January 20 2016 11:17AM
At some point, you have to feel for Luca Sbisa. For all the abuse he takes in this market, Sbisa seems like a genuinely nice guy. Not to mention, just as it appeared as though the maligned Suisse defender was turning the corner this season, the injury bug took hold and derailed an otherwise encouraging start - all things being relative, of course.
One of the less expected side-effects to this extended absence has been a yearning for what Sbisa brings to the Canucks lineup. Tops on the list are physicality, nastiness and the ability to separate the opposition from the puck. Qualities you'd want in a defender, old and new school thinkers alike.
How much value do these unique, anecdotal skills bring to the table, though?
January 20 2016 09:00AM
The latest roster conundrum in town involves one of, if not the most inconsequential player in this lineup. It's hard to say with any degree of certainty what is happening behind the scenes without making baseless assumptions, but from what most can gather, Jake Virtanen's roster spot was sacrificed against the New York Rangers to appease Brandon Prust, who would be upset by not getting the opportunity to play his second-last team.
Linden says there was thought of scratching Prust, but because it's his former team, they wanted to do the "right thing." #Canucks— Omar A (@omarcanuck) January 19, 2016
Nevermind the fact that Prust has been playing them regularly as a member of the Montreal Canadiens for the last three years, but this is apparently still a big deal. The fires were stoked when it was suggested that sitting Prust for this game would "disrupt the room" or something.
Linden said plan changed because wanted to give Brandon Prust a chance to play against his former team. "Delicate dance" Linden says— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) January 19, 2016
So what exactly do you do with the apparently touchy Prust?
January 19 2016 10:18PM
Photo Credit: Twitter / @zalews73
The Canucks have signed forward Mike Zalewski to an NHL contract. Zalewski, a 6-foot-2 centreman, has played the last season and a half as a member of the Utica Comets. He's moving up the ranks, most recently being deployed as the top line center with the absence of Linden Vey.
Zalewski had been playing on an AHL deal to this point, but with the trade of Nicklas Jensen, the demotion of Chris Higgins, and the drama with Brandon Prust, the Canucks may have felt that they needed to shore up potential call up depth. Zalewski has certainly earned that honour.
January 19 2016 07:56PM
The Canucks began life without Henrik Sedin tonight (who will be out of the line-up until after the All-Star game) against the New York Rangers, in Billy Joel's house aka Madison Square Garden. It was game number four of their six-game road trip, which will take them through Boston and Pittsburgh before returning home. After a surprisingly good first period from Vancouver, they came down to earth in the 2nd and eventually coughed up their 1-0 lead. Before regaining a 2-1 lead and coughing it up again. In overtime, the Rangers eventually took the 3-2 victory. Let's dive in!
January 19 2016 03:14PM
Trevor Linden did a radio appearance with Matthew Sekeres and Blake Price this afternoon and provided some updates on Canucks defenceman Alex Biega.