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Morning Buzz: Real hockey returns with one of the league's best rivalries

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Yup, you heard me, real hockey. None of this fancy crap, none of this run-you-over-in-your-crease-and-then-hug-you business. Tonight is the start of "down the stretch". Teams are fighting for playoff position, trade rumours are flying around, and people start talking playoffs. Playoffs?! Yes, playoffs. It's going to be great.

The Canucks get back at it against the Hawks tonight. The season series is tied 1-1, with the road team blowing out the home team once each in November. Links, videos, and other good stuff after the jump.


Vancouver Canucks News & Notes

Get stoked for tonight's game against the Hawks with this photographic collection of the rivalry over the years. [Vancouver Sun]

Harrison Mooney does a great job of expanding on the idea that Cody Hodgson has replaced Manny Malhotra. He may have literally taken his roster spot, but if anything Manny's role is even more important this year on the 4th line. [PITB]

Hat tip to Zandberg for posting this in FanShots – a great feature on Chris Higgins, one of my favourite Canucks. I almost forgot how beastly his playoff beard was.

The Stanchion breaks down what the "other" Canucks were up to during the All-Star break. There is an absolutely brilliant Keith Ballard photoshop in here. [Legion of Blog]

David Booth hit the slopes over the break and is hoping to continue his strong play since coming back from a sprained knee. [The Province]

Enjoy over 5 minutes of Jim Hughson losing his shit over Roberto Luongo saves. [PITB]

Canucks Army has added Jeff Paterson to their already stellar lineup of contributors. Congrats to the Army, and looking forward to reading Jeff's analysis.

You'll be hearing this a lot over the next four weeks before trade deadline: "The Canucks need grit up front." [The Province]

According to Mike Gillis on Twitter, has been a huge success thus far. Great to hear.

We have the privilege of posting some audio of Henrik Sedin on media day from All-Star Weekend. This was recorded by Peter Raaymakers from SB Nation's Sens blog Silver Seven. Some interesting bits here about him and Daniel playing on different lines when they were young, and who he thinks is the best player in the game right now. [I can't get the audio to embed, so click here for the WMV file]

Today in Canucks History

[Jan 31, 1978] Rick Blight scores two goals as Canucks defeat Washington 4-2 for the franchise's 200th victory.

NHL News & Notes

The numbers are in, and more people watched the skills competition on CBC than the All-Star Game itself. [Puck the Media]

Also, despite the absence of Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the game posted the same ratings as last year. [Puck the Media]

Tim Gleason has been locked up for 4 years by the Carolina Hurricanes. Say goodbye to his trade deadline rumours, and say hello to possibly the most uneventful deadline in history. When Tim frickin' Gleason is the biggest name getting thrown around, you're doomed from the start. This won't stop TSN from airing a 3 hour special, though. [TSN]

Sidney Crosby skated yesterday. He looks like a million bucks out there! Seriously, look at the stick handling and the snipe he pulls at 0:33. [Click here if the video doesn't embed]

Elliotte Friedman with a great 30 Thoughts, starting off by talking about Crosby's neck injury. What I'm curious about — and this may never be confirmed — is whether or not any of Crosby's symptoms that he thought to be post-concussion were in fact from his neck. Obviously he has had a concussion all along as well, because the neck is fully healed and he's not playing. [CBC]

Here's the latest "Sidney Crosby should retire" plea. [Globe & Mail]

Peter Chiarelli: "I'm not trading Tim Thomas." [PHT]

There was a minor trade between the Flames and Jets yesterday. [CBC]

The stats say that a few teams are due for a surge in the second half, and the LA Kings top the list. [Hockey Prospectus]

Looks like the shootout is not going anywhere anytime soon. For what it's worth (nothing), I'm still not a fan of it. It remains a wholly unsatisfying way to end a team game that is at its best when a big play is executed. The shootout represents nothing of what actually occurs within a real game. [SI]

What I Listened To While I Wrote This

Thanks for reading. I'll be away for the next couple days, moving into a new apartment. It looks like Mr. Kent Basky will be filling in, so be sure to show him the same lack of respect you show me. Oh, and pepper him with garbage if he misses a link. See you Friday!