Evening Headshots: January 25th

Thomas Drance
January 25 2013 07:01PM


The latest Straight Jab is pretty excellent.
Photo Credit: Ken Henderson.

Here's an excellent OCD breakdown of Jordan Schroeder's NHL debut on Wednesday against Calgary, which Daniel Wagner broke down on a shift by shift basis. [Pass it to Bulis]

Rob the Hockey Guy thinks Alain Vigneault needs to re-think his shootout strategy. Rob in particular suggests that Vigneault give Zack Kassian a shot in a higher leverage shooting position, and that the team see what Jordan Schroeder and Maxim Lapierre can really do in the skills competition. For the most part he's dead on, though I think the team should still stick with Alex Edler as one of the club's top-three shooters. [Rob the Hockey Guy]

Manny Malhotra will be out of the lineup for the Canucks for Friday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks because his wife (and Steve Nash's sister) Jo Jo Malhotra has recently given birth to a boy child. If my priorities were warped, I'd point out that with Maxim Lapierre hobbled and Malhotra out of the lineup the Canucks will likely struggle in the faceoff dot in the game against the Ducks, but in the big picture who really cares? Congratulations to the Malhotras! [@VanCanucks]

Canucks.nhl.com has re-designed their official team site and the result is gooery (for the uninitiated, that's a compliment similar to saying the new site looks "fresh"). I've also noticed that the team has started a daily link post series called "Cherry Picking." In these links posts on the official team site they appear to be regularly promoting foul-mouthed, unaccredited, independent blog properties like ours and I'd just like to take a minute to give the team due kudos for being forward thinking with this feature. Their willingness to promote our content is very much appreciated. [Canucks.nhl.com]

On Thursday, Mike Gillis appeared on the Team1040 and revealed that Zack Kassian has incorporated mixed-martial arts techniques into his regular training regiment. According to Gillis the organization is pleased with the outcomes so far, but would prefer that Zack Kassian fight players who are more legitimately useful than the likes of Ben Eager. I find this fascinating. Was it MMA training that taught Zack Kassian to throw punches behind his head? [Legion of Blog]

Read on past the jump for more Canucks news, some Luongo speculation, and other links.

Sean Larson breaks down several keys to Friday night's game between the Canucks and the Ducks, noting that it will be essential for Vancovuer to stay out of the penalty box and avoid the meat-grinder that has been Anaheim's power-play in the early going this season. Also, he notes that Vancouver will need to figure out how to contain legendary Canucks killer Teemu Selanne. [Nucksmisconduct]

The Sedin twins give - um - identical answers to questions about how Alain Vigneault softly criticized their performance following Wednesday night's game. [Vancouver Sun]

Jim Jamieson gets a quote from Vigneault on the subject of Maxim Lapierre's groin strain and just how severe it is. Boy, this could be a big loss for the Canucks considering how short-handed up the middle they are already. [White Towel]

Andy Eide sings Zack Kassian's praises over at the Hockey Writers, and wonders whether or not Kassian could be the key to Vancouver's season. Personally I think the "key" will be how quickly Kesler and Booth return from injury, but Kassian's development could prove critical as the Canucks attempt to tread water in the interim. [The Hockey Writers]

Analyst Scott Cullen singles out the new union between the Sedin twins and Zack Kassian as a "new line" that has paid immediate dividends for the Canucks. Cullen points out that Kassian's fantasy outlook has significantly improved as a result of his top-line slot, though he also rightly includes the "even Trent Klatt put up stats playing with the Sedins" qualifier. [TSN]

In his latest "Rumblings" blog post, Pierre LeBrun says that the Leafs are still interested in acquiring Roberto Luongo, but that Dave Nonis is completely unwilling to part ways with Nazem Kadri. So long as Mike Gillis and the Canucks stand firm on their demand that he be included, this trade - so long assumed to be a foregone conclusion - appears to be unlikely. [ESPN]

Finally, Brad Ziemer updates us on the Air Canada imbroglio that the team has been dealing with off the ice over the past week or so. The team has dropped Air Canada's Jetz services as their charter carrier and will instead fly with a Kelowna based carrier. [Vancouver Sun]

We'll end off the post with this photo of the Sedin twins at the beach in Santa Monica. Captions Sealcat (hilariously): "can we just talk about the fact that these guys are elite athletes worth millions?" Speaking of which, how about Theory of a Deadman's Santa Monica as a NU2 candidate? Obviously the song is complete tripe, but like, the band is comprised of Canucks fans and it's a pretty fucking catchy track.

I remember the daaay...

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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