What They’re Saying About The Vancouver Canucks

Jonathan Willis
September 21 2011 11:06PM

Earlier today, we looked at what some of the major off-season publications had to say about the Maple Leafs; now it’s time to do the same with the Canucks.

Poolers’ Guide Hockey

Projected Finish: 1st, Western Conference

The Report: Poolers’ Guide has a unique – and busy – design that at times makes comprehension more than a little challenging. Although Poolers’ Guide is a poolers’ guide (no kidding!) the magazine does devote significant space to both a recap of 2010-11 and a projection for 2011-12. Like a lot of the other magazines, this one spends tons of time on last season’s Stanley Cup Finals, but it also does a good job of listing the team’s strengths heading into 2011-12 – it is surprisingly comprehensive given the length.

Price: $9.99, Available online.

The Hockey News Yearbook

Projected Finish: 1st, Western Conference

The Report: More than any of the other magazines, The Hockey News sees fluctuations in the strength of its team assessments; relying on individual beat reporters ensures knowledge of the team, but it also leads to differing levels of ability. Fortunately, Kevin Woodley possesses not just knowledge but also insight – while THN doesn’t allow the space for a rigorous analysis he effortlessly weaves through the strengths and weaknesses at every position. The Canucks’ analysis is one of the strongest pieces in the magazine.

Price: $9.99, Available online.

Hockey Prospectus 2011-12

Projected Finish: 2nd, Western Conference

The Report: The biggest of the hockey annuals clocks in at just under 500 pages, and spends anywhere from 11 – 14 on each team. Vancouver’s write-up is particularly long, at 14 pages, and features a comprehensive team essay (by Nations writer Kent Wilson), along with 30 individual player write-ups. More statistics-based than any of the other publications listed here, Prospectus is the only publication to use a stats-based team projection guide. Tom Awad’s VUKOTA system has been in place for two seasons now, and during that time has proven remarkably accurate – giving better projections than pretty much any of the other hockey annuals. Wilson goes over the team with a fine tooth comb, giving the best coverage available anywhere. Full disclosure: I worked on the Prospectus magazine, though not on the Canucks’ segment.

Price: $9.90, Available online.

McKeen’s Hockey Pool Yearbook

Projected Finish: 2nd, Western Conference

The Report: Properly a pool yearbook rather than a general guide, McKeen’s spends half a page giving a brief overview of each team and then focuses on high-end scouting reports for the team’s most significant offensive players, top goaltender, and best prospects. The short team summary spends a lot of time on last season’s Finals series, and then takes a cursory look at the changes, although this may be excusable given that there aren’t a lot of question marks around Vancouver. The best part of the write-up, by far, however are the player profiles: comprehensive scouting reports that make the annual both unique and essential. Full disclosure: I received a copy of this publication for review purposes.

Price: $7.99 at newsstands, $14.99 online.

Sporting News Hockey

Projected Finish: T-2nd, Western Conference

The Report: The Sporting News’ hockey annual is surprisingly strong overall, comparing well to other publications. The strengths/weaknesses list is somewhat at odds to the team write-up; on the one hand not many weaknesses are listed but on the other there was an obvious dissatisfaction with Mike Gillis’ stay-the-course philosophy.

Price: $9.99 at newsstands.

The Sports Forecaster

Projected Finish: 3rd, Western Conference

The Report: Another magazine that is technically more for fantasy hockey enthusiasts, Sports Forecaster has a three paragraph write-up for each team and then blurbs and projections for a wide range of players. I can summarize those three paragraphs in one sentence: the Canucks are a good team that lost to Boston, didn’t lose much over the off-season, and have a strong backup. Other than that, there are a bunch of decent player write-ups, but nothing essential.

Price: $9.99, Available online.

Nation Network Fantasy Hockey Primer

Projected Finish: N/A

The Report: As Canucks Army currently offers this magazine for sale, we will avoid editorial comment here and simply note what the magazine provides. No team write-up is included – just player projections along with some general articles. However, the fantasy projections are broad – 500-odd player write-ups, along with statistical data. Daniel Sedin, with 100 points, is projected as the Canucks’ leading scorer.

Price: $5.00, Available online.

The Hockey News Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide

Projected Finish: N/A

The Report: THN’s other fall annual focuses specifically on hockey pools rather than broader league coverage. As a result, its team page offers just the basics: player point projections, top-10 prospects, and a single general overview of the team along with a depth chart and some statistical data. Aside from the team essay, the annual does offer a wealth of statistical data on the individual player pages, along with a brief blurb for 325-odd players (the magazine offers 500+ projections, but in-depth analysis only of the most important players). Draft guru Murray Townsend’s projections are typically more conservative than most publications – and consequently more realistic. He has Henrik Sedin leading the team in scoring with 92 points.

Price: $7.99, Available online.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Big Cap
September 22 2011, 12:46PM
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Canucks Team Review - Soft and Weak.

They show NO level of courage when truly needed. Leadership is non-existent. This team would rather brag, and show boat their regular season triumphs and trophies. IE- Doing everything possible to manipulate Schneidz goalie stats to get him and the team the Jennings trophy.

Regular season MVP's are great, but when they don’t show up in the Biggest of Big games in the Playoffs, what really is the point. True Leaders, Winners, come up the biggest in the biggest games. DoI need to mention past leaders and winners??

Goaltending is very shaky. The #1 starter was exposed during the playoff run to the point the team was forced to play the back up and try to save the emotional state of Bobby Lou. No true Stanley Cup winning goalie gets embarrassed the way Lou did in all 3 road games of the Final. Again, the best players, rise their games, Lou did no such thing. Every game was a hope for the best and cross your fingers exhibition.

Heart and Drive. This was a complete disaster and joke to the entire team. Watching the theatrics and diving of the Vancouver players through the playoffs and especially during the final was laughable. Again, true winners fight back harder, they don’t continue to dive and make a joke of the league.

Coaching. Below average, when the going got tough, AV made no changes or in game adjustments, or anything to prove he is worthy of making us believe that he can adapt. He rolled over his lines, played the big boys as much as he could and didn’t realize they were getting shut down and outmatched.

To me the Prime example of the Playoff run was watching rookie Brad Marchand punch the Daniel in the head over and over again with NO fear, and laughed about it. Daniel didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, fight back. Is that what a true leader does? Better yet, where were his teammates to protect their MVP comrade??

The Canuck fans and faithful. I won’t even go there. It was a national joke the way everyone behaved.

Finally, will the Nucks win their division? Yes. Will they win a bucket full of regular season awards? Yes. But have they made them self a better team and truly examined why they got pushed around in the final? No. They lost Torres, Glass and Rypien. They brought in Marco Sturm, another soft, unproven Euro.

This team had done nothing to prove to me or any other fan they are better and ready to step up. They will get beat and embarassed again and everyone can blame each other. "Where's Lou? Its all his falut anyway!!!"

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#2 Yankee Canuck
September 23 2011, 12:29PM
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I agreed, it is all Luongo's falut.

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