After coming ever so close to extending their win streak to 3 games, the Canucks are right back at it tomorrow in Columbus, Ohio for a tilt against the Blue Jackets. How will Vancouver perform after a quick turnaround from a hard fought battle in Steel City? Read on to find out.
You can make the argument that the Canucks played their best game of the season in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Against a team loaded with offensive talent, it was the Canucks who dominated the shot clock 39-29. And that’s with a power play disadvantage of 4-1. However, as good as the Canucks looked on Saturday, Pittsburgh had too many opportunities and were able to capitalize on their chances to edge Vancouver 4-3 in a shootout. Some guy named Sidney Crosby was particularly noticeable for the Penguins, collecting 1 goal and 2 assists.
Game #3 on the epic Eastern road trip for the Vancouver Canucks brings them to Pittsburgh for a morning tilt with the Penguins. The Penguins have been flying out of the gates with a 6-1 record to start the season. The Penguins are not the Buffalo Sabres so expect the Penguins to actually touch the puck every once in awhile.
I’ll be the first to admit: when I heard the news last June that Canucks GM Mike Gillis had hired John Tortorella as coach, I feared an unmitigated disaster. By all accounts, Tortorella had worn out his welcome with the New York Rangers, disrespecting journalists and losing the dressing room (or at least stars like Marian Gaborik and Henrik Lundqvist).
To me, and to many Canucks fans, the hiring conjured up the dark days of Iron Mike Keenan – quite possibly the most disappointing era in Canuckville. But Gillis believed in his man, and when Torts arrived, the new coach was heard saying all the right things, such as promising to maybe try a kinder, gentler approach this time around.
The Canucks continue their seven game trek across the east coast with a date in Buffalo against the Sabres. While normally a game against a bottom feeder wouldn’t mean much, this bottom-feeder happens to employ Cody Hodgson. You might not remember him, but we traded him for Zack Kassian…
The Canucks began their trip in Philadelphia against a Flyers team that has been nothing short of disastrous this year. Although a win was expected, it took another John Tortorella line scramble to ignite the Canucks and push through a 3-2 win. Ryan Kesler finally woke up and netted his second and third goals of the season while Chris Higgins murdered the monkey on his back by scoring his first of the season to lead the Canucks to their fourth victory in seven games.
John Tortorella did the unthinkable once again last night in Philadelphia: he split up the Sedins. Just like when he split up the Sedins in Calgary earlier this season, the result was positive. This begs the question: should the Canucks go an extended period of time with the Sedins split up? I say yes.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin have played 99.999% (approximately) of their careers on the same line together. Their only two prior head coaches in the NHL, Marc Crawford and Alain Vigneault, split up the Sedins about as often as AV played Keith Ballard on the power play (ie. very rarely or by accident).
There have only been two occasions where the Sedins have been apart for a significant length of time, when Daniel missed 19 games in 2009-10 and 13 games in 2011-12 due to injury. Henrik was far from lost without his brother during those two occasions. In their time apart during those two seasons, Henrik had 29 points in 28 games in the regular season and 2 points in 3 games in the playoffs.
The Vancouver Canucks start their longest road trip of the season when hosted by the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday afternoon at 4pm PST. Canucks fans will be amped up to see the Canucks play a collection of Eastern teams that we do not often see. The Flyers, in particular, are always an interesting bunch both on and off the ice.
The Canucks lost 4-1 to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. The game was marked by the most ridiculous own goal in Canuck history and stellar, albeit lucky, goaltending by the Canadiens Carey Price. The Canucks carried the play for large stretches, but were unable to take advantage of Price’s consistent over aggressive play. Price was caught out of position multiple times, but the Canucks could not capitalize. The Canadiens, conversely, were able to score without having to shoot the puck.
The Canucks lost to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night due in large part to one of the luckiest/flukiest goals of all-time. That had me thinking, where exactly does this rank all-time in Canucks history?
On Saturday night, The Canucks will be looking to rebound from yet another tough loss against their aquatic rivals from Northern California and will apparently have to do so without the services of Alex Edler. When the Montreal Canadiens are in town, there is always a buzz around the Lower Mainland. Here is how I see things shaking down:
The following paragraph is dedicated to Joe Thornton:
We may not have received the privilege of seeing Thornton stroke his rooster as promised, but I’m sure he received just as much pleasure from San Jose beating off Vancouver for the ninth straight time. From start to finish, the Sharks vigorously jerked the Canucks around in their own zone and early on you could tell there wasn’t much chance for Vancouver to come out on top. Mike Santorelli gave the home side some hope, but Patrick Marleau quickly rubbed out those dreams as San Jose cruised to a 4-1 win and their fourth straight victory to open the season. The Canucks meanwhile, dropped to a respectable but disappointing 3-2 record and are looking to rebound in a big way.
The Vancouver Canucks host their newest nemesis, the San Jose Sharks, tomorrow night at Rogers Arena. The season opener vs. the Sharks was a spirited affair, but one that ended with a similar result, a 4-1 loss in the Shark Tank. The Canucks have lost eight straight games to the Sharks (I refuse to count preseason games) and I, for one, am getting sick of it.
The Canucks beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 with a Mike Santorelli OT winner past ex-Canuck, Cory Schneider. The game was predictably unentertaining given the style of play New Jersey is known for, but the Schneider vs Luongo game within a game did not disappoint. Both goalies were sharp. Those looking at the game objectively should understand why Canuck management placed so much value on both these goalies and why the situation was much more complicated than has been stated. Simply put, the Canucks were in a rare position of having two outstanding goalies at the same time.
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