off some of their antics beside the opposition penalty box. Apparently they’ve been told to not touch the glass. What’s worse is that Glenn Healy agrees with them!
One of the great things about this year’s Canucks has been the way the players have absorbed each other’s best qualities. Malhotra’s faceoff skill, Ballard’s hip checks, Sedin body positioning, and Bieksa’s tenacious yet positionally sound defence have been picked up by the entire team. The stud in the shared skills stable though is certainly Kesler’s sizzling every-inch-matters brand of intense puck pursuit. Even twinkle toed Mason Raymond has turned into a fore checking menace!
Yesterday the NHL announced that Raffi Torres would be suspended four games (two in the regular season and two in the playoffs) for this hit on Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle:
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the Vancouver Canucks have locked up the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s top team in the regular season. We know this because they absolutely took the night off in their first meaningless game against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night! But I digress. They’re the top dogs, which means we know that they will play whichever team ends up in 8th place in the conference. In case you haven’t seen the NHL standings in a while, here they are:
With an impressive 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night, the Canucks clinched first place in the entire National Hockey League. In case you’re counting at home, that’s the first time in 40 years that we can say the Vancouver Canucks are President’s Trophy winners. It’s a nice feather in their cap, and nice to have won it for the first time. Enjoy it Canucks fans… for now.
Tuesday’s win against the Phoenix Coyotes gave the Vancouver Canucks a perfect 3-for-3 record on their California/Arizona road trip and Canuck Nation couldn’t be happier. On Sunday I told you about the Canuck invasion in Los Angeles and Anaheim, and others have taken note. We were fortunate to have our article featured in Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog, which gave this story league-wide attention. Even JT the Brick (who has a nationally syndicated radio show in the US) talked about this big influx of Canucks fans at the Staples Center and Honda Center over the weekend… and those kinds of shows NEVER talk about hockey. On Thursday, the Canucks will try to make the road trip a perfect 4-for-4 and you know Canuck Nation will be there too.
The Canucks just completed a southern California sweep against the Kings and Ducks, winning both games in impressive fashion. They played two desperate teams, played them tough and fought through tight checking and a lot of physical play to get a pair of wins. What’s more impressive though, is the fan support from Canuck nation in both games!
Roberto Luongo will debut a new mask tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at Rogers Arena. To the best of my knowledge he owns the franchise record for most masks worn in a career. There’s been a lot of them. Lets revisit them…
Ok ok before you freak out after reading the headline and trash me in the comments section, let me explain. Michael Grabner is not the second coming of Brett Hull. Far from it. So why bring it up? Let me explain… In case you haven’t noticed, former Canucks 1st round draft pick Michael Grabner is on quite a tear right now. After a slow start to the season, Grabner has 15 goals and 6 assists in his last 15 games. That’s brought his goal total up to 24 this year while playing on the Islanders third line. And that’s what makes this all the more impressive for Grabner. He hasn’t been given prime time minutes. He has received minimal power play time and is averaging only 14 minutes a game. Yesterday he netted a hat trick in only 15:06 of playing time. ‘Grabby’ is now on pace for 35 goals this year, imagine what that would look like playing 17-18 minutes a night? Imagine what he could do after he matures a little more. Somewhere Dave Nonis is saying “I told you so”.
There has been a lot of nonsense spewing from the airwaves of the Team 1040 radio station in the last few days. You see, the Canucks have suffered a few injuries and in turn a few on air radio personalities (and callers) have decided that they need a heavyweight enforcer! I, for one, think it’s a gross overreaction.