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The Vancouver Canucks are finally beginning to show flashes of the playoff-calibre performances that drove them to Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final last season.
The loss of Daniel Sedin has understandably thrown a wrench in the gears of Vancouver’s scoring attack, however the team has responded with some of their tightest defensive hockey of the season, clinching back to back shutouts against the Kings and Avalanche earlier this week.
The questions surrounding Vancouver’s team toughness have also begun to wash away over the last few games after an aggressive response from the Canucks in the wake of Sedin’s injury.
The Canucks have been initiating confrontation and winning battles consistently throughout the last few games, another great sign heading into another grueling Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Cory Schneider continues to shine is his role as the Canucks backup, but may need get comfortable on the bench in anticipation of an all-Luongo Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Only under extremely unfortunate circumstances can I see Schneider starting many playoff games down the stretch.
Around the Rink
The NHL decided a five-game suspension was appropriate for Duncan Keith’s vicious elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin, but what of the victim and his recovery?
Canucks fans, inspired by Pastor Louie Giglio, came together in prayer for Daniel Sedin earlier this week, offering up their prayers seeking a speedy recovery for the fallen forward.
The sudden spiritual angle to Daniel Sedin’s injury sparked a bit of a debate around hockey circles, does god have a place in pro sports?
Whatever your opinion or religious denomination, Canucks fans can all agree that only one year after man of god Tim Thomas took the NHL by storm, it can’t hurt to have the big man on the Canucks’ side this post-season.
After burying an important goal in front of a box suite full of doctors and medical staff earlier this week, Manny Malhotra was named the Vancouver Canucks’ nomination for the Masterton Trophy this week.
The award is given to the individual that best embodies perseverance, good sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey.
In the Infirmary
Andrew Ebbett and Keith Ballard both continue to work with team doctors and training staff but are still a few days away from returning to the Canucks lineup. Both players have been skating with the team and could see regular season action before the playoffs pick up on April 11th.
Ebbett saw time on Vancouver’s second power play unit in practice earlier this week and Ballard has been symptom-free and it taking small steps toward an early-April return to the rink.
In The Community
THIS IS OUR HOME
This is our city, and through it all, we’re in this together.
This is Our Home’ promotes a simple message of the inclusive and positive nature of sports and community.
It shares the values of the season-long Heart of a Canuck tradition celebrating courage, honour, humility, integrity and passion. Watch the video here.
Whats On Tap This Week?
|3/30/12||DAL||W 2-1 3/22/12|
|3/31/12||CAL||L 2-3 (SO) 2/11/12|
|4/3/12||ANA||L 2-4 1/15/12|
|4/5/12||@CAL||L 2-3 (SO) 2/11/12|
|4/7/12||EDM||W 5-2 2/19/12|