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Category: Vancouver-Canucks

A Bland Brand Of Hockey In Vancouver

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Unless the Canucks are like a character in a John Woo movie and rip a mask off their face in December to reveal another identity, they’ve pretty much established who they are. The question is, can they pull this defence-and-goalie thing off for 5 1/2 months or are they fated for another slow descent in hockey hell?

So what’s it going to be, boys?

“You’re always concerned when you lose three in a row,” said winger Jannik Hansen, shortly after the Canucks’ 3-0 loss to Ottawa. “Yeah, we got off to a good start (with four straight wins) but, I don’t want to say we played mediocre teams, but they weren’t the same calibre we saw in California.

“It wasn’t good enough tonight.”

Tuesday night’s meeting with the Senators offered the worst and, er, less-worse aspects of the Canucks’ personality, but in the end, the lasting impression was a team which has started a downward spiral. The loss, their third straight, was one thing. But it’s the cumulative effect of those first seven games and the warts that have been revealed that is the real issue.

Where to begin?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Vancouver Canucks Are 3-0-0

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

After three games, the Canucks, incredibly, sport a 3-0 record with two overtime wins and one shootout victory, but please be aware elephants give birth with less effort. On Tuesday, the new-look Blues and the new-look Canucks hooked up in a 2 1/2-hour tractor pull that was straight out of the dead-puck era before, a) Horvat scored the tying goal with just under three minutes left and, b) Henrik Sedin was credited with the game-winner in extra time after combining on a nifty sequence with his brother and Chris Tanev.

OK, by overtime, most everyone had forgotten the protracted tedium to which the fans had been subjected. But any mystery about how the Canucks will approach this season should be removed by now, and if you were wondering, we’ll give you a hint.

Don’t expect a lot of 6-4 games.

“We’re not giving up near as many shots in the home-plate area (in front of their net) and we’re generating a lot more off our turnovers,” Horvat explained. “Structurally, we’re way better this season (and we know that means).


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bad Goals Of The Night

Loui Eriksson with an own goal, the only one Vancouver would allow in a 2-1 SO win over Calgary.



Below, Jonathan Bernier losses his net and the puck. Ducks lose to Penguins 3-2.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+bernier, loui+eriksson

Pre-Season Stars In Vancouver May Not Matter

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

With Game 1 or the NHL’s regular season quickly approaching, there are still a number of compelling stories with the Vancouver Canucks.

The star of the pre-season has been Troy Stecher, the 22-year-old blue-liner from Richmond who is threatening to crack the opening-day lineup. After Stecher, it might be NHL veterans Tuomo Ruutu and Jack Skille, who’ve both battled their way into the opening-night conversation. Then there’s Joe LaBate, the unheralded rookie who’s made an impression with his robust play.

They’re all fine stories. They’ve all captured the imagination of the Canucks’ more attentive fans. And their play has been a positive development for the organization.

But here’s something else they have in common. They’re all virtually irrelevant to the upcoming Canucks season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Expectations Are Low For The Vancouver Canucks

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Much has changed since you last saw the Vancouver Canucks.

There’s hope Chris Tanev can be a key piece of the power play. The coach just may have flipped his view on Bo Horvat.

And the word “playoffs” is back in vogue at Rogers Arena. It’s nowhere else, by the way. Not when tied to the Canucks.

Mostly because five months ago, this was the third worst team in the NHL.

There’s just not a lot of confidence that additions like Erik Gudbranson and Loui Eriksson are enough to significantly move them up in the standings.

In fact, Team USA won more games at the World Cup of Hockey than there are analysts picking Vancouver to make it to the post-season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Would The Sedin Twins Actually Play For Another NHL Team?

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

There are two years left on their current contracts, and the Sedins are steadfast that there is one more contract in their future. You can’t trade one of them — they have trade protection in their matching deals — and with a combined cap hit of $14 million, Canucks GM Jim Benning probably couldn’t find a taker for the aging Sedins as a package.

We would be entirely shocked if the Sedins’ contracts demands caused the Canucks to let them walk away two seasons from now, but they turn 36 on Sept. 26. Down the road, it is conceivable that two expensive 38-year-olds might not work for the Canucks.

“If they don’t want us there, then we’ve got to make a decision,” Henrik reasoned. “We’re not going to retire because we don’t want to play for another team.”

We know that every piece of equipment in their dressing room stalls is identical, and that their on-ice communication is unique to hockey -- an extraordinary, wordless language compared by some to dolphin speak. But when you talk first with Daniel, then to Henrik, a few more fraternal nuances become clear.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin

Would Evander Kane Be A Fit In Vancouver?

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

Make a play for Kane, and many believe he can’t and won’t change his off-ice demeanour. At one point Monday, a TSN 1040 poll showed 56 per cent of 700 respondents didn’t want the Canucks to make a trade pitch. Then again, make a play and others will point to an exciting 30-goal winger with a palatable contract of two more years at a $5.2-million-US annual cap hit ($6 million in actual salary). The Canucks have also had past interest in Kane.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning wants to add a proven scorer with grit to take the pressure off Sven Baertschi. With $3.4 million in cap space, there are safer and cheaper routes to travel in free agency, but the Canucks need to take a hard look at travelling the bold road. Trying to win and getting younger at the same time is a conundrum. For everything Kane has done wrong off the ice, he could be the right answer on it. He could help fill those empty Rogers Arena seats, and help propel the Canucks back to the playoffs.

Kane is better than the 20 goals he had in 65 games last season, in 21 minutes of average ice time, because he was shut down with an upper-body injury in March. He has imposing speed and his 6-2, 204-pound frame allows him to drive wide around defenders and unleash a good shot. If he develops a better net presence, and a better two-way game because he was a minus-14, another 30-goal season like the one he had in 2011-12 with Winnipeg should be attainable.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evander+kane

Are The Vancouver Canucks A Playoff Team?

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Barring a game-changing trade, the Canucks’ 2016-17 roster looks pretty set.

Questions, of course, abound. Will Anton Rodin’s skills translate in the NHL? Is Erik Gudbranson an improvement on Dan Hamhuis? Is Bo Horvat really best-suited in a defensive role after leading the team in scoring in last season’s second half? Is there enough playing time on defence for three players most slotted for a third pairing, Luca Sbisa, Nikita Tryamkin and Philip Larsen? And where exactly is Alex Burrows going to fit in?

But there is one question that trumps all. At least for the Canucks’ front office, and the sub-section of fans who can’t stomach a rebuilding team. Is this Canucks roster good enough to make the playoffs?

Management sure hopes so. Moves like trading futures for Gudbranson and signing Loui Eriksson, the best 31-year-old winger available, to a six-year deal, are transactions you make in an attempt to get back to the post-season sooner rather than later. But when last season ended, Vancouver had a long way to go.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Alex Burrows Is Still A Member Of The Vancouver Canucks

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

“I’m still around.”

In those three words, Alex Burrows tried to summarize and justify his wild rollercoaster ride the last four months when it appeared his days as a long-serving Vancouver Canucks winger were numbered. The first hint came in early March when he was told by the coaching staff that younger players were a roster priority. But he wasn’t moved at the trade deadline and wasn’t bought out last month.

And when Canucks general manager Jim Benning was asked if the 35-year-old National Hockey League survivor would be part of any off-season transactions, his reaction was quick, concise and somewhat confusing: “No,” he said. “He’s going to be part of our group.”

“It means a lot,” said Burrows, who has a no-trade clause in his contract. “It means I can still be an asset to the team and still help the young guys and be good leader in the room.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows

A Three-Year Contract Extension For Jacob Markstrom In Vancouver

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed goaltender Jacob Markstrom to a three-year contract extension. The contract will carry an annual average value of $3.67 million and will run through the end of the 2019.20 season.

“Jacob is a talented, competitive goaltender with size and a proven ability to make big saves at crucial moments in a game,” said Jim Benning. “He set career highs in several statistical categories last season and two years ago led the Comets to their first Calder Cup Final. He’s motivated and wants to help his team win. We’re excited to have Jacob competing in a Canucks uniform for years to come.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacob+markstrom

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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