The Dreaded Two-Goal Lead: Volpatti re-signs, MacTavish resigns, Pahlsson signs elsewhere

The Dreaded Two-Goal Lead is an infrequent PITB feature used specifically to recover quickly after falling behind. What’s with the name? Well, as you no doubt know, a two-goal lead – often called “the worst lead in hockey” – is super easy to come back from. Similarly, while Canucks’ news comes fast and furious, and sometimes (say, in the summer, when we’re busy resting on our laurels) we find ourselves playing catchup, this feature allows us to catch up almost effortlessly.

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The Canucks are much fightier than last year: Top 5 fights of the season

A weird thing happened over the weekend: Don Cherry, that great defender of toughness in hockey, actually called the Canucks tough. I’m not joking. It actually happened.

The main (and only) reason that this is significant is that Cherry is the king of the surface-level observation. He seems to look at something once, get an impression, and immediately have a take. If Cherry’s first impression is that the Canucks are a tougher team and that “Boston’s not going to push them around any more” that is a positive for the Canucks, because that means that other teams are getting that same impression. If “toughness” and “Canucks” can be put together in people’s minds more often, that can only benefit the team.

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A little over two weeks ago, when Steven Pinizzotto’s season-ending shoulder surgery was announced, we posited the following theory: to be the thirteenth forward in Vancouver was to be cursed.

All the signs pointed to a curse. Pinizzotto wasn’t the only depth forward to go down: Andrew Ebbett and Byron Bitz had also fallen prey to injury troubles that would keep them out indefinitely. Additionally, the forwards for the Canucks’ farm team in Chicago were all playing miserably to start the year. The Canucks found themselves with no options but to carry only 12 forwards, just as the curse wanted.

And for two weeks, that’s exactly what they did, and — shock of shocks — there were absolutely no problems. But then Mason Raymond declared himself ready to play, Vancouver found themselves in possession of 13 healthy guys, and the curse once again reared its ugly head: the Canucks announced Saturday that Aaron Volpatti is done for the season after tearing his shoulder labrum late in Thursday’s game versus Nashville. There goes another one.

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Fans of fighting often argue that fights can turn the tide of a game or give energy to a team that’s playing with lethargy, and, while I’ve always found this to be a silly argument, it’s important to note what happened during the first two minutes of Staubitz and Volpatti’s major penalties: the Wild finally broke through on Cory Schneider, scoring twice and turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. They never looked back.

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