How Jake Virtanen can become a more valuable player by being a more disciplined player

Thomas Drance
March 30 2016 04:36PM

USATSI_9181732_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin

It was a senseless hit and a late one that earned Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen the first suspension of his NHL career.

Virtanen, 19, was standing in front of the Sharks net in a forechecking position when San Jose Sharks defender Roman Polak made sure to knock the young Canucks forward’s stick out of his hand. As play moved the other way, Virtanen lined up Polak. Several beats after the veteran Sharks defender completed an outlet pass, Virtanen delivered a late, reckless hit from Polak’s blindside.

Polak was down for an extended period of time, though he returned to the game. Virtanen meanwhile earned himself a major penalty, an ejection, a telephonic hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety and a two-game suspension.

Read Article | 34 Comments

Jake Virtanen suspended two games for hit on Sharks Roman Polak

Ryan Biech
March 30 2016 02:06PM

It was announced by the NHL department of Player Safety that Canucks forward Jake Virtanen will be suspended for the next two games for a hit on Roman Polak during the second period of the Canucks and Sharks game on Tuesday night. During the game, Virtanen received a five minute major and a game misconduct for the play.

The full explanation can be found here:

Read Article | 31 Comments

Utica Week in Review: March 21st - 27th

Jeremy Davis
March 30 2016 01:57PM

Curtis Valk - Comets 2

Photo credit: Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets

The Comets have been doing a lot more sinking than swimming lately, but they did manage to scrounge a few points out of last week's trio of games. Saturday's blowout win over Binghamton ended a five-game losing streak and was just their second win in their last nine games. Meanwhile, Jonathan Drouin and a reinvigorated Syracuse Crunch are hot on their tail in the AHL standings.

The Comets have been suffering in the goals column lately, and a five goal performance on Saturday was a welcome development. Still, there isn't much to report in terms of Canucks prospect production. That said, they did get some contributions from a couple of new internal arrivals.

Read Article | 6 Comments

WWYDW: Milan Lucic or Loui Eriksson

J.D. Burke
March 30 2016 10:40AM

wwydw

Does anybody still care about this season? Like, people's emotional investment has to be at an all-time low, right?

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about what matters: next season and beyond. To that exact end, if the Canucks plan on returning to hockey in late-April, they're going to have to get active in free agency. They have the cap space to do so, so why not? Milan Lucic has been linked to Vancouver for years, but Loui Eriksson is starting to work his way into the conversation as a possible fit.

So, which of the two do you prefer and why? If neither of these two, who do you have in mind?

Read Article | 25 Comments

Candid Hansen not convinced he'll score the goal he needs to reach 20

Jeff Paterson
March 30 2016 08:09AM

USATSI_9125071_168381338_lowres
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

One shot, once chance, one lucky bounce is all Jannik Hansen needs to score his 20th goal of the season. Hell, he’d take an empty netter if the Vancouver Canucks were ever in position to extend a lead. 

With just six games to go the Canucks are in the midst of a late-season collapse. They've been unable to mount much in the way of an offensive push and Hansen isn’t convinced he’s going to get the single goal he needs to reach the 20-goal milestone for the first time in his eighth National Hockey League season.

Read Article | 5 Comments