In my final Olympic preview (Rob will finish things off with a look at team Canada tomorrow) I take a look at the country with the most medals in Olympic hockey with NHL participation: Team Finland.
As we start to wind down our previews of the top contenders taking part in the Sochi Olympics, I tackle my toughest task: projecting Team Switzerland.
The Vancouver Canucks look to get back into the win column with a Tuesday night tilt vs the Florida Panthers at Rogers Arena. The game against the Panthers marks the return of our old friend, Tim Thomas. Thomas has been mediocre at best in his return to the NHL and the Canucks would be more than happy to break their scoring woes with the crusty veteran between the pipes. Check out his helmet, that thing looks ridiculous!
As the Vancouver Canucks offence has shriveled up and gone AWOL there has been mounting pressure on Mike Gillis to make a deal; from both the “pretend” and real media alike, and even more so from the fans. The preferred target of any deal would of course be an impact forward that could play in Vancouver’s top six or if they can’t land that, a third line center.
There are several variables to factor into any hypothetical trade here like who they would get, what they would give up and how will that player fit with the Canucks – and even when one knows them the outcome is generally impossible to predict. Taking this into account, even someone so opinionated as I can’t judge a trade that hasn’t happened yet, even with Gillis’ track record. What I can do, however, is opine against making a trade and opine against it I shall.
At the very crux of this argument – about whether the Canucks should make a deal or not – is my belief that this team is no longer a serious threat to compete for a Stanley Cup and as such they should not act under such delusions. One would think that their status as a playoff bubble team right now (in 9th place in the West, with a 11-8-3 record good for 25 points in a league high 22 games played) would speak for itself on that front, but hey, legitimacy as a contender is in the eyes of the beholder, or something, right?
Slovakia, once a team on the rise with a talented group of forwards is now a team in decline. Players like Ziggy Palffy, Pavol Demitra and Peter Bondra have not been replaced. They are still being carried by players that are long in the tooth and there isn’t a lot of promising young players in the system.
A funny thing happened near the end of the Canucks-Stars game tonight. With time ticking down and the Canucks pressing for the equalizing goal, it was chaos in front of Dallas Stars goal. Crosschecks, holding and interference galore, as both teams were in desperation mode. And then it happens, Alex Burrows gets called for the only penalty.
Ok, maybe it wasn’t “haha” funny.
Alex Burrows has a reputation. It is a well earned reputation. He plays the game hard, but he has embellished over the years and made referees look silly. And refs are exacting their revenge.
EVERYBODY PANIC!!!! (seriously, we’re in trouble):
Riding high after a 4-0 drubbing of the hated Leafs, a tough OT loss in Phoenix, and finally beating the Sharks, it was starting to look like this Canucks team would leave all of us who had wailed about the lack of offensive improvement and derided this team’s chances of getting anywhere this season with egg on our faces, thus vindicating the Gillis-kissers once and for all. The Sedins and Kesler were producing at a healthy pace, a few diamonds in the rough had come forward to contribute offensively, and Luongo appeared to be shaking off the drama cobwebs and returning to form. The team as a whole looked to be reveling in exceeding the low expectations which had preceded the start of the 2013-14 season.
The Canucks are back at it Sunday night for their first meeting of the season against Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars. How will the Canucks come back after a devastating loss to the San Jose Sharks? Read on to find out.
I think it would be fair to say that John Tortorella learned what it’s like to be a fan of the Vancouver Canucks. After outplaying the Sharks for the majority of the game and deserving more than one goal to show for it, the Canucks gave up another tying goal (their third so far this season) with Anti Niemi on the bench for the extra attacker. In overtime, the refs decided to put their stamp on the comeback for the Sharks by handing Henrik Sedin a penalty which Henrik himself described as “a terrible call”. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Anyways, a 4-on-3 man advantage for the Sharks was too much to overcome as they would seal the game with a power play goal in overtime. The Canucks dropped to 1-2-2 in their 5 games which boots them out of a playoff position for the time being.
The Canucks announced today they’ve signed backup goalie Eddie Lack to a two-year contract extension worth $2.3 million.
The move comes just four starts into Lack’s NHL career, but clearly he has shown enough in those four starts for the Canucks to invest in him as Luongo’s backup for at least two more seasons. There were questions coming into the season surrounding whether Lack – who was coming off of major hip surgery in the off-season – would win the backup job over recently signed Joacim Eriksson. Lack won the job in preseason and has been solid and given the Canucks a chance to win the games he has started so far this season.
We are now more than a quarter of the way through the 2013-14 season and I think it’s an appropriate time to do a bit of myth busting with regards to John Tortorella. Fans, media and players all seem generally impressed by what Tortorella has done thus far, which is a far cry from the nervousness that existed when it was first rumoured that Torts would be heading to the west coast.