The Week Ahead: ’twas the Central Division tour before Christmas

Every Wednesday we take a look at The Week Ahead to see what storylines we’ll be following, because Wednesday is a day meant for looking ahead to the future. Around here we call Wednesday “Future Day” and we all wear silver jumpsuits and big bubble space helmets. Doesn’t everybody do that?

This week, it’s visits to Dallas and Chicago yo play the Stars and Blackhawks, then one last home game before Christmas against the Winnipeg Jets.

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Can you name all 28 Canucks to score a shootout goal? [QUIZ]

Asked about his club’s ability to win in the shootout shortly after his club showed their inability to win in the shootout, John Tortorella was his usual, blunt self. “We suck at shootouts,” he said. “Yeah, we do.”

That’s not an unfair assessment of this year’s team. The Canucks are now 1-4 in the postgame coin toss this season, with just 2 goals on 18 attempts, and nobody scored Wednesday night as the club attempted to prevent their impressive seven-game win streak from being downgraded to a chintzy eight-game point streak.

Tortorella went on to suggest he might be switching up the rotation the next time around. “We’ve got to try different people, I guess, because we stink at it,” he said.

So negative, this guy. Here’s an idea instead of focusing on who didn’t score, focus on who did. Granted, that’s easier said than done when someone scores, but Tortorella could take our latest, infuriating Sporcle quiz, which lists all 28 guys that have scored a shootout goal for the Vancouver Canucks since the league introduced the new overtime format in 2005-06. Granted, that might make him angrier. It’s hard. Can you remember them all?

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The Paper Feature: The five best, and five worst games of 2013

We’re nearing the end of 2013, which means it’s time to look back at the past year and judge it like a snooty celebrity fashion blogger. Personally, I’m disappointed that at no point did Snake Plissken make his way across Los Angeles Island to retrieve the Sword of Damocles, as I was promised would occur in 2013 in the movie Escape from L.A.

The Canucks didn’t play as many games in 2013 as fans might have hoped, particularly in May and June, but there were still some memorable games. Here are the 5 best and 5 worst Canucks games of the year.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Minnesota Wild, December 17, 2013

You might have expected a letdown after the Canucks’ big victory over the Boston Bruins in their last game, but the Canucks played very well. While it lacked the emotion of the Bruins game, the Canucks still dominated this game at times and it took some outstanding saves from Josh Harding to keep them from also dominating on the scoreboard.

Don’t get me wrong, the game itself was still a massive letdown. It was an exercise in tedium, built on a foundation of silence in the ironically named Xcel Energy Center. Apparently the “State of Hockey” is a state of quiet introspection, as this was one of the most muted hockey arenas I have ever seen and heard.

It was also a letdown in the sense that it wasn’t decided in regulation or overtime and the Canucks are less deadly in a shootout than Marty McFly. I watched this game.

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