February 13 2014 01:10PM
Image via Dallas Stars
With no NHL hockey to watch, chew on, and discuss, we've shifted our sights to Sochi, where the Men's hockey tournament is off and running. It'll be a nice, refreshing change to get to watch and write about really good players, after having spent far too much time covering the Pascal Pelletier and Yann Sauves of the world in recent weeks.
Team Canada opened up its preliminary play on Thursday morning with a matchup against Norway. What looked like a potentially lopsided rout on paper took a while to materialize, but eventually Canada's overwhelming skill level finally took over, as they steamrolled their opposition. While the 3-1 score line may not necessarily say as much, it was a pretty thorough domination in the final 40 minutes of play.
Read on past the jump for the scoring chance data, and some thoughts on the game itself (particularly as it relates to the two Vancouver Canucks on the team).
February 12 2014 12:35PM
Image via Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
For both the Vancouver Canucks and their fans, the Sochi Winter Olympics really couldn't have come a moment sooner. The final couple of days leading up to the break felt like they were dragging on at an excruciatingly slow place, with the team falling flat on its face as it approached the finish line.
They've gone 4-13-2 since January 1st, dropping all the way down to 21st in the league's overall standings. More prevalently, the likes of Minnesota, Dallas, and Phoenix have all leapfrogged them in the Wild Card race, with the Jets and Predators not too far behind.
The break will provide a pleasant and much needed reprieve. The Canucks are sending the 4th most players out of any team in the NHL over to Sochi, giving people something to follow as they cheer (for the large majority of our readers, I'd assume) the Canadian team on.
Beyond the actual games themselves, though, there seems to be a widespread belief that the two and a half weeks off will wipe the slate clean for the Canucks, suddenly turning their fortunes around. That the brain trust will be able to concoct some sort of bold moves that'll bring reinforcements to a team that finds itself in an exceptionally delicate spot.
The next few weeks - specifically the March 5th deadline and the days leading up to it - will go a long way towards determining how the Vancouver Canucks position themselves for not just the end of this season, but even more importantly, years to come.
February 11 2014 08:35PM
Most of you are functioning members of society, and are thus more than capable of navigating the internet to find these sorts of things out for yourselves. But there's some of you out there that are lazy, and it's those of you that may therefore potentially make use of this post.
Just past the jump I'll attempt to succinctly summarize the schedule of play for the Men's Olympic hockey tournament set to be played over the next two and a half weeks, with a Canucks-centric look at who will be playing, when they'll be playing, and all of that jazz.
The action will be finally - and I really do mean finally (!), because roughly 72 hours without hockey has made me feel light-headed, and a little bit woozy - starting on Wednesday morning with 2 games, before proceeding to ramp things up to 4 games/day all the way through the weekend.
So let's get to it..
February 08 2014 07:39PM
Sup, ladies? Glen Gulutzan doesn't have a care in the world.
You could spend your entire Saturday night sitting down, with a bottle of your liquor of choice, writing out a list of everything that has gone wrong with the Vancouver Canucks since the end of December. Obviously the root of all of the struggles is the extensive number of injuries they're dealing with, but that's a pretty weak excuse.
Every NHL team deals with their share of adversity on that front over the course of an 82-game season, and this team simply wasn't prepared for it back when they should've been. It also doesn't help that their coach has completely and utterly ran them into the ground, with another listless 3rd period doing them in once again.
Losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and as a result snapping an 11-year steak which we've all come to know and love, is just the latest notch on the belt of embarrassing head scratchers, en route to what will hopefully be a high lottery pick at the end of the tunnel. But before we get there, we need to dig through all of the rubble.
February 08 2014 11:24AM
I don't mean to oversell this but it may be the greatest moment in the history of hockey
There isn't much to hang your hat on in Vancouver these days. Well, unless you're in the camp that would like to see the team bottom out; which is pretty doable at this point, considering that they're only 3 points away from being 25th in the overall standings. The injury woes for this squad have become pretty comical at this point, as they're both literally and figuratively limping towards the Olympic break.
But hey, while the team may be struggling in a fashion which we haven't seen in a long time, we'll always have the video clip I've attached above. Andt the fact that the Canucks haven't lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs since November 24th, 2003. With everything that has plagued them lately I've come to terms with all of the losing in recent weeks, but if they find a way to somehow lose this one, well now that would just be plain embarrassing..