Luongo's Injury will Test the Canucks' Goaltending Depth

Thomas Drance
December 27 2013 03:35PM


The evidence is mounting: Lack might be pretty good at this "goaltending" thing.
Image via wikimedia commons

On Friday morning the Vancouver Canucks announced the recall of Utica Comets goaltender Joacim Eriksson, a former Philadelphia Flyers draft pick who the Canucks signed as a free-agent this summer.

While there are indications from reporters that Roberto Luongo's groin ailment isn't serious, we don't really know, and the team is playing it close to the vest for now. What we do have is reasonable grounds, however, to presume that Vancouver's goaltending depth is about to be tested in a serious way. So let's look at Eddie Lack and Eriksson and see what we can reasonably expect from them if they're counted on between the pipes for a couple of weeks or so...

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Hunter Shinkaruk to undergo hip surgery, will miss the rest of the season

Thomas Drance
December 27 2013 12:08PM

There is some unfortunate but not entirely unexpected Canucks prospect injury news to sift through this Friday morning. Hobbled Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk will undergo a surgical procedure this January and the highly-touted young sniper will miss the rest of the campaign as he convalesces. 

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Shock and Jaw: Canucks Streamroll Oilers

Thomas Drance
December 13 2013 11:20PM

On Friday night the Vancouver Canucks spanked the Edmonton Oilers with a 4-0 victory that wasn't as closely contested as the score might indicate. It was probably Vancouver's most thoroughly dominant performance of the season.

At the end of it Zack Kassian made waves by probably mocking Sam Gagner's jaw shield (y'know, the one Gagner wears to protect his jaw after Kassian broke it with a vicious errant stick this past September). It was such a controversial move by Kassian that it soaked up all of the postgame oxygen overshadowing the fact that the Canucks have won six in a row, have given up one goal in their last three games, and that Dale Weise scored a power-play goal... 

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Tortorella Players: 3 Canucks who have benefited from the coaching change

Thomas Drance
December 11 2013 01:20PM

The Vancouver Canucks have won six of their last seven games, they boast the league's best penalty-kill, and their controversial bench boss has been even keeled (mostly) while earning praise for his handling of the media. The John Tortorella era is off to about as good a start as anyone could've reasonably expected, well, except for the nihilist disaster fetishists waiting impatiently for Tortorella to go Vesuvius on the local press.

It has been a redemptive fall for Tortorella in some ways, especially with his old team the New York Rangers already in the "players only meeting" stage. If the Canucks as a whole are benefitting from the impact of a coaching change, and they seem to be, then we figured it might be worth our time to take a closer look at three players on Vancouver's roster who have particularly benefited from the Tortorella hire.

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Safe is Death has come to Vancouver

Thomas Drance
December 06 2013 11:23AM

By his own admission, and in stark contrast with his predecessor, Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella has an old school view of how to approach coaching an NHL team. The firey 'Torts' doesn't rigorously manipulate matchups, he's often been heard to lambast the common habit of "over-coaching," and he even derides the notion of playing a "system," preferring to characterize his gameplan as a "mindset". Tortorella has also talked at length about not really understanding analytics.

Yet for all of that luddite bluster I'm struck by the extent to which the Canucks have, in the first 30 games of the John Tortorella era, played a style of hockey that adheres closely to some of the conventional wisdom drawn directly from shot based metrics. 

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