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Canucks Game Day: No Letdowns, Standings, VAN Generosity

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Vancouver Canucks, Pettersson
Elias Pettersson cuts in alone as three Coyotes give chase off a bad line change last Thursday in Arizona.

The Vancouver Canucks were watching the one NHL game involving Western Conference teams on Wednesday night and the results were to their liking as the Colorado Avalanche smoked the visiting Los Angeles Kings 9-3. The Canucks remain six points behind 3rd place LA but now have two games in-hand.

Heading into tonight’s game at Rogers Arena against the Arizona Coyotes, Vancouver also sits six points back of the Dallas Stars in the 2nd wild card spot with Dallas holding a game in-hand. The Stars host the Minnesota Wild Thursday night.

No Letdown

Can you have a ‘trap’ game at this time of year with this type of urgency? Absolutely, we see it happen all the time.

The Vancouver Canucks are coming off an overtime high against the Vegas Golden Knights to run their win streak to four games which includes a dominating and successful mini two-game road trip last week with 5-1 victories in Vegas and Arizona. Those same Coyotes visit Rogers Arena tonight with absolutely nothing to lose.

Already owners of the worst point total in the National Hockey League and losers of four straight, the Coyotes might be inspired to play spoiler to the Canucks playoff hopes, or they might not. Vancouver knows they can’t take that chance.

“We’ve already talked about it,” Canucks defenceman Luke Schenn said Wednesday. “You have to stay mentally sharp at all times. We absolutely have no breathing room as it is, so we can’t afford to take any time off or take anyone lightly, we’re not in a position to do that at all. The Coyotes have some veteran players who can score, they’ve got some good young guys who are trying to establish themselves and goaltending that can steal a game.”

The Coyotes are 3-and-2 in their last five visits to Rogers Arena and five of their last ten visits have gone to overtime, something the Canucks would rather avoid.

“I do think it’s on the veteran guys to make sure everyone is ready,” Schenn added. “We can talk about it, but at the end of the day everyone has to show up and do it. We have to be ready to start on time, ready to go. I do think it is partially on leadership and partially on an individual basis you have to show up ready to go.”

Generous BC

Congratulations to those responsible for the presentation on Sportsnet television and radio, but most of all congratulations to Canucks fans in Vancouver and across British Columbia who showed their generosity in raising the second most money ever for the Canucks for Kids Fund (CFKF) telethon during the game Tuesday night between the Vancouver Canucks and the Vegas Golden Knights.

$683,114 was the magic number. Fans also raised $300k in the 50/50 jackpot for the game, with half of those proceeds going to the Sedin Family Foundation.

Because of the Covid pandemic, this was the first in-game telethon presentation since March of 2020. Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada panel and reporting fame joined in as one of the co-hosts. The Vancouver Canucks website describes the charity as follows:

“The Canucks for Kids Fund dedicates resources to assist charities that support children’s health and wellness, foster the development of grassroots hockey, and facilitate and encourage education in BC.”

The club says the charity to date has raised more than $76-million to benefit kids and families in BC.

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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