Vancouver Canucks News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/25/15: The Vancouver Canucks find themselves in a similar place as last season. No, not in the standings - they are doing much better than 12 months ago. But it is the same in terms of goaltending. Specifically, having to play Eddie Lack. Lack is a fine goalie, but he may be getting overworked. With Ryan Miller out until the playoffs and no good backup options available, Lack is playing every game. He has played 13 straight games and that will likely continue for awhile. The good news is that he may be able to get a break soon, particularly if the Canucks continue to put up points.
3/18/15: No Ryan Miller. No problem. The Vancouver Canucks are playing with purpose these days, seeming to understand the urgency that is needed this time of year. The Canucks have taken over second place in the Pacific Division over the Calgary Flames, L.A. Kings and San Jose Sharks. It is not over yet and the Canucks still have about 15 games left to play. Vancouver will host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday before hitting the road against the Kings on Saturday and Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. This is an excellent chance to get some valuable wins and even hurt a division rival.
3/11/15: The trading deadline has come and gone, and now the Vancouver Canucks are in a bind concerning their netminders. Starter Ryan Miller is injured, so the Canucks recalled Jacob Markstrom from the AHL. Markstrom was once one of the top goaltending prospects, but has struggled in recent years. He finally got a start and gave up three goals on four shots to the San Jose Sharks. He was pulled in under eight minutes. That means that Eddie Lack has to pick up the slack. Lack is certainly capable, but the concern is playing him too much before Miller can return, and that would likely not be until the playoffs.
3/4/15: The Vancouver Canucks are pacing the fight for second place in the Pacific Division these days, but not by much. There has been a little separation over the past week, where Vancouver, Los Angeles, Calgary and San Jose were only separated by one point. That gap has grown to five points now, but every point in the standings is vital. The Canucks got a good 4-0 win at the New York Islanders last week, but it was a chippy game. In fact, the NHL investigated whether or not the Isles' Cal Clutterbuck spit on Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin. The playoffs are still about a month away, but it sure feels like playoff hockey now.
2/25/15: The curse of Ryan Miller continues. A year ago, the St. Louis Blues sent a king's ransom to the Buffalo Sabres to have Miller for an expected long playoff run. They were eliminated in the first round. This year, he is Vancouver's starting goaltender. He has been good, but not up to his Hall of Fame past skill level. Now he is out for four to six weeks with a lower body injury. Primary goaltending duties are set to go to Eddie Lack. This is a bad time to lose Miller. The Canucks are deep in a playoff battle with L.A., Calgary and San Jose.
2/18/15: The Pacific Division continues to provide compelling theater as teams bear down for the last 25 or games left in the regular season. Anaheim continues to dominate the division with a double digit lead. But after that, four teams are fighting for two guaranteed spots and possible a wild card or two. Vancouver, San Jose, Calgary and Los Angeles are all within four points of each other and will continue to beat each other up for the rest of the season. The Canucks have been a .500 team for the last few weeks and could use some road wins this week at the New York Rangers (Thursday), New Jersey (Friday), New York Islanders (Sunday) and Boston (Tuesday).
2/11/15: The Vancouver Canucks are hanging on to a wild card spot but that is not so much because of strong play as it is because the Los Angeles Kings are stuck in a deep funk. The frustration of inconsistent play seemed to come to a head last week when head coach Willie Desjardins admitted that he has to do a better job of motivating his players. Vancouver has a very talented roster and is certainly capable of getting to the playoffs and even advancing. However, until they can put in strong efforts on a nightly basis, hungrier teams like San Jose and Calgary are going to continue to lead them in the standings.
2/5/15: The Vancouver Canucks did not get off to a good start following the All Star break, losing two games off the bat. They still are battling with San Jose, Calgary and Los Angeles for the two set playoff spots in the Pacific Division. The Canucks have been great on the road this season with a 15-8-2 record, but not as strong at home. The team is worried about their defense, especially after losing one two weeks ago to injury. They traded 18 year old prospect Gustav Forsling to the Chicago Blackhawks for Adam Clendening, who may be able to help them out right now.
1/28/15: With the All Star break signifying the ceremonial halfway point in the season, it is a good time to evaluate how teams are doing this season. Compared to last season (or more precisely, the second half of last season), the Canucks are doing great. They are alone in third place in the Pacific Division at 55 points, just one point behind San Jose, but have three games in hand. The Canucks lost defenseman Kevin Bieksa just before the break and he could be out a while with an injured hand. Vancouver says they are standing pat on defense, but that could all change before the trade deadline.
1/21/15: Ryan Miller is not the same goalie he was five years ago, but is still among the better netminders in the league. He probably has not had the season he envisioned so far, but the Cancuks are among the top teams in the Pacific Division. The NHL gave them road games in Philadelphia and Carolina on consecutive nights and Miller showed his old form by shutting out both teams. That makes him the first Canucks goalie to record shutouts on back to back nights since Ken Lockett way back on April 1 and 2 ... in 1975.
1/14/15: Last week seemed to be the week to honor former players on the West Coast. The Anaheim Ducks retired Teemu Selanne's jersey. The San Jose Sharks put together a nice tribute for Dan Boyle when he returned with the Rangers. Finally, the Vancouver Canucks gave goaltender Roberto Luongo a remembrance when he returned with the Florida Panthers. Of course, the video thanking him for 'eight great year' probably should be amended to something like 'five great years and then the other three'. In all cases, the honored player's team won, including the Panthers beating the Canucks in Vancouver.
1/7/15: The difference between the Canucks of last season and this season is significant, and that shows in the styles of their former coach (John Tortorella, very physical and defensive-minded) and the current coach (Willie Desjardins, stresses speed and offensive-minded). So it comes as no surprise that Desjardin had very little use for veteran tough-guy Tom Sestito. He played in 77 games under Torts, but has been in only three games this season. Sestito made his complaints known to management, who authorized him to organize a trade. No other team was interested, so the Canucks waived him last week.
12/3/14: The Vancouver Canucks have enjoyed a resurgence this year, jumping out to an impressive 16-7-1 after 24 games. Good for 33 points and tied for first place in the Pacific Division. The Canucks have put in 75 goals, most in the West. But there is some concern because defenseman Dan Hamhuis suffered a lower body injury and will be out of the lineup until after Christmas. Reportedly, it is a groin injury that Hamhuis suffered on November 20 against the Anaheim Ducks. It is a bit of a loss for the Canucks as the defenseman has six assists this season and is averaging over 20 minutes per game.
11/19/14: Vancouver certainly looks like they have found their stride this season. Despite being knocked around by the Arizona Coyotes last week, the team finds itself in second place in the Pacific Division with an impressive 12-6 record. The Canucks look as potent as they have in years. If there is one concern it is that they only have a +1 goal differential, despite winning six more games than they have lost. This is the Ryan Miller effect. He can give you shutouts and one or two goal games, but then lose it and give up six pretty quickly. In any case, the Canucks are doing well under Willie Desjardins, which is keeping other traditional powerhouses at bay.
11/12/14: You can kick John Tortorella off of the team, but you can't take John Tortorella out of the team. The Canucks are finding that to be true. Despite the fact that they have started the season at 10-5 and second place in the Pacific Division, the team is near the bottm in scoring. They are still playing a predominantly defensive brand of hockey, which is fine, but they need more offense. It will take some time for Willie Desjardin's schemes to take hold. At least they have Ryan Miller in net. The Canucks are home on Friday against Arizona.
11/5/14: What a difference a few month makes. The 2014-15 version of the Vancouver Canucks are playing like the vintage selves - like the team that got to the Stanley Cup Finals a few years ago. New head coach Willie Desjardins has opened up the offense, a stark contrast to the Turkish-prison style of play under former coach John Tortorella. Through 10 games. the Canucks are at solid 7-3 record with 34 goals scored - tops in the Western Conference. Vancouver has a tough week in front of them with a trip through the West, including games at Colorado, San Jose and Los Angeles (Kings).
10/29/14: The Vancouver Canucks are still trying to find their identity under new head coach Willie Desjardins. The preliminary results are encouraging, but they need more if they are going to compete in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. They had a setback in Desjardin's return to Dallas. The Canucks lost 6-3, but there were some flukey goals - like the one that bounced off of Ryan Miller's blocker, then stick knob, then into the net. Still, they were 3-2 in their first five games - and the wide open style is a nice change from the trapping scheme that John Tortorella liked to employ.
10/22/14: Vancouver Canucks went about 14 years selling out every game. That streak came to an end last week at 474 consecutive games. That is a pretty impressive run. Most would have expected it to end last season during head coach John Tortorella's reign of terror. So there are tickets available, but really not many. The team did retain 97% of their season ticket base. But get tickets while you can. The team is more up-tempo this season and has the Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens coming to visit to close out the month of October.
10/15/14: It is official. The Willie Desjardins Era in Vancouver has begun and it started off with a 4-2 road win at Calgary. The Canucks will be among the most interesting teams to watch this season. They have a loaded roster (minus Phil Kesler, who was traded to Anaheim) that knows how to win. They also have Ryan Miller in net now, and he is among the best goalies in the game. The team struggled under head coach John Tortorella's defensive style of play last season. Desjardins is expected to open things up again, so maybe there will be some high scoring games this season.
10/8/14: With the regular season just around the corner, there has to be optimism in Vancouver. The John Tortorella reign is over and new head coach Willie Desjardins is out building goodwill with the fans and the players. The Canucks dropped like a lead balloon in the second half of last season and fell well out of the playoff race. But they still have a lot of talent - enough talent to win a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. Of course, the Western Conference is loaded with talent and just getting to the playoffs is a worthy accomplishment.
10/1/14: The Vancouver Canucks have been called a lot of things: offensively gifted, tremendously talented, somewhat unorthodox in their front office, etc. What they have never been called is good at managing goaltenders. After the debacle that was the Roberto Luongo contract, his playing time with Corey Schneider and the subsequent trading of both, it seemed that Eddie Lack would get the nod this season. Then they signed Ryan Miller. They also had Jacob Markstrom in the wings - and he was a key component to the Luongo trade. Now they have waived Markstrom and hope he passes waivers - though there is a good chance that someone may claim him.
9/24/14: The Willie Desjardins Era in Vancouver has officially started now that training camps are open. And it looks like a big difference from the awful John Tortorella Era. Desjardins went out of his way all summer to meet his new players, even showing up at their summer residences to get to know them. That is a far cry from the notoriously cranky Tortorella (though Torts does have a Stanley Cup to his credit). If the good feelings in Vancouver last all season, then they should regain their form and get back to the playoffs this season.
9/17/14: The Canucks should be better this coming season. They have a new front office, a new coaching staff and still have a pretty good roster. The new coaching staff is important in that they can get back to the way they have been built to play - that is with a lot offensive talent to overwhelm their opponents. But the team is aging and could use a boost from their young guns. Jensen is one of those guys and will be pushed to be more productive this season. That may be a lot of weight for a 21 year old to carry, but if he can do the job, then there is no reason that the Canucks cannot be back in the playoffs this season.
8/28/14: This looks to be a bounce back season for the Vancouver Canucks. The team simply has too much talent to miss the playoffs again. There is a new head coach and staff in town, not to mention a new General Manager. One player who could help the team a lot is defenseman Alexander Edler. He has shown flashes of greatness in the past, like his 11 goal and 49 point season just three years ago. If he can get back his magic, then the rest of the team is likely to follow, and the Canucks will be playing meaningful hockey once again.
8/21/14: The Canucks added some experience to their coaching staff last week when they announced that Perry Pearn will join the team as a coach specializing on the power play. Pearn will not be behind the bench during games, rather he will be upstairs somewhere - kind off like an offensive coordinator in football. It is probably a smart hire. New head coach Willy Desjardins has plenty of minor league coaching experience, but none in the NHL - so some veteran eyes like Pearn and assistant Glen Guletzan will be able to offer some experienced advice to the rookie head coach.
8/14/14: The Sedin twins have been mainstays on the Canucks top line for a decade or so, and much of that time has been spent with linemate Alex Burrows. That looks like it is going to change because the team signed Radim Vrbata to a two year, $10 million contract. So there is a very good chance that Vrbata will move up to the first line and Burrows will drop. The good thing is that Burrows is being a good teammate and is willing to drop in the depth chart. For Burrows, as long as the team is winning, then he is happy playing wherever. The team is probably hoping there will be a lot more winning next year.
8/7/14: The Canucks may get a year of grace from their fans as the team tries to rebound from a miserable 2013-14 campaign. To be fair, the 2013 portion was not too bad, and the team was in playoff position when the calendar turned. When then head coach John Tortorella blew up and tried to fight the Calgary Flames, that is when the season turned. Torts is gone. So is goalie Roberto Luongo and the former general manager. With a new braintrust, bench boss and goal tender in place, the Canucks should be in better place than the were even a few months ago. But they are all still new to their roles, so maybe Vancouver's fans will give them a little breather.
7/31/14: The NHL Entry Draft was over a month ago, so this is the signing time of the year. The Canucks took care of their business by signing their top draft pick, Jake Virtanen, to an entry-level contract. Virtanen was the sixth overall selection. He is a power forward who evokes comparisons to Rick Nash. He spent last season in the WHL where he finished with 45 goals, 71 points and 100 penalty minutes in 71 games. That kind of production and grit is valued by the NHL, so it should not be too long before he is lacing up in the big leagues.
7/24/14: For those that thought that the Canucks had ended their goaltending controversy when they traded Corey Schneider to the Devils a year ago were wrong. They were also wrong when they got the Panthers to take Roberto Luongo and his lifetime contract off their hands. Vancouver must like goaltending controversies because now they have three goalies and two roster spots. Free agent signee Ryan Miller is sure to get one. But they also have Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom. Lack has experience but Markstrom has shone everywfhere he has played. So the more things change, the more things stay the same in Vancouver.
7/17/14: The Vancouver Canucks have made big changes over the past six month as the team tries to overhaul the roster and brain trust to get back to the playoffs. As much activity as there has been, General Manager Jim Benning insists that he was not trying to trade 2013 first round pick Hunter Shinkaruk during the draft. Shinkaruk is a promising prospect, but his season at Medicine Hat last year was cut short due to a hip injury. Considering that the team is trying to get younger, it would make more sense to see more out of him and where he could fit in the Vancouver roster before shipping him off.
7/10/14: The Vancouver Canucks have been among the most active teams in the NHL since before their season came to an end a few months ago. They are clearing house, with notable departures of head coach John Tortorella, goalie Roberto Luongo and center Ryan Kesler. At some point they had to start rebuilding the roster and they signed Ryan Miller - easily to most accomplished goalie available in free agency. Miller played his entire career in Buffalo and went to St. Louis as a playoff rental last season. He is expected to be the starter over Eddie Lack.
7/3/14: OK, the deal has finally been completed and center Ryan Kesler got his wish to leave Vancouver. Last Friday, the Canucks (finally) traded away disgruntled center Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks. The parties make perfect sense, as the Ducks have coveted Kessler for some time now. But the return may not be as much as the Canucks wanted. They ended up trading Kesler and their third round pick to Anaheim for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, as well as the Ducks' first and third round picks. Take heart, though. Bonino is a good player that can score, is much younger, and costs a lot less than Kesler.
6/26/14: It took a while but the Canucks have a new head coach. No, this is not a repeat post from a year ago, though it almost could be. One year ago, the team essentially traded head coaches with the New York Rangers. The Canucks got John Tortorella and the Rangers got Alain Vignault. Torts burned out quickly and it looks like his replacement is the hottest minor league coach in the land - Willie Desjardins. Desjardins is coming off of leading the Texas Stars to the AHL championship and is widely respected. He picked the Canucks over the Penguins.
6/19/14: Now that the Stanley Cup is over, the Vancouver Canucks may be close to making a move in hiring their next coach. According to GM Jim Benning, "yellers and screamers" are not wanted. He wants a teaching coach instead. That makes sense and follows typical sports protocol. The next coach is almost always the complete opposite of the previous coach. Ex-head coach John Tortorella has always been loud and feisty, even going after the Calgary Flames coaching staff in a game earlier in the year. One possibility is former Canucks and Avalanche head coach Marc Crawford.
6/12/14: Efforts to keep disgruntled forward Ryan Kessler are not going well in Vancouver. Kessler reportedly demanded a trade in February, though that never materialized. He is still under contract for three more years at $5 million per year (salary cap hit). Even with the new regime in the front office, he wants out. It may be time to cut bait with him and get some valuable prospects and draft picks in return. Anaheim is certainly interested, and Kessler could net a tidy return in a trade - and that could speed up Vancouver's rebuild in pretty short order.
6/6/14: Remember a year ago when the Canucks had too many starting goalies? Well, that is certainly not the case now after trading Schnieder to the New Jersey Devils (to be Martin Brodeur's heir apparent) and dumping Roberto Luongo's ridiculous contract off on the Florida Panthers. That left Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom on the roster. The two have a combined 78 starts between them so new GM Jim Benning is open to bringing in a veteran netminder. The first thought that comes to mind is free agent Ryan Miller as well as Jonas Hiller, both of whom would likely be an upgrade.
5/29/14: The good news for Canucks fans is that new General Manager Jim Benning is ready to get to work and turn the team around 'in a hurry'. Benning publicly says that he thinks the pieces are already in place for a fast rebound - not a rebuilding. Indeed, Vancouver has a lot of strong core players, including the Sedin twins. The first big test for Benning will be the hiring of a new head coach to replace John Tortorella. No word yet on the next bench boss, though some players thought that Torts should have returned for at least one more season.
5/22/14: When a head coach leaves or is fired, it is always fun to scan for the behind the scenes moves that may have affected the team. This is now happening with former Canucks head coach John Tortorella. Torts was fired after just one season in Vancouver, where the team missed the playoffs for the first time in forever. Torts apparently wanted the team to buy out veteran Alex Burrows. Burrows was hurt and had a miserable season. It also seems that he did not hold many practices during the season and did not communicate with the minor leagues to see who was ready to be called up.
5/15/14: The support of the players was not enough to save head coach John Tortorella and his staff their jobs after a single woeful season in Vancouver. The next head coach will have a lot of work to do in rebuilding a team that simply disintegrated over the past 18 months. The Canucks should have a relatively high pick in the upcoming draft, possibly even someone that can come in right away. There are mock drafts available that pint to left winger Nikolej Ehlers as a possibility, and he could help put some points on the board.
5/8/14: Well that certainly did not last long. The Vancouver Canucks ended speculation about the direction of the team by firing head coach John Tortorella after just one season. The Canucks failed to make the playoffs after spectacularly collapsing in the second half of the season. GM Mike Gillis was fired a couple weeks ago and the club hired Trevor Linden to head the team, so this was not exactly a surprise. Vancouver will be paying for this for a while, as Torts had a four years remaining on his contract and will probably be back in the league in short order.
5/1/14: Vancouver will have the sixth overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft in June. While that is not a position that anyone would have expected, especially since the talent level on the team is as good as anyone in the NHL, the team's meltdown in the second half of the season has put them in this position. It is anyone's guess as to whom the Canucks will select, though mock drafts have pegged them taking Michael Dal Colle (left wing) with that sixth pick. Dal Colle has a nice combination of speed and power, something that every team wants and needs.
4/24/14: Changes are afoot in Vancouver as the team is beginning the process of remaking itself after three seasons with disappointing finishes. The Canucks missed the playoffs this season for the first time in many years, and that led to the firing of General Manager Mike Gillis. What remains to be seen is if head coach John Tottorella stays on after his first season, or if he is the next to go. Meanwhile, the coach that Torts replaced, Alain Vigneault, is coaching the New York Rangers and has them back in the playoffs. It may be a long summer in Vancouver, but it will be interesting to watch.
4/17/14: The Canucks fired General Manager Mike Gillis last week, after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in several years. Gillis had been the architect of the team that won a lot of games, a couple of Presidents' Trophies (for the best regular season record) and made a Stanley Cup appearance just a few years ago. But the team could not get out of the first round, despite having top seedings for the past two seasons, and then everything fell apart in Vancouver over the past few months. The new man in town is former NHL'er Trevor Linden.
4/10/14: General managers rarely admit mistakes, at least publicly. However, the fans of Vancouver heard their GM, Mike Gillis, come pretty close. Gillis criticized his team's style of play last week, saying they had gotten away from their fundamental game over the past few seasons and it would change now. That also sounds like a thinly veiled threat towards Vancouver's head coach John Tortorella. The irony of this is that Gillis dumped former head coach Alain Vigneault and hired Torts, knowing full well what type of play would be coming with the new head coach. Maybe he should be looking for a mirror to speak with next.
4/3/14: The season is quickly slipping away from the Vancouver Canucks. A few months ago, it looked like the team was headed to another postseason appearance, however, they have not played particularly well since the start of the calendar year, have suffered injuries to key players, and had to deal with the whole Roberto Luongo situation that ended up with the goalie being traded to the Florida Panthers. While the team has netted 13 points in their last 10 games, they are still five points out of a playoff spot with just a handful of games remaining.
3/27/14: Vancouver is running out of time if they are going to make a charge at the playoffs. They are now five points behind the Phoenix Coyotes, who sit in the eighth and final playoff spot. They are also a point back of Dallas, who is looking to return to the postseason for the first time in five years. The Canucks, like the Stars, Winnipeg Jets, and Nashville Predators, have picked a bad time to go into a tailspin. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games and may need to go undefeated in their last 10 games to make the playoffs. It has been a disappointing second half of the season in Vancouver, which may mean that head coach John Tortorella will only have one year.
3/20/14: The Canucks had a good season going through the first half of the year. They looked like they would be in contention for an automatic playoff spot as a top three team in the Pacific Division. But that has changed drastically since head coach John Tortorella declared war on the Calgary Flames. Vancouver has only won a handful of games since and has fallen well outside the playoff bubble. The latest rumors are that Torts will not be back next season, though he did get support from his captain, who wants to keep the coaching staff in tact.
3/13/14: The Ryan Miller/Steve Ott trade from Buffalo to St. Louis grabbed the first headlines and may have the most impact in the playoffs. However, Vancouver gets all the publicity these days because they were able to trade goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers. Luongo himself thought that he was 'untradeable' because of his massive contract that lasts another four decades or so (a slight exaggeration). But now the drama is over and there will be no more in-house squabbling between player and team, as the Canucks are overhauling their roster to build for the future.
3/6/14: It seems the Canucks and goaltender Roberto Luongo just cannot play nice. The team announced that backup Eddie Lack would start the Heritage Classic game at BC Place against the Ottawa Senators over Luongo. Luongo was not happy with that decision and let it be known. Could there be another looming goalie controversy in Vancouver? The Canucks are stuck with Luongo for a lot of money for some time, so they may want to play nice. The roof was closed for the Heritage Classic game due to rain, bu that probably protected the ice. Ottawa won 4-2.
2/27/14: Count Vancouver head coach John Tortorella as someone who is disappointed that the Canadians won the Olympic gold medal in hockey. Prior to the finals between Canada and Sweden, Torts put his full support behind Sweden because his two of his players, goalie Roberto Luongo and defenseman Dan Hamhuis were not getting much, if any, playing time. Instead, two other players of his, Daniel Seden and Alex Elder played for Sweden, and were getting regular ice time. While many coaches and front office types want to stop their players from playing in the Olympics, it is nice to see a coach go to bat for his.
2/20/14: Team Canada's success through pool play of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia cannot be attributed to their offense. They should have one of the most explosive offenses in the tournament, but are getting next to nothing from stars like Sidney Crosby, Joe Thornton, and Martin St. Louis. However, they are getting great defense and goaltending. Roberto Luongo of the Canucks pitched a shutout in the opening game against Austria. While Carey Price may be the number one, Luongo has won a gold medal (2010) and is ready for the elimination rounds, where the games are tougher and the stakes are higher.
2/13/14: The Olympic break could not come at a better time for the Vancouver Canucks. The team has lost their last seven games and clearly on the bubble for making the playoffs at this point. They now have two weeks to get healthy and improve what head coach John Tortorella refers to as poor situational play. Torts took full responsibility of the team's recent woes and says that he and his staff have to do a better job of coaching and preparing the players. Much of this team was together when they went to the Stanley Cup a few years ago, so we do know that there is talent on the roster.
2/6/14: Beware NHL coaches - Torts is backi! Head coach John Tortorella finished his six game suspension, which lasted 15 days, after going after the Calgary Flames locker room a few weeks ago. He was upset that the Flames sent out tough guys to start a game, which typically indicates wanting to start a fight. Torts also famously told Ken Hitchcock several years ago to "Shut your yap", so this was not the first time he has had issues with other coaches. The Canucks struggled in his absence with a 2-4 record, and the head coach is not happy about the state of the team now that he is back.
1/30/14: The Canucks are clinging to the seventh playoff spot right now, and are in a battle with the Minnesota Wild for the seventh and eighth seeds. This is a bad time for Vancouver to go into a mini-slump, as they are 4-5-1 in their last ten games, while the Wild are 6-3-1 over the same span. Most disappointing was losing to the lowly Edmonton Oilers earlier this week, as David Perron netted a hat trick. The team is now three games into head coach John Tortorella's six game suspension, and need to get back on track to keep their playoff hopes alive.
1/23/14: It does not happen that often these days, but occasionally there is a big brawl in a hockey game. The Canucks got into one of those last Saturday when the visiting Calgary Flames started the game with their fourth line. The Canucks responded in kind with their fourth line and the brawl started as soon as the puck hit the ice. Just two seconds into the game, eight players were ejected and 152 minutes of penalties were assessed. Kellen Lain was making his NHL debut and was one of those ejected. Vancouver won the game but lost head coach John Tortorella for six games to suspension for trying to get into the Calgary locker room.
1/16/14: Since the season is halfway completed, it is probably a good time to look at the coaching swap between the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks. This was not a trade. Both teams fired their coaches, then hired the other team's coach. Vancouver now sits at 57 points and fourth place in the Pacific Division. They are seventh in the West, so they are looking at a playoff spot. The Rangers are at 49 points, but at the same position in the Metropolitan and East, respectively. It is worth noting that the West is much stronger than the East this season, and just getting into the playoffs is quite an accomplishment.
1/9/14: Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo shone in goal four years ago at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and led Team Canada to the gold medal. For those that do not recall, the Canadians and Team USA played an epic gold medal game. Luongo wants to be the starting goalie this time in Sochi. He has been out recently, but came back last Saturday to face the L.A. Kings. The Canucks lost the game 3-1, but Luongo gave a performance that could elevate him the starter's spot for the Olympic team. He is having a nice bounce back year after spending the last two seasons in limbo with Corey Schnieder.
1/2/14: The Canucks have been without goaltender Roberto Luongo since last week. The injury as listed as a grade-2 lower body injury and reports are that it is a groin pull. That keeps Luongo off the ice for three to five games depending on the severity. At least is not the type of injury to destroy the team, and Luongo should be back in plenty of time for the playoff push. In the meantime, the team will turn to young Eddie Lack and get him some much needed experience. Lack has played well this season, averaging less than two goals against per game, but has only started in seven games.
12/26/13: The Canucks are one of the more interesting teams in the NHL right now because they are difficult to figure out. One night, they contain the high powered Chicago Blackhawks to two goals and win in a shootout. Another night, goaltender Robert Luongo lets in four goals early and gets pulled. The positive side is that the Canucks are in the hunt for a playoff spot and look to be in good position to get to the postseason. They have a few months left to work out the kinks. Should they get everyone on the same page, then Vancouver could be looking at a deep run in the playoffs.
12/19/13: Canucks fans have been pleased with the play of young forward Zack Kassian this year and are clamoring for him to get more opportunities. Specifically, many people want Kassian to play on the top line with twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Head coach John Tortorella shot down those rumors claiming that he does not thing Kassian is ready to play against a top line on every shift every night. He may develop into that type of player, but not yet. That leaves a void for a partner for the Sedins. Instead, it looks like Janik Hansen and David Booth will get the call - at least for now.
12/12/13: In a case of hometown boy does good, Mike Santorelli has captured the imagination of the Vancouver faithful. Santorelli came up through the Nashville Predators and was with the Winnipeg Jets last season in a year to forget. Vancouver signed him to a two way deal expecting him to be in the minors. However, he is having a career year and the fans are chanting his name. He has 21 points in 32 games, good for fourth on the team. It looks like there is no way that the Canucks can send him back to minors now.
12/5/13: The Canucks announced and displayed the uniforms they will be wearing in the Heritage Classic game against Ottawa on March 2. The uniforms are maroon, grey, and white with a giant 'V' for a crest, as well as large maroon and white stripes on the arms. The city 'Vancouver' is spelled out in the V. The unis are a tribute to the old Vancouver Millionaires and celebrates 100 years of professional hockey on the West Coast. Incidentally, the Millionaires beat the Senators for the 1915 Stanley Cup - marking the last time that a team from Vancouver has won the NHL's top prize.
11/28/13: It is only the end of November, so it is not time to panic. That being said, the Canucks find themselves in semi-desperation mode. Vancouver is a respectable 11-8-4, good for 26 points. However, the top teams in the Western Conference all have 32 or 33 points - that leaves the Canucks on the outside looking in (if the playoffs were to start today). Vancouver is on a five game winless streak and is struggling to score. Head coach John Tortorella is now mixing up lines to see if something works. They still have time, but cannot let the gap widen or it will be a long spring in Vancouver.
11/21/13: Vancouver made a contract move with a goaltender this past week. No, it was not with Roberto Luongo who still has $60 million and somewhere between seven and 30 years on his deal (a deal that no team in their right mind wants to assume through a trade). This was a re-signing of backup Eddie Lack for two years and $2.3 million. Lack was promoted to the big leagues when Vancouver traded Corey Schneider to the New Jersey Devils over the summer. He has a 2-2 record and .911 save percentage in five starts. That figure seems reasonable and it looks like the Canucks have learned not to give out contracts that can hogtie them for a generation.
11/14/13: Coaches have a way with superlatives, and everyone accepts that. But it is different when the coach completely bashes a major facet of the game. Such is the case with John Tortorella and his views on the Canucks power play. Vancouver's power play is 27th in the league and Torts had only simple and negative words about it. Of course, that is understandable when you score less than 10% of the time with the man advantage. The Canucks have been known for their power play in the past, routinely finishing in the top five. However, if they can get going with the man advantage, they can be very dangerous for the rest of the year.
11/7/13: In one of the most unusual contract negotiations ever, the Canucks found themselves trying to work out a deal with the Sedin twins at the same time. The extensions got finished and the Canucks inked the twins to twin four year, $28 million extensions that will keep them around until 2018 when they are 38 years old. The Sedin twins have amazingly played their entire career together, and even more amazingly, with the same team. The one thing they have not achieved is winning the Stanley Cup. The closest they came was losing to Boston in the Finals a few years ago.
10/31/13: The Canucks had a chance to face their old netminder when they visited the New Jersey Devils this past week, and they took advantage. New Jersey is having trouble beating anyone these days, but figured they would let Corey Schnieder keep the net against his former team. The game was knotted up at two goals apiece after regulation time and still tied after overtime. However, the Canucks rose to the challenge of OT. Mike Santorelli scored on the first penalty shot and that held up as the Canucks beat the Devils 3-2 for a big out of conference win.
10/24/13: Vancouver is still among the better teams in the Western Conference, but they may need to pick up their play to get into the playoffs this season. The team is 5-3 through eight games. While the 10 points are good, they have played more games than many of their rivals. The Canucks did continue the West's dominance over the East by shutting out Buffalo 3-0 last week. It was Roberto Luongo's first shut out of the season and he is starting to show that he is, in fact, a starting goaltender in the NHL. Not to burst the bubble, but the Sabres have trouble scoring - already getting shut out twice and with seven games with one goal or less.
10/17/13: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Elder was suspended for three games for making an illegal check to the head of San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl. Fortunately, Hertl was not hurt on the play, but it shows how serious the league is about hits to the head in the concussion era. If the name Tomas Hertl sounds familiar, well, it should. Hertl angered Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates last week by deking the goalie with a drop between his own legs, then flipped the puck in the net. Oates and other curmudgeons thought it was showboating. Others think it was one heck of a move.
10/10/13: The biggest news out of Vancouver is the forthcoming game against the New Jersey Devils. Normally, an early season Devils/Canucks tilt would not get much attention, but this does because of all the goaltending drama in Vancouver over the past two seasons. Cory Schneider is making his return to Vancouver, as he was the guy shipped out of town rather than Roberto Luongo. Schneider is now the heir-apparent to Martin Brodeur. Luongo, meanwhile, is trying to make the best of his situation. He has a large contract that no one else wants, and that may well cripple the Canucks in the future.
10/3/13: John Tortorella takes over as the new bench boss for the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have been very successful in the regular season, usually winning their division and even winning the President's Trophy for the best league record in 2011-12. However, they fell in the first round of the playoffs the last two season and that cost Alain Vigneault his coaching job. Torts is a much more demanding coach and has put the team through a tough training camp. Vancouver has the talent to go all the way, but will they be able to work in the new system?
9/26/13: Its not just the demeanors that are different between former head coach Alain Vigneault and current head coach John Tortorella, they have different philosophies on playing style. The Canucks are now seeing that. Vigneault stress more man-to-man coverage on defense whereas Torts prefers a zone. Torts also is more inclined to dump the puck and chase it down on the forecheck. It will be interesting to see how the Canucks adapt. They did not have trouble winning regular season games, they struggled in the playoffs the past two years - and this may be too far of a departure from their core competencies.
9/19/13: No matter the sport, civilization, or industry, all top performers peak and then fall. Such is the talk about the Vancouver Canucks, where many people think that their window of opportunity has closed. Vancouver made it to the Stanley Cup finals just 27 months ago and still has much of their core. The players do not believe the team is in decline and new head coach John Tortorella is out to prove that he can bring home another Cup (he led the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning to the Championship). His tough-mindedness may be exactly what the team needs to get over the hump.
9/12/13: The Canucks have shown they can play in the regular season as well as anyone. They won the Western Conference regular season in both 2010-11 and 2011-12, and won their division last season. What they have not shown, since they went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, is that they can play in the playoffs. They were knocked out in the first round the last two seasons. So naturally there is speculation that veteran Brendan Morrow may join the team. The Canucks could use a physical forward that creates space, digs out pucks in the corners, and has a scoring touch. Whether or not Vancouver lands Morrow is still up in the air - but the team could use him.
9/4/13: In all of sports, when a team consistently struggles - particularly after having success under the same coach - the front office jumps into action and brings in a new coach. If the coach is a 'player's coach' they feel they need someone stricter. If the coach is 'old-school', they feel they need someone more accommodating. Such is the case with the Vancouver Canucks. After years of disappointing playoff failures, the team brought in John Tortorella to instill some discipline in the team. The Canucks have the talent to win the Stanley Cup, and now they hope that Torts will bring the proper structure to achieve that goal. Incidentally, Tortorella's former team (Rangers) felt the opposite and brought in Vancouver's former head coach.
8/29/13: The Roberto Luongo saga has gone on seemingly forever in Vancouver. He wants out. The team wants him out. However, no one is willing to take his contract. He still has about six years and $64 million dollars left on it. Luongo is staying in Vancouver, at least for now. What is next is anyone's guess. Perhaps there will be a rich team with desparate need for a goalie during the season. Until then, Luongo will be between the pipes for the Canucks and hopes to resurect his career, which was incredibly promising just a couple of years ago.
8/22/13: Perhaps no other team in the Western Conference will be under as much scrutiny this season as the Vancouver Canucks. It is well documented that the Canucks have under-achieved in the playoffs despite regular season success for the last two years, and that cost the head coach his job. There is also much consternation at goaltender with Roberto Luongo and his huge contract hanging over the team like a big albatross. Can Luongo return to 2010 form? Will the team make it out of the first round of the playoffs? Great questions that only playing the season can answer.
8/15/13: The Canucks and New York Rangers both fired their coaches after the end of the past season. Very quickly each team pick up the other's former coach - so it was essentially a trade. John Tortorella takes over in Vancouver - a habitually under-performing playoff team. Aside from two years ago when the Canucks lost to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals, the team has had terrific regular seasons followed by a bad habit of losing early in the playoffs. Torts is a no-nonsense coach that won the Stanley Cup in Tampa in 2004. It will be interesting to see how the team responds to his tough approach.
8/8/13: And now for some nice news. The Canucks did a young fan right by replacing all of his team memorabilia after it was ruined during a burglary recently. According to reports, The Canucks reached out to 15 year old fan Austin Sabourin after the incident and donated several hats t-shirts and team pennants. The entire incident is ugly, but the team went beyond any obligation and earned some much needed PR points - as well as the life long adoration of one young fan. The best news is that the young man and his family are safe and healthy.
8/1/13: Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo has not publicly said anything about the team trading goaltender Corey Schneider to the Devils, but he did fire his agent and his agent is talking. According to his former agent, he had never seen a team treat a star player so poorly. Luongo has long wanted to be traded out of Vancouver, but no one is interested in taking his massive contract. Luongo now sits with the decision to keep his $100 million deal or restructure and go someplace that really wants him. There is a good chance he just sits on the money.
7/11/13: The NHL announced this week that they would add to their slate of outdoor hockey games this coming season. The latest game has the Vancouver Canucks hosting the Ottawa Senators at BC Place in March 2014. BC Place was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics and is the home of the local Canadian Football League team. This game will be the Heritage Classics and should be fun to watch. Some may argue that there are too many outdoor games now and the novelty has worn off, but if there is snow falling, then all the better.
7/4/13: For weeks, no months, no a good year and a half now, there have been rumors that goaltender Roberto Luongo was on his way out of Vancouver. The Canucks signed Luongo to a massive contract through almost the time his kids would be through college. Then they realized that they liked Corey Schnieder better - so they wanted to trade Luongo. The problem is that no one wants his contract. Instead, Vancouver traded Schnieder to the Devils. They received the 9th overall pick, which they used on Bo Horvat - a foward in the Ontario Hockey League.
6/27/13: The Canucks and New York Rangers faced off in a memorable Stanley Cup final in 1994. The games were intense and chippy, as the Rangers won their first championship since the mid-1940's. Both had championship caliber teams this past season, but both underperformed in the playoffs. Both teams also fired their coaches. In an unusual move, the Canucks hired ex-Ranger coach John Tortorella, while the Rangers hired ex-Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. One wonders if the teams just could have made a trade rather than going through all the time and expense of firing and hiring their former leaders.
5/30/13: After consecutive seasons where the Canucks were at or near the top of the regular season standings - only to fall in the first round to a vastly inferior team - Vancouver is completely cleaning house. They fired head coach Alain Vigneault and are now in the process of finding his successor. They need to find someone who will make the team tough enough for the playoffs. They are a finesse team that cannot make it through the rough and tumble world of the NHL postseason. Leading candidates seem to be Lindy Ruff (longtime coach of the Buffalo Sabres), Dallas Eakins (up and coming coach of the Toronto Marlies), and Dave Tippet (of the Phoenix Coyotes).
5/16/13: It must be May because the Vancouver Canucks finished up another dominating regular season and then got swept out of the playoffs by a far less skilled team. A year ago, the Kings made quick work of the Canucks and their President's Trophy en route to their first Stanley Cup Championship. This year, the San Jose Sharks took their 6 seed and did the same thing. Vancouver must look at their entire operation, as well as figure out a way to get out of backup goalie Roberto Luongo's massive contract. He doesn't want to be there. The team does not want him, but no one else wants his contract.
2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Team - Vancouver CanucksIt's kind of remarkable that the Vancouver Canucks aren't the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference for the 2013 NHL Playoffs and instead have the No. 3 seed as winners of the Northwest Division. The number two is significant for the Canucks for a couple of reasons. Two twin brothers, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, have been the offensive leaders and identity of this team for some time. Two accomplished goalies, Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo, have provided soap-opera fodder for the fans, with Luongo basically spending the entire season on the trading block despite (or due to) his pedigree and contract. Schneider has performed well despite the massive shadow just over his shoulder and stands to continue as the primary goalie when this team tries once again for the Stanley Cup in 2013.
And the dagger version of the number two, the one that keeps even the most optimistic Canucks fan up at night, are the two straight President's Trophies earned in the last two seasons; unfortunately, the hardware collection doesn't include a Stanley Cup from either of those years. Two years ago, the Canucks suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final. Riots literally ensued. Last season, the top-seeded Canucks were swept out of the first round by the upstart - and later Stanley Cup winning - Los Angeles Kings. Is the fact that the Prez Trophy will be won by the Blackhawks or Penguins a blessing in disguise? Will the late season charge to overcome the Minnesota Wild and win the division bode well for the grittiness needed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Only time will tell. If Vancouver can bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada, they'll earn a year-long grace period. Maybe even two.
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Canucks Beat Blues - March, 20135/9/13: As much as things change, they still stay the same. A year ago, Robert Luongo was the established goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks. He struggled early in the playoffs and was replaced by Corey Schnieder. Schnieder outperformed Luongo (who has a Stanley Cup Final and Olympic Gold Medal to his name), and became the starter this season. Schnieder had a mysterious injury, so Luongo started the first two games of the series against the San Jose Sharks. Luongo played well, but lost both games. Guess what, Schnieder is coming back to replace Luongo for the second year in a row.
10/4/12: The Vancouver Canucks have yet to see a big exodus of their players headed to Europe to play out the lockout. Former Canucks star Markus Naslund has been recruiting the Sedin twins to come play for his Moda team in Sweden but so far they have not gone anywhere. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa has skated with an amateur team and is planning a charity game in British Columbia. He will be putting together a team consisting of several of his teammates to play the University of British Columbia hockey team. One player who won?t be there is Ryan Kesler who is still recovering from wrist and shoulder surgery.
9/27/12: The Vancouver Canucks have not seen their big stars leave for Europe yet, but they did send some of their younger players to their AHL team to play during the lockout. This includes Zach Kassian, whom they traded for last year. Kassian figures big in the Canucks plans and would have been on the NHL roster if the season were underway. He is big and physical which is what the Canucks management has said they wanted. They also sent defenseman Chris Tanev back to Chicago as well. Tanev is a steady defenseman who spent most of last year with the Canucks and figures to again after the lockout.
8/16/12: The Vancouver Canucks announced this week that they signed first round draft pick Brendan Gaunce to an entry level contract. The Canucks selected Gaunce with the 26th overall pick in last spring's NHL Draft and he is still a couple of years away from breaking into the NHL. Gaunce played with Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League last year and scored 28 goals and 40 assists and is a strong two-way player. It is hard to say where Gaunce will play next season. He could easily end up with the AHL Chicago Wolves or return to Belleville for another season.
7/26/12: The Vancouver Canucks summer rolled on this week with little news. They re-signed depth winger Dale Weise to a one year contract which allowed them to avoid arbitration but made no other significant news. General Manger Mike Gillis took to the Vancouver radio this week and mentioned that the team had been involved in trying to acquire restricted free agent Shea Weber from Nashville. Gillis said that in the end they decided not to submit an offer sheet as they believed strongly that Nashville would match any offer. That is exactly what happened as the Predators matched the sheet that the Philadelphia Flyers signed Weber to.
5/3/12: The Vancouver Canucks have been sitting quietly after being eliminated by the Kings from the playoffs. That quiet has not stopped the NHL rumor mongers though. After goalie Roberto Luongo mentioned that he would waive his no trade clause in his contract the NHL world was a flutter. Rumors sprung up saying he actually had requested a trade and had given the Canucks a list of teams he was willing to go to. The Canucks denied that report but most fans in Toronto believe that the Maple Leafs are one of the teams that he is willing to go to.
4/26/12: After losing their first round playoff series against the Kings in disappointing fashion there was a lot of big news coming out of Vancouver this week. Roberto Luongo told reporters that he would be willing to waive his no trade clause in his contract if the club asked him to. Luongo has seven years remaining on his contract that pays him 5$ million a year. It is believed that the Canucks would rather hand the reigns over to young Cory Schneider but moving Luongo and that contract may prove difficult. General Manager Mike Gillis also ducked questions about the future of his head coach Alain Vigneault. Stay tuned Vancouver.
4/19/12: The Canucks have had a disappointing playoff run so far. Facing the Los Angeles Kings the top seeded Canucks have dropped the first three games and are in danger of becoming the first President Trophy winning team to get swept in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Injured forward Daniel Sedin was rumored to possibly return to play in Game 4. Sedin has been out with a concussion for the past month and as Vancouver's leading scorer his return would be a huge boost to their struggling offense. Talk is already surfacing in Vancouver about the future of head coach Alain Vigneault should the Canucks bow out in the first round.
Vancouver Canucks Tickets -Team History
Vancouver Canucks tickets allow fans the opportunity to see one of the rising franchises in the NHL's Western Conference. Established in 1970, the Vancouver Canucks joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team along with the Buffalo Sabres. The Canucks play their games at Rogers Arena and have called the venue home since 1995. Watch as the Canucks continue to build their legacy and work to bring the Stanley Cup to Vancouver!
Vancouver Canucks Tickets -Season Info
The Vancouver Canucks are a franchise perennially in a position to win the Stanley Cup. With a roster loaded with veteran leadership, the Canucks are riding high in the NHL's Western Conference. With All-Stars like Ryan Kesler, Henrik Sedin and his twin brother, Daniel, the Canucks are a nightmare of a matchup for whichever team draws them in the playoffs.
Vancouver Canucks Tickets -Ticket Information
Vancouver Canucks tickets ensure that fans see the Canucks playing top contenders throughout the entire NHL season. The Canucks are the odds on favorites to win the Northwest Division in 2011. With matchups against great teams like the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche and non-divisional meetings with Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canucks are sure to be tested all season long. Grab your Canucks tickets now and don't miss the action!
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Vancouver Canucks NHL Playoff Tickets Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup Playoff Opponent NHL Playoff Preview - Vancouver Canucks 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Team - Vancouver Canucks It's kind of remarkable that the Vancouver Canucks aren't the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference for the 2013 NHL Playoffs and instead have the No. 3 seed as…Read more
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Vancouver Canucks Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Vancouver Canucks First Game 2014
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Vancouver Canucks Upcoming Games Schedule
|Mar 30, 2015||Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues|
|Mar 31, 2015||Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators|
|Apr 2, 2015||Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks|
|Apr 4, 2015||Vancouver Canucks vs Winnipeg Jets|
|Apr 6, 2015||Los Angeles Kings vs Vancouver Canucks|
|Apr 9, 2015||Arizona Coyotes vs Vancouver Canucks|
Vancouver Canucks Past Games Schedule and Vancouver Canucks Scores
|Mar 26, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Vancouver Canucks||4 - 1|
|Mar 24, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Vancouver Canucks||2 - 5|
|Mar 21, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - Los Angeles Kings||4 - 1|
|Mar 19, 2015||Columbus Blue Jackets - Vancouver Canucks||6 - 2|
|Mar 17, 2015||Philadelphia Flyers - Vancouver Canucks||1 - 4|
|Mar 14, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Vancouver Canucks||1 - 4|
|Mar 12, 2015||Los Angeles Kings - Vancouver Canucks||4 - 0|
|Mar 9, 2015||Anaheim Ducks - Vancouver Canucks||1 - 2|
|Mar 3, 2015||San Jose Sharks - Vancouver Canucks||6 - 2|
|Mar 1, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Vancouver Canucks||5 - 6|
|Feb 26, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - Buffalo Sabres||3 - 6|
|Feb 24, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - Boston Bruins||2 - 1|
|Feb 22, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - New York Islanders||4 - 0|
|Feb 20, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - New Jersey Devils||2 - 4|
|Feb 19, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - New York Rangers||5 - 4|
|Feb 16, 2015||Minnesota Wild - Vancouver Canucks||2 - 3|