December 03 2015 06:49PM
Before Wednesday, every player called up to the Canucks this season has received the call as a reward for strong play and production, through both the preseason and the beginning of the season.
Brendan Gaunce, Hunter Shinkaruk, Alex Grenier and Andrey Pedan made their NHL debuts following hot starts to the year and appearances at the top of the Comets points leaderboard. AHL vets Alex Biega and Taylor Fedun (who never got into a game) earned call-ups by being essential pieces on Utica’s backend.
The Ronalds Kenins call up breaks this trend. While the majority of Canuck Nation was enthralled to see the return of the Latvian Locomotive, it left me a little perplexed just by the fact that Kenins hasn’t been so hot in Utica so far.
So why was he chosen?
December 01 2015 07:44PM
Photo credit: Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets
After a relatively lackluster beginning to the 2015-16 season, the Comets have suddenly caught fire. They've won four straight games, and on top of that they've scored 20 times during that winning streak. The offense has caught fire, and the goaltending has clamped down. All is well in Utica.
The one caveat as far as Vancouver fans go is that it's been mostly the Comets supporting cast that have been putting up numbers, rather than Canucks prospects. Whereas last week the list of top five point getters on the team was populated entirely by prospects, things have gotten considerably more crowded after a couple of point nights on Wednesday and Saturday.
Let's go over last week's games and see who stood out and who's faded away.
November 24 2015 06:48PM
Photo Credit: Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets
The Comets played another three-in-three last weekend and finally managed to break up their losing streak in the final game, halting it at four games. Offense continues to be a bit of an issue for the Canucks' affiliate, who have scored just 11 goals in their past five games, while allowing 17 in the same span.
On the bright side, the prospects are still contributing to what success Utica can muster as Hunter Shinkaruk, Brendan Gaunce and Alex Grenier all lit the lamp at least once on the weekend while Jordan Subban had three primary assists.
I'm taking over the Comets Weekly Report from Jeff from this point on; given that I already watch all the games and obsess over the stats, it just makes sense. Let's take a look at last week's games and who stood out.
November 24 2015 02:25PM
By now you’re probably sick of the story of Frank Corrado. Well, that's too bad because I have more to say about it.
Going into this season, the expectation was for him to be among the Canucks top seven - if not top six - defencemen. That expectation may have led to some pre-season complacency and before you knew it, Corrado had lost his spot to rookie Ben Hutton and found himself on the waiver wire, where he was promptly claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Maybe decried the poor asset management on behalf of the Canucks and vowed that we hadn’t heard the last of Frank Corrado. Indeed, just under two months later, Corrado is regularly making headlines. Of course, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
20 games into the Maple Leafs season, Corrado still has yet to suit up for a single game. Many, including myself and other bloggers, have wondered why the Leafs would claim Corrado if they didn’t intend to play him. I would argue that the entire situation is an abuse of the waiver process, and of Corrado's future as an NHLer.
November 18 2015 02:06PM
There was no shortage of debate in the off-season about what path the Canucks should be taking this season. Should they build for the future, or push for wins in the present? The Canucks chose to try to do both at the same time, to the chagrin of many of their most vocal fans. It can’t be done, they said, either throw in the towel and tank or go all in.
Instead, the Canucks found what appeared to be a happy medium. They cut loose a number of veterans and infused the team with youth and lo and behold, they saw immediate results. The Canucks, without ever using the term, were rebuilding, and they were winning at the same time.
This is Vancouver though, so naturally it’s all gone horribly wrong. The Canucks seem to have lost the ability to win, which is super for the draftist crowd. Unfortunately, they aren’t tanking properly either.