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Category: Vancouver-Canucks

Winning Streak Hits Seven For The Vancouver Canucks

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

While it is true that all National Hockey League games are worth two points, they are not all equal.

The points in the standings that the Vancouver Canucks banked with Wednesday’s 2-1 overtime road win against the Anaheim Ducks, though helpful, were not the most important thing the National Hockey League team carried away as it drove up Interstate 5 to play the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Forget about the facts the Canucks had lost six straight games over nearly five years in Anaheim, and that Ducks’ goalie John Gibson had owned them like Disney owns the theme-park tourist trade in Orange County.

Just three-and-a-half weeks ago, the Canucks were 8-15-2, which is why they fired head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning -- and their top lieutenants -- on the same night.

Wednesday was the team’s seventh straight win under new coach Bruce Boudreau, who tied an NHL record by starting his new job with a winning streak of that length. But it had been 13 days since the Canucks’ made it to 6-0, their holiday break extended by COVID-19 and five postponed games.

cotninued

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What A Difference In Vancouver

from Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail,

When the Vancouver Canucks skated off the ice this week down 3-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets after the first period, there was a fun-while-it-lasted feel about it.

That fun was the four-game winning streak the team had put together under new coach Bruce Boudreau, brought in as part of one of the most dramatic shakeups in team history. But the Canucks did something that evening that they didn’t seem capable of earlier in the season; they scored four goals over the next two periods, while keeping Columbus scoreless, to notch their fifth straight victory.

Boudreau, of course, was hired to replace Travis Green. But team owner Francesco Aquilini also persuaded Hall of Fame team builder Jim Rutherford to come in as team president and interim general manager, replacing Jim Benning who had been in the role for eight, mostly forgettable seasons.

While many have cited a losing effort against Pittsburgh on Dec. 4, when a fan threw a Canucks jersey on the ice, as the tipping point, Aquilini knew change was necessary. It’s likely grumblings inside the dressing room over the coach reached his ears. After the demoralizing loss to the Penguins, the team’s record hit 8-15-2 – that was enough.

The fact that Boudreau was announced the next day was all the evidence you needed that Aquilini had been thinking about this decision for some time and already had his new coach locked up. The night of the jersey toss, chants of “Fire Benning,” also rang out in Rogers Arena. The owner knew that the GM had to go as well, and so he decided to announce both firings the same day, even though he hadn’t yet reached a deal with Rutherford.

continued

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Another Win For The Vancouver Canucks

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

The Vancouver Canucks not only won their week, they swept it. Next week, the world!

Well, the world is pretty big and so, too, is the deep, dark hole the Canucks played themselves into while getting general manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green fired. But at least the players are finally moving back towards daylight and the vapour trails of the National Hockey League playoff race.

Sensational work by goalie Thatcher Demko and a one-handed shootout winner by Elias Pettersson gave Vancouver a 4-3 victory Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets and the Canucks’ longest winning streak of a season divided between the before and after of the Benning regime, which ended Sunday.

continued

Highlights of the game are below.

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Jim Rutherford May Be Headed To Vancouver

added 1:44pm,

 

 

added 2:15pm, Vancouver release is below.

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Looks Like Bruce Boudreau Will Be Coaching In Vancouver

added 10:38pm,

 

added 4:36am on 12/6/21, Vancouver press release is below.

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The Vancouver Canucks Boo’d At Home

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

If the Vancouver Canucks jersey that landed on the ice in protest late Saturday night came attached with a note, hopefully the fan who disavowed their team would have explained: “It’s not you, Bo, it’s everyone.”

The jersey had captain Bo Horvat’s name on it, and it was scooped up from the ice at Rogers Arena quickly and respectfully by Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brian Dumoulin, who returned it over the glass where it was claimed by a fan still willing to wear Canuck colours.

There are still plenty of those. But many who kept their shirts on still booed the home team towards the end of 4-1 loss to the Penguins, who outshot Vancouver 44-23 and extinguished what little momentum the Canucks generated this week by finishing a road trip with wins in Montreal and Ottawa against teams that are even worse than they are.

The trend of fans throwing away their jerseys is horrifying to every National Hockey League team, and was evidence Saturday that the unrest in Canucks Nation spills beyond just general manager Jim Benning and owner Francesco Aquilini.

“Not a good one, obviously,” Canucks winger Tyler Motte said when asked about the feeling of being jeered at home. “(But) the only way to get past this is to get through it. We've . . . got to continue to look ourselves in the mirror and find a way to be better because we owe it to more people than just ourselves.”

Later, he added: “We heard the frustration from the fans tonight. And again, we look ourselves a mirror and find a way, because we do owe it to more people than just ourselves to put a better product together.”

Horvat, fed to the media more than any other player to explain the Canucks’ spectacular shortcomings this season, said simply: “Fans want wins, and we're not giving it to them.”

continued

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More Of The Same From The Vancouver Canucks

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

If their penalty killing doesn’t get the Vancouver Canucks, then Brad Marchand will. On Sunday, it was both. Only those two things.

Marchand, who has been bullying the Canucks since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, did it again on Sunday, piling on to Vancouver’s miserable start to the National Hockey League season by scoring the tying goal in the third period and then setting up the winner in the Bruins’ 3-2 victory.

Those two power-play goals in eight minutes made it six straight road losses for Vancouver and eight defeats in nine games.

Marchand was on another level. And so too, sadly, are the Canucks, whose 6-14-2 start is a point worse than Vancouver’s 22-game record from the infamous 1997-98 season of chaos when Mark Messier and Mike Keenan came in, Pat Quinn and Trevor Linden left and half the roster ended up being traded.

Twenty-four years later, the team has performed even worse but without any of the upheaval -- yet.

Jim Benning is still the Canucks’ general manager and Travis Green the coach, who nightly has to go out and explain to reporters how this team is supposed to turn things around when there is little chance Green will be part of any solution.

continued

Below watch ther game highlights plus a dangerous play by Marchand.

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Video- How Are Things Going For The Vancouver Canucks?

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Travis Green, captain Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller speak to the media following the Canucks loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and discuss trying to turn this losing streak around.

 

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Penalty Kill Remains An Issue For The Vancouver Canucks

from TSN,

Penalty killing was again the demise of the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday as they gave up three power-play goals to the Colorado Avalanche en route to seeing their winless skid hit five games.

Vancouver saw their penalty kill success rate drop to a league-worst 62.3 per cent in the 4-2 loss to the Avalanche.

“It’s a bit of a broken record, I’m sure," Canucks defenceman Tucker Poolman said. "Just every game it’s a play here or there and it happens to be on special teams one way or another. But we’ve got to stick with it as a group here, play hard for each other and just keep grinding.”

Poolman gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead early in the third period, but two power-play goals from the Avalanche in less than minute shortly after his goal turned the tide of the game.

The Avalanche, who were outshot 34-30 by Vancouver, finished three-for-five with the man advantage, improving their success rate to 19.6 per cent on the season.

“Frustrating to lose, especially with an effort like that," Canucks head coach Travis Green said. "Five on five was one of our better games of the year. Obviously, the penalty kill let us down.”

“Sometimes when the ball’s rolling down hill, it’s hard to stop the momentum,” he added. “But I thought in ways we took some steps tonight. I thought we got a little unlucky on the kill tonight. But we’ve got to be better. There’s no doubt about it.”

continued

Game highlights are below.

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The Vancouver Canucks Are A Mess

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

With a more talented roster, a better schedule, a full training camp, almost full health and an emphatic desire by everyone involved to prove that last year’s disaster was a one-off, the Vancouver Canucks are back exactly where they were after the first 16 nights of chaos last season.

Their 5-1 loss Sunday to the Anaheim Ducks capped the most disillusioning three-game road trip of the Jim Benning-Travis Green era and sunk the Canucks to 5-9-2 -- matching the 12 points Vancouver managed in their 6-10-0 false start to 2021’s pandemic season.

They were outscored 19-6 over a span of four nights by Anaheim, the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche. Vancouver is already six points out of a playoff spot....

Reporters aren’t allowed in National Hockey League dressing rooms these days, but you can still whiff the self doubt of Canuck players who on this road trip lost touch with most of the concepts required to be successful.

The only thing they maintained from their homestand is the inexplicably bad special teams. Canuck penalty-killers yielded on Sunday two more power-play goals for the seventh time in eight games, which is unfathomable.

Their league-worst 20 power-play goals against are at least double the figure surrendered by 22 teams, and Vancouver’s special-teams deficit is now 11 goals through 16 games.

The only thing worse than that odour of self doubt is the sad stench of hopelessness. The Canucks could be there soon if they play the next three games at home as badly as the three they just played on the road.

continued

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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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