Babych Please - January 30th

Grainne Downey
January 29 2015 01:00PM


The Canucks haven't won in almost two weeks, but they sure have stayed busy. Radim Vrbata represented the team at the NHL's annual frat party. The Swedes met up with some old pals. They raised some money for a good cause. Eggs were involved.

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Is Matt Bartkowski a Good Fit in Vancouver?

That's Offside!
January 29 2015 11:00AM

Given all the chatter surrounding the Canucks and Bruins making a potential deal, it seems like a foregone conclusion that something is going to happen between these two teams before the trade deadline. We know that Canucks management isn't a fan of Zack Kassian, we know that Vancouver needs help on their left side D, and we know that Boston Bruins left side D Matt Bartkowski has been struggling for ice time in Boston and has ties to the Canucks organization. Putting two and two together, it seems like the heavy flirting between the Canucks and Bruins will eventually amount to a Kassian-for-Bartkowski swap, perhaps with some other stuff thrown in.

So let's just get out ahead of this right now, what the heck is a "Matt Bartkowski"? Is it better than Zack Kassian? How will it help the Canucks? Read past the jump to find out. 

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What Would You Do Thursday: Which Goalie to Trade?

That's Offside!
January 29 2015 09:30AM

Welcome to a mid-week favourite feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Thursday, where we put you, yes YOU, in charge of your own imaginary Vancouver Canucks. We'll present you with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you'd solve it in the comments section below. Give props to the answers you do like and trash the ones you don't. Easy! So let's get started: 

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Rolling the Dice: A Look at Vancouver's Luck Through 41 Games

Josh W
January 28 2015 01:00PM



With the Canucks having played their 46th game last night, we are over halfway through the NHL season and approaching the home stretch.  Since 41 games is a good benchmark, we can use this point to analyze how Vancouver has been playing and what specific things have been going their favour, and what's been going against them.

One thing that we cannot predict in hockey is luck.  Luck plays such a large role in determining the outcome of games to the point that the NHL is identical to a league where only 28% of the games are determined by the better team winning and the remaining 72% of games are a coin-flip.  This should come as no surprise, otherwise you would see teams like Buffalo win-less and the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings of the world virtually undefeated.

But what is luck?  People tend to think of it as a vague, undefined, superstitious entity, but rather "luck" is everything that is outside of a players' control.  Things like injuries, being subjected to variances in shooting percentages, or referees making bad or ill-timed calls are all included in "luck."  

Continue past the jump to see how luck has been helping the Canucks this season.

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The NHL Draft: Boys Playing in a Man's League

money puck
January 28 2015 11:00AM

Recently, Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that young Czech phenom David Pastrnak would be staying with the Bruins for the duration of the year. This comes as little surprise given his four goals scored in his first two games back with the Bruins after an excellent showing in the World Junior tournament. It should also come as a slightly bitter pill for the Canucks, as the Bruins selected Pastrnak 25th overall in the 2014 draft, exactly one spot after the Canucks selected Jared McCann, who is actually putting together a very strong year for the OHL Western Conference leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

You could consider this miss a bit of a one off, if not for the Canucks passing on Canadian-born, American trained, Swedish international William Nylander to select Jake Virtanen 6th overall as well. Nylander, another World Junior tournament standout who recently made his AHL debut with the Toronto Marlies, was recently ranked by Corey Pronman as the top NHL prospect in his recent rankings, whereas Virtanen clocked in at 19th and McCann failed to make Pronman’s top 50 or honorable mention list.

This got me thinking about whether the Canucks have missed a pretty important trend. And after digging around on, it hit me. These two absolutely owned when playing against men in two of Europe’s top leagues. Pastrnak happened to be the top scoring U18 player in Allsvenskan (Swedish second division) history, and Nylander owned the highest points per game mark before jumping to Sweden's top professional league midway through the year.

So, is playing against men as a teenager in one of Europe’s top leagues an indicator of future success in and of itself? Read past the jump to find out.

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