Monthly Archives: January 2019

Vrbata scores twice to lead Vancouver Canucks past Edmonton Oilers 5-4

Watch above: Hear from Andrew Ference and Steve Pinizzotto following a 5-4 loss to the Canucks Wednesday night.

EDMONTON — The Vancouver Canucks have made the most of their games against the Edmonton Oilers this season.

Radim Vrbata scored a pair of goals and Daniel Sedin had three assists as the Canucks continued their domination of Edmonton this season, defeating the Oilers 5-4 on Wednesday.

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Jannik Hansen, Chris Higgins and Yannick Weber also scored for the Canucks (13-6-0), who have won all four of their games against Edmonton this season and three of their last four games overall.

“It was back and fourth, we got an early lead and I don’t think we should have given it up,” Weber said. “They got a couple of quick goals, we made a couple of bad mistakes and they were right back into the game. We played to their strengths, that’s what they want, they like high-scoring games.

“I think for us, after the second, we just knew we had to stick to our plan, we knew we could out-play them and at the end, I think we deserved the win.”

Vancouver head coach Willie Desjardins said there has been no magic recipe this season against Edmonton.

“Every time we played them we could have lost every game,” he said. “That’s how tight the league is and we’re happy with the win.”

Canucks goalie Ryan Miller also continued his personal ownership of the Oilers, improving to 11-0 lifetime against Edmonton, now the longest active win streak in the NHL.

That said, Miller admits he hasn’t been having one of his better stretches in net overall of late.

“The last four games for me I haven’t been nearly sharp enough, I have to dial that in and get better,” he said. When you go through stretches like this I have to keep in mind, I have to battle, I have to compete and be better for the boys. They scored plenty of goals, it didn’t need to come down to the last second.”

Steven Pinizzotto, Teddy Purcell, Boyd Gordon and Andrew Ference responded for the Oilers (6-11-2), who have lost four in a row and have yet to win a game this season against a fellow Western Conference team, dropping to 0-9-1 in that category.

“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Gordon said. “That’s kind of been the story of the last few games. We’ve been inconsistent and we haven’t been able to find a way to push the game the other way. Until we do that, we are going to have a tough time winning games.”

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said that his top players were not at the top of their games as his team lost their fourth straight one-goal game.

“The guys who have to be critical for us right through our lineup, the forwards and some of our D, they weren’t there,” he said. “They showed sparks of coming, but for whatever reason the couldn’t get it done. The guys we rely on less played well. Your key guys have to be your drivers every night, and it wasn’t just two or three. We had a number of guys struggle through different portions of the game.

“It’s disappointing. You want the points. We have to find a way to be on the other side of the one-goal games.”

Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens wasn’t about to break down the five goals that got past him on the night.

“I’ll let my goalie coach determine what’s a bad goal or a good goal, if you don’t mind,” he said. “I battled. I thought I made some saves to keep them in it.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93 of the Edmonton Oilers battles for the puck against Daniel Sedin #22 of the Vancouver Canucks on November 19, 2014 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Andy Devlin, Getty Images

The Canucks went up 1-0 with four minutes to play in the first period, thanks to a short-handed goal. Shawn Matthias picked off a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pass at the Edmonton blue-line and sent Hansen in on a breakaway, where he was able to beat Scrivens glove-side.

It looked like the Canucks added another goal by Daniel Sedin just over a minute later, but the Oilers caught a huge break as it was ruled Alexandre Burrows had interfered with Scrivens in a bit of a questionable call as it appeared the Edmonton goalie embellished the contact.

Vancouver had 10 first period shots to just four from Edmonton on Miller.

The Canucks took a two-goal lead two minutes into the second period on the power play as a face-off win came right back to Vrbata in the slot and he beat Scrivens with a rocket of a shot for his seventh of the season.

Edmonton got that goal back three minutes later as a Pinizzotto wrist shot seemed to freeze Miller, who barely reacted before the puck was in the net. It was Pinizzotto’s first career NHL goal, coming in his first game of the season for the Oilers.

Vancouver made it 3-1 as a bad pass by Oilers defender Keith Aulie was picked off just outside the Edmonton zone, allowing Higgins to wire a long shot past Scrivens.

The Oilers, however, came flying back with a pair of quick goals to knot the game 3-3.

Edmonton struck on a power play with eight-and-a-half minutes left in the second period as the faceoff came back to Purcell at the point and he blasted it into the net.

Just 11 seconds later, Gordon battled for a puck deep in the Vancouver zone and banked a shot off of Miller’s skate and in. Pinizzotto, who had a first period fight, picked up an assist on the play for the Gordie Howe hat trick.

“It is kind of rare to have something like that happen,” Pinizzotto said. “It was good for myself, but at the end of the day it is about the team, and we couldn’t come out with a win today, which is disappointing. It was a good confidence builder for me personally, though.”

Vancouver surged back ahead with three minutes left in the second as Vrbata scored his second of the game, picking the top corner from the top of the circle on the power play.

Edmonton made it 4-4 six minutes into the third frame as Ference scored his first of the season on a long shot through traffic.

The Canucks once again took the lead with eight-and-a-half minutes left as Daniel Sedin made a perfect pass to a hard-charging Weber, who directed the shot off of Scrivens and in for his first of the year to make it 5-4.

The Oilers looked like they may have tied it once more with 10 seconds left, but the goal was immediately waved off as it was ruled David Perron had kicked the puck off Miller’s blocker and into the net.

“It was kicked and the rule says if it doesn’t hit another player and it only hits me, it’s no goal,” Miller said. “That’s what the rule is there for, you can’t pick up your skate blade in the crease and make a kicking motion, so I think it’s the right call. If it had deflected off his skate or hits him, I could live with it, but I saw him kick it and it didn’t touch anybody else, so I feel like it was the right call.”

The Canucks return home for three games, beginning on Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks. Edmonton plays the fourth game of a five-game homestand on Friday against the New Jersey Devils.


Are the days of Alberta’s flat tax numbered?

Watch above: Alberta has long prided itself for having the lowest personal income taxes in the country. But, as Tom Vernon reports, some are asking if the days of the flat tax are numbered.

EDMONTON – It’s part of what’s known as the “Alberta Advantage”: paying a flat 10 per cent tax no matter your income. But as the price of oil remains low, some wonder if the days of the flat tax are numbered.

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Premier Jim Prentice has previously said he will not raise oil royalties to solve the problem or tinker with Alberta’s 10 per cent flat tax on income. However, when questioned about it by Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, she says she wasn’t given a straight answer.

“Will he commit – right here, right now – that his government will keep the 10 per cent, single rate for personal income tax?” Smith asked Wednesday. “It should be pretty clear what the answer is. ‘Are you going to raise taxes?’ Yes or no. ‘Are you going to increase current taxes?’ Yes or no.

“He’s been unwilling to answer that question.”

When asked again by the media Wednesday, Prentice said he has not given any thought to it. But when asked if he might next year, he said: “We’ll deal with 2015 in 2015.

“I think what Albertans have said to us, loudly and clearly, is they want fiscal responsibility, they want a surplus budget delivered in 2014.”

There is debate on whether a tax increase is even needed. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation believes there really isn’t a revenue problem in Alberta, the money just needs to be better managed.

“Even at $75 oil, they’re probably going to bring in $8 billion in revenue this year. I mean, there’s no reason why they can’t balance the budget. It’s spending … That’s the issue,” said Scott Hennig, vice president of communications with the CTF.

Critics have said the flat tax is unfair, delivering disproportionate breaks to the wealthy at the expense of middle and lower income groups.

“We need to ensure that our tax system is fixed,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “No other province in the country has a flat tax. There’s a reason for it – it’s not a good idea.”

“The Prentice Conservative government has tied the education of children and the care of our elderly and sick to the price of a barrel of oil,” added Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.

As long as the barrel of oil remains around $75 dollars a barrel, the questions over Alberta’s finances will persist. And the Wildrose says it will keep pushing the premier for his tax plans.

“We’re being honest with Albertans,” said Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson “We’re just asking the premier that if he is going to raise taxes, if he feels the need to do that, then he needs to campaign on that.”

The province will release its second quarter financial numbers next week. Prentice says the province is still on track for a surplus this year.

With files from Tom Vernon, Global News, .


5 free things to do in Vancouver, from parks to Gastown – BC

Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. The city offers diverse ethnic neighbourhoods, old and new, and lots of options for shopping and dining. But many of the port city’s most beautiful attractions are free. Public art dots the urban landscape and there are miles of beaches and forested walks readily accessible by transit bus or train.


One of the world’s largest urban parks, Stanley Park is named for the British lord for who gave his name the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup.

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Stroll along the English Bay sea wall from the trendy West End neighbourhood, under the Lions Gate suspension bridge, and watch freighters and cruise ships passing beneath with mountains as a backdrop. Or cut through the park’s forested centre and meander along fern-lined paths as old-growth rain forest cedars tower above, cutting past Beaver Lake as herons fly overhead. At Brockton Point, majestic west coast aboriginal totem poles rise among the trees. Not far away is a children’s water park at harbour’s edge. The park, Vancouver’s gem, also boasts rose and rhododendron gardens with some 8,000 plants.


A favourite with locals and visitors alike, bustling Granville Island rests on the south shore of False Creek with views of downtown, English Bay and 2010 Winter Olympics venues.

Its centre is the Granville Island Public Market, several buildings of hawkers, artists and a tantalizing selection of food from meat and vegetables, to chocolate and bagels bound to stop any dieter in their tracks. A vast outdoor deck looks onto False Creek where visitors feed seagulls and enjoy performance artists.

The island’s Rail spur Alley is home to a wide array of artisans, glassblowers and craft shops. It’s also just a good place to sit back and watch the world pass by over coffee – and remember, drinking coffee here is a sport.

This undated image provided by Tourism Vancouver shows people examining produce at a stall at the Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver.

AP Photo/Tourism Vancouver/Clayton Perry


Visitors can relax in a pagoda at the edge of a lily pad-filled pond, where a turtle might poke its head above the water as giant carp swim idly by in the dark green waters. Filled with stonework and bamboo-lined trails, the garden rests behind moss-covered, tile-topped Chinese walls amid the bustle of downtown Vancouver. Yet it remains an oasis of peace in the eye of the urban storm.

Across the street is the Rennie Gallery at Win Sang boasting a collection of contemporary art. Tours are free by appointment. Parts of the collection are regularly on loan to New York’s Guggenheim and Metropolitan museums, the Pompidou in Paris, Smithsonian in Washington and Tate in London. Nearby is Vancouver’s Chinatown, small compared to others but an interesting melange of sights, smells and sounds.


Gastown is the heart of old Vancouver. With evocative street names like Gaoler’s Mews and Blood Alley, Gastown revolves around the statue of “Gassy” Jack Deighton, a colorful rogue credited with being one of Vancouver’s pioneers.

Stroll down the tree-lined, cobbled sidewalks of Water Street from Waterfront Station and enjoy buskers, pop into a west coast aboriginal art gallery.

But take care if you wander two blocks south to the heart of Vancouver’s skid row at Main and Hastings. There’s an ornate library endowed by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie as well as an open street drug market.

Steam flows out of the Steam Clock in the Gastown district in downtown Vancouver.

Images/Don Denton


Explore the mysteries of the night sky at Vancouver’s H.R. MacMillan Space Centre on Vanier Point in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. The facility’s Gordon Southam Observatory features a half-meter (1.6-foot) Cassegrain telescope. The observatory dome, 10 metres (33 feet) in diameter, was built in 1979 and is open to the public Saturdays 8 p.m. -midnight.

©2014The Associated Press

Buffalo Bills lend a helping hand during epic snowstorm

TORONTO – The Buffalo Bills are proving to be some of the most helpful neighbours following a record-breaking snowfall that blanketed parts of upstate New York.

The Buffalo area was hit hard, receiving almost six feet of snow by Wednesday with another 2 to 3 feet expected by late Thursday. But when the snow began to fall Tuesday members of the Bills organization stepped in to help those stranded by the weather.

Bills kicker Dan Carpenter dug out his elderly neighbours who called The Buffalo News to report the good deed.

“The drifts in front were a peak of 5 feet high,” Roy Noble, 88, told The News. “He had to cut through the snow from his driveway just to get to our front door … and he only had a small snow shovel.”

“The first thing he said was, ‘Is everything OK?’,” said Noble.”I thought that was really nice.”

Noble and his wife Lorraine, 87, married for almost 70 years, have lived in Western New York their entire lives. He called Carpenter “a helluva nice guy.”

Not to be outdone, Bills head coach Doug Marrone joined a group of Good Samaritans to help free a motorist left stranded in the snow.

“Let a young man do this,” a 50-year-old Marrone reportedly told one of the older men helping to push the stuck car.

The extreme weather has also left the Bills trying to figure out a contingency plan for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets after Ralph Wilson stadium had a reported 220,000 tons of snow dumped on the field.

READ MORE: Want to see Buffalo Bills game Sunday? Bring a shovel

The team is offering $10 an hour, plus game tickets to anyone who wants to help clear the snow.

The Bills say they have stayed in contact with the NFL who are assessing the situation.

“We are working with the Bills today to determine the status of the stadium,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora told The Associated Press. “If a change to the schedule needs to be made, the league will make the decision working closely with the club and local authorities.”

On Tuesday, Bills players took to social media to share their experiences with the snow-day.

Running back Fred Jackson posted a video to Instagram of himself playfully tossing his children into a snow bank.

Receiver Marquise Goodwin posted an image of himself standing in the snow wearing only sweatpants with the caption: “This snow doesn’t scare me.”

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