February 13 2014 01:10PM
Image via Dallas Stars
With no NHL hockey to watch, chew on, and discuss, we've shifted our sights to Sochi, where the Men's hockey tournament is off and running. It'll be a nice, refreshing change to get to watch and write about really good players, after having spent far too much time covering the Pascal Pelletier and Yann Sauves of the world in recent weeks.
Team Canada opened up its preliminary play on Thursday morning with a matchup against Norway. What looked like a potentially lopsided rout on paper took a while to materialize, but eventually Canada's overwhelming skill level finally took over, as they steamrolled their opposition. While the 3-1 score line may not necessarily say as much, it was a pretty thorough domination in the final 40 minutes of play.
Read on past the jump for the scoring chance data, and some thoughts on the game itself (particularly as it relates to the two Vancouver Canucks on the team).
February 12 2014 12:35PM
Image via Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
For both the Vancouver Canucks and their fans, the Sochi Winter Olympics really couldn't have come a moment sooner. The final couple of days leading up to the break felt like they were dragging on at an excruciatingly slow place, with the team falling flat on its face as it approached the finish line.
They've gone 4-13-2 since January 1st, dropping all the way down to 21st in the league's overall standings. More prevalently, the likes of Minnesota, Dallas, and Phoenix have all leapfrogged them in the Wild Card race, with the Jets and Predators not too far behind.
The break will provide a pleasant and much needed reprieve. The Canucks are sending the 4th most players out of any team in the NHL over to Sochi, giving people something to follow as they cheer (for the large majority of our readers, I'd assume) the Canadian team on.
Beyond the actual games themselves, though, there seems to be a widespread belief that the two and a half weeks off will wipe the slate clean for the Canucks, suddenly turning their fortunes around. That the brain trust will be able to concoct some sort of bold moves that'll bring reinforcements to a team that finds itself in an exceptionally delicate spot.
The next few weeks - specifically the March 5th deadline and the days leading up to it - will go a long way towards determining how the Vancouver Canucks position themselves for not just the end of this season, but even more importantly, years to come.
February 11 2014 08:35PM
Most of you are functioning members of society, and are thus more than capable of navigating the internet to find these sorts of things out for yourselves. But there's some of you out there that are lazy, and it's those of you that may therefore potentially make use of this post.
Just past the jump I'll attempt to succinctly summarize the schedule of play for the Men's Olympic hockey tournament set to be played over the next two and a half weeks, with a Canucks-centric look at who will be playing, when they'll be playing, and all of that jazz.
The action will be finally - and I really do mean finally (!), because roughly 72 hours without hockey has made me feel light-headed, and a little bit woozy - starting on Wednesday morning with 2 games, before proceeding to ramp things up to 4 games/day all the way through the weekend.
So let's get to it..
February 11 2014 07:22PM
Can it really be 4 years since the Olympics in Vancouver already? Simple math would suggest that is the case but we have a sneaking suspicion we may have fallen through some sort of worm hole or rip in the space time continuum. It seriously can't be 4 years can it? Hmm.
February 11 2014 06:07PM
Photo courtesy of Legion of Blog.
I'm sure I speak for everyone in the vast world of Canucks fandom when I say that the Olympic Break couldn't have come soon enough. Seven losses in a row, that's one thing. But to lose in such an utterly boring and draining fashion for seven straight, that's practically enough to turn even me into one of those alarmist fans.
You know the kind... They've usually got the least to say, yet say the most; big fan, personally. But hey, for at least the next two weeks, our favourite team and country is a serious threat to own the podium again.
Not only that, but I've tons of great links for your reading and enjoyment, on the other side of the jump.