Why Ryan Miller Needs to Be the Back-up More Often

Thomas Drance
December 16 2014 04:30PM

The writers at this site savaged Vancouver's new management team when - on July 1, 2014 - freshly minted Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning plunged head first into the free agent market to hand out a three-year, $18-million contract to aging unrestricted free agent goaltender Ryan Miller.

I didn't hate the deal quite so much at the time. Having watched Eddie Lack break down towards the tail end of last season, I didn't think it was wise for the club to to dole him out a workhorse starter's workload. Looking over Jakob Markstrom's numbers over the past few seasons at the NHL-level, meanwhile, I didn't think he was a particularly good bet to credibly spell Lack for 30-35 NHL games.

But Ryan Miller is struggling. Plain and simple, he's struggling to the extreme. Let's take a closer look on the other side of the jump.

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Capital Offense - Canucks' Power-Play lights up D.C.

Thomas Drance
December 02 2014 10:35PM

In a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday the Vancouver Canucks scored enough to bail out a shaky goaltending performance from Ryan Miller, who requested the game specifically from head coach Willie Desjardins. 

Miller's shaky outings have been all-too common this season, but at least the "out-scoring iffy goatlending" thing is a huge relief for those of us who watched the Canucks stagger through the 2013-14 season. So don't look a gift win in the mouth, I say!

Read on past the jump for more.

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Canucks Army GDT #23 - Canucks @ Blue Jackets

Thomas Drance
November 28 2014 01:30PM

The Vancouver Canucks are set to kickoff the longest road trip of their season: a seven game East coast swing that start on Friday afternoon against the perpetually banged up Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets are somewhat healthier than they were a month ago, but are still without key pieces like Brandon Dubinsky, Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray. 

After emerging as a tough, physical, defensive club that controlled play very well last season, the Blue Jackets are back to being Sergei Bobrovsky and company this year. Partly as a result of injuries, the Blue Jackets are a bottom-10 puck possession team that has been widely outscored at five-on-five so far this season. That doesn't mean Vancouver can look past this club though, after all, Bobrovsky is still an elite puck stopper and the Blue Jackets power play is extraordinarily dangerous. 

Read on past the jump (jump jump jump jump jump) for a full preview.

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Drance Numbers: California Love

Thomas Drance
November 11 2014 02:02PM

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Someway, somehow the path to winning the 2015 Stanley Cup will go through the state of California. 

This weekend, the Canucks got their first taste of that good California Love. For Vancouver, a club realistically aspiring to something more modest than championship contention this year, but lodged inconveniently in the Pacific Division, the path to qualifying for the postseason similarly runs through the heart of the Golden State. 

Impressively the Canucks managed to head back north with four points out of a possible six. Banking those points is crucial for a Canucks team that went 2-9-3, amassing just seven of a possible 28 points, against the California kaiju last season, but for fun, let's take a closer look at how the Canucks fared by the underlying numbers in their first major test of the campaign. 

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Drance Numbers - How Sustainable is Vancouver's early season success?

Thomas Drance
November 06 2014 09:00AM

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With 18 points in their first 13 games, the Vancouver Canucks are off to a stellar start to the 2014-15 campaign, but will it last?

Let's look a bit deeper at how this club has performed by the underlying numbers, and do our best to determine whether or not this team has staying power in the tough Western Conference. Read on past the jump.

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