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 [...]
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 [...]
Due to the Canucks long playoff run, the team is in for a very short offseason. The NHL entry draft is in four days and free agency begins in only eleven days. Mike Gillis has some work to do, as all GMs do. Luckily for the Canucks, most of their core is locked up long term, but there are a few key players that will become restricted free agents. Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo, Andrew Alberts, Raffi Torres, Chris Higgins, Tanner Glass and Jeff Tambellini are all unrestricted free agents on July 1st. Maxim Lapierre, Jannik Hansen, Victor Oreskovich and Alex Bolduc are all restricted free agents.
The NHL ruled on the Aaron Rome hit today, giving him a four game suspension. It’s the longest suspension in NHL Stanley Cup Final history and one of the longest in NHL playoff history. I was extremely surprised with the decision, because it lacks precedent. In my mind, it warranted a two game suspension.
There are a couple of ways to look at the Canucks 4-3 win over the Blackhawks on Friday night. On one hand, the Blackhawks finally found a way to get pucks past Roberto Luongo. Ben Smith and Viktor Stalberg scored on Luongo, and they weren’t great goals. If the Blackhawks can get goals from their depth players on a regular basis, they will climb back in this series. Another way to look at it is that the Canucks were able to win game when they let the likes of Ben Smith and Viktor Stalberg score and get an average game from Roberto Luongo.
Sami Salo is back, well, almost. He’s been skating for a long time now, and has been practicing and traveling with the team for a couple of weeks also. So when is he set to return? The Canucks are keeping this somewhat secretive, but it looks to be soon. The reason is of course the salary cap. The Canucks are very close to the cap right now and will be over it when Salo returns. According to CapGeek, the Canucks would need to get rid of $1.8 million of annual salary if Salo returned today.
The so-called “parity” of the salary cap era is on display, as the three top seeds are now eliminated in the East. But what about the parity between the West and the East? It seems as though the only strong team remaining in the East is the Pittsburgh Penguins and compared to their counterparts in the West; San Jose, Chicago, Detroit and Vancouver, they look overmatched.
The advice the Canucks could use can be summed up in five words: stay out of the box. Vancouver gave up six man advantages on Saturday night, which isn’t a lot, but that’s not the point. The point is the types of penalties they’re giving up right now: dumb penalties. Look no further than Shane O’Brien’s stupid penalty midway through the 2nd period last night. With the Canucks up 2-0, O’Brien got his arm up into the face of the Kings player to take an obvious roughing call. The puck had already been played out of the area and O’Brien didn’t hit him very hard. The Kings scored on that power play and the Canucks lost the game, which magnified the blunder.
In a weird twist this season, the Canucks have all 8 of their defencemen healthy (defencemen usually are the most injury prone), and a whole whack of injuries to forward, and then of course there’s Roberto Luongo. The result has been a lot of dull hockey, with the team trying to play more defensive due to their lack of fire power. With that said, here’s a review of the replacements for Luongo, Daniel Sedin, Pavol Demitra and Ryan Johnson (as well as Kyle Wellwood and Rick Rypien here and there).
The Vancouver Canucks have announced that their golden boy, Cody Hodgson, will not be sticking around with the big club and instead be sent back to junior this season. I applaud the move, as he simply doesn’t belong in the NHL… yet.
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