I love playing the Sharks. They're one of my favorite teams to watch and I even cheer for them when they aren't playing the Canucks. Tonight the Canucks are in San Jose for a little 1 game roadtrip, then they'll be back again in Vancouver to face the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday before going back to California for a back to back game at the beginning of Easter. Who designed this schedule?
So Luongo is starting in net. Relax Vancouver, even though Raycroft looks better in net these days, we need Luongo to be back on his game. I agree that Luongo looks exhausted and isn't seeing the puck well, but if playing more games is what it's gonna take, better now than never. Plus if he doesn't play tonight, by the time the Phoenix game rolls around he will have not played a game in a week. He did have a session with Ian Clark the goaltending consultant before practice on Friday morning.
The Sharks have ended their losing skid with wins against Minnesota and Dallas.
Opposition blog over at Couchtarts
- Pavol Demitra will still be a healthy scratch tonight
- Mikael Samuelsson skated on his own yesterday
Photo from Fuck Yeah Sharksno comments
A couple quick things:
The Canucks have signed forward Aaron Volpatti from Brown University to a multi year deal. He is a Revelstoke native, who was the captain of his team at Brown, getting 32 points in 37 games played.
Demitra is (again) away from the Canucks with a family issue and will not play against the Oilers tomorrow. Easy there Vancouver, I'm sure he'll be back soon, at least we're not the Flyers who have just learned they will be without Jeff Carter for the rest of the regular season.
Game time tomorrow is 6pm Sportsnet. There is also a Canucks tweetup at Library Square, click here for the detailsno comments
Although last nights game ended as a loss, it was a great game to watch, no?
Sure there were turnovers, lots of them actually by both teams, but that made some really exciting hockey. And with a week whose focus had been so much on suspensions and revenge matches, it was refreshing to just have a weekend of hockey. I also fear for any team that get's Detroit if they find a way to make it in to 8th spot.
The Canucks did not walk away empty handed from the loss to Detroit, no, they came out with 1 point. Luongo faced 54 shots from the Wings and unlike a couple games ago, he looked good in net. So did Edler when he calmly swept away the puck along the goal line with only a few minutes left of play. Kevin Bieksa on that lack of clearing of the puck along the goal line on the other hand did not look good. Oh and O'Brien, yea he had a goal and an assist, and kudos to him for not getting minutes in the penalty box for the gordie howe hat trick.
Kesler Contract Extension
If you follow me on twitter, you would have already known how excited I was about this. The Vancouver Canucks were able to lock up Kesler, one of their best forwards to a six year $30 million dollar contract. This will keep him with the Canucks through the 2015-2016 season with an average cap hit of $5 million a season.
I like this contract extension. Although it was not the pay cut that Kesler had urged his other teammates to take, I still like the contract. Kesler has improved each season from when he first made his debut with the Vancouver Canucks back in 2003-2004. When he first hit the ice in his first year in 2003-2004, then in 2005-2006 after the lock out he reminded me of Mason Raymond, had tons of speed (maybe too much for his linemates at the time) but not a whole lot of finish (Raymond has also improved as well). But over the years I've seen the improvement, I've seen his gritty play and know that rest easy when the Canucks are on a penalty kill and he and Burr are out their killing it.
$5 million dollars is fair money for Kesler, I would say that if they had let this go to the offer sheet teams would have offered him $5.5 million. mc79hockey.com compares Kesler to Horcoff in pay rate, skill set and production, and I do see where he is coming from but I see Kesler as having the bigger upside. I do not see Kesler's contract as being as crippling for the Canucks as Horcoff's is for the Oilers.
Mike Richards also makes the same range of money ($5.75 million) is the only other player that I think in the same range has a bigger upside to Kesler. And no it's not that Richards is the captain of the Flyers, because I see that with this signing that Kesler could very well become the next Canucks captain, but because Richards is a number one center. Kesler, being signed to a similar contract length of the Sedins will always be a second line center, but that's not a bad thing, that just means we'll have two very good lines.
Interesting that the deal with Kesler was not something they had been working on all season, but got done within a 24 hour window. He will have a no trade clause that will kick in after he is done being an RFA in 2012-2013
Schroeder played his first AHL game today and scored on his first shift with the Moose. He would go on to scored another goal as the Moose beat Grand Rapids 4-0.no comments
The Canucks lost last night against the Islanders, big whoop.
We all know that tomorrow's game is what matters. Even though the Canucks are atop of the NW Division, does that matter if we lose to the Sharks? No, you know that people will throw the team under the bus on the Team 1040 tomorrow if the Canucks lose to the Sharks since tomorrow IS the statement game.
Is it possible? Yes, the Sharks were embarrassed by the Stars last game in Dallas losing 8-2, and have struggled since the Olympic break losing to teams just on the playoff bubble. But then again I wouldn't read too far into that, don't forget last year, the Sharks were Canuck killers. I know I'm waffling here, but I don't think the Sharks are as bad as they have appeared in the last 10 games and I also feel that both teams really have had their problems. With Samuelsson out and Grabner in, it should make the dynamic interesting, and hopefully we'll see a defensive change with SOB drawing back in. Check out fellow bloguin blog Couchtarts for your SJ perspective.
Game time 7pm on TSN
Other Canuck News
What the Canucks did lose in the game against the Islanders is Mikael Samuelsson as he has been sidelined for 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury he sustained in the third period. Michael Grabner has been recalled from the Manitoba Moose to take his roster spot. As much as I am dismayed that Samuelsson is out, shit happens, and to Grabner this is his chance to show that he can bring offense to the team.
In other Canuck news, Jordan Schroeder has been signed to a three-year entry-level deal with the Vancouver Canucks. He is in Vancouver for some orientation and will take in tomorrow's Sharks game before reporting to Winnipeg to join the Manitoba Moose.
Note: The photo is from Fuck Yeah Sharksno comments
So let's start off with some good news
You'd think I could just stop there, but although we did win last night, did the third period make you feel good about the team? Don't fret, the Canucks just ran out of gas. They came out strong outshooting the Flames 20-6 in the first period but wasn't able to register a shot in the third. Luongo did however, have a game where he didn't look shaky trying to smother the puck, so even with the pressure from the Flames, the Canucks still won 3-1. Coming off of the giant roadtrip to two back to back home games, it seems understandable that they would be tired. The Canucks had a break today, and will return to the ice tomorrow night to face the New York Islanders.
Jason Botchford write a great article in The Province about how this team could possibly be the best team in Canucks history. I'd have to agree with him in that the answer to that question won't be decided until the playoffs are over, but based on the stats, our team looks pretty good. And we're good even though we have have lost Kevin Bieksa and Willie Mitchell for a significant number of games of the season. Before the monster of a roadtrip, with a road record that we had, I don't think many Canuck fans would have predicted for us to come out in the spot that we are today. I had thought that it would be a success for the Canucsk to come out .500 over the roadtrip, but to come out with a record of 8-5-1, I was more than surprised.
Of course like Botchford said, the real answer to question about the Canucks as a team will come during the playoffs, but it's nice to see this break from the mediocrity that we've become so used to.
Game against the Islanders tomorrow at 7pm on Sportsnet
In case you missed the Jason Spezza end-to-end goal, I've hidden it after the jumpno comments
Photo from Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Finally! A home game! After finishing up that monster of a road trip the Canucks 8-5-1 and will now play the next 10 of 15 at home. The Senators on the other hand will play 9 of their 14 games remaining on the road
- Kevin Bieksa returns to the line up today (thank god) and will replace O'Brien (really? not Alberts?)
- The Senators were fantastic going into the Olympics, right now, not so much. They've only won 1 game since coming back from the break, and that was against the Oilers
- The last time the Canucks faced the Senators they beat us for their franchise record 11th straight win
- Leclaire will start in net for the Sens with Luongo taking the back to back for the Canucks
- Luongo will be on After Hours tonight
- Looking ahead the Canucks will play the Sharks three times, the Ducks twice and the Flames twice
Neat thing on Canucks.com that has the Canucks sharing the best moments from their road trip
no commentsBest meal according to Hordichuk:“The meals you get for free are always good. On the road there we played a little credit card game, the last guy with their credit card pulled out has to pay. We had a couple real good meals that tasted especially good after winning.”
Ok Vancouverites, it's almost here....a freakin home game! After 41 days on the road, the Canucks will come back to GM Place on Saturday night to face the Senators. I cannot say how excited I am to have Canucks hockey back in Vancouver.
- Yes we lost in overtime against the Coyotes yesterday, but what's more important? Daniel and Henrik Sedin donated $1.5 million to help build a new BC Children's Hospital, go read it, then donate some money to BC Children's
- Steve Bernier has successful sports hernia surgery today. He'll be out 4-6 weeks and could be back for the first round of the playoffs. His hands of stone will not be missed, but maybe surgery can fix his ability to not put the pucks in the net...maybe
- Lukowich never reported to the Manitoba Moose after he was waived from the Canucks, instead he will be having shoulder surgery
- Roberto Luongo lights the Paralympic cauldron in Robson Square tonight
- The Caps have clinched the SE Division...but really that wasn't hard to do considering who else is in the division
- In some seriously ugly uniforms, the Calgary Flames win 2-0 over the Ottawa Senators tonight
- The Sharks come back in the 3rd period to score 6 goals to win the game 8-2 over the Nashville Predators. Dan Ellis gets pulled, and he tweets
Yeah I would say so Ellis
So we have two back to back games starting with the Senators on Saturday and the Flames on Sunday. For your Senator-centric reading before Saturday's tilt check out Five for Smiting (seriously funny) or the 6th Sens (has Kypreos in a cabbage and really good podcasts - was blown away when I listened for the first time last week)
The Canucks for Kids Fund will have their telethon this Sunday March 14th from 12pm-midnight, proceeds go to Canuck Place Children's Hospice. DO ITno comments