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 [...]
We’re now two games into the Predators-Canucks series and it’s become clear that goal scoring will be at a premium. Both teams have combined to score 2 goals each in 8 periods of hockey. A series for the ages? Not likely… So where has all the goal scoring gone? Well, in game 1 it was the Nashville Predators who failed to show up and rode the coattails of Pekka Rinne to keep them in the game. In game 2, it was the Canucks’ turn to fail to show up through 60 minutes, putting up a pathetic 15 shots on goal. Meanwhile, Roberto Luongo stood on his head for 59 minutes, before letting in a stinker from behind the net.
As the second round begins Thursday evening, here’s a few quick hits on what to watch for as the Canucks try to move on to the third round for the first time since 1994…
Let me immediately state that this is not a trade rumour. Nobody has suggested that the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are talking trade or that Mike Gillis is shopping Mason Raymond, Keith Ballard or Cory Schneider. Even new Flames general manager Jay Feaster has said that he is not interested in trading the face of the franchise, Jarome Iginla. While we can choose to believe or not believe Jay Feaster, it’s still unlikely that he would trade Iginla to Vancouver given that they are a division rival. The point of asking this question centres around a bigger question. When (if ever) is the time to load up, trade for a player to put your team over the hump, while sacrificing some of your future? I think this year might be the year and a Raymond/Ballard/Schneider for Iginla deal is at least worth a thought.
Last night’s shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks brings the Canucks record to 0-2 in shootouts this year, which begs the question: do the Canucks miss Kyle Wellwood? Now, I’m not suggesting that replacing Wellwood with Malhotra this year on the third line was a poor decision, but they sure do miss his shootout prowess. Remarkably, Canucks shooters haven’t been the main problem, that distinction goes to Roberto Luongo and his .000 SV% in shootouts this year. Luongo has a decent save percentage all-time, so he should get over his early season shootout troubles.
What an eventful first game of the season. In the first game of their 40th anniversary season, the Canucks brought back all living members of their inaugural team. Pat Quinn received the biggest ovation, a classy gesture by the fans at Rogers Arena. From there, Henrik Sedin was officially named captain by receiving the C from the first captain in Canucks history, Orland Kurtenbach. I thought it was a nice ceremony that was done with a lot of class.
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.
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:
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