Vancouver Canucks, Bruce Boudreau

Canucks Slogan: We’ve Gotta Be Better Next Game

Canucks Canada Tour

The Vancouver Canucks have two days off before visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Arena. They’ll practice in between and contemplate how they can improve coming off of Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss against the Montreal Canadiens.

“Those are frustrating, the giveaways, the not being able to handle the puck on a pass in the neutral zone,” said Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau postgame Wednesday. “Letting pucks bounce over your stick when you’ve got them. Those are killers, and us along with some other teams, we’ve all had a fair share of them.”

The Canucks fell behind 55-seconds into the game on a Habs power play goal and trailed 3-0 after the first twelve-and-a-half minutes.

“Obviously we know the start wasn’t good enough for us tonight,” Canucks captain Bo Horvat added, “we shouldn’t have been surprised by it, they obviously had a back-to-back as well, so for us to, there’s no excuse for the way we started tonight.”

“We’ve gotta be better in the next game,” he’d later add. How many times has Horvat uttered those words or similar over the last couple of seasons, and I’m sure some folks would insist it’s been going on for much longer than that.

Canucks Neighbours Winning

In 2nd place in the Pacific Division, the Seattle Kraken have won five games in a row utilizing a simple formula that seems foreign to the Canucks at the moment.

“Our team has played hard, pretty well defensively throughout the entire year,” Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said after the win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. “That’s been a trademark of our group, playing hard as a five-man unit, and when you add in the good goaltending, we’ve had that. If you look at the recent road trip that was a big part of our success, playing hard defensively and getting that big save at the right time.”

Skate Blade

Updating the Evander Kane skate blade injury from Tuesday night, the Edmonton Oilers forward and Vancouver native will miss three to four months as his left wrist mends itself. Pat Maroon of the Tampa Bay Lightning accidentally skated over Kane’s wrist after he’d fallen to the ice along the right wing boards in the offensive zone during the second period of the Oilers 3-2 win.

Kane released a statement on Wednesday:

“Thank you all for the kind wishes and prayers from over the past several hours,” Kane wrote. “Obviously last night was an extremely scary moment for me and I’m still in a little bit of shock. I would like to thank the entire training staff of the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning, along with all the doctors and paramedics who rushed to help treat and repair my injury. Without all of you, I know things would’ve been much worse and I’m sincerely grateful. I won’t be back next game, but I will be back and I look forward to being back on the ice playing the game I love alongside my teammates in front of our great fans.”

Eye for an Eye?

That concept is often brought up when you see one player get injured and miss a dozen or two games due to a cheap hit while the perpetrator gets off with a two or three-game suspension. The eye-for-an-eye punitive concept dates back to an Egyptian king in the bible.

Why not make the guilty party sit out for as long as the injured player is missing?

Because it’s not realistic, every player is different in terms of how, and even if, they would have been injured, and it opens the door to tampering. The injured player’s recovery time would determine the fate of the perpetrators absence, and that would get a little dicey if the club decided to have the player take his time coming back for whatever reason they decided.

We bring the concept up because Juraj Slafkovski of the Montreal Canadiens was given a two-game suspension for his Tuesday night boarding penalty on Matt Luff of the Detroit Red Wings, who will have wrist surgery on Thursday and miss ten to twelve weeks due to injury.

Slafkovski was the first-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Enjoy the Canucks Hockey Action !!

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.