Canucks All Access
During the stretch drive of the NHL regular season overtime and shootouts become increasingly common as teams on the bubble battle with the parity of the NHL’s playoff push.
While the Canucks rest comfortably near the top of the Western Conference standings, a pair of slumping Sedins and a string of inconsistent team efforts have caused the Canucks to string together a series of three-point games.
Vancouver has gone to extra time in seven of their last nine games, including a string of five shootouts in six games.
Finally this past week in Minnesota the Canucks were able to overcome the Wild in convincing fashion, taking a three-goal game over Niklas Backstrom and the Wild.
After the hockey gods graced Canucks fans with an entertaining win in notoriously mild Minnesota, Monday’s sluggish 2-1 win over Dave Tippett’s Phoenix Coyotes was Vancouver’s weekly regression to the mean.
The skills competition has lost its lustre in the city of Vancouver, and an upcoming clash against the always entertaining Toronto Maple Leafs is just what the doctor ordered.
Around the Rink
As fans get set for Saturday’s late-afternoon tilt on Hockey Night in Canada, the recent call-up of fan favourite and Toronto native Chris Tanev seems fitting. “Yeah I’m not a Leaf fan, I wasn’t growing up and I’m definitely not now,” Tanev told Canucks.com. With bulletin board material like that the calm and collected youngster will fit in fabulously to the much-anticipated rivalry between Canadian counterparts.
The always truculent Toronto Maple Leafs will be sure to want to welcome Tanev back into town with a bang on the CBC’s big stage. The Toronto native was called up to replace Keith Ballard who remains out of the lineup with sore neck/concussion like symptoms.
In the Infirmary
Chris Higgins’ return to the lineup on Wednesday woke up the Canucks against Colorado leading to a rare regulation win over the Avalanche. Alain Vigneault held Higgins back playing the forward just over 12 minutes in his first game since January 31stagainst the Blackhawks.
Dale Weise was hit with in the face with a puck during practice earlier this week and received a nine-stitch gash along with a wake-up call over the values of a visor.
The gritty fourth line forward and former Sedin-trio sensation has seen the light regarding eye protection and will wear a visor for the foreseeable future as his new war wound heals.
As Weise’s face mends the Sedins are also taking the last couple of days off as their confidence recovers after another devastating anonymous NHL players poll declared the twins two of the league’s most easily intimidated players.
Needless to say Daniel Sedin wasn’t amused when asked about Sports Illustrated’s most recent survey. “I’ve never been a big fan of them.
We had one of those from CBC, too, and I think everyone threw it in the garbage.
I think that’s the way to do it.
If you’re going to say something, at least stand for it and show your face,” Sedin told the Vancouver Sun.
The Sedins square off against #1 most easily intimidated player Phil Kessel in a battle of the bully victims Saturday at Rogers Arena.
HEART OF A CANUCK
Dan Hamhuis is undoubtedly doing what he loves, and that’s playing the game he’s always played – hockey. Watch this week’s much-anticipated episode “Heart of a Canuck feature with Dan Hamhuis” on Sportsnet Pacific Sunday, February 19 at 9pm.
In The Community
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It’s not a weakness, self-inflicted, or a result of not trying. Don’t stay silent. Share your stories and help raise awareness on mental health issues at Mindcheck.ca. In one voice, you have the opportunity to support, educate and help fans alike.
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Whats On Tap This Week?
|2/18/12||TOR||W 5-3 12/17/11|
|2/19/12||@EDM||W 3-2 (SO) 1/24/12|
|2/21/12||@NAS||W 4-3 (SO) 2/7/12|
|2/23/12||@DET||L 3-4 (SO) 2/2/12|
|2/24/12||@NJ||W 3-0 11/1/10|
NWSB Managing Editor “Q” contributed to this report.