November 12 2012 11:59AM
Rogers Sportsnet does a lot of things very well, employing Michael Grange or hosting the Marek Versus Wyshynski podcast for example. Their digital content arm however, lags somewhat behind the offerings hockey fans get from the Score, Yahoo and NBC (among others).
Today, they're jumping off of Jason Botchford's take on Canucks fans booing Justin Schultz from this past weekend, and plugging the post as Justin Schultz saying that "picking the Oilers over the Canucks was the best decision of his career." Sounds racy, huh? Except that the actual quote itself is anything but.
Click past the jump for more.
November 08 2012 01:12PM
This weekend Pavel Bure will be going into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and it appears that the Russian Rocket - the most exciting player to ever don some variation of a Vancouver Canucks sweater - will be honoured at long last by the team as well. Late on Wednesday evening, Jason Botchford reported that the Canucks are likely planning on retiriing Pavel Bure's number 10 at some point when hockey is played again.
Based on what Bure meant to the franchise, to the city and the sport this should be a no-brainer. There are, however, other factors that make this decision a tricky one for the Canucks.
Read on past the jump.
November 07 2012 12:44PM
After posting two consecutive seventy-point seasons, including a 2009-10 campaign that saw him post 50 assists, Ryan Kesler's offensive production dropped by about 20 points during the 2011-12 NHL campaign. If you asked fans of the team, one of the major reasons for Kesler's drop in production (outside of the fact that he rushed back from an injury, and was hobbled throughout the final three months of the regular season) was his seeming reluctance to pass the puck. The most common criticism I've heard: "Kesler has fallen in love with his shot."
In January, with the Canucks' possession numbers cratering and secondary scoring nowhere to be found outside of Cody Hodgson, headcoach Alain Vigneault publicly called out his two-way ace for hogging the puck. According to his coach, it was imperative that Ryan Kesler "use the players around him more," a public accusation that Ryan Kesler bristled at.
Looking over some new data on "Puck Hogging" posted by Benjamin Wendorf over at NHLNumbers.com, it appears that Kesler's annoyance at Alain Vigneault's criticism may have been entirely justified.
Read on past the jump.
November 05 2012 01:19PM
For a Stanley Cup starved fanbase that roots for an aging team, a team has come oh so painfully close without raising the ultimate mug, the "championship window" is a constant source of argument and scrutiny. I'd argue that not since the Hussites of the 14-hundreds, or more recently Bill Gates, has a single person or group of people ever been so preoccupied with "windows" in the history of human kind.
The most often cited reason for the Canucks' finite championship window is the age of the Sedin twins. The Sedins turned thirty-two in September (on the same day, if you can believe it!) and the list of players who've produced 100 point seasons after the age of 32 is very short indeed.
Some folks, even some folks who write at this blog, have looked at the twins' decline in production last season and have become convinced that the Sedin twins have begun to submit to the power of father time. But looking over the data from the past five seasons, I see little evidence that the Sedin twins have "lost a step" or that last season's slip in production represents the beginning of a downward trend in their NHL careers.
I'll explain myself at length after the jump.
November 02 2012 08:33AM
Luongo-to-Edmonton trade chatter has heated up over the past two months.
Rich Lam/Getty Images
Over the past few months as we've been strombabbling about Roberto Luongo's future, the star goaltender has been laughing at us on Twitter (well, not us specifically, but he's certainly been having fun with the speculation). On Halloween he dressed up as an Edmonton Oilers goaltender (probably his childhood hero Grant Fuhr) and tweeted a photo of it, causing mostly laughter.
But the laughing stopped when Kevin Lowe addressed the Edmonton Oilers' trade posture, throwing gasoline on the "Wow Factor" trade rumour that was floated earlier in the week by team employee Bob Stauffer. Certainly the Oilers appear to be a team interested in improving their roster by using the trade market (that sound you heard was a million Oilers fans, all crying out at once in worry), and sound willing to spend in order to shore up their situation in goal.
Read on past the jump.