The Canucks are officially at the halfway mark of this lockout shortened season and something is clearly wrong with this team. This doesn’t resemble the team that won two straight President’s Trophies. Something is missing from the 2010-11 team that showed so much moxie, so much swagger, and more importantly, so much talent until it all fell apart in the Stanley Cup Final.
So what’s wrong with this team? Lets investigate…
The NHL has proposed division realignment for next season and as long as the NHLPA doesn’t decide to block it (again), we will see a fresh new look to the league next season.
The new set-up makes a lot of sense geographically for just about every team in the league. Dallas gets out of playing Pacific time zone teams, Winnipeg gets out of the southeast division, and Detroit and Columbus move to the eastern conference. The only two oddities involve Tampa Bay and Florida, who play northern based teams.
So how does this affect the Canucks you ask? I’m glad you asked…
We’re now into our third week of this abbreviated NHL season and the transformation of Roberto Luongo has been downright incredible. Remember how Luongo was viewed by many fans and media back in April? He was for sure the second best goalie in Vancouver, he had an ego, he was overrated, he crumbled under the pressure and on and on and on.
Fast forward to February 2013 and Luongo’s image has been transformed. He has been a class act, has let his sense of humour show on Twitter and most importantly he has played exceptionally well to start the season. Luongo has transformed himself from the underperforming star with a big contract to the lovable underdog. He has become that legendary veteran player everyone routes for.
When it comes to choosing retro jerseys, the Vancouver Canucks have a larger selection than most. I mean, this franchise has had so many drastically different jersey styles we dedicated a whole section to it! But next month, the Canucks will be looking to the Vancouver Millionaires for inspiration.
While searching out a picture of Zack Kassian for my piece on the Canucks shootout strategy, I discovered that Zack Kassian has taken a lot of priceless photos in his short stint as a pro hockey player. He’s halfway through his second season as a pro and the internet is already full of amazingly hilarious photos of the big curly haired missing tooth beauty.
Here’s a selection of the best, enjoy!
Thanks to sweet moves of Zack Kassian in the shootout last night, the Canucks won their first game of the season. One question though, why did head coach Alain Vigneault wait until the fifth round to use Zack Kassian?
This may sound like 20/20 hindsight, but there’s no way that Kassian should have been the fifth shooter while playing his second excellent game in a row. His confidence was sky high, he is skilled offensively and he has had some semblance of success in the shootout. I was actually calling for Kassian to shoot in the previous game against Edmonton as well (he was the 3rd shooter but never got an opportunity after Edmonton scored their second goal). I wanted Kassian to shoot because I remember watching Kassian score a beauty when the Wolves were in Abbotsford earlier this season, and it got me wondering if that was an isolated incident.
We’re now 3 days into the NHL season, and Roberto Luongo is still a Vancouver Canuck. But for how long? Cam Cole’s article in the Vancouver Sun shed some light on just that. Mike Gillis has a reputation as being a bit boring and a little standoffish with the media, but every now and then he offers up some insight or clues as to what is going on behind the scenes. In an interview with GM Mike Gillis, Cole was able to discover that the Canucks might have a few more trading partners than we originally thought.
Well, Cory Schneider’s debut as a starting goalie in the NHL didn’t exactly go as planned. Schneider let in 5 goals on 14 shots and was yanked from the game in the middle of the second period. Cue the drama, as Roberto Luongo stepped in to replace him. The media began licking their chops.
How will this affect Schneider’s confidence? Is Luongo a better goalie? Does this make the Canucks more or less likely to trade Luongo? And on and on and on…
The fact of the matter is that it’s just one game. Having Luongo looking over Schneider’s shoulder doesn’t make things easier, but he’ll get over it. It’s one game, and it’s not a game in which Schneider was letting in goals from centre ice. The team played terrible in front of him, and Schneider wasn’t on top of his game.
So who starts in game 2 versus Edmonton tonight? Well, Roberto Luongo of course. And that’s ok.
We’ve waited a long time for this… The Canucks open their season tonight against the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena!
So what can we expect this year? Thus far, predictions have been wide ranging. There are some still picking the Canucks to go to the Stanley Cup final, while others are predicting that they will miss the playoffs because of injuries to Ryan Kesler and David Booth. The bookies have the Canucks at 11-1 to win the Stanley Cup, putting them behind only the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins as favourites to win the Cup.
The Canucks got some more bad news the other day, learning that David Booth has a pulled groin and will be out of the lineup for 4 to 6 weeks. That’s coupled with Ryan Kesler’s injury, to which we don’t know when he will be back.
This news has sparked people to completely overreact, wondering if the Canucks should change their system and play more like they did in 2006-07 when they emulated the 2003-04 edition of the Minnesota Wild. Others have suggested that the Canucks can’t win the Stanley Cup this year because of this news. Utter nonsense.
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