David Booth hasn’t exactly gotten off to the most roaring start with his new team since he was traded to the west coast on October 22nd. Booth started the year in Florida notching 1 assist in 7 games, while playing on the third line. Not great numbers, but those were expected to change in Vancouver where he would get a chance to play with better players in a more prominent role.
Booth has 2 goals and 5 assists in his first 12 games with the Canucks. Those numbers are average, but when we dig a little bit deeper, they’re less impressive. One of his goals was into an empty net. Of his 5 assists, three of them were of the phantom variety (ie. second assists where he had very little to do with the scoring play).
I’m not sure when exactly this began, but it’s pretty clear that the Vancouver Canucks are the most hated team in the NHL. We got more evidence of this when the recently retired Mark Recchi decided to offer this up:
(In) 22 years they are the most arrogant team I played against and the most hated team I’ve ever played against. I couldn’t believe their antics, their falling and diving. It was very frustrating, but at the same time as the series wore on we knew we were getting to them and we knew our physical play and our skating, I think it caught them off guard a little bit.
Mark Recchi is open to his opinion of course, and he certainly isn’t alone in his hatred for the Vancouver Canucks. But what I don’t understand is how the entire hockey world seems to be in agreement that the Canucks are a bunch of jerks while the Bruins get off Scott free.
Something that hasn’t received enough attention until only recently is how poor the Canucks have been at 5-on-5 play. Sure their power play is fantastic at a league best 26.7% and their penalty killing is respectable, ranking 12th in the league at 84.4%. But it is their play at even strength that is concerning. Currently Vancouver ranks 22nd in 5-on-5 play, not good enough for a team that prides itself on its skill level and depth.
Today the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted four more players: Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Doug Gilmour and Mark Howe. As always, the inductees are quickly praised before the hockey world debates who should have been inducted, but wasn’t. And for another year, the Pavel Bure argument has gained more momentum.
The hall of fame is filled with a lot of players who don’t deserve to be there (look no further than Dick Duff and his 572 career points in 1030 games), but that’s not why I think Pavel Bure deserves to be in the hall. If we used Dick Duff’s numbers as the barometer to get in the hall of fame, Tony Tanti would be a slam dunk choice as well.
Aaron Rome is experiencing a phenomenon that only Jeff Cowan and Rory Fitzpatrick can relate to right now. Aaron Rome Mania has swept Canuck Nation. Rome returned from injury last week and played his first four games of the season. In those four games the Canucks have gone 3-1 and Rome has 3 goals and 2 assists!
Today is the first installment of a new feature I like to call “Arguments I Hate”. The premise is simple. I will present something that a lot of people say or believe is true, and tell you why it’s nonsense. Today we’ll look at the assertion that Vancouver is a ‘goalie graveyard’.
Don Cherry did something that he rarely does on Coach’s Corner yesterday, he talked about the Vancouver Canucks. Cherry said the Canucks weren’t paying the price (actually he said ‘playing the price’, but we know what you meant Don). He also said that people were unfairly pointing the finger at Roberto Luongo (actually, he said Lulongo… he said Bieska too in case you’re wondering), that the Canucks need to block more shots and that they need to stop whining. And you know what? He’s right… Mostly.
The Canucks have traded Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm to the Florida Panthers in exchange for David Booth, Steven Reinprecht and a third round draft pick. Amazing that these same two teams have come together on yet another trade. As you might recall, Florida and Vancouver have teamed up on the Bure-Jovanovski, Bertuzzi-Luongo, Grabner-Ballard trades among others.
After a day of listening to irate callers on the Team 1040 today and receiving some nice feedback on my blog from yesterday’s article ‘Why Everyone Hates Luongo’, I think it would be interesting to take a closer look at Roberto Luongo, by the numbers. Everyone has their opinion on Luongo, and there are a whole lot of misconceptions. Some fans believe that Luongo stunk last year (despite an appearance in game 7 of the final, a bunch of playoff shutouts, a Vezina nomination and a Jennings trophy), which is clearly not accurate. But was he great last year? Average? Is he terrible this year? Is he playing like he always plays in October? Lets answer those questions.
Roberto Luongo is one of the most beloved and hated players to ever play for the Vancouver Canucks. He’s the best goalie the team has ever had (with apologies to Kirk McLean and Richard Brodeur), has been a Vezina finalist, a Hart Trophy finalist, won a gold medal and almost won a Stanley Cup in his 5+ seasons in Vancouver. Last year might have been his best season statistically, and yet, he’s hated now more than ever. If you weren’t already familiar with Luongo’s situation in Vancouver, this wouldn’t make any sense. But if you do, strangely it makes perfect sense. So why does everyone hate Luongo?