December 10 2016 11:48PM
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports
So much has been made about how the Panthers are an "analytics team" now that the club has parted ways with Gerard Gallant, but tonight they passed the eye test through the first two periods. They looked like a sound hockey club, in the most traditional sense. The Panthers set the tone early, turning the game into a track meet, and the Canucks just couldn't keep up.
Even teams run by computer boys appear to fall victim to score effects, though, as the Panthers let the Canucks back in the game in the third, allowing two quick goals and a flurry of scoring chances. In the end, it wasn't enough, however, and the Canucks fell, 4-2.
December 07 2016 11:00AM
Few players confound the mind the way Brandon Sutter does. Year after year, Sutter appears to be making an impact at both ends of the ice, and year after year, his underlying metrics paint an entirely different picture. Since his first full season in 2009-2010, Sutter's posted respectable raw counting totals, with paltry rate stats and shot metrics.
2016 has been no different for Sutter, who's currently on pace to best his career-high of 40 points in a season. Sutter's performance comes with a pair of caveats, though. First, a large chunk of that offence is coming by way of secondary assists, which players have limited control over and are highly volatile. Second, Sutter's breakout offensive performance is having a significant negative impact on his line's solvency at even-strength.
December 05 2016 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig
Now that we're over a quarter of the way through the CHL season, we now have a large enough sample size that we can begin to make inferences about how players are performing and how coaches deploy them. We're also far enough into the season that narratives and concerns can start to take form.
With Friday's tilt between the OHL's Owen Sound Attack and London Knights televised on the west coast, many Canucks fans got their first look at Juolevi this season. But to their surprise, Juolevi was skating predominantly on the Knights' second pair, behind 19-year-old Brandon Crawley and Montreal Canadiens 2016 pick Victor Mete.
@JDylanBurke why do you think that is? Reason for concern..?— Sank the Ship (@BlueAidanGreen) December 3, 2016
December 03 2016 09:06PM
There's no sense mincing words: for the past few years, there hasn't been much to cheer for in Vancouver. The team has been, at best, mediocre since 2014, and many Canucks' fans have been more concerned about where the team is in the draft standings than where they rank in their division.
Tonight, however, was different. Between the shenanigans in the Canucks' last matchup with Toronto, and Patrick O'Sullivan mouthing off on Toronto radio this afternoon, Team Tank and Team Playoffs were able to unite. For just one night, the bickering about the team's direction was put aside, and Canucks fans sat with bated breath hoping for a win.
And wouldn't you know it, they got one. Did they deserve it? Nope. Will we take it? Hell. Yes.
November 30 2016 09:00AM
It's been a couple weeks since "stuff"-gate, but Jake Virtanen is still in the AHL, and he's not doing so well. In 7 games, he has just 2 points, both assists.
I think it's fair to say at this point that Virtanen's been mishandled a bit since he was selected by the Canucks with the 6th overall pick in 2014. He's been in and out of the lineup, and hasn't produced at the level you'd hop for a top-10 pick, in either professional league. So where do we go from here? How would you handle Jake's development? Should he be in the NHL? AHL? The pressbox? Or maybe you think the Canucks should cut their losses and see what they can get for him now, before his value declines any further.