April 18 2013 09:08AM
Lapierre licking his chops as the playoffs approach (photo credit to Jeff Vinnick).
The Canucks, depending on who they end up facing in round one of the postseason, need to find a way to deploy three lines that are a threat to score. It is simply a requirement against three-line clubs like St. Louis, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas (hey, Verne Fiddler is channeling his inner Wayne Gretzky right now). Okay, that last one may be a bit of a stretch, but the point remains.
April 14 2013 12:56PM
I think I speak for all CanucksArmy writers when I say that I love the way Max Lapierre plays hockey. He's cleaned up his act considerably since coming to Vancouver two years ago, and does a great job as the fourth line center (he's essentially a third defenseman with how coach Alain VIgneault deploys him).
The Canucks slept-walked through most of the game against Calgary on Wednesday night, but Lapierre and linemade Andrew Ebbett provided some excitement with a prototypical "grinder" goal, and it kickstarted the rest of the team, as Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin added goals shortly after.
April 11 2013 10:06AM
Chris Higgins is a very good hockey player. We have seen him thrive as a Canuck since coming over at the 2011 trade deadline, and the team rewarded his strong play with a $10 million contract extension last week. Higgins is currently out with an injury (somewhere on his lower body we have been told), which should keep him out of the lineup for an undetermined period of time. How's that for a report?
He is the type of player who can have no shots on goal, no goals, and no assists, and still have a strong game. Don't get me wrong, for $2.5 million per season (starting next year), the Canuck are hoping/expecting 15-20 goals a season. But Higgins does all of the "little things" at such an elite level, that he makes life a lot easier for his linemates and teammates.
Against the Oilers last week, his ability to excel at said "little things" was on full display.
April 08 2013 10:10AM
How will Alain Vigneault deploy his forwards in the postseason? Assuming Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Derek Roy, and Max Lapierre are all healthy, it wouldn't be a stretch to expect Lapierre to bear the brunt of the heavy lifting (from a defensive zone start perspective), while the Roy line (with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen) would be another defensive/two-way line to lean on.
Roy isn't as strong at faceoffs as either Kesler or Sedin, and this also assumes that Zack Kassian is able to contribute on a line with Kesler (which may be a stretch).
Let's look a little further at this, shall we?
April 03 2013 04:04PM
The dust has settled on a rather eventul trade deadline (more for what didn't happen than what did). The Canucks made a great move bringing Derek Roy over from Dallas yesterday, but they didn't follow that up with anything today. It wasn't for a lack of trying, as Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman were working the phones all morning.
Drance offered a great post-deadline take on the Luongo situation (which continues on, much to the chagrin of every single person involved), so I'll take stock of the rest of the team, as well as the rest of the Western Conference.