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Posted On Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 3:14 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canucks brace for Hertl, rest of red-hot Sharks

VANCOUVER -- As if the Vancouver Canucks weren't already having enough trouble handling the San Jose Sharks, now they have to deal with the hottest player in the NHL, rookie Tomas Hertl.

San Jose has already beaten the Canucks eight straight, including a first-round sweep in last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs and the season opener for both teams Oct. 3.

The Sharks will be without defenseman Brad Stuart, who begins a three-game suspension for an illegal hit on New York Rangers forward Rick Nash. But Stuart was also out with a lower-body injury when the Sharks handed the Canucks a 4-1 loss to start the season in San Jose.


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 5:17 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sedins reunited after being split up

VANCOUVER -- If new Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella wants to confuse New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider when he returns to play his old team Tuesday night, all he has to do is keep the same lines that finished Sunday's 5-4 comeback win in overtime over the Calgary Flames.

Splitting up identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin is such a rarity Schneider almost never saw it during his time in Vancouver. It certainly got the Canucks attention in Calgary.

"As soon as he wrote the lines on the board, it kind of gives you a little jolt when you see the twins split up. You know it's serious," said defenseman Kevin Bieksa. "I don't get paid the big bucks like the coaching staff to make those decisions and obviously I think they are better together, but at times it's definitely effective to split them up."

After falling behind 3-1 early in the third period, the Canucks stormed back , with the Sedins each setting up a goal on their new lines.

Tortorella downplayed the move, saying it was more about changing the entire forward mix after a miserable start.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.05.2013 / 4:39 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canucks, Oilers ready for physical game

VANCOUVER -- An already intense rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers ratcheted up when they met in a preseason game that yielded two suspensions.

They play again Saturday night, and Canucks forward Dale Weise, who was suspended three preseason games for his check to the head of Oilers star Taylor Hall, said he isn't sure what to expect.

"I guess we'll see what happens," Weise said. "I'm going to go out and play the same way, and regardless if it's Taylor Hall or someone else I am going to finish that check every time and look to be physical tonight. And if I have to answer the bell it's part of the game."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.05.2013 / 2:20 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canucks' Burrows out at least two weeks

VANCOUVER -- New Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella's reliance on blocking shots generated plenty of discussing around the hockey world. That isn't likely to change now that top-line wing Alexandre Burrows will miss at least two weeks with a lower-body injury.

Burrows was hurt blocking a slap shot while killing off a 5-on-3 during the Canucks' season-opening 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. He finished the game but was spotted limping out of the locker room, and hasn't been back on the ice since. On Saturday, he was spotted wearing a walking boot.

"He's going to be out a couple of weeks, that's where we are going to leave it right now,"Tortorella said, refusing to get any more specific about the injury.

Burrows averaged just under 30 goals over the last four full seasons, and led the team with 13 in the shortened 2012-13 season while playing alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the No.1 line. He joins depth center Jordan Schroeder, who broke his foot blocking a shot in the preseason, on the injured list.

The Canucks, who averaged just over six blocks a game, blocked 22 shots in the season opener against the Sharks.

"I know you are probably going to ask about 15 questions about shot blocking,"Tortorella said. "Alex Burrows made the right play and if he doesn't make that play, he'd probably never play a 5-on-3 again here, so don't turn it into that. It was the right play. Injuries happen in a lot of different ways, so we'll continue to try to play defense – not just shot block – play defense the way you are supposed to."

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Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 5:26 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Canucks forward Booth to debut against Rangers

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth will make his season debut in the team's preseason finale against the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

There was concern Booth might miss the start of the season after only playing 12 games last year before ankle surgery, being held out of the start of training camp, and pulling out of a game last weekend after tweaking his groin in the morning skate. But coach John Tortorella surprised everyone by announcing the oft-injured winger is ready to play.

"David Booth as far as I am concerned is playing tonight, unless someone tells me something different," Tortorella said when asked if Booth had resumed skating.


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Posted On Wednesday, 09.18.2013 / 4:50 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Booth cleared to return to Canucks practice

Vancouver Canucks wing David Booth was cleared to practice Wednesday in an attempt to return from an injury-shortened 2012-13 season.

The Vancouver Sun reported Booth skated with the non-playing group Wednesday morning in advance of a preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers.

"It was quite the feeling," Booth said, according to the newspaper. "I mean, it's been a while since I skated with them."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 10:31 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Canucks' Luongo: 'Tough to do a complete 180 turn'

VANCOUVER -- Roberto Luongo was back in the media spotlight Wednesday, and again he was asked about his state of mind coming back as the No.1 goaltender for a Vancouver Canucks team that took that title away and tried to trade him for almost 18 months.

Except this time Luongo wasn't asked if he was happy about coming back to Vancouver after preparing to leave for so long, a question he danced around in previous interviews, but whether or not it was important. It certainly seems to be among the fan base.

"You guys [have to] understand, after what has happened over two years, it's a process and just kind of got to feel it out and see how it goes" Luongo said. "I am not saying I am unhappy. I am just saying right now I just want to be playing and then we'll see how things go. I think it's tough to do a complete 180 turn on something like this."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Ankle keeping Booth off ice at Canucks camp

VANCOUVER -- David Booth skated with his Vancouver Canucks teammates during informal practices late last week, so it surprised some to hear new coach John Tortorella say Wednesday that the power forward still hadn't been cleared medically to start training camp.

"Day to day," Tortorella said, jumping in on a question directed toward general manager Mike Gillis sitting next to him before both said it wasn't a surprise to them that Booth isn't ready. "We want to try and keep him healthy, so we want to be careful here."

Booth injured his groin during on-ice fitness testing last season and missed the first month of the season. He returned and scored one empty-net goal in 12 games before badly spraining his ankle in an awkward fall March 16, an injury that required surgery six days later.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 8:18 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Schneider travels with Canucks; no change in status

VANCOUVER Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider flew with the team Saturday afternoon, but there was no word whether the injured No. 1 would be available for Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

“He’s on the trip,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “He’s day to day.”

Schneider missed the final two games of the regular season with what Vigneault labeled a “body" injury, but was back on the ice Sunday and said Tuesday he was ready to play in the series’ opener Wednesday night.

Roberto Luongo played the first two games instead, and Schneider stayed off the ice Thursday before returning to practice Friday. He has not dressed as the backup in the best-of-7 series, which the Sharks lead 2-0.

Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev, who missed the final 10 games of the regular season, also made the trip to San Jose but was wearing a walking boot on his injured right ankle as he walked through the airport in Vancouver.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 8:17 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Canucks look for answers as Game 3 looms

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks arrived at the airport Saturday afternoon with different ideas about how to move on from a stunning loss to the San Jose Sharks the night before and start preparing for Game 3 on Sunday night.

As hard as it was to get over blowing a lead in the final minute and losing 3-2 in overtime on Friday; as devastating as it was be so close to evening the best-of-7 series only to fall behind 2-0 in the Western Conference Quarterfinal, they only have one more day to recover.

Captain Henrik Sedin thought they should "wake up today and look forward to tomorrow," moving on quickly and forgetting a loss goalie Roberto Luongo labeled "a heartbreaker."

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Quote of the Day

It's a moment that I've thought about for a very long time. It definitely feels great to get it out of the way. I couldn't have dreamed a better situation. I'm so thankful for this.

— Flames forward Sam Bennett after scoring his first career NHL goal in a Game 3 win vs. the Canucks