Note: This article was also featured on the Legion of Blog on The Province’s website as part of Feature Friday. Big thanks to Wyatt Arndt (better known as @TheStanchion on Twitter) for the opportunity!
Early on in head coach Alain Vigneault’s tenure with the Vancouver Canucks, he was known as a compulsive line juggler, and was criticized heavily for it. In the past two seasons, Vigneault has gotten away from line juggling, instead keeping more stability with his lines. That was, until the last 2-3 games.
Byron Bitz with the Sedins? How about Ryan Kesler on the second power play unit? Both of those moves paid off in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. On Thursday, Vigneault threw some more names into a hat, coming up with trios that featured Duco-Hodgson-Lapierre and Raymond-Malhotra-Hansen. Those two bizarre moves got Maxim Lapierre and Manny Malhotra their first goals in 24 and 10 games respectfully.
There is some interesting news this week concerning the NHL possibly moving the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle this week. More from the Vancouver Sun:
That was the puck chatter north and south of the border, after an article appeared in the Seattle Times over the weekend, stating talks between city staff and San Francisco multimillionaire Christopher Hansen about building a new arena near Safeco Field were underway, and that “National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman has expressed a strong interest in placing a team in Seattle, leading to widespread speculation that the financially struggling Phoenix Coyotes could be moved here.”
Of course, talk of the Coyotes moving is nothing new. People have been talking about Phoenix moving for about four years now. But there has to be a limit to the amount of money the NHL is willing to lose on the team, especially if a new/better market is available.
The Canucks lost another game in the shootout on Thursday night, losing the game 4-3 to the Detroit Red Wings. While they didn’t deserve to win the game based on their play in regulation time and overtime, the shootout is a different animal. It usually has very little to do with the run of play. They lost the shootout because Detroit is a much better shootout team than the Canucks.
The Canucks are one of the best teams in the NHL but they are one of the worst in shootouts. One would think that a team that boasts a Vezina trophy finalist and a lineup filled with offensive talent would be good in shootouts. Instead, Vancouver has a 3-5 record, are 19th in shooting percentage and are 5th worst in save percentage. And this is not a new problem for the Canucks, it has gone on a few years. They were 4-5 last season and 4-4 the year before and 3-7 the year before that. So what gives?
Whenever there’s less than a month to go before the NHL trade deadline (February 27 this year), there are bound to be lots of wild rumours bouncing off the walls. One such wild rumour had Corey Perry on his way to the Vancouver Canucks for Corey Schneider, Keith Ballard and Mason Raymond. This is of course a ridiculous trade, one that doesn’t meet the Ducks needs at all. Yet, somehow there were a lot of Canucks fans that didn’t want the reasonably priced, highly skilled and gritty Hart Trophy winner from a year ago in exchange for a back-up goalie, sixth defenceman and third line winger. But I digress.
There’s always a lot of names that get tossed around before the trade deadline, but when Bob McKenzie brings up a name, people take notice. Bob McKenzie is reporting that Brenden Morrow may become available before the trade deadline. If Morrow becomes available, Mike Gillis will surely be one of the first people in line to put forth an offer.
a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
Take it away Jon Stewart!
Two lackluster outings in a row on home ice as the Canucks continue to struggle without the concussed Sami Salo and Alain Vigneault has had enough. The Canucks announced on Wednesday that they would be re-calling defenceman Chris Tanev from the AHL.
Tanev is getting the recall despite the fact that the Canucks have seven other healthy defencemen on their roster. Salo has been out for five games and this move signals to me that Chris Tanev is not getting an audition as a spare part on the Canucks, rather he is getting an audition to be a major part of the team going forward.
From time to time I like to dream up trades involving the Canucks. Sometimes realistic, sometimes not. Today I’d like to take a crack at some realistic ones.
Firstly, a bit of background. Mike Gillis was on the Team 1040 last week and proclaimed that the Canucks were ‘open for business’ on the trade front and that he wanted to change the ‘change the balance’ of the team. By Mike Gillis standards, this is an earth shattering revelation. Some general managers call press conferences sans-tie, Mike Gillis is more subtle. Gillis will drop hints, and this was a hint.
After the Canucks thrilling 4-3 win yesterday against the Boston Bruins yesterday, I decided to look for a Boston perspective on the game. What I read was downright frightening.
Say what you want about Vancouver’s media, but they don’t openly bend the truth to any degree that they do in Boston. It seems as though the Bruins can do no wrong with the Beantown scribes, much in the same way that the Republican party can do no wrong on Fox News.
The final episode of 24/7 Rangers-Flyers is another beauty. The Winter Classic is played during this episode, which featured Ilya Bryzgalov sitting on the bench with his thermos full of tea, and Mike Rupp doing his best Jaromir Jagr impression. Enjoy!
The NHL announced the starters for this year’s All Star Game today. They are Erik Karlsson, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Dion Phaneuf and Tim Thomas. Wait, what?? Obviously, Sens fans stuffed the ballot boxes. Of the four Senators named to the All Star game, only Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson deserve to be in the game, and only Erik Karlsson deserves to be a starter. The fact that four Sens are not only in the game, but named as starters, is a joke. But that’s not what bothers me most.
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