Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When next season begins, the Vancouver Canucks will once again be a strong contender to make the playoffs — and if things go well, perhaps even challenge for the lead at times in their newly realigned environment.
They’ll still have outstanding goaltending, and a decent back end, and general manager Mike Gillis will have done something, anything, to improve this popgun offence which has literally choked the life out of what was once a promising shortened 2013 season.
They’ll still have Ryan Kesler — although who knows in what condition — the deteriorating Sedins, David Booth, Alex Burrows, etc., which is fine for the regular season, and perhaps it might even be refreshing for next year’s team to be free of the weighty illusion that they are Cup contenders.
But really, for management, next year is not the issue.
What they should be trying to do is position this team such that in the very near future it doesn’t become the equivalent of the Calgary Flames.
via Mark Spector tweets,
VAN's Bieksa calls out Couture and Thornton for embellishing calls. "It's a lack of integrity."
Bieksa - “Thornton, another so-called Canadian ... He gets slashed, takes his glove off, shakes his hand."
Bieksa: “Couture has been snapping his head back. This isn’t my opinion. The evidence is in the video.”
More Bieksa: “Those are 2 Canadian guys who are supposed to be playing the game with integrity. Maybe our team has to do more of that.”
added 9:07pm, Want to see the video of Bieksa talking abou the Sharks, watch it below via Sporstnet...
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Cory Schneider's "body injury" has healed. His other wounds, apparently not.
And worst of all, his goal-scoring drought continues.
Schneider, re-inserted as the starting goalie for Game 3 by coach Alain Vigneault for no other reason than because he thought it was the right thing to do, was lit up for three early third-period goals - two of them by the amazing Logan Couture - to seal the Vancouver Canucks' fate, both for the evening and for another abbreviated Stanley Cup playoff run. Perhaps "run" isn't the right word.
Because, of course, they are done now. Down 3-0 in the series, with Game 4 here at HP Pavilion on Tuesday, they don't look remotely able - certainly not mentally - to handle what the San Jose Sharks are throwing at them.
Vancouver down 0-2 to San Jose, will start Cory Schneider in goal tonight.
No matter who is in goal for the Canucks, they need more from their top players to get back into this series.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
There are no secrets why the Vancouver Canucks are behind the San Jose Sharks 2-0 in this series, why their season hangs by a thread heading into the toughest building in the National Hockey League this season.
It’s production — or a lack thereof.
It is, first and foremost, the waning Sedin twins. It’s Alex Burrows.
Whatever happened to Alex Edler? How about Mason Raymond?
Three goals in two games, from a high-priced, experienced lineup like this?
First Raffi Torres scores in OT to put the Sharks up 2-0 in their series over Vancouver.
Randy Hahn with the call...
Below watch as Roberto Luongo makes a diving save on Raffi Torres.
Chris Cuthbert with the call...
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
If this game was an indication of all the Sedins have to give at this point, the Canucks’ window to win a Cup has closed faster than a big door in -40 degree weather at an old folks home.
Invisibility hardly begins to describe their performance but they were hardly alone. Let’s put it this way, when Raymond is you’re best skater up front, your concerns are significant.
Derek Roy and Chris Higgins actually appeared to have some jump through the first two periods but they didn’t play together in an attempt to rekindle the chemistry they showed earlier in the season until it didn’t matter. Vancouver’s only goal came on such a bizarre scramble in front of Antti Niemi in the San Jose goal that any number of players on either team could have actually put in the goal credited to Kevin Bieksa, who himself looks nowhere near healthy.
"We didn’t do anything particularly badly but all of us have to give that extra 5% to get some offence," said Daniel Sedin. "Lui was great, he saved us in the first period."
Bascially folks, we’re talking the same old act with the same old players and the same old coach playing the same old game with the same old results with the same old explanations. Hands up if you’re feeling it’s getting just a little tiresome.
from Alan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
from Mike Hager of the Vancouver Sun,
On the eve of the Vancouver Canucks first home playoff game, hundreds of below-face-value tickets were still available online and the team was offering lower-bowl seats at half price to its employees and select corporate partners.
The discount code emailed to team and stadium staff offered lower-bowl seats for the first two home games against the San Jose Sharks at amounts that chopped some prices from $300 down to $130.
The Canucks were unavailable for comment, but provided an email statement, saying the offer was “well received.”
I wonder how those who paid full price for the tickets feel, including season ticket holder?
Numerous reports state Roberto Luongo will start in goal tonight for the Vancouver Canucks when the play the San Jose Sharks.
Cory Schneider has practiced but may not be ready for a return.
My question is, what will the Canucks do if Luongo wins tonight and Schneider is ready to play game 2?
added 4:32pm, Luongo below talks about starting game 1.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
“I’ll relish whatever role they put me in,” said Kesler. “If they want to load up the top six, I’ll definitely play the wing and succeed there. It’s that competitive level in me that you want to be better than the guy across from you. That doesn’t change from position to position. It’s a fun time of year, and I’m really excited about it.”
He should be. The Chicago Blackhawks have to shoulder the Presidents’ Trophy burden, and there’s a big championship buzz around the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Northwest Division champions have their own demons, knowing that five-game exit to the Los Angeles Kings last spring is a scab their detractors pick at because of a narrowing window to win it all.
“We’re healthier, and to be honest, I don’t think we were ready for the grind last year,” Kesler admitted of starting the first-round series without the concussed Daniel Sedin.
“We know what it takes to get to a final and Game 7 of a final. We’re hungry this year, and I can feel the energy in the room. I see how bad guys want it.”
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.
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