Reports out of Finland are saying that Sami Salo has injured his achilles tendon in a game of floor hockey and could be gone 3-5 months. The report has not been confirmed as of yet. Assuming the report is true, this could be a very difficult injury for Salo, now 35, to recover from. Not only is he 35, but he has a lot of mileage on his body. One side effect of Salo being injured may be Kevin Bieksa. The longer Salo is out, the more valuable Kevin Bieksa becomes. A long term injury also provides salary cap relief, just as Pavol Demitra’s long term injury did last season.
It went somewhat under the radar because it was reported the same day as Markus Naslund’s jersey retirement was announced, but the Canucks have announced that they will be having a “ring of honour” at Rogers Arena. The idea behind the ring of honour is that they will be able to honour some players from the past that don’t quite deserve to have their jersey retired. Is this a good idea? In a way I like the idea of honouring past players in a way other than jersey retirement, but just what will be the criteria to get on the ring? Four players will be honoured this year, beginning with Orland Kurtenbach. The other three have yet to be announced.
The better team won. Face it. I have heard lots of whispers from the Canucks players and from fans that somehow the Hawks aren’t the better team, which boggles my mind. They were the better team during the last two regular seasons, they were the better team the last two playoffs. Sure there were some mitigating factors. Willie Mitchell’s injury sure hurt. Playing game 6 with a less than 100% Sami Salo and losing Alex Edler made things difficult. Lots of the Canucks forwards were banged up. Injuries ARE excuses, legitimate excuses. Injuries don’t mean you automatically lose, but they make things more difficult. These injuries meant that the Canucks had to be extra good, seeing as how they were underdogs to begin with. In the next few days I’ll take a retrospective look back at the Canucks season that was, but for now, lets concentrate on what happened in the deciding game, game 6 versus Chicago.
Apologies for not getting the game 4 recap out sooner, but all of the Canuckz.com team were out drowning their sorrows after one of the most disheartening games in recent memory. For the second straight game the Canucks were outsmarted, getting scored on and getting laughed at by the stronger, faster, cockier and so far better Chicago Blackhawks. Without getting into it too much, I’m sure we want to forget it by now, the Canucks need better goaltending from Roberto Luongo, more disciplined play, and better penalty killing.
Skate and go to the net, presumably that’s the message from Coach V to his troops tonight. Alain Vigneault has a few lineup shuffles in mind for tonight’s contest. Pavol Demitra and Rick Rypien will sit out tonight’s contest in favour of Michael Grabner and Tanner Glass. Here’s what the Canucks lines are expected to look like:
Team 1040 is reporting that Pavol Demitra will likely make his season debut Saturday versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Great news, now all they have to decide is where to put him. Has the second line of Samuelsson, Kesler, and Raymond shown enough to not get broken up? I’m not sure it has. It appears Alain Vigneault isn’t ready to shake up his top two lines. Here’s what the lines looked like at practice today:
After lets face it, a boring first 20-30 games this season, there are now lots of things going on in Canuckland. In fact, I can think of at least ten of them:
Interesting stuff from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. Among other things, Garrioch is reporting that the New York Rangers are interested in acquiring Pavol Demitra and that the Canucks are shopping Shane O’Brien. Interesting news on both fronts.
At the quarter-way mark of the 2009-10 season, the Canucks have successfully treaded water. With a record of 10-10-0, you’d think that the Canucks would be disappointed, and perhaps they are. For me, this is about what we should have expected, all things considered.
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).