December 17 2016 05:01PM
Photo Credit: Bob Frid - USA TODAY Sports
Everything about Jannik Hansen’s game is predicated on speed. But even for a player with above average wheels at the National Hockey League level, it’s always a struggle to catch up to the speed of the game when returning from a lengthy injury.
Hansen missed 16 games with a cracked rib suffered in Toronto on November 5th and returned to the line-up December 11th in Washington. In the three games back in the line-up, he’s shown flashes of his former self, finding space and trying to use his speed to separate from defenders. It's evident though to anyone who's watched Hansen over his years in Vancouver he isn’t anywhere close to the top of his game.
December 15 2016 06:51PM
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports
Like so many of his countrymen, Loui Eriksson is a soft-spoken Swede who’d prefer to let his actions on the ice speak for themselves. The problem, though, is that 30-games into the first season of a six-year, $36-million contract with the Vancouver Canucks, the veteran winger hasn’t made much noise. With just six goals and 12 points and on a team mired in 28th in the National Hockey League standings, this union's been a tough one for player and team alike.
After practice Thursday at Rogers Arena, Eriksson admitted to Canucks Army that the underwhelming performance – individually and collectively – has been disappointing. But he insists there is enough time for both he and the hockey club to salvage the season.
November 23 2016 11:00AM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
Sven Baertschi’s biggest challenge these days isn’t putting the puck in the net, although that's certainly near the top of his list.
No, his greatest struggle right now is to convince himself he’s playing well when he has very little to show for his efforts. Stuck on just one goal and six points 19 games into the season, Baertschi does not shy away from the fact he hasn’t had the productive start he and the Vancouver Canucks were a.
Rewarded with a two-year, $3.7 million contract in the summer after netting 15 goals last season – 10 of them after Christmas – Baertschi hoped to pick up in October where he left off last spring. Unfortunately, he appears stuck in the same rut he was 12 months ago when he couldn’t buy a goal.
November 17 2016 11:00AM
Dane Jackson admits he’s had to rearrange his schedule a couple of times in the few weeks Troy Stecher's patrolled the Vancouver Canucks blueline. He wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to see the young defenseman as he made the jump from college hockey to the big leagues. Jackson, a former Canucks winger in the mid-1990’s, is now an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota where he worked with Stecher for the past four seasons, including last year when UND won a national championship.
He’s managed to catch a couple of Canucks games on television and is delighted to see Stecher looking like the same player he knew at the NCAA level – only Stecher is now holding his own in the best league on the planet.
November 14 2016 03:07PM
After a weekend in Utica, Jake Virtanen was back on the ice with the Vancouver Canucks at the team’s Monday morning practice at Rogers Arena. It may be a while yet, however, before the big winger returns to the team’s line-up.
Sent to the American Hockey League for two games in an attempt to recapture his waning confidence, Virtanen failed to make any noticeable impact in Friday’s 4-1 loss to Lehigh Valley. A night later, Virtanen registered a game-high six shots on goal and while he didn’t figure in the scoring felt he was able to leave his mark on the contest – a game the Comets won 3-2 in overtime.