GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

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GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby Uncle dans leg » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:48 am

CANUCKS (33-15-5) at WILD (25-20-8)

TV: SNET-P (HD), FS-N (HD), FS-WI (HD)

Last 10: Vancouver 7-1-2; Minnesota 3-5-2

Season Series: Fifth of six meetings between these Northwest Division rivals. Vancouver has won three of four, but Minnesota's lone victory came in the only game they've played so far at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild have been done in by the Sedin twins, with Daniel posting 2 goals and 8 points while Henrik follows with 1 goal and 6 points. Roberto Luongo has recorded shutouts in both of his starts this season and has three in a row against Minnesota dating back to last April.

Big Story: Clinging to the eighth seed in the Western Conference with four teams directly on their tail, the Wild begin a four-game homestand the hard way by facing a Canucks squad that is fighting for the No. 1 seed Minnesota once occupied. The Wild didn't do themselves any favors Tuesday when they lost to the last-place Blue Jackets, allowing the ninth-place Coyotes to pull even with them in points.

Team Scope:

Canucks: A second-round playoff series with Nashville last spring might have turned for Vancouver when it took Game 3 in overtime on the Predators' ice. The Canucks played their first game at Bridgestone Arena this season on Tuesday night and needed to go beyond regulation again to win, as Alexander Edler's goal in the sixth round of a shootout gave them a 4-3 win. It was their fifth straight game and eighth in 10 to be decided either in overtime or the penalty-shot tiebreaker. Byron Bitz had a goal and an assist in his second game of the season.

"Keep my stick on the ice and get open," Bitz said about playing on a line with Henrik Sedin and Mason Raymond to start, and later with both Sedins. "But still I couldn't change anything, I'm not going to try to beat guys one-on-one … be smart with the puck, be smart, get deep and get some cycles going."

Wild: With an opportunity to earn five of a possible six points on a three-game road trip, Minnesota came away empty against an opponent it really can't afford to lose to with the West race as tight as it is. The Wild had shut out the Avalanche and earned a point in a shootout loss to the Stars, two other teams directly on their heels, but after evening the score against the Blue Jackets late in the first period on defenseman Nate Prosser's first NHL goal, they were stymied the rest of the way by Curtis Stanford.

"The reality is that I don't think we deserved to win the game," coach Mike Yeo said. "It's a game of one-on-one battles and they got the better of us -- by a large margin -- in that department tonight."

Who's Hot: Ryan Kesler has goals in four straight games for the Canucks. Overall, he has 5 goals and 1 assist during a six-game points streak. Luongo is 4-0-2 in his last six starts. … Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom is 2-1-1 and has allowed just six goals over his last four starts, posting a .952 save percentage.

Injury Report: Vancouver forward Chris Higgins (illness) has missed the last three games, while forward Andrew Ebbett (collarbone) is on injured reserve. … Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner (lower body) has missed the last two games, while forwards Guillaume Latendresse (post-concussion symptoms), Jarod Palmer (upper body), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion/groin) and Mikko Koivu (shoulder) are on injured reserve.

Stat Pack: Luongo stopped 37 of 40 shots against the Predators and hasn't lost in regulation (13-0-6) in his last 19 games facing 40 or more shots. … Erik Christensen logged 11:21 of ice time and had a pair of shots in his Wild debut Tuesday after being acquired from the Rangers.

Puck Drop: Vancouver backup Cory Schneider split a pair of decisions against Minnesota this season before Luongo blanked the Wild twice in the span of 17 days -- they represent his only shutouts this season.

How the "Mighty?" have fallen...Epic suckage by the Wild after leading the NHL a couple of months in. I bet they dont even make they post season. Calgary and Phoenix both have played much better than the flailing Wild lately and I think this trend will close out the regular season.
Look for a fragile team that will fall apart if we get up a couple early. There is some skill on the other side but this team should be no match for the Canucks depth and talent. I predict 4-1 Nucks

As an aside, I thought "Boothie" was the lamest of nicknames...gotta think "Bitzie" trumps that one on the lame-O scale.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby ukcanuck » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:45 am

Bold predictions, Cory in nets, Henrik in the lineup and both will contribute to another yawner and two points. :mex:

It seems like the struggle is going to be how to stay awake between now and the playoffs. :drink:

Maybe a pick up or two on the trade deadline will give everyone something to focus on. :sly:

personally I would love to see a race to the wire for first over all, but first in the conference will suffice as home ice doesn't seem to matter as much in the finals... just want first in the conference in order to avoid the Wings and Blues :towel: :towel:
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby dhabums » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:08 pm

ukcanuck wrote:personally I would love to see a race to the wire for first over all, but first in the conference will suffice as home ice doesn't seem to matter as much in the finals... just want first in the conference in order to avoid the Wings and Blues :towel: :towel:


We won 3/4 at home in the Finals.

I say win the President.


---

Too soon or way too late?

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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby Blob Mckenzie » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:23 pm

Ballard is scratched in his home state after he has been playing his best hockey as a Canuck.

AV is a fucking cunt.

If I'm KB4 i ask for a deal politely behind the scenes. There's no way in hell he will ever get a fair shake here.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby Blob Mckenzie » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:30 pm

Now I read he might have back spasms.....which is it ? Either way he has been playing very well lately but he is wasted here.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby dhabums » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:54 pm

AA in home state too.

I didn't hear about the spasms either, but Rome has been a spaz of late.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby rockalt » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:55 pm

Blob Mckenzie wrote:Now I read he might have back spasms.....which is it ? Either way he has been playing very well lately but he is wasted here.


I was wondering the same thing Blob. For as much of a disappointment as Ballard has been in his time as a Canuck, there's no question he has actually been playing extremely well over the last couple of weeks. He's such a better option than either Alberts or Rome. Frankly I'd like to see a pairing of Tanev-Ballard again because the big lugs do not compliment Ballard's game. He can be a very valuable asset with his speed and aggression. I'd like to see him used on the second PP unit.

I think I hope back spasms are the reason he's not playing? Not sure what's worse.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby Hockey Widow » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:17 pm

I think we are stronger with a 5-6 of Tanev and Ballard than Rome and Alberts. Rome and Alberts do give us more toughness but a much poorer bottom paring IMO.

I heard some interesting tidbits re Ballard today. It seems that RD is not the only one that does not have confidence in him. Seems some of his team mates also lack confidence in him and he does not enjoy the same support that Rome and Alberts do. The latter two because of their perceived toughness. It is not a coincidence that Ballard's better play has also seen him play tougher which is what AV sees as missing from his game. So the real question is can he play tough and finally earn the confidence of his coach and team mates?

I also heard before puck drop that he is a healthy scratch and the back spasm thingy is over blown. In other words if he was a valued member of the team he would be good to go but being a fringe player in AV's mind it is enough to keep him out of the line up.

Also heard that MG has been floating around trade ideas to move Ballard but to date no serious offers have come his way. He won't part with him just to clear cap space, well, until they need to make room for cap space, whoever cap space turns out to be. But he is on the trade block if MG can get the deal he thinks he needs. Funny thing is that 3 teams, from what I am told, have shown some interest and all three are contenders although I have no idea who they are.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby BladesofSteel » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:28 pm

Ballard will have some trade value at this time of year, as contending teams are bound to wanna shore up the depth, particularly those already suffering injuries on the blueline.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Ballard go, but he won't be dealt just for the sake of it, as this team too needs to improve its depth. But if an upgrade on the bottom pairing is possible while moving Ballard in the process, it makes sense for both Keith and the club moving forward.

Note: FWIW, Murph tweeted Ballard needs his back further looked at and says he likely won't play in Calgary. Given how the pairing of Alberts and Rome fared in tonight's match up, why not keep them together for what should be expected as a rugged game.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby Uncle dans leg » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:36 pm

Hockey Widow wrote:I think we are stronger with a 5-6 of Tanev and Ballard than Rome and Alberts. Rome and Alberts do give us more toughness but a much poorer bottom paring IMO.

I heard some interesting tidbits re Ballard today. It seems that RD is not the only one that does not have confidence in him. Seems some of his team mates also lack confidence in him and he does not enjoy the same support that Rome and Alberts do. The latter two because of their perceived toughness. It is not a coincidence that Ballard's better play has also seen him play tougher which is what AV sees as missing from his game. So the real question is can he play tough and finally earn the confidence of his coach and team mates?

I also heard before puck drop that he is a healthy scratch and the back spasm thingy is over blown. In other words if he was a valued member of the team he would be good to go but being a fringe player in AV's mind it is enough to keep him out of the line up.

Also heard that MG has been floating around trade ideas to move Ballard but to date no serious offers have come his way. He won't part with him just to clear cap space, well, until they need to make room for cap space, whoever cap space turns out to be. But he is on the trade block if MG can get the deal he thinks he needs. Funny thing is that 3 teams, from what I am told, have shown some interest and all three are contenders although I have no idea who they are.


Interesting to hear that he doesn't have the confidence of his team mates. There has always been an issue apparent somewhere regarding KB4 and here it is.
Judging from what you wrote and the apparent shortage of decent defencemen available at the up coming deadline, I think its pretty clear that KB4 will be shipping out sooner rather than later. His improved play will hopefully endear him to a potential GM willing to throw us a half decent asset ready to step in and help the team for this years run.

Let the speculation begin (or continue)!
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby dhabums » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:49 pm

Hockey Widow wrote: and he does not enjoy the same support that Rome and Alberts do. The latter two because of their perceived toughness. It is not a coincidence that Ballard's better play has also seen him play tougher which is what AV sees as missing from his game. So the real question is can he play tough and finally earn the confidence of his coach and team mates?


I have to admit, Rome and Alberts "almost fights" are very impressive. Push, shove, talk, push, shove, talk.

That said, Lappy has almost doubled his career fights this year. Nice job tonight dealing with Buttercup.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby Benjo » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:51 pm

In other news the Canucks win tonight in what was likely one of their best 59 minute efforts of the season.

Bitz gets his third point in his last three games with a nice feed to Henrik

Malhotra with a nice tip..he looked relieved in his celebration

Lappy fights Buttercup and gets the better of him imo

Kesler gets his 5th goal in 5 games

Schneider with steady play and big saves when needed

Lappy gets 5 min spearing penalty near end of the game. I can see him getting at least a $2500 tax write off for his efforts.

Yeo went down a few pegs in my books for throwing Staubitz out there late in the game
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby dhabums » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:52 pm

BladesofSteel wrote:Note: FWIW, Murph tweeted Ballard needs his back further looked at and says he likely won't play in Calgary. Given how the pairing of Alberts and Rome fared in tonight's match up, why not keep them together for what should be expected as a rugged game.


Sounds like a neck issue actually, but the neck bone is connected to the back bone.
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby dhabums » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:53 pm

Benjo wrote:Yeo went down a few pegs in my books for throwing Staubitz out there late in the game


I have no issue with a coach trying to entertain the home crowd.

==

I wonder why Chara didn't get anything for his spear in the SCF?
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Re: GDT - Feb 9, 2012 at Minnesota Wild 5PM S-NET-P

Postby Groovypippin » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:59 pm

Best 59 minutes of the season? I saw a sloppy game where we defeated a crappy opponent. A win is a win, but calling that one of our best efforts of the year is giving Minnesota way too much credit. After watching Rome and Alberts flail around for the entire game, I certainly hope Ballard has a real injury. He should be in there.

Take this to the bank: if Ballard is traded to a good, playoff bound team at or before the deadline we are all going to be astonished with his play and wish we had him back. He's a hard hitting mobile defenseman that can pass the puck. Pissing those away at the trade deadline is pretty stupid in my opinion.
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