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GAME DAY: Canucks vs Avalanche

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While much of the hockey world is intent to focus on the teams around them, the Canucks have quietly again become the surprising team that they were in the first two months of the season. 7-2-1 in their last 10 and inching closer to locking down 2nd in the Pacific (and just 9 back of the Ducks with 9 games to go, and 2 in hand on Anaheim) the boys welcome the Avs tonight.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Time 7:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
H2H Last 5
Last Meeting
5-2 Canucks Nov 4/14
The Enemy Mile High Hockey coring Leaders D. Sedin: 16-50-66
Landeskog 21-31-52
43-26-4 SEASON RECORD 33-28-12
90 Points 78
2nd Division Position 7th
Won 3
Streak Lost 1
2.84 (10)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.56 (22)
2.64 (18)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.75 (22)
18.0 (20) Power Play % 13.6 (29)
85.6 (2) Penalty Kill % 84.3 (7)
47.2 (28) Faceoff Win % 50.7 (14)
10.8 PIM / GP 9.9
48.9 (22) Corsi For % 44.4 (29)
100.5 (13) PDO 100.7 (11)

It was beginning to look much like those games earlier this year against LA. The Canucks looked hopelessly outmatched against the Jets Tuesday night, until a goal by Chris Higgins sparked a comeback that saw the Canucks showing shades of 2011, scoring highlight reel goals, making the Jets pay on their PP chances, and getting solid goaltending when they did allow chances. There's still concerns on the back end, but this Canucks team is getting healthy, and if they can get through the 1st round unscathed could very much be a dark horse moving forward.

Tonight they celebrate another anniversary, as it marks 100 years to the date that the Vancouver Millionaires won the Stanley Cup, defeating the NHA's Ottawa Senators, sweeping them 3 straight in the best of five series, led by future Hall of Famers Frank Patrick and Fred 'Cyclone' Taylor. They're wearing the tribute jerseys for the 3rd time tonight, desperately hoping to wash the stench of failure that is attached to them from the two previous outings.

A win gives them 92 points, and could move to within 7 points of the Ducks, who play a desperate Boston team tonight. I am gonna go ahead and pencil in 2 points for Anaheim, because you can't count on the Bruins to do anything but be bastards. Should they get the help they need from those jerks in Beantown, and they'll move closer to actually snagging the Division title. It's a long shot for sure, but not beyond the realm of possibility. There's all kinds of scenarios there too should that happen (The Anaheim/LA first round series that would see just a single Cali team advance to round 2 is appealing). Lots of hockey to be played still, and after the tire fire that was last year, isn't it awesome to have games that don't just mean something, but are actually fun to watch?

While the Canucks as a team may not be getting the respect they deserve still, one thing that is nice to see is the rest of the hockey world admitting things like they were wrong about the demise of the Sedins after stating there was no way we'd see them return to the kind of numbers this year. They also had to back track from scoffing at the signing of Radim Vrbata, a move some said wasn't good for the Canucks money-wise. Show me someone who thinks they haven't gotten the best bang for their buck of all of the free agent signings from last summer. Ryan Miller, for all of the manufactured goalie controversy outrage, hasn't played since January and still has 28 wins, more than either of our dearly departed goaltenders. There were questions about who would provide scoring after Ryan *spits on the ground* Kesler was exiled to Anaheim, yet here's the Canucks with 10 players who've scored 10 or more, with the possibility of that number hitting as high as 15 by season's end. They've scored 15 more goals this season than last, and once again, that's with 9 games remaining.

Eddie Lack gets the start tonight for the Canucks, while the Avs will counter with disgusting creep Semyon Varlamov, who got the hook early last night after giving up 3 goals to the Oilers. The Avs came back to tie it up, but a PP goal from Derek Roy (wait... Derek Roy? Really? Huh...) gave the Oilers a 4-3 win, pretty much snuffing out any hopes of the Avs catching the Jets for that last wild card spot AND messing up their own tank hopes a bit in their quest to draft another first overall pick and ruin him with their culture of failure.


The oldschool kick continues Brazillian crossover kings R.D.P. (Ratos De Parao). Familiar to many metalheads thanks to their countrymen Sepultura covering a couple of their tunes.


- Take 1 drink: for every 100 comments bashing the Canucks for having the audacity to celebrate a piece of the city's hockey history because HOW DARE THEY!!!!1!!

- Take 1 drink: If Radim Vrbata gets goal #30 tonight

- Take 2 drinks: For every Patrick Roy rage face

- Take 2 drinks: If the Broons have actually beat the Ducks, and the Islanders dispatched the Kings tonight.

- Take 3 drinks: If Linden Vey gets his 10th of the year...

- Take 3 drinks to honour a huge piece of BC hockey history.