The Canucks return to Rogers Arena for a much anticipated date against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is all about the Canucks retro skate uniforms this afternoon and, of course, Leafs fans will be out in full force to celebrate their sad-sack team.
The Canucks are coming off back-to-back road wins against the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes. These wins give the team a glimmer of hope to remain in the playoff race, but their position in tenuous. Literally one loss against a non-playoff team, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, could derail any idea of making the playoffs. The Canucks simply cannot afford to lose against a team below them in the standings.
Game Time: 4:00 pm
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) February 9, 2016
The Toronto Maple Leafs come into town as a team that makes headlines off the ice and does very little that is memorable on it.
The Leafs currently sit 30th and last in the NHL. They are bad in every sense of the word and the recent trade of Dion Phaneuf made them even worse. If there was ever a team in so-called “tank mode”, it is the Toronto Maple Leafs of the 2015-2016 NHL season.
The Leafs have very few players on their current roster to be excited about but Vancouver’s own Morgan Rielly is a bonafide superstar in the making.
The Leafs are lead offensively by perennial Art Ross contender, Leo Komarov (I kid, I kid) and Tyler Bozak.
Despite the likelihood that the game itself will not be overly well played, the Leafs always bring a unique buzz with them whenever they come to Vancouver.
Enjoy the game and enjoy those fantastic Canucks retro skate uniforms!
1. The return of the skate logo
— Bauer Hockey (@BauerHockey) February 11, 2016
While Rob Williams wants the Canucks to keep their current jersey and colour scheme, many others will fall in love with the retro skate logo that the Canucks will have on display tonight.
How can you not like this uniform?
I have always thought the Canucks skate logo was so unbelievably cool and the “Flying V” colour scheme with a predominance of black simply looks amazing.
For one night, let yourself reminisce of Pavel Bure skating Mach 10 and scoring a highlight reel goal or Trevor Linden dominating the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.
Good times, except for that whole Nathan Lafayette thing.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 12, 2016
2. Henrik sets a franchise record
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 12, 2016
Henrik Sedin will become the franchise leader in games played when the puck drops against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
What does Henrik mean to the Vancouver Canucks franchise? In a word, everything.
By the time he retires, Henrik will undoubtably have the greatest career in franchise history and will have piled up all those points in an air of class that is rarely matched.
If there was ever a reason for a prolonged standing ovation, this is the occasion. Celebrate the fact that Henrik is still one of the leagues elite players while achieving this important milestone.
3. Leafs building excellence
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) November 19, 2014
It has been suggested that Canucks fans should envy the Toronto Maple Leafs and that Canucks fans should get used to looking up at them in the standings, along with the Edmonton Oilers.
The Leafs are an intriguing team in that they are in full strip-down tank mode, a strategy that many say the Canucks should be employing, but when exactly they are going to become competitive again is a complete unknown. It may take a lot longer than many are willing to accept.
The Maple Leafs have a current lineup that is extremely weak across the board. The Leafs are faced with the reality that they have high end prospects in Mitch Marner and William Nylander sprinkled with possible impact players like Kasperi Kapanen, but very little of note on defence and in goal. Stuart Percy? Antoine Bibeau? I don’t think they have a prospect on defence or in goal that is going to move their rebuild ahead a few years.
When I look at how far the Leafs would have to come just to get into a position where they are contending for a playoff spot, I question if the scorched earth method of team building is necessarily the place to go. The Oilers offer up clear evidence that building a team from the offence and back does not work.
When I look at the Canucks, I see a team that has a broader base of prospects with multiple players that could be making an impact in the NHL within the next few years (think Jordan Subban, Andrey Pedan, Nikita Tryamkin, Brock Boeser, Hunter Shinkaruk, Thatcher Demko). Plain and simple, the Canucks have a lot more building pieces to become relevant again than the Leafs do at this point.
Based on practice, it appears that Adam Cracknell and Alex Biega will be the healthy scratches along with the newly called up Alex Friesen.
The lineup is likely to look as follows:
|D. Sedin||H. Sedin||Hansen|
The Canucks are coming off a couple of nice wins on the road against less than stellar opponents and the Maple Leafs are flat out terrible. For some reason the Canucks have struggled at home and have not been able to string 3 wins in a row the entire season. The Leafs shock the Canucks with a 3-2 win and you still don’t feel guilty for dropping $350 for an official Jake Virtanen retro skate jersey.