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Canucks Break, Demko All-Star, O’Ree Honour, Vanecek Down

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Vancouver Canucks, Tyler Motte
Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Motte.

The Vancouver Canucks go the All-Star break in 7th place in the Pacific Division with a record of 20-20-and-6 and 46 points, one behind the Edmonton Oilers who play in Washington against the Capitals tonight. The BC Boys are four points behind the 4th place Calgary Flames, they visit Arizona this evening, and seven points behind the 3rd place Los Angeles Kings who are in Detroit to take on the Red Wings.

The Vancouver Canucks head into the pause off Tuesday’s 4-2 loss on the road against the Nashville Predators.

After the five total NHL games Wednesday evening the NHL goes into its full All-Star Break – the game is Saturday – before returning with two games on Monday, February 7th. The Canucks return to play next Tuesday at Rogers Arena hosting the Arizona Coyotes.

The Vancouver Canucks get a breather. You, not you …

Let’s Skate! …

Thatcher Representin’

There’s no doubt goalie Thatcher Demko has been the Vancouver Canucks 1st-star of the first half of the season, so it’s appropriate that he received the team’s lone All-Star bid. He has 17 of the team’s wins, a 2.62 goals against average and a .917 save %.

Demko, participating in his first NHL All-Star festivities, will share the crease with fellow USA National Team Develop Program ‘graduate’ John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks who is playing in his third ASG.

Here’s the rest of the Pacific Division roster with the number of ASG’s they’ve been involved in next to their team name.

F Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (3rd)

F Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken (2nd)

F Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames (6th)

F Adrian Kempe, Los Angeles Kings (1st)

F Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (5th) – Team Captain

F Timo Meier – San Jose Sharks (1st)

F Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights (1st)

F Troy Terry, Anaheim Ducks (1st)

D Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights (3rd)

Way to go Willie

The NHL’s first black hockey player, Willie O’Ree will be the first player in history to receive the US’s Congressional Gold Medal, as President Joe Biden signed the declaration on Monday. It received full bi-partisan support in the Senate and the House of Representatives, a rare occurrence these days.

No date has been set for the presentation.

O’Ree debuted for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal on January 18th, 1958.

VHN has had the privilege of spending time with Mr. O’Ree (“call me Willie”) on a few occasions. He is class personified.

Congratulations Willie.

Speaking of DC

En route to handing the Pittsburgh Penguins their fourth straight loss, the Washington Capitals lost goaltender Vitek Vanecek early in the game to injury on Tuesday night. As Washington Hockey Now reports, Vanecek tried to stay in the game for a few minutes after Penguins forward Kasperi Kapanen slid into the goalie and knocked him down, but moments after giving up a power play goal to Evgeny Malkin at the 6:26 mark, Vanecek departed.

No word on his prognosis yet. Ilya Samsonov replaced him and picked up the win in the Capitals 4-3 overtime victory.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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