The Vancouver Canucks slipped to two games below .500 with the dual 5-1 losses to the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues on Saturday and Monday. They hope for restored confidence as they enter a back-to-back set of games at home Thursday against the upstart Seattle Kraken and then at Edmonton against the Oilers on Friday.
“This is our job, we get paid a lot of money to be here and to be professionals,” Canucks forward J.T. Miller said after practice on Wednesday. “It’s not gonna be sunshine all the time for us, so we have to make sure we know what the right way to play is and we know at the end of the day you can hang your hat on good work ethic and competing, and I think when we do that as a team we have good results, so it’s very simple for us.”
The Canucks have had good results against the Kraken, that’s for sure. In its brief history the Seattle franchise is 0-and-5 against Vancouver, including a 5-4 loss at Climate Pledge Arena on October 27th in the first meeting of the season.
This week the Kraken have won two games in a row and sit ten points ahead of the Canucks in the Pacific Division standings.
Wednesday’s day of preparation for the Canucks was a positive one.
“It was a heavy day of compete, and I think guys are a little pissed off the way the year has gone,” Canucks D-man Quinn Hughes said after the practice. “It was no more ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ for a lot of guys, yeah.”
Game in a day; while we wait …
Let’s Skate !!
NHL history has no shortage of great and bizarre goaltending stories.
One from the not-so-distant past involves Andrew Hammond, known affectionately as the ‘Hamburglar’. He absolutely came out of nowhere and stole the NHL show during the second half of the 2014-’15 season for the Ottawa Senators.
The Sen’s were trailing in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt by almost ten points when number-one goalie Craig Anderson suffered injury in February. Hammond took over and went on a run for the ages.
The Hamburglar, a nickname he picked up in college at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, ran up a record of 20-1-2 with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage in 24 games. Three of the victories were shut-outs.
Not long after that Hammond, Anderson and the Senators ran out of gas; beaten in the first round four games to two by the Montreal Canadiens.
After a decade as a pro in a number of leagues and a grand total of 67 regular season NHL games, Hammond retired from hockey on Tuesday, saying he wouldn’t be able to recover from his most recent ankle injury suffered last season while playing for the Canadiens.
A small chapter of hockey lore closes.
— San Jose Sharks forward Luke Kunin will miss the rest of the season after having surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ACL, an injury he suffered in the first period of a game against the Arizona Coyotes on December 13th.
It was six years ago about this time that Kunin earned a great deal of notoriety, captaining Team USA to a Gold Medal at the 2017 World Junior Championship that began on December 26th, 2016.
— Forward Cam Atkinson of the Philadelphia Flyers had neck surgery on Wednesday and miss the rest of the season. He suffered his most recent injury in late September during the preseason.
— Atkinson’s former teammate in Columbus, the Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner had surgery for a broken thumb on Tuesday and is expected to miss four weeks.
Enough of that …