Three Up, Three Down: Winnipeg Jets Grounded at YVR

When I entered the arena last night, I felt a different vibe. I knew it was going to be good game. I just didn’t think it would be as good as it turned out. With a good number of displaced Jets fans, many former ‘Peggers, the 18,000+ seat library known as Rogers Arena, was going to be rocking just a little more than usual. From the start of the anthem, Jets fans chimed in with their famous, “TRUE NORTH” shout during O Canada. It was on. The first meeting between these two teams this year was going to be a back and forth tilt.

Jets’ Anthony Peluso decided to show how physical the Jets were going to be by getting the first three penalties of the game, in succession. As soon as Peluso was out of the box for his first stint, he gets a cross-checking penalty and then had to answer the bell with Derek Dorsett. Dorsett stood up for his teammate and ended up with an instigator penalty from that fight. The Jets are the most penalized team in the league and they don’t mind throwing their big bodies around with hit after hit. The Canucks were in for a physical match-up.

Numbers:

  • The Winnipeg Jets out-hit the Vancouver Canucks 31-12, with only Enstrom and Pardy as skaters without registering hits. There were three Jets players with 4 hits each.
  • Alex Edler lead all skaters with 26:16 TOI, playing on all 6 PPs and 3PKs.
  • The powerplay went 0/6, but the insertion of Clendening on the 2nd unit seemed to have revived puck movement. We could see a possible replacement to the ever so missed PP QB that the Canucks had in Ehrhoff. No goals, but both units looked good out there. It’s just time to get some finish.
Horvat and Ronalds Kenins celebrate after his tying goal versus the Winnipeg Jets. Two goals in three games for the Latvian. Photo Credit: The Province Sports

Horvat and Ronalds Kenins celebrate after his tying goal versus the Winnipeg Jets. Two goals in three games for the Latvian. Photo Credit: The Province Sports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Up:

  1. Henrik & Daniel Sedin: In classic Sedinery fashion, the twins look like their 2010 selves last night. I was surprised how ‘quickly’ they were moving the puck. I was pleased to see Daniel took 4 shots and on the power plays, although no one scored, the Sedins dictated the movement and their movement of the puck was brilliant.
  2. Alex Burrows: How valuable has he become again? I’m still baffled how John Tortorella wanted him traded when he suffered two major injuries and wasn’t himself. Burrows was hitting, he was instrumental on the PK and caused great traffic for the power play. How about this goal, from Henrik and Daniel and on his knees, classic Burrows. 
  3. Alex Edler: Seeing Alex Edler playing some of the best hockey he has played in quite some time is a treat. His confidence is growing and in all truth, as much as I wanted him traded last season, I’m glad I am not part of the Canucks brain trust. He kept plays alive all through the game, and bailed out his partners a few times as well. With the unfortunate stick breaking in the defensive zone was just an unlucky play for Edler. However, in OT when everyone thought he was going to drop pass at neutral ice, he decides to channel in his inner Paul Coffey and carry the puck into the zone and shot it. Edler is finally getting to know what type of defenceman he is, and it’s great to see a coach encourage it again.

Burrows on his knees goal tying goal.

 

 Three Down:

  1. Dan Hamhuis: Not a good night for Hammer. He was beaten by a speedy Blake Wheeler for the Jets’ first goal on a breakaway. On the disallowed goal for the Jets, Hammer did not play his man tight enough and although it didn’t count, it left the shooter open. But a bad night for Dan Hamhuis is still better than good nights for some defencemen in the NHL.
  2. Chris Higgins: Higgins needs to find his finish. He had 4 SOG but nothing went in. Although he’s the only with these problems on the team, he’s the one that’s eating up 2nd line minutes not scoring.
  3. Willie Desjardins: Against a big hitting team like Winnipeg, you’d figure that Kassian would have worked in the lineup that night. With Dorsett out with a misconduct, many out in Canuckland were wondering who was left to stand up for their teammates? As big as Edler is, he doesn’t have the mean streak of Ohlund.  Kassian doesn’t mind mixing it up at all, and it made me wish at times, we kept Sestito around just for some backup.

Goal of the Game:

Luca Sbisa delivering the deep dish pass from Vrbata after doing a quick criss-cross to his forehand and rifles the OT winner past Pavelec.

Honourable Mention Goal by the young Latvian, Ronalds Kenins, from Horvat and Clendening. This goal has Jim Benning written all over it. Maybe he (Benning) is on to something.

Probably the best game I’ve seen for 60+ minutes from the Canucks against an opponent with some jam and in contention for a playoff spot. The Winnipeg Jets are proving they are a force to be reckoned with and the Canucks need to find ways to adapt their game to each team. Hopefully that’s a lesson they take with them when the face the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

@Aviewfromabroad

 

#TICH: The Infamous Third Jersey in Salmon

January 27, 1996, The Vancouver Canucks introduced the infamous “Salmon Jerseys” as their third jersey. It debuted at then called, General Motors Place, to mixed reviews. Some really liked them and some considered them one of the most hideous jersey the team has put out since their “Flying V” one.

Captain Trevor Linden, still fresh faced sports the Salmon Jersey today in 1996.

Captain Trevor Linden, still fresh faced sports the Salmon Jersey today in 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It definitely wasn’t one of my favourites but I do find it amusing that Canucks fans to this day still talk about it. It’s even more amazing the every now and then you will see one or two of these on a rack at sports retailers all around Metro Vancouver. Admittedly, I almost bought myself one of these back in the day…

I was a huge fan of Alexander Mogilny, too bad he couldn't play every year like it was a contract year.

I was a huge fan of Alexander Mogilny, too bad he couldn’t play every year like it was a contract year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Today in Canucks’ History, the “Salmon Jerseys” were shown for the first time. Luckily, in my personal opinion, we never have to see them ever again.

 

@Aviewfromabroad

 

PS, here is a rare picture of Markus Naslund wearing No.22, and most fortunate for this #TICH, it’s in this third jersey of the Canucks.

Number 19 first wore 22 when he became a Canuck. Here is one in this infamous third jersey.

Number 19 first wore 22 when he became a Canuck. Here is one in this infamous third jersey.

Canucks Social Suite Night

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Canucks Corner contest winner Michelle Chopin enjoying the Canucks Social Suite Night.

On January 8, 2015 the Vancouver Canucks hosted a Social Suite Night for 30 local bloggers, twitterati, social media personalities, and fans. At Canucks Corner, we ran a contest on Twitter, and drew Michelle Chopin (@michellechopin)  as our guest for the Social Suite Night. Congratulations Michelle!

The Canucks lost to Roberto Luongo and his new/old team last Thursday. As predicted, there was a lot of love for the Canucks #1 goalie for 8 years, and a video tribute was followed by a lengthy standing ovation. Luongo looked emotional as he saluted the crowd; he then went on to shut the door on the Canucks, who ended up losing the game 3-1. The Luus turned to boos, as the Canucks were barely able to muster more than a couple shots during nearly 4 1/2 minutes of consecutive power play time.

Despite the result of the game, good times were had. The suite had a visit from Fin, and Canucks Ring of Honour inductee Kirk McLean.

The Vancouver Canucks social media team is second to none in the NHL, perhaps in all of pro sports. On behalf of Canucks Corner, I’d like to thank the Vancouver Canucks, and their partner for the night the Save On Foods Fan Zone for putting on such a great event! If you get a chance, sign up for the Fan Zone for chances to win some amazing Canucks Experiences and merchandise.

Loss to Panthers No Big Deal, Perfect Night for Luongo

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The Vancouver Canucks lost 3-1 to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. While that generally isn’t a good thing, it’s a loss that was easy to take if you were a Canucks fan.

Roberto Luongo’s return to Roger’s Arena was pretty much the perfect script for the much loved/maligned former Canuck. The only thing that would have made it complete was if he had pitched a shutout against his friends in blue.

I’m a Roberto Luongo fan, and I think some of the stuff he went through here was pretty bush league and I blame Mike Gillis for that. He created a 2-year goaltending circus in Vancouver and it cost the Canucks one of the league’s best goaltenders, and one of its best young up and comers in Cory Schneider.

His detractors will point to his playoff collapses and his defenders will point to the lack of support in those games. Regardless of that situation he is the best goaltender the Canucks have had over their existence.

Rarely did he show frustration with the way things went down. He even went as far to say he felt Gillis did his best to resolve the situation. He handled it with class and played hard for the team until the end.

You could tell Luongo enjoyed it all. The tribute, the fans, the outcome. He even got a chance to salute the faithful after he was rightfully named the 1st star of the game. He spoke of trying not to watch too much of a first period video tribute because he was afraid his emotions would get to him.

“It was special. The whole night, people were cheering me on. Just really thankful for the support and really happy that things went the way they did,” said Luongo.

Roberto Luongo grew as a person as a Canuck. The guarded, emotional Luongo that arrived evolved into the relaxed, humorous Luongo. Maybe that was always there, but we didn’t see much of it in his early days as a Canuck. Thanks to Twitter, we saw a lot of it in his final years here.

Sure, the Canucks lost the game, but if you’re a Luongo fan, it kind of felt like a win.

As the video tribute displayed, let me just say one more time, thanks for eight great years, Lu.

Of Expectations and Ex-Goaltenders

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Will fans boo? Or will they Luuu? January 8, 2015 marks the return of Roberto Luongo to Rogers Arena, his first game back as an opponent after 8 seasons as the usual starting goaltender in a Canucks uniform.

Usual starting goaltender.

The exceptions being when he was demoted to backup behind Cory Schneider, and when he was demoted to backup behind Eddie Lack. When you look back, it sounds ridiculous.

Luongo is now enjoying life in Florida as a member of the Panthers, as far away from the harsh and glaring spotlight of the Vancouver hockey market as you can be. He looked relaxed in the presser earlier this week, and why not? The Panthers have a good mix of youth and veteran presence, and have been winning hockey games, backstopped by Luongo who has played well statistically with a .924 save percentage and 2.28 goals against average, good enough for top 10 in both categories.

It is not without a touch of irony that Luongo is statistically better than Cory Schneider, Eddie Lack and even Ryan Miller at this point in the season.

Expectations have been lowered for this team – gone is the talk of the Stanley Cup Finals, instead replaced with the hope of just getting into the post-season.

The saying goes that familiarity breeds comtempt, and that held true for Vancouver’s love affair with Luongo – after many seasons of high expectations, Stanley Cup aspirations, and playoff disappointments, coaches and management fell out of love with Luongo, and in turn Luongo fell out of love with Vancouver.

Another adage says that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes when you see that old love, having fun in another place with other people, it makes you think of what could have been. If only we had tried harder, maybe we could have made things work.