February 19 2017 03:00PM
Stick Taps is a Canucks Army feature where we link to the top news from the Canucks and across the NHL. If you've written a blog post, produced a tribute video, birthed a clever .gif into existence, have a hockey related cause you'd like to see promoted in this space or anything else - please tweet or DM us at CanucksArmy on Twitter!
This week, Corey Hirsch opened up about his struggle with OCD, his near-death and the demons he faced daily during his NHL career, in an emotional and raw letter in the Players Tribune. (The Players Tribune)
The Canucks also hosted their "Hockey Talks" night last night, an initiative that came to be to create awareness for mental illness, upon the death of Rick Rypien. It's an incredibly important night. (Canucks)
The Canucks unveiled a new statue outside Rogers Arena, depicting Pat Quinn during the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, complete with line-up card. It also includes "Pat's Bench" which became famous for all the athletes during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. (CKNW)
"Obey your passion, listen to your heart, follow your dreams" - Pat Quinn ☘️ pic.twitter.com/HPq7p2014t— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 19, 2017
Staying close to home, Jeff Paterson had a bold idea this week — make Bo Horvat the Canucks captain this summer, before Henrik Sedin retires. Would the Sharks model work for the Canucks? (Canucks Army)
Also right here, Jeremy Davis makes a compelling argument for why Brandon Sutter just isn't worth the money. (Canucks Army)
Over in Detroit, Gustav Nyquist was suspended this week for a scary spearing incident. (Wings Nation)
Need a break from hockey? Spring Training is getting underway in the MLB and soon baseball will be back on your television set. See when you can watch the Blue Jays. (Blue Jays Nation)
More Great Content
The Dallas Stars welcome back Dave Strader to the broadcast booth, who has been getting treatment for cancer. The Stars won in overtime and paid tribute to the play-by-play man. (Pro Hockey Talk)
Former Canuck Mike Weaver has developed a new hockey app. (Global Toronto)
The "bye-week" could be bad for the NHL. (Puck Daddy)
Seattle is still mid-arena fight, but an investor thinks the NHL is a better bet than the NBA. (Puck Daddy)
Claude Julien has taken over as the Canadiens head coach. (CBC)
February 19 2017 09:00AM
With almost identical records, the Canucks take on the Flyers before their mandated "bye week" and if they can somehow pull it off again tonight, the Canucks can pull within a win of eight place in the West. The bye kind of crushes that but it will give everyone a week to dream about a better place.
We all deserve this, it's been a trying season.
February 19 2017 01:12AM
Every game is a must-win for the Vancouver Canucks and tonight's was no different. Hell, if it was, it certainly didn't veer towards lower leverage territory.
Tonight the Canucks hosted their divisional rival, the Calgary Flames, in the proverbial four-point game. A Canucks loss tonight would put them seven points back of Calgary and the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Of course, the Canucks didn't lose. They eeked out a 2-1 win in overtime and sit four back of the Flames instead.
Whether they should or shouldn't have is another story entirely, but I'll be damned, the Canucks did it. They were out shot, out chanced and plain outclassed, but they found a way.
It took a fair amount of luck, sure. There was the Alexander Edler goal in the first, a knuckle puck from centre ice that fooled Brian Elliott. That's not we generally call the high-danger scoring chance area. And I'm not sure Ryan Miller holds up under that kind of siege in most instances -- though he's spent much of this season defying logic, so who knows.
Tonight Miller stopped 35 of 36 Flames' shots, and Chris Tanev sent the 2-1 overtime winner past Brian Elliott. Elliot stopped 17 of the Canucks' 19 shots.
February 18 2017 05:53PM
Yesterday on TSN 1040, midday show co-host Blake Price, whose opinion I am usually inclined to agree with, delivered an editorial on Brandon Sutter. The gist of the argument was as follows: Brandon Sutter's $4.375 million salary is not an overpayment, by virtue of his goal total, his faceoff prowess, his penalty killing, and, as the icing on the cake, his willingness to play through injury.
As respectfully as I could possibly put this, I don't believe that I could possibly be more opposed to this argument. While Sutter's goal total is indeed worthy of distinction, I would quibble with the value of the rest of the evidence provided. Indeed, I wouldn't accept it outright that Sutter is even benefitting the team.
And so my theory is going to be the logical opposite of Price's: No, $4.375 million is not a reasonable price tag for Brandon Sutter, and I'll explain why.
February 18 2017 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports
When the Canucks face the Calgary Flames on Saturday, they'll have played 22 games since the turn of the calendar. Jacob Markstrom's been their netminder for five.
The obvious story therein is the number of starts Miller -- a 36-year-old netminder who's raised concerns in each of his two previous seasons in Vancouver about his workload -- received in that stretch, and with good reason. It's neither to the team nor the player's benefit to do so, and nothing suggests they're changing their ways in the second leg of this most important stretch of their season.
I wonder, though, if that's equal parts faith in Miller as it is skepticism of Markstrom's ability to so much as hold the fort. That's idle speculation on my part, but for posterity's sake, I wanted to see whether the Canucks are justified in their reticence to commit to Markstrom in any meaningful way.