Canucks finish off the road trip against the Lightning

tampaAfter coming off a victory against the Panthers last night the Canucks are back in action as they wrap up their road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s the final game before the All-star break and you can bet the club would love to go into the break on a winning note.  The Canucks (26-15-3) sit in sixth in the Western Conference with 55 points and with a win tonight will trail the Winnipeg Jets by a single point.

The Canucks are 3-1 on the road trip and will finish off against one of the elite teams in the NHL. The Lightning (29-14-4), led by Steven Stamkos, lead the Atlantic division with 62 points. The Bolts are 18-4-1 this season at home and will look to make it eight straight in their own building.

Brad Richardson remains sidelined with a lower body injury and Eddie Lack is under the weather so expect Ryan Miller to get the start between the pipes. Miller’s career-best scoreless streak ended at 200:45 against the Panthers.

Following tonight’s tilt the Canucks have some time off before they host the Anaheim Ducks on January 27th

Puck drop is at 4:30pm

 

Canucks are in South Beach to take on Roberto Luongo and the Panthers

bc-hkn-canucks-panthers-2n-jpgThe Vancouver Canucks make a visit to South Beach for a rematch against Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers. Last time these two clubs met it was an emotional return for Luongo who played in Rogers Arena for the first time since he was traded. Luongo stole the show and the Canucks played one of their worst games of the season. Tonight the club hopes for a different outcome and will look to extend their winning streak to three games.

The Panthers (20-13-10) have lost four straight at home and are sitting in ninth with 50 points in the Eastern Conference. The Canucks (25-15-3) are in the seventh slot with 53 points, with the Flames and Kings hot on their trail. The Canucks are 2-1 on the road trip that wraps up tomorrow in Tampa Bay.

Brad Richardson sustained a lower body injury against the Hurricanes and looks to be out of the lineup tonight. This means Zack Kassian will come down from the press box and lace the skates. He has been a healthy scratch for the last two games.

Expect Ryan Miller to get the start for the Canucks. Miller is coming off consecutive shutouts against the Flyers and Hurricanes. The Canucks have gone 122:21 without allowing a goal.

It’s the final meeting between Luongo and the Canucks this season.  Puck drops at 4:30pm

 

Canucks battle the Canes

canucks-celebrateThe Vancouver Canucks will look to win back-to-back games tonight when they visit Carolina to take on the Hurricanes. Secondary scoring has been an issue for this team but they’re going into tonight’s tilt with a bit more confidence after the offensive explosion against the Flyers.

The defensive group will get a big boost as Dan Hamhuis returns to the lineup after being sidelined for 22 games with a groin injury. He automatically makes this team better with his composed style of play while providing stability for the defence. Since last night went better than expected expect Kassian to remain a healthy scratch tonight.

The Canes find themselves near the bottom of the standings sitting 15th in the Eastern Conference with 33 points. Although the Canucks played last night it’s an opportunity for the club to take advantage of a weaker team and gain two more points on the road trip. This will mark the third game in the five game road trip. Following tonight’s match the Canucks will have the weekend off before they visit Roberto Luongo in South Beach on Monday.

It’s an early start as puck drops at 4pm.

 

Canucks look to snap a losing streak against the Flyers

flyersThe Vancouver Canucks will try to snap a three game losing streak as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers in the City of Brotherly Love.  After starting off the trip with a loss against the Predators the Canucks now find themselves in the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.  Considering how tight the race is and will be for the rest of the season, every point is crucial if the Canucks plan to make the playoffs.

The confidence is low and the scoring drought is painful to watch and it seems that if the Canucks are down by a goal the team is not able to come together and muster up any consistent offence. Mentally they’re broken down and tonight they have a chance to take advantage of a struggling Flyers squad.

Secondary scoring continues to be an issue for this team. Chris Higgins and Nick Bonino worked well together earlier in the year but the duo have not been able to contribute on the offensive end for some time. Chris Higgins has played 8 games without a goal and he along with Kassian, Burrows and Higgins have been slumping of late.

The Canucks will try to contain Jakub Voraeck and Claude Giroux, the talented duo that have posted remarkable numbers this season. Voraeck leads the league with 52 points and Giroux is third in assists with 34.

Ryan Miller is expected to get the start for the Canucks. It’s an early start as the puck drops at 4pm.

 

 

Vancouver Giants Defenceman Arvin Atwal on Spice Radio

arvinTonight on Spice Sports Vancouver Giants defenceman Arvin Atwal will be on the show. The 18 year old Delta native made his WHL debut with the Giants during the 2011-2012 season. A reliable defender with an offensive touch, Atwal has been a positive asset to a tough Vancouver Giants’ season thus far. At 6-foot, 195 pounds Atwal has the vision and shot to quarterback the power play. With his size and aggressive demeanour, Atwal is a physical force in pursuit of the puck.

If you were to ask his teammates about Atwal they would say that he’s always read to stand up for the guys and when push comes to shove, Atwal is ready to go. The majority of his scraps have revolved around coming to the aid of a fellow player

In addition to hockey Atwal is known for his connection to his cultural roots and always supports the local South Asian Community. Last April, he filled in as Jack The Giant, putting on a stuffed costume for the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade. He’s good with his legs, when it comes to skating he has that locked down but he even busted out some of his Bhangra moves, a hobby he had prior to pursuing hockey.

We’ll also get an exclusive look into the Giants season thus far and his thoughts on where the team stands. With a new bench boss in place, the G-Men have turned it around and are heading in the right direction. We will talk about Arvin’s aspirations as a hockey player and where he sees himself down the road.

Tune into Spice Sports from 5-7PM Tonight!

 

Canucks visit the Music City

predsThe Canucks get set to embark on a five game road trip beginning tonight against the Nashville Predators. The Canucks are 2-3 in their last five games, all of which have been at Rogers Arena. The road trip may be a blessing in disguise but it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Tonight’s tilt features the number one team in the league, with 60 points the Predators (29-8-4) have been climbing up the ranks.

As we crawl down the standings the Canucks are seventh in the Western Conference sitting just two points ahead of the Flames at ninth. The early success may have increased the expectations from Canuck nation but as time progressed, this team is exactly where we originally expected, fighting for a playoff position. Even though Dan Hamhuis has been the only major injury to the defense, the lack of defensive depth is alarming. He is expected to make his return sometime during this road trip.

Filip Forsberg has been having a stellar rookie year thus far and is well on his way of rewriting the record books in Nashville. Forsberg leads all NHL rookies with has 38 points and is looking to become the first Predator to win a major NHL award in franchise history.

The Canucks are 12-6-2 away from home while the Predators have won five straight at home to build a 16-2-1 record at Bridgestone Arena. Ryan Miller will sit this one out and Eddie Lack will get the start while Pekka Rinne will be manning the crease for the Preds.

Puck drop is set for 5pm.

Number 23

jamesThe Cleveland Cavaliers are number one on a list, not the standings or any offensive efficiency list but when it comes to merchandise, LeBron James took them to the top. The Cavs are number one on the merchandise list and naturally LeBron’s jersey is a hit as well.

LeBron James’ Number 23 is the best-selling jersey for the first time since his rookie season in 2004. The numbers are based on overall sales from Adidas and NBAStore.com from October to December.

There was a new face in the top five as Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors was number two on the list. He is draining everything on the court and now in merchandise he’s making it rain. The Durantula otherwise known as Kevin Durant was at the number three spot.  Kobe Bryant sits at the fourth spot with Derrick Rose securing the fifth spot.

When it comes to merchandise the Chicago Bulls are second on the merchandise list, followed by the Warriors, Lakers and San Antonio Spurs in the top five.

On the court the Lebron-less Cavs are 1-8 without number 23. He is a game-time decision when the Cavs take on the Suns Tuesday night. James’ has been sidelined by strains of his lower back and left knee that have kept him out for eight consecutive games and a career-high nine games overall this season. The Cavs (19-19) are sitting at .500 for the first time since they were 7-7 earlier in the season. Despite their lackluster play of late, the Cavs are sixth in Eastern Conference.

NFL Divisional Playoffs

nfl3_featuredAs we inch closer to the weekend NFL fans gear up for the games and hope that their squad ends up on the winning end. This weekend is no different; in fact, it’s a lot more intense because in the playoffs, it’s a single game elimination. The Divisional playoffs have arrived and it involves four tilts that will surely add a fair share of thrill and excitement to our weekends.

The Seahawks, the defending NFL champions, are hosting Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Arguably this match will be the least competitive as the Seahawks are heavily favoured.  They are currently riding a winning streak of seven straight post-season wins and their defensive game is back to where it was last year during the playoffs. There has not been a back-to-back champion in the NFL in 10 years and tomorrow the Seahawks will begin their quest to rewrite the record books.

Tom Brady and the Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. This is the fourth postseason match between the two in just six years. While the Pats are favorites in this tilt it’s important to note that two of their three home playoff losses since 2000 have been at the hands of the Ravens.  Tom Brady has been on another level in the second half of this season but the Ravens are undefeated in their last five playoff games.

Sunday will kick off with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers playing host to Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. Both clubs posted a 12-4 record during the season with the Packers being 8-0 at home and the Cowboys 8-0 on the road. Something will have to give this Sunday. Rodgers is recovering from a strained left calf he suffered three weeks ago and it intensified against Detroit in their final regular season game.  He is expected to play Sunday. The teams are meeting in the playoffs for the first time since the NFC championship game back on Jan. 14, 1996.

The finale will include Peyton Manning facing his former organization. Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are in Mile High to take on the Broncos. Manning spent 14 years sporting the Colts colors and after being released in 2011 has led the Broncos to elite status in the NFL. For Colts fans, Luck registered 40 touchdown passes, which is a career high for the Quarterback. Luck finished third with 4,761 yards, just ahead of Manning’s 4,727. In the early stages of the season the Broncos were favorites to make another trip to the Superbowl, their quest begins Sunday.

Tune into Spice Sports from 5-7PM  on 1200am for NFL analysis.

 

Welcome Back Roberto Luongo

luongoArguably the best goaltender to sport Canuck colors will make his return to Rogers Arena for the first time since he was traded to the Florida Panthers last season.

Some may know him as Bobby Lou or @Strombone1 from his infamous Twitter account and when he makes a save chants of Luuuuu roar into the bowels of the arena.

As the legendary Tom Larscheid would say, Bingo Bango Bongo, his name is Roberto Luongo.

The netminder began his career in Vancouver in 2006 when he was acquired from the Panthers. Throughout his eight year tenure he left memories that Canuck nation will cherish forever, even if they were good or bad. Luongo once served as our Captain and recorded 252 wins, making him the winningest goalie in Canucks history. The numbers speak for themselves and as we reflect on his time in Vancouver, the positives outweigh the negatives.

His mere presence changed the culture and vibe in the locker room. Whether it was his humorous personality that he brought to the media or his charming tactics with the community, one thing was clear, he wanted to win.  His passion and drive was never in question and that commitment to his craft spread to other players during his term.

Things turned for the worse following the 2011 Stanley Cup Final when the Canucks fell short of expectations and collapsed in game seven against Boston. It’s a night we’d all like to forget but it serves as moment where fans looked at Luongo as one of the key reasons this city did not hoist the cup. It all went downhill from there as contract negotiations, trade speculations, goalie controversies, and suspected conflicts with management took over the headlines.

We suddenly forgot about Luongo’s ability to stop the puck and focused our attention elsewhere, nitpicking every detail that stirred the pot. In the end Luongo went back to Florida and more than half of the fan base was left wondering if Luongo leaving was the best thing for this organization.

The popular figure may have taken his talents to South Beach but he continues to be a popular figure in this city. As time passed and fans begin to reflect, it’s clear that Luongo was one of the best players to ever play in a Canucks uniform.  Tonight will be his first time playing in Rogers Arena since is final home start as a Canuck on January 29, 2014.

The Panthers (17-11-9) are tenth in the Eastern Conference with 37 points and are battling for a playoff spot while the Canucks are trying to add to the their point total in the tight Western Conference. The Canucks currently sit at the fifth slot but are only two points ahead of the Kings who are at eighth.

Puck drop to the reunion is set for 7pm.Tune into Spice Sports for all the pre-game action.

Spicy Topics in the NBA

nbaIt has been an eventful start to the New Year in the NBA and Spice Sports will break it all down live on the show tomorrow from 5-7pm with Global BC’s writer Neil Khare.

Where to start? Well for one LeBron James has been sidelined for a week and will continue to rehab with back and knee strains. With his absence the Cavs have been struggling and are currently 19-16 in what has been a roller-coaster of a season. The management is clearly worried and they took action this week. The Cavs acquired J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks. They also acquired big man Timofey Mozgov from the Nuggets. He is expected to join the Cavs on a five-game West Coast trip that begins Friday against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

The New York Knicks have thrown in the towel for this season but have cleared up cap space for the future. Carmelo Anthony may sit for the rest of the year as he has been playing through injury but that is still left to be determined.

The Atlanta Hawks have surprised everyone with their recent play. Posting a 26-8 record, the Hawks are the number one seed while proving to doubters that they are the real deal. We’ll discuss if the Hawks are a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.

Elsewhere in the East the Bulls are proving why they were expected to be title contenders. Utilizing their depth and veteran experience, the Bulls are a tough squad to beat through fourth quarters. Pau Gasol has found the fountain of youth playing better than ever before. Jimmy Butler is proving that he is an all-star and Derrick Rose, well he’s playing and that’s always a great sign.

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has finally agreed to sit out a few games and rest his body. Although he hates the fact he can’t contribute to the club, the resting experiment is working for Bryant, looking fresh and revitalized when playing after a couple days off.

The splash brothers in Golden State are for real. These two are often playing as if they were in a video game, throwing up shots way past the three point line and hitting nothing but net. Golden State is the number one team in the league and are showing no signs of slowing down.

We’ll chat with Neil about all of these topics plus much more on our NBA breakdown tomorrow from 5-7 on Spice Sports!

 

Talk to us today.