February 17 2014 07:52PM
Image via Jean Levac
By now you're all well aware of the narratives surrounding Mike Babcock, P.K. Subban, and Team Canada's personnel decisions. And let's face it, there was going to be controversy surrounding them no matter which players were scratched and which were dressed. We Canadians panic a lot about small things like this. It's just what we do.
But at the same time, the reigning Norris Trophy winner as last year's consensus best defenseman in the known universe was scratched yesterday in favour of three inglorious minutes from Dan Hamhuis, as Canada just barely squeaked by a Finnish team that's probably not even as deep as the Buffalo Sabres by a 2-1 score in overtime.
It's not exactly a stretch to say that they probably could've used the services of one Pernell Karl..
February 17 2014 03:09PM
Lots of people might be worried about the Canadian men's hockey team right now. My advice? You probably shouldn't be. As much as people are focusing on the negative, there's a lot of positive arrows - including their three wins.
February 17 2014 10:57AM
Image via Utica Comets
Something that you'll notice when it comes to professional sports is that there's an inverse relationship between how good the parent club is, and how much interest the fanbase has in how the up-and-coming prospects are doing.
As long as the NHL team is winning and staying relevant, most people generally speaking are indifferent to the state of the system. Just keeping winning. As soon as the cyclical nature of the sport begins to take a hold, fans start looking down to the minors in the hopes that there are some sort of reinforcements on the way. Is something on the way that'll right this ship?
It's tough to safe with the Canucks. They're still not considered as having an overly deep or strong pool of young talent in the system, but things are definitely trending upwards (having two picks in the top 24 of a good draft certainly doesn't hurt in that regard). It takes time cultivating a proper system.
Just past the jump we'll take a look back at our Top-20 prospects from this past summer, and try to assess how they've done, and what they're tracking towards moving forward.
February 16 2014 07:00PM
Courtesy of @TheAHL.com
Immediately after finishing their game last night the Comets jumped on a bus and drove the four and a half hours to Toronto to partake in their third contest in three days, as they took on the well-rested Marlies.
Read on past the jump for a recap of another 2-1 victory.
February 16 2014 01:53PM
Image via the man himself
Heading into the Sochi Olympics there was a general perception that the bigger ice surface would bring with it a more exciting, up-tempo, back-and-forth brand of hockey. But as many people, including Smilin' Don Cherry himself, have astutely pointed out: the big ice has allowed defensively inclined teams to load up on the blue line and force the opposition to dump the puck in (which is generally speaking a much less effective form of zone entry than actually carrying it in with possession). There's a lot of "trapping it up" unfolding before our very eyes.
As a result, we've only seen an average of 2.65 goals/game in preliminary group play despite all of the world's top players being involved. I don't even want to imagine what the play would look like if this wasn't a "best-on-best" tournament, because it would probably make for unwatchable viewing.
While this morning's 2-1 overtime victory wasn't *that* bad, it was still riddled with dry moments that were severely lacking in excitement. For a team that's as depleted as the Finnish squad is, I'm sure that it was music to their ears. By keeping a much more talented Canadian squad to the outside, and limiting the number of events for the majority of the time, they were able to give themselves a fighting chance.
Fortunately there's only one Drew Doughty, though.