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AM Skate: Canucks in Shark Territory, Rathbone Update, Canada Wins!, Pitt Trades

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Vancouver Canucks Rogers Arena
The Vancouver Canucks practice on Tuesday at Rogers Arena.

The Vancouver Canucks visit a team Thursday night that they’ve actually passed in the NHL’s Pacific Division standings in points, 50 to 48, the San Jose Sharks. With two games in hand however, the Sharks still have the better winning percentage by the narrowest of margins, .511 to .510.

This should feel like a playoff game for both teams.

Meanwhile, with their back-to-back wins in San Jose and Los Angeles on Monday and Tuesday night the Edmonton Oilers jumped back into a tie with the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks with 55 points in the Pacific Division. That’s good for third place in the division and/or the 2nd Western Conference wild card spot.

The Oilers host the Ducks in Edmonton this evening; Anaheim got stomped 6-2 in Calgary Wednesday night.

The playoff plot thickens, but before it thickens some more …

Let’s Skate! …

Rathbone Relief

Last night we shared the AHL-TV tweet video of Vancouver Canucks prospect and current Abbotsford Canucks defenceman Jack Rathbone getting crunched behind his net by Colton Sceviour of the Bakersfield Condors. Rathbone crumpled and was eventually carried off on a stretcher.

Elliotte Friedman reports Rathbone is good this morning. The 22-year-old had given a ‘thumbs up’ from the stretcher.

Canadian Ladies Rule

But we knew that already, right? Specifically, you’re very likely aware that Canada defeated the USA Thursday in Beijing 3-2 to win the Gold Medal in women’s ice hockey. Marie-Phillip Poulin factored in on all three Canadian tallies with two goals and an assist.

Incredibly, for the third time Poulin scored an Olympic Gold Medal Game winning goal. This time it came at 9:08 of the second period as the Canadians were forced to hold off a late rally by the Americans.

“The Canada and United States rivalry is special, and they always force us to play our best game,” Canadian forward Brianne Jenner said postgame. “We have a lot of great battles against them, and we all have a lot of respect for the players on [the United States]. Canada is a great hockey nation, and hopefully we have been able to inspire people back home and given Canadians a reason to celebrate.”

Canada has now won five of the seven Women’s Olympic championships, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2022 with the Americans claiming the other two, 1998 and 2018.

NHL D-men Trade Talk

Our chiefs with Pittsburgh Hockey Now are reporting a number of trade talk stories involving prominent NHL defencemen, from Jeff Petry in Montreal to the Penguins own Kris Letang. The PHN lads also take us on a quick spin around the rest of the NHL. By the way, Letang played his first game for the Penguins way back in the 2006-’07 season while Petry has been skating with the Canadiens since being traded to Montreal by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015.

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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