October 20 2016 03:00PM
Photo Credit: Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets
Welcome back to the Utica Comets Week in Review! It's been roughly six months since the last edition, but the long off season has finally come to an end - although given how they played against the Marlies on the weekend, the Comets might have thought they were still on vacation.
In fairness, games against the Marlies are poor measuring sticks of the capabilities of an AHL team - the Marlies are still a ridiculously dominant American League team, even though top prospects like William Nylander and Connor Brown have moved on to the NHL.
Still, a pair of lopsided losses is hard to swallow. The Comets were tagged for five goals in each one of them, while only managing to score four goals in the two games combined. The most interesting part however may be this: Jordan Subban had a hand in each one of them.
October 20 2016 01:15PM
Once again, the Canucks enter yet another game undefeated. Who would have thought that a Canucks/Sabres matchup would have so much riding on it? OK, it's only the 4th game of the season but how often do the Canucks open the year without a loss after 3 games?
#Canucks starts under WD:— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 19, 2016
if only seasons were 3 games long
Sure, but how many of those seasons included an undefeated record without leading for a single second of a game? Exactly. This Canucks team has been pleasantly surprising to watch and it feels like anything that happens now is gravy. Watch out Buffalo, this Canucks team is shooting for 82-0.
October 20 2016 11:00AM
Canucks prospect Brett McKenzie is off to a flaming hot start in the OHL. The 194th overall pick in the 2016 draft has scored seven goals in his first eight games. With five assists to go with them, he is producing at a clip of a point and a half per game.
While those numbers are quite impressive, they come with a caveat - no, not sample size, though of course that’s a relevant point. Instead, I’m referring to his age. Though the Canucks picked up McKenzie’s rights just a few months ago, he’s already playing in his draft-plus-two season, as he was taken in his second year of draft eligibility.
And so we have to ask the question: how good is good in a draft-plus-two season?
Warning! This article contains math! But also highlights.
October 20 2016 09:00AM
Did anyone really think we would be here, discussing the Canucks' hot start to the season? It is still early, but it's hard not be encouraged by the Canucks play to date. The team looks more structured defensively, stronger from a possession standpoint, and has been full value for its three wins. Pretty much no one in the hockey world - myself included - thought Vancouver would start the season a perfect 3-0-0, especially without ever once holding a lead. But here we are.
We should pause for a moment and fully appreciate the rarity of this accomplishment. This season is only the fifth time in franchise history that the Canucks have earned the maximum six points in its first three games. Read that again: that's the fifth time in 46 seasons that the Canucks have achieved that feat. Not even the hallowed teams of 2009-2012 managed to go perfect through their first three games. What were the teams that did? Read further to find out.
October 19 2016 06:21PM
It's clear that the Canucks are intent on competing for the playoffs while also acquiring and developing young talent for the future. What's less clear, at times, is which of the two takes priority over the other. Since even the most optimistic of prognosticators wouldn't describe the Canucks as a "win-now" team, I'd imagine it would have to be the latter.