Mid-Afternoon Headshots January 7th

Thomas Drance
January 07 2013 02:11PM

Look whose back practicing in Canucks jerseys?
Via @VanCanucks on Instagram.

Headshots are a Canucks Army feature where we link to the day's freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost, produced a tribute video or birthed a clever .gif into existence - please e-mail Thom at thom.drance@gmail.com.

Must read bit from Jason Botchford, who chimes in on the Luongo trade saga and quotes @strombone1 in the headline (demonstrating the elite bloggy instincts that we all know and admire). That Botch thinks that Mike Gillis and the Canucks' "we might bring Schneider and Luongo back this season" company line isn't just misdirection strikes me as particularly interesting.

More on Luongo from the Toronto Star's Rob Longley, who caught up with the star netminder in Coral Springs. Luongo told Longley, among other things, that he's given Mike Gillis the "green light" to trade him if it will improve the team.

Buried in his weekly 30 Thoughts Column, Elliotte Friedman drops a nugget about how the Canucks have signed an "NHL-exclusive" deal with Sleep Science. The Canucks have clearly focussed a lot of their R&D efforts on understanding how fatigue impacts performance and with several players likely to report to training camp with lockout beer guts - one suspects that their "human performance plan" will be given a serious workout his season.

More links and snide annotations after the jump!

Read Article | 0 Comments

On the "Luxury of Experimentation," and how much more conventional will the Canucks be this season?

Thomas Drance
January 07 2013 12:28PM

Not pictured: test tubes and lab coats.

In a conference call with the media on Sunday Afternoon, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis gave an intriguing answer to a question regarding the impact a shortened season will have on his team:

"It's different in that you don't have the luxury of a full season to experiment.

You know, we were planning on introducing a number of young players, now I'm not sure how that's going to work out with a shortened schedule. We'll have to see what the conditioning level is of our players, we're confident it's going to be high because of the standards that are set here. And injuries.

Obviously with a 48 game schedule you don't have any room for experimentation or introduction unless a player is ready to play and ready to contribute. That's going to change the dynamic not only for us, but for every team in the league.

We're going to have to go with our best players every night no matter what to make sure we get into the playoffs."

In the context of the way Cody Hodgson's deployment changed over the course of his time with Vancouver last season, how the Canucks manipulated their understanding of matchups and territorial deployment to inflate his stats and trade value, and bragged over the summer about their ability to "design success" for young players; I figure this quote deserves a bit of rumination. 

Click past the jump for more.

Read Article | 1 Comments

Strombabble: Tiresome Lockout News Instantly Replaced by Tiresome Luongo Trade Speculation

Thomas Drance
January 07 2013 10:12AM

Luongo practices in a Canucks jersey in Florida this morning.
Photo credit: Farhan Lalji.

With the new collective bargaining agreement days away from ratification and the transaction window re-opening for NHL clubs, reporters like TSN's Farhan Lalji and the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley have descended on Coral Springs, Florida - home of the Florida Panthers practice facility - to cover the drawn out but possibly, finally imminent Roberto Luongo trade.

This morning Roberto Luongo has been photographed non-stop at a practice session in Coral Springs. Not that it's Luongo's intention but when you're wearing a Canucks jersey and practicing with a former Maple Leafs goalie coach at the Florida Panthers practice facility: you're going to draw the media's attention. It's unavoidable.

So the frenzy is upon us and there are more grainy practice photos of Roberto Luongo  (like the one Farhan posted above, of Luongo wearing a Canuck practice jersey) on Twitter this morning than there are famous fakes of mythical beasts like the Sasquatch or Loch Ness. This is particularly appropriate since, by weeks end, Luongo could concievably make it into the cryptozoological journals and become a chimerical creature of the sort the world hasn't seen in nearly a decade. I'm talking of course about a consistently competent Maple Leafs goaltender. 

We'll look at some of the pressure points and moving pieces in a possible Luongo deal, recap media chatter, parse some quotes, and try to find our bearings. Read on past the jump. 

Read Article | 6 Comments

Sedins Hint that they might still Play for Modo if the NHL Season is Cancelled

Thomas Drance
January 04 2013 02:38PM

Based on the Daniel Sedin quote above, it sure sounds like it.

Read past the jump for more.

Read Article | 1 Comments

Canucks Total Player Charts

Thomas Drance
January 03 2013 04:17PM

Among nerdlinger types who value advanced stats in hockey, ice time is seen as perhaps the single most invaluable stat. Tom Awad, for example, has argued that ice-time is the best proxy we've got at the moment for determining overall player value.

If you're like me, and tend to think that NHL headcoaches, who are paid millions of dollars to maximize the effectiveness of their hockey teams, have a better overall grasp of which players are effective in particular roles than your average fan or hockey scribe; then understanding the way a player is deployed can tell us an awful lot about that individual's skillset and value. 

In an effort to visualize this concept in an accessible way, Ben Wendorf came up with the "total player chart" in a must read NHLnumbers post in mid-December. On Tuesday he put together detailed charts for every Canucks player over the past five seasons (the image at the top of this post is the TPC for the Canucks last season), and I figured I'd share the images and caption them with some analysis for your reading pleasure. Read on past the jump for more.

Read Article | 7 Comments