September 24 2012 04:42PM
Kevin Connauton (right) hopes to be back sharing a bench with the Sedins in short order.
After stepping up the defensive side of his game last season, Canucks defence prospect Kevin Connauton was poised to push for an NHL roster spot at training camp this fall. With the lockout intervening, however, Connauton is headed back to Chicago for another few months of AHL action (at least). How does a guy prepare himself mentally for this, and might going back to the AHL be a blessing in disguise? After the Canucks practiced today, we caught up with Connauton and Chris Higgins (who was in Connauton's shoes during the 2004-05 lockout) about the "little, extra half step" that otherwise NHL ready young players will take in the AHL this season.
September 24 2012 03:08PM
Not Canucks related but, isn't it crazy that Henrik Zetterberg so closely resembles Jake Gyllenhaal?
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September 24 2012 01:38PM
Photo Credit: Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press
As the prospect of a prolonged NHL lockout came into focus during the course of the summer, a consensus emerged: that the team could actually stand to benefit from a shortened season. Tony Gallagher wrote about it, Jeff Angus wrote about it and Dimitri Filipovic wrote about it, and they all agreed: in a shortened season the team wouldn't necessarily miss Ryan Kesler (who is recovering from labrum surgery until December), and they might be a little bit fresher headed into the postseason.
The flip side of this particular coin is another consensus, this one more worrisome. It's widely believed that losing an entire season would be an unmitigated disaster for the Canucks and their aging core. This teams "window to win" is this season (before Alex Edler, and key role players like Chris Tanev, Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre are due for a raise), and perhaps a season or two beyond it. The Sedins aren't getting any younger and Kesler isn't getting any more durable, so losing a full campaign and another shot at hoisting that cherished silver mug would be, to use a euphemism, inconvenient.
The lockout is now eight days old, and will finally cost the Canucks some preseason games beginning tonight. With that, let's wade into the muck and try to determine which scenario - a shortened season, or a lost one - looks to be more likely at the present juncture. Read past the jump.
September 24 2012 11:06AM
Life's certainties: death, taxes and Burrows' forehand, backhand deke.
It isn't luck that has allowed newly extended pest and garbage goal master Alexandre Burrows to defy the odds in his hockey career, it's hard work. In the past decade, Burrows has gone from dominating international roller hockey matches and playing fourth line minutes on the Greenville Grrrowl, to being a fixture on a perennial contender's top-line while producing offense like an elite NHL forward.
Burrows' dedication to his craft shows through in his ability to feed off the Sedin twins' possession game, in his innovative trash talk and it's maybe most clearly revealed by his signature finishing move. Through sheer force of will, Burrows has perfected an unstoppable, go-to scoring deke.
Like how Reptile extends his tongue and removes his opponents head, or how Ermac breaks every bone in his opponents body using his psychic powers; when Burrows' is asked to "finish," everyone knows what's coming: the familiar, streak breaking, fore-hand back-hand breakaway move.
Read on past the jump.
September 24 2012 09:24AM
At one point or another, we have all been guilty of taking Henrik and Daniel Sedin for granted. Their exploits are often overlooked, and they are routinely - and rather unjustly, may I add - ripped for being "soft". I'm not just referring to people who aren't all that fond of the Canucks - you know, the same people who settle for making mediocre diving, and Sedin sisters jokes. But seemingly everyone has fallen into this trap at some point or another. At the very least, for example, you've yelled "Shoot the [expletive deleted] puck!" at Art Ross winner Henrik Sedin. As if you know how to produce offense at the NHL level better than he does...
Despite their unearned reputation among hockey fans, you'll be hard-pressed to find two players that take more punishment on a nightly basis. But that's life when you're so good at your job that the opposition has to throw everything but the kitchen sink at you, hoping to do anything they can to take you out of your rhythm. Even before they take the ice, the other team has spent most of their time and energy in preparation, trying to figure out a way to slow them down. Just because they usually leave the game with nothing to show for their troubles doesn't mean that they didn't try. Trust me, they did. The Sedins are nightmare to gameplan against.
With their 32nd birthday just around the corner, though, how much longer will their 'best' be better than the opposition's 'best'?
Click Past the Jump for More.