Horvat, Klingberg, and Clendening register first career goals

Bo Horvat

Amidst all the other accolades rookies Bo Horvat, John Klingberg, and Adam Clendening may receive, you can be certain that one thing they’ll never forget is there first NHL goals. For each, that marker came on Thursday night.

Horvat, the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft, has only suited up for seven games for the Vancouver Canucks due to a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the first month of the season. It was lucky number seven that provided the former London Knight with his first tally: Read more

Dear hockey fans: let’s do more to weed out internet trolls

James Reimer (Getty Images)

The emergence of social media has enhanced the hockey-watching experience for many fans and media, but it’s also spawned the worst element of the sports (and for that matter, the internet) world: namely, the anonymous cowards who get their pathetic kicks hurling abuse at those with whom they take issue.

For some – pro athletes, public figures, opinion columnists – harsh criticism is to be expected: people have every right to be passionate about something that piques their interest, and so long as they engage in a respectful, healthy debate, they should be engaged with. But there are still some boundaries you don’t get to cross just because you have an online connection and a rudimentary grasp of the written word. And we’re still seeing too many people cross it in the hockey community.

Last week, some drooling goober thought he was justified in sending a repugnant Tweet to former NHLer and current analyst Jeff O’Neill that mentioned O’Neill’s late brother, Donny. When he saw it, Jeff O’Neill openly pondered not returning to his Twitter account until January (although he’s since reconsidered). And Saturday night, after the Maple Leafs were humiliated by the Buffalo Sabres, the wife of Toronto goalie James Reimer was subjected to a number of reprehensible Tweets from stooges who know how a keyboard works, but not how basic human decency works. Worse still, this wasn’t the first time Reimer’s wife has had to deal with the yammering clods of the internet. In March, she was the target of invective because of her husband’s play on the ice. (I’m not linking to any of the abusive tweets, because the cretins behind them aren’t gaining any notoriety from one of my files.)

It shouldn’t have to be said, but apparently, it needs to be: there is no excuse for attacking a player’s wife, girlfriend or any family member. None. If you don’t know why this is inappropriate, go soak your head for a good, long while, and try figuring it out again on your own. The families of hockey players have no connection to your enjoyment of the game. Any rationalization you have to include them in your hate is fundamentally flawed, as are you as a human being if you’re stupid enough to do so. Read more

Centered around Sedins, Canucks resurgence coming thanks to savvy off-season moves

Ryan Kennedy
Sedins (Getty Images)

If Ornskoldsvik wasn’t real, some hacky hockey scribe would have invented it anyway. The tiny Swedish town is a picturesque burgh of fewer than 30,000 people, situated on the water and home to some of the greatest hockey players the nation has ever produced, from Peter Forsberg to Markus Naslund. It’s also where two of the best current players in the NHL hail from in Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Every summer they go back to their hometown and decompress near the sea, where the boating is excellent and fellow NHLers such as Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman live nearby. But the first two weeks of this off-season’s vacation time were awful, as the clouds that followed the Sedins around during 2013-14 seemed to jump across from North America. Only in July did the skies clear in Ornskoldsvik. Now the twins are hoping their future in hockey will once again be beautiful as well. Read more

Canucks’ Chris Higgins and Brad Richardson behead Bruins, Blackhawks in trick shot challenge

Jared Clinton
Higgins Richardson Trick Shot Featured

Things have been going pretty well for the Vancouver Canucks this season, and wingers Chris Higgins and Brad Richardson decided to have a little bit of a trick shot challenge to celebrate the good times.

While they may not exactly be super snipers the likes of Steven Stamkos or Sidney Crosby, they certainly put some force behind a few aimed tennis balls, especially when it comes to aiming for the helmets of some of their fiercest rivals: Read more

The Sedins are still making magic – and the Canucks are still winnning

Adam Proteau
Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin  (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Don’t look now, but the best team in the west is the Vancouver Canucks, who beat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime Tuesday to improve their record to 12-5-0 and claim sole possession of top spot in the Western Conference. So look now at the reason they were able to do so: a terrific pass-and-convert game-winning goal between Canucks stars Henrik and Daniel Sedin:

Vancouver had blown three leads during the game at Rogers Arena, but escaped with a win 54 seconds before the shootout thanks to a nifty deke Henrik Sedin put on Sens forward Clarke MacArthur followed by a brilliant cross-ice pass he made to brother Daniel Sedin, who instantly fired the puck just inside the post past goalie Craig Anderson for Vancouver’s eighth win in their past 10 games: Read more

NHL draft prospect Nick Merkley is making a statement on The Hot List

Nick Merkley (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The CHL-Russia Super Series kicked off in Saskatoon Monday night and the visitors continued their hot streak by winning 3-2 in a shootout over the Western League’s squad. The six-game showdown usually starts in Quebec and goes West, but things are flipped this time and will be interesting to see if that affects the results at all. In other news, top 2015 Swedish prospect Oliver Kylington was loaned out to AIK in the country’s second-tier league, the Allsvenskan, where he will get more playing time. Here’s a look at some of the other youngsters we’re keeping an eye on.

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Ryan Kesler lost to Nick Bonino last night

Ryan Kennedy
Ryan Kesler misses on Eddie Lack (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

“Ping” may be the sweetest sound in the world for Vancouver Canucks fans today. Last night, with the game on the line, former Canuck Ryan Kesler skated in on Vancouver’s Eddie Lack in the shootout and rang one off the crossbar. One of the players he had been traded for, Nick Bonino, had already scored in the skills competition, so there’s your neatly-packaged storyline right there. But how about a shout-out to rookie GM Jim Benning for making that all possible in the first place?

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