With 15 games left in the regular season and the nightmare record road trip behind them, one thing is still not clear. Are the Canucks contenders or pretenders? It’s a question that doesn’t elicit a unanimous response. I think that we as Canucks fans underrate this edition of the Canucks (just as we overrated the Naslund-Bertuzzi era Canucks).
After a long absence (bloggers get caught up in the Olympic hoopla too you know), Canuckz.com is back with a look at the Olympic hockey tournament. Most notably, what’s wrong with Team Canada, and what is head coach Mike Babock going to do about to fix things? Brodeur vs Luongo The pundits have spoken, and they are in almost total agreement: Luongo should start the next game.
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:
The speculation about who will make Team Canada ended on Wednesday (Canuckz.com correctly predicted 16 of the 23 players named back in August… is that good?), as GM Steve Yzerman revealed the 2010 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team. As expected, lots of deserving players were left off, but lets start by looking at who made the team:
How great was it to see Kyle Wellwood score his first goal of the season last night against the Los Angeles Kings? Sure, it was an empty netter, sure he needed two cracks at the empty net, but to have a game where the crowd chanted his name, booed the announcement that his goal earlier in the game would be credited to Tanner Glass and have a standing ovation for a meaningless empty net goal was pretty special. And Kyle Wellwood is a special character for Canucks fans.
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).
Roberto Luongo, yet again, is injured. He’ll be out at least a week with a rib injury. Whether or not it’s only a week remains to be seen, as Canucks management has been known to downplay injuries in the past.
The Canucks silenced the boisterous United Centre crowd with a gritty 3-2 third period comeback victory on Wednesday. The win was big, not only because it was their first road win of the season and against a hated team, but because of how they won.
Question: what do Mike Smith, Cristobal Huet and Vesa Toskala have in common? Answer: they’re the only NHL starting netminders with a worse save percentage than Roberto Luongo this season.
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