Countdown to Launch: The Russian Rocket's Top 10 Canucks Moments.

Jeff Angus
November 09 2011 01:01PM

The 20th anniversary of Pavel Bure’s first game as a Canuck was this past Saturday. Trevor Linden may be the greatest Canuck of all time, but Pavel was the best. At his peak, he made you want to catch every second of Canucks games (sure would be nice to have him on the team nowadays for those Minnesota divisional games…). Throughout his career, he was the fastest and most powerful skater in the league. He had Sidney Crosby’s strength and Marian Gaborik’s acceleration (and then some), combined with Alex Ovechkin’s hunger for scoring goals.

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Waiting for Shea

Jeff Angus
November 09 2011 08:57AM

Do the Canucks have a legitimate shot at landing Shea Weber? Jeff Angus takes a closer look!

How many franchise defensemen are there in the league right now? I count five (Zdeno Chara, Nick Lidstrom, Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, and Chris Pronger). There are a few more right on the cusp, like Drew Doughty, Keith Yandle, and Kris Letang. Each of the 30 NHL clubs carries anywhere from six to eight defensemen, meaning there are approximately 200-220 defensemen in the NHL at any given time. Less than three percent of the total defensemen are by my definition "franchise material" at this moment in time. How I would define these players in the top talent bracket:

  • Able to contribute offensively at even strength and on the power play
  • Steady defensively, consistently playing tough minutes in different situations
  • Often make those around them much more successful
  • Physicality is a plus, but not a requirement

In recent years, teams have been rewarded for paying a premium to land one of the above franchise defensemen. Boston paid handsomely for free agent Zdeno Chara back in 2007, and they were Stanley Cup champs four years later. Edmonton, Anaheim, and Philadelphia all went to the Cup Final soon after acquiring Pronger. Keith was the best player on Chicago during their Cup winning season. Lidstrom’s track record speaks for itself. Weber has been a rock on every team he has played on – Kelowna, internationally for Canada, and now in Nashville.

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Former Habs in Vancouver: The Good, The Bad and the Others

Jeff Angus
November 05 2011 02:05PM

Which former Habs were winners during their Canucks tenures?
And which ones were lugers?
Image courtesy, who else, @mhenderson95

Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre have been the two most consistent forwards for the Canucks this season (looking less and less like any sort of accomplishment with each passing game, though). Both former Habs experienced a similar falling out in Montreal. Higgins came under scrutiny from the large media base for a lack of consistency on the ice and some partying-related issues off the ice, while Lapierre was struggling to convert to the right wing, and his requests for more ice time fell on deaf ears. The two bounced around a bit (Higgins with Florida and Calgary, Lapierre with Anaheim) before finding a new home in Vancouver.

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Delivering the Sauce: 3 up, 3 Down.

Jeff Angus
November 03 2011 09:21AM

Every few weeks, I will share three positive bits of news regarding the Canucks. And to prove I am not a total homer, I’ll do the same for the negative stuff. This week is an extra special edition, as it features Kyle Wellwood!

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Mad Max: The Fourth Line Warrior

Jeff Angus
October 31 2011 08:31AM

What qualities make up an ideal fourth liner in hockey? If you polled fans, words like grit, toughness, tenacity, energy, and aggressiveness would likely be tossed about. The famed Grind Line, featuring Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Darren McCarty, helped Detroit win multiple Stanley Cups. All three wouldn’t have looked out of place in a third line role, but they fit best when skating together on Detroit’s energy unit.

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