#TICH: Roberto Luongo Sets Club Shutout Record

Another edition of Today in Canucks History or simply hash-tagged #TICH, our feature is about a streak of  ‘goose egg hockey’ played by Roberto Luongo.

November 12, 2008: After posting three consecutive shutouts, Roberto Luongo set a Vancouver Canucks club record of 222:36 of shutout hockey until he was scored on by the Colorado Avalanche.

The road to the Canucks’ shutout record

It started on November 4th when the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 4-0 at Rogers Arena. A night where we saw Kyle Wellwood score 2 goals and Roberto Luongo had 24 saves to post the first shutout of the streak.

Luongo started the shut out streak on November 4th, 2008 and it was ended on #TICH Nov.12, 2008. 222.36 of not allowing a goal.

Luongo started the shut out streak on November 4th, 2008 and it was ended on #TICH Nov.12, 2008. 222 minutes and 36 seconds of not allowing a goal.

 

Continuing the shutout streak on  November 6th, Roberto Luongo made 28 saves from 28 SOG as Bieksa notched the only tally to win 1-0. 

Two nights later, on November 8th, the Canucks beat Minnesota 2-0 with a 29 save effort from Luongo, blanking the Wild.

On the last game of the home-stand,on this day (November 12) in 2008, the Colorado Avalanche finally scored on Lu to tie the game, and more importantly, they snapped Luongo’s  shutout streak at 1:28 into the 3rd period. The scorer? Marek Svatos ties up the game to send it into a shoot out. The Canucks fell to the Colorado Avalanche that night in a SO decision. 2-1.

That was a nice streak for Roberto Luongo, and it was a catalyst to having him make his way to the Canucks club record books.

Here are a few of his other Canucks records:

Most wins in a season: 47

Most shutouts in a season: 9

Most wins as a Canuck: 252

Most shutouts: 38

Just a small reminder of how good Roberto was as a member of the Vancouver Canucks…

 

Thanks Lu!

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The State of California:Two out of Three Ain’t Bad

After winning in Colorado 5-2 after being down 2-0, the Canucks headed to sunny California. A state that hasn’t been kind to Vancouver over the last three years. Last year, only one victory was recorded and it was in San Jose. The winning goaltender was Roberto Luongo. The only other victory over an NHL California-based team was at home was versus the LA Kings and Eddie Lack backstopped that one on April 5.

First stop San Jose

The Canucks carried some good momentum coming into San Jose with a come from behind win against the Avalanche in Denver. However, it did not translate into a good start or even a good game for the Vancouver Canucks in the Shark Tank.  Ryan Miller stopped 34 out of 36 SOG. The Canucks couldn’t get much offense going throughout the whole game. Only recording 19 SOG for the game, it’s a wonder how they came up with the victory. Much credit goes to Ryan Miller but Vrbata on the 2 on 1 with Daniel, opened up Canucks scoring with this glorious goal in the dying seconds of the 1st period.

The Canucks didn’t even skate well enough to draw many penalties from the Sharks this game. In fact, they had one power play but they made it count. Edler with a tally from the point.

With less than three minutes to go in the game, Nick Bonino scores the winner from a pass after a takeaway made by Alex Burrows. It was a beauty.

Ryan Miller steals one for his team in San Jose and the Canucks are off to Los Angeles.

Still Can’t Beat LA

 The Canucks are still trying to figure out one side of the same colour of the Rubik’s Cube when it comes to finding out how to win over the LA Kings. Ryan Miller looked human and Eddie Lack started the third period. Higgins managed to keep the Canucks not being shut out streak alive just over halfway through the third. Perhaps, Desjardins will look at finding a way to figure out this puzzle and the next time the Canucks face the LA Kings, the results will improve.

Another 19 SOG effort from the Canucks was not even close to being enough to compete with the LA Kings, who decided to show up and play versus Vancouver after dropping a game to the New York Islanders. LA brings their A-game when they want and they seem to really want when they face the Canucks. They seem to want to turn the switch on when it’s playoff time as well and have it resulting in two Stanley Cups in the last three years.  LA has mastered “The Switch”, maybe the Canucks should ask them how exactly they can do that.

Redemption in Anaheim

With much talk about the Ryan Kesler trade in this match up, the Canucks were now down in the OC to face the Ducks. Which team is getting the benefits of the trade early this season? I’ll break that down shortly but more importantly, as a team, they needed to bounce back after an atrocious effort in LA and for most of the game last night, it did. A much better effort for most of the game from the Canucks. They played what many of the experts call a “smart road game”.

With no Vrbata, Dorsett and Kassian, the Canucks had a very hard task ahead of them. Going into Anaheim to face the best team in the NHL with Hansen playing on the top line and the insertion of Nik Jensen and Defazio from Utica and Bo Horvat gets to play his fourth straight game.

Kesler/Bonino Round 1

Both Kesler and Bonino assisted on the regulation goals. But it was the shootout where Bonino prevails and Ryan Kesler’s shots are still hitting the posts. However, isn’t Ryan Kesler an incredible two-way player? I miss that, and that’s the Ryan Kesler that played 11 years in a Canucks uniform. Anaheim is very lucky.

Winner of trade Round 1: Nick Bonino 

Canucks win in the shootout and Eddie Lack finally gets his first win of the season and first win ever over Anaheim last night.

Finally got to see some Lack Dancing. Photo credit: Vancity Buzz

Finally got to see some Lack Dancing. Photo credit: Vancity Buzz

Overall, the Canucks have a lot of work to do when it comes to playing teams in California. They have to find a way to throw more activity at the goalies. Shoot more pucks and pounce on more rebounds. Keeping it simple and effective, much like their Saturday night opponents, the LA Kings. However, I will take the points on this road trip. Six out of eight points starting in Colorado and 2/3’s of the state of California had the Canucks in the win column.

Some of us, however, are not convinced.

Are they contenders? No, and this isn’t 2011 either. Changes have been made and adjustments still needed. However, they aren’t that bottom third of the league as they were last season.  Resilience is a good trait to have. It helps pave the way to move forward. There is a lot to improve but unlike last year, they seem to listen and value their coaching staff and each other a little more and the last two periods in Anaheim, it showed.

Canucks Hope Springs Eternal

bonino The Canucks are off to one of their best starts in recent memory. After last season’s spectacular decline, this version of the team is a refreshing surprise. President Trevor Linden and General Manager Jim Benning have helped to create a team culture in their own hard working image. Head Coach Willie Desjardins has provided a calm sense of confidence, and each of the players seems to have bought in to an uptempo puck posession style that is fun to watch.

Having recently won in Colorado and in San Jose, the Canucks have surprised a few teams already with their resilience, clawing back from a 2-0 deficit against the Avalanche, and being down by a goal twice to the Sharks.

Is it over? Is the goaltending controversy really over?
Any initial reservations I had regarding Ryan Miller’s ability have been forgotten. It seems that the days of goaltending controversy are over in Vancouver, as even after Miller was lit up against Dallas, he returned to his regular self the very next game, backstopping the Canucks to a 4-1 victory in St. Louis. He has provided the team with some huge saves already this season, and preserved a number of wins, quietly and confidently. As much as this writer loved Roberto Luongo, the month of October was usually rocky. Miller has been the opposite – very consistent from game to game so far, and far fewer of those seeing-eye, hard luck, how-did-that-go-in goals.

In Edler’s Defense… Look at Sbisa
Was Alex Edler ever as bad as he looked for the last 2 seasons? Was he ever as good as he was 4 seasons ago? While the answer is probably somewhere in between, he doesn’t have to worry about being That Guy on defence any longer. Sure, Edler still breaks his stick on half of his slapshots, but Vancouver’s new scapegoat on defence is Luca Sbisa. Just like Kevin Bieksa, Keith Ballard and Edler before him, Sbisa is the guy with the black cloud over him so far this season. To be fair, he has had both good and bad moments. However, coming here in the Ryan Kesler trade, most people expected more of the big defenceman.

Forwards, March!
Goals this season have come from everywhere in the lineup. Aside from Bo Horvat and Tom Sestito, who have only played 2 games each, every single Canucks forward has scored at least one goal. When Kesler was traded to Anaheim, there were questions about who would step up into the 2C spot. Nick Bonino (who also came to Vancouver in the Kesler deal) has filled in admirably, leading the Canucks in scoring so far with 7 goals. Bonino has found great chemistry with new linemates Alex Burrows and Chris Higgins.

Last season under John Tortorella, the 4th line would be lucky to get 4 or 5 minutes TOI, and the Sedins would play well north of 24 hard minutes on many nights, reaching 25 or 26 minutes a number of times. Desjardins has been trusting in his team and rolling 4 lines every night, with guys like Derek Dorsett playing 10 minutes on average. The Sedins are rejuvenated, playing with a bona fide shooter in Radim Vrbata, while taking less ice time each night. This has the benefit of the Sedins being sharper now, and having more in the tank for later in the season.

Yes, it’s still early in the season, but in Vancouver it seems that again hope springs eternal. Let’s hope the Canucks are still playing this well in the spring.

#TBT: Daft Drafting- Worst 1st Round Misses

It’s not a secret the Vancouver Canucks have not had the best luck, insight and/or intuition regarding their first round draft picks over the years. There have been some very notable mis-picks and for whatever reason, the Canucks haven’t really learned from their past mistakes and continue to miss the mark more often than not.

Here’s a look at some of the bigger mis-picks the Canucks have made with that 1st round pick. Listed after each pick are players  the Canucks could have had after their draft pick was made.

(AS) – All-Star (HOF) Hall of Fame

1973 Dennis Ververgaert

1973 3rd Overall pick.

1973 3rd Overall pick.

Ververgaert played with the London Knights of the OHL,  scoring 147 points in 1972–73, including a franchise record 89 assists (Sergei Kostitsyn later broke that record) and was selected 3rd overall in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. He was big and skilled and many thought he had the potential to be a big name player in the NHL. He played six seasons with the Vancouver Canucks before moving on to Flyers and the Capitals. He had a decent career but not the one the Canucks were hoping for when they drafted him. 

Notable available picks: Lanny McDonald (HOF), Bob Gainey(HOF)

1977 Jere Gillis 

1977 1st Round pick for the Canucks, Jere Gillis.

1977 1st Round pick for the Canucks, Jere Gillis.

Drafted 4th overall in 1977 by the Canucks, Jere Gillis did not pan out as much as the team would have liked. In  386  games, Jere Gillis scored 78 goals, 95 assists totaling 173 points. He had a 10 year NHL career with some stints in the minors in between a few of those years. Gillis played for the Canucks, Rangers, Flyers, Sabres and the Nordiques organizations.

Notable available picks: Ron Duguay (AS), Mike Bossy (HOF)

1979 Rick Vaive

1979 1st round pick, Rick Vaive

1979 1st round pick, Rick Vaive

Chosen 4th overall in the 1979 NHL Entry draft, Rick Vaive was not at all a bad choice when looking at his career numbers (GP 876  G441 A 347 ) except the majority of those numbers were put up playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, including being the first 50 goal scorer in Maple Leaf franchise history. He was traded along with Bill Derlago for Dave “Tiger” Williams and Jerry Butler in a lop-sided trade in favour of the Maple Leafs, but that’s another #TBT subject.

Notable available picks: Raymond Bourque (HOF), Michel Goulet (HOF)

1981 Garth Butcher

Garth Butcher, 1981 1st round pick.

Garth Butcher, 1981 1st round pick.

Chosen 10th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Garth Butcher became a Canucks fan favourite and was also known for selling Trevor Linden a classic 60’s Mustang during Linden’s rookie year. He became an integral part of the “Blues Brothers” trade in the 1990’s that brought a group of players to put the Canucks into a playoff position. Butcher did well for someone who was more of a shut down 3rd line guy, but the Canucks could have had a HOF defenseman with a wicked shot.

Notable available picks: Al McInnes (HOF)

1986 Dan Woodley

1986 1st round pick, Dan Woodley Photo credit: Ottawa Citizen

1986 1st round pick, Dan Woodley Photo credit: Ottawa Citizen

Dan Woodley was the 7th overall pick in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft from the Portland Winterhawks. With the Winterhawks, Woodley posted a 108 pt season and an 100 pt season, so the appeal was strong with the Canucks to draft him. Playing only five NHL with the Canucks, he spent the rest of his career in the minors between the AHL and the former IHL. In picking Woodley, another HOF defenseman was left for the Rangers to grab.

Notable available picks: Brian Leetch (HOF)

1990 Petr Nedved

2nd overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

2nd overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

 Nedved had a decent career in the NHL,  but not the player many predicted him to be when he defected to Canada. Due to limited opportunities in communist Czechloslovakia to play, Nedved ended up in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds. There he scored 145 points in 71 games. Nedved played three years with the Vancouver Canucks with a 38 goal 31 assist season in 92/93.  Due to a bitter contract dispute with the Canucks and he held out. Nedved went to play for the St. Louis Blues,  in a trade, for Craig Janney. However the Canucks could have had fellow Czech and future HOF and a reputation to be tough as nails instead of Nedved.

Shawn Antoski

18th Overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft

18th Overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft

So in 1990, the Canucks had not one but two picks in the 1st round and they missed on both of them. For their 18th overall pick, Pat Quinn went with Shawn Antoski. A rough and tough checker that wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves. Quinn had a reputation for liking these types of players and Antoski wasn’t an exception. In his NHL career, Antoski played 183 games, scored 3 goals, 5 assists giving him a total of 8 points. He has played for the Canucks, Flyers, Penguins and the Ducks.  Even with Jagr gone out of the pick pool, an American All-star level forward who scored more than 500 NHL goals and probably the best goalie of all time who solidified his spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame was still up for grabs, but instead, Quinn went with Antoski.

Notable available picks: Jaromir Jagr (AS) before Antoski- after Antoski – Keith Tkachuk(AS) , Martin Brodeur (AS)

1991 Alek Stojanov 

1991 Alek Stojanov was the Canucks 1st round pick.

1991 Alek Stojanov was the Canucks 1st round pick.

In true Pat Quinn fashion, with the 7th overall pick in 1991, Alek Stojanov was chosen. The Windsor, ON native played his junior hockey in the OHL. He put up decent numbers and had no problems dropping the gloves. Although, his transition into the NHL did not go as planned. He ended up only playing 107 games, scoring 2 goals and 5 assists in his NHL career. However, Stojanov proved to be the bait to eventually catch the big fish in 1995. He was traded to Pittsburgh for Markus Naslund. Later on, Naslund ended being the future Captain of the Vancouver Canucks and became an All-Star in the NHL. Stojanov played a few more years in the minors after the trade and eventually retired to become a firefighter in Pennsylvania.

Notable available picks: Markus Naslund (AS), Alexei Kovalev (AS)

1997 Brad Ferrence

Brad Ference was the 1997 1st Round pick for the Canucks.

Brad Ference was the 1997 1st Round pick for the Canucks.

The 10th overall pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft is Brad Ference. He didn’t even play one game for the Vancouver Canucks because he was traded to the Florida Panthers with Pavel Bure and Bret Hedican in January 1999. The Canucks received Dave Gagner, Ed Jovanovski, Mike Brown and Kevin Weekes in return. 250 games and 34 points later, it was a good trade. Ference was more known for dating US Olympic figure skater, Michelle Kwan than what he did on the NHL ice. Although, the Canucks could have gotten a sniper and cup chaser instead.

Notable available picks: Marian Hossa (AS)

2006 Michael Grabner 

Austria's Michael Grabner was the 2006 1st round pick for the Canucks.

Austria’s Michael Grabner was the 2006 1st round pick for the Canucks.

The 14th overall pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft is far from a bust in his career, but Grabner wasn’t a Canuck for very long. Don’t get me wrong, Grabner is a hell of a player and his story is not yet fully told in the NHL. Traded to the Florida Panthers with Steve Bernier for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich. The Panthers waived this gem and was picked up by the Islanders and so far having a nice go at the NHL on Long Island. But, how good would have this guy looked in a Canucks uniform…

 

Notable avaiable picks: Claude Giroux

2007 Patrick White

Canucks' 25th overall pick in the 2007, Patrick White.

Canucks’ 25th overall pick in the 2007, Patrick White.

In 2007, the Canucks chose Patrick White 25th overall in the NHL Entry Draft. Some of you are probably wondering who is he? Well, I am sitting here thinking about it and you’re all right, who is he? With a draft that boasted Patrick Kane and Logan Couture, anything beyond the top 10 picks was pretty much a crap shoot, and well, the Canucks crapped out. White is playing out in Slovakia and did play for a KHL team and really hasn’t been heard from since in North American hockey. The only player that would have appealed to me in that draft class wasn’t even in the 1st round after White but the 2nd round and  he became a Norris Trophy winner in 2013.

Notable available picks: PK Subban (2nd round)

 

Hindsight is definitely 20/20 and foresight isn’t always as clear as we thought it would be at the time. It seems to be an ongoing problem for the Canucks drafting team. However, we have seem some gems over the years and didn’t lose all our first rounds by a country mile. These were just some to remind us of  “Picks of Drafts Past” on this #ThrowbackThursday. 

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Today in Canucks History: Debut of Pavel Bure

Welcome back to #TICH. We hope you enjoyed our little write-up about Stan Smyl. That week in November of 1991,  was a busy week for the Canucks. To not take any “Steam” away from Smyl’s number retirement night, Bure’s debut for the Canucks was delayed until the next game. Then owner, Arthur Griffiths, and GM, Pat Quinn, wanted to make sure Stan got the attention he deserved and Bure debuted in a Canucks uniform two nights later versus the Winnipeg Jets.

When Pavel Bure finally hit the ice on November 5, 1991, he did not disappoint. He was electrifying. Instead of us trying to describe it to you with words, let’s look back at this video instead.

 

 

A week later, he scored his first goal, at the Pacific Coliseum, on the LA Kings’ netminder, Daniel Berthiaume. A standing ovation came right after, and so well deserved.

 

 

During his rookie year, his presence on the ice alone became a ‘must see’ in any city he visited and an even bigger draw at home. He was a marquee player in,  what was at the time, small market Vancouver. He won the Calder Trophy for the NHL Rookie of the year. He played 65 games, scored 34 goals and 26 assists for a total of 60 points. He scored 22 goals in the last 23 games of the season. Words cannot describe fully the skill of Pavel Bure. As Canucks fans, I believe we saw the best he offered in the NHL. Simply amazing, the Russian Rocket, was no less than electrifying.

Captivating crowds all over the NHL with his speed, skill and the tenacity of his play.

Captivating crowds all over the NHL with his speed, skill and the tenacity of his play.

 

Justine Galo

 

Follow me on twitter: @Aviewfromabroad