Posted April 07, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Vancouver Canucks are making a strong push for a fifth consecutive Northwest Division title. They'll try to continue it in a matchup with the surging Phoenix Coyotes, who are just outside the Western Conference playoff picture.
Vancouver goes for a season-high sixth consecutive home win while the Coyotes look to extend their best run of the season to four victories Monday night.
Well behind Chicago and Anaheim for the top two spots in the West, the Canucks (21-11-6) are trying to hold off Minnesota for the division lead and third seed. They've managed to do that so far by going 8-2-0 in their last 10 and winning two in a row since a two-game skid.
A major factor in the Canucks' surge has been Cory Schneider. Now the No. 1 goaltender ahead of Roberto Luongo, Schneider has posted a 1.43 goals-against average while starting all 10 of those games.
Schneider turned aside 36 shots in a 5-2 victory over Calgary on Saturday.
"Our best player was our goaltender,''coach Alain Vigneault said. "... They had some quality chances, but Schneids shut the door, and we were able to jump on a few of their mistakes and score some goals.''
The Coyotes (17-15-6) have finally started to do that, recording 20 during a 4-0-1 stretch after scoring eight times while losing their previous seven games.
Shane Doan and linemates Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata combined for six points in a 4-0 victory over Colorado on Saturday.
"It doesn't do much good if we don't find a few more (points),'' said Doan, the team leader with 13 goals. "We're feeling better, but ninth (place in the conference) doesn't get you anything.''
Another solid effort from goalie Mike Smith could help the Coyotes win four straight for the first time since they took their final five games of last season.
Smith played Saturday for the first time since suffering a head injury in a 2-1 loss to the Canucks on March 21 when defenseman Alex Edler - who was subsequently suspended two games - charged him. Smith earned his fifth shutout of the season with 24 saves against the Avalanche.
"He really looked solid, moved the puck well outside the net, and feet looked good inside the net," said coach Dave Tippett, whose team had gone 3-1-2 since his last appearance. "That's a really good sign.''
So is Hanzal recording seven points in the last five games after registering three in his previous 13.
Hanzal and Vrbata were sidelined with injuries as Phoenix won its second straight in Vancouver on Feb. 26 by a 4-2 score. The Coyotes are 4-1-0 in their last five road games in the series after winning twice in their previous 17 such contests.
The Canucks, though, have outscored opponents 16-5 in their last five on home ice. Daniel and Henrik Sedin lead Vancouver with eight points in those games.
Schneider surrendered goals to Kyle Chipchura, Mikkel Boedker and Antoine Vermette on Feb. 26 in his only regulation loss in four career starts in this series.
BEST OF MAXIM
YouTube sensation Dancing Jack is back at the Canucks game tonight. I went to a hockey game and dancing with the stars broke out. Ryan Kesler scored in his return from a broken foot and Cory Schneider made 19 saves as Vancouver won its sixth straight home game...and we had a cool kid groovin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLr_6ncQMVY The Return of Dancing Jack (Apr 8, 2013...
Ryan Kesler could play tonight?!
The OFFICIAL Vancouver Canucks twitter account just tweeted that all Canucks players are currently on the ice today except Chris Tanev.
Speculation is running rampant now that Kesler looks good out there, and it begs the question, could he play tonight?
Kes of course has been out for a while. He played in seven games, then went back on the IR...
The Green Men, a.k.a. Force and Sully, returned to the Rogers Arena for Thursday night's Vancouver Canucks game against the Edmonton Oilers, and they came especially prepared for Oilers left winger Taylor Hall.
When Hall received a hooking penalty halfway through the first period, the Green Men played a game of "Pin the Tail On the Donkey", holding a picture of a...
Canucks put out the Flames 5-2
Captain Henrik Sedin recorded a goal and two assists while Alex Burrows added one of each as Vancouver extended Calgary's road winless streak to 13 games (0-12-1).
Henrik Sedin's first assist of the night was the 600th of his career.
Here's the Boxscore - http://nwsb.co/7whqa
+ NWSB Game Recap - http://nwsb.co/r1nqp
Hockey Night in Canada Vancouver Hosts Calgary
A 7pm start at Rogers Arena on Saturday night against a reeling Flames team. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a fragile Canucks team looking to make the push towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Nucks 4-0 win against the Oilers on Thursday moved Van City back into first place in the Northwest Division.
Phoenix Coyotes (17-15-6) at Vancouver Canucks (21-11-6) Preview
With eight wins in their last 10 games (8-2-0), the Vancouver Canucks are strengthening their hold on the Northwest Division. After a relatively quiet March (22 combined points in 16 games), brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin are enjoying a solid start to April, combining for nine points in three games.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Ryan Kesler scored in his return to the lineup after a 20-game absence, Cory Schneider made 19 saves and the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 on Monday night.
Kesler returned from a foot fracture he sustained in his first game back after shoulder and wrist surgeries last summer.
Kesler scored at 7:26 of the first period on what...
The Canucks' top line combined for eight points, and Cory Schneider made 36 saves as Vancouver beat the reeling Calgary Flames 5-2 on Saturday night.
Henrik Sedin scored an empty-net goal and earned career NHL assists No. 600 and 601, Daniel Sedin added three assists, and Alex Burrows scored and had an assist to pace Vancouver (21-11-6), which has won eight of 10.
As you can tell from the title, I'm going to touch briefly on the win against Colorado, but I want to talk about Mike Smith and what the hell is going on in that crazy head of his.
So first off, the Coyotes won 4-0 in a must win situation. The Coyotes are excellent at home and brutal on the road so every win counts at Jobing.com arena. The second period proved to be the...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources say a decision on the future of the Phoenix Coyotes is imminent. While NHL commissioner Gary Bettman leads with an iron fist, his leadership took a hit during the 113-day lockout and I'm told he's getting heat from owners to settle this mess. "In Canada, the fans have been very forgiving," said a league...