March 14 2014 10:54AM
Yes. That is how much it will cost Francesco Aquillini to free Torts from his responsibilities.
Whatever those are.
I mean, he runs as few practices as he can get away with. Doesn't attend game-day skates. Heck, he's even delegated his in-game tirades during time-outs to his assistant coach.
The point is, whatever it is that John Tortorella does for the Canucks, it's not coaching.
So if it's true that Tortorella was not Mike Gillis' candidate-of-choice for to replace the departed Alain Vigneault last summer, but rather a hire made at the insistence of the Canucks' owner, then Gillis has a very small window to fix that mistake before it costs him his job. And if there's one thing Gillis should now a thing or two about, it's rapidly closing windows.
March 12 2014 09:58PM
The Vancouver Canucks played a game on Wednesday night. Generally a sentence like that will make you want to quickly close your browser, but not on this night, following their 3-2 shootout victory.
Sure, it doesn't hurt that they won (for just the 3rd time in 15 games), but far, far more importantly: *things* happened. Some of them were good (hint: the photo above isn't from a previous season), and some of them were bad (we should be numb to injury news at this point). But at least none of them were of the recently routine and yet still equally embarrassing variety.
On-ice events worth talking about (aside from the aforementioned comedy of errors, and embarrassing blowups) have been so few and far between lately, and it's because of that, that we'll gladly accept what went down in Winnipeg. Let's run through it all just past the jump.
March 12 2014 07:45PM
You don't need me to tell you just how cruel a mistress the 2013-14 season has been to the Vancouver Canucks. Basically everything that could've gone wrong, has. Injuries, losing, dissension, in-house power struggles and back-stabbing. Sounds like a terrible soap opera, which is basically what it has been.
Amidst all of it, there has been one individual subplot that has been hanging over the season like a big ol' rain cloud: Alexandre Burrows' slow march towards futility.
You can check that one off of the list of things remarkably depressing about this team at the moment. We now have reason to smile, at least for a few minutes. If only that you can now sleep easy tonight knowing that you favourite team didn't get shut out by Ondrej Pavelec.
March 12 2014 01:22PM
It's not exactly a good thing when Elliotte Friedman writes 900 words about your team in a 30 Thoughts column before mentioning anybody else, but Vancouver's in the midst of one of the worst streaks in franchise history. It's not just the weak record since 2014 began that has Vancouverites on edge, but the assumption of a rudderless organization that just traded possibly the best player in franchise history for a goaltender yet to live up to his NHL potential at 24, and a 25-points-per-82-games 26-year-old centreman.
There's little point in reporting, again, that the Canucks are not as bad as their record indicates. Yes, they won't make the playoffs, but there was a perfect storm of bad luck that's accumulated over the last few months from injuries and a low PDO. That's led to some curious decisions on the part of the head coach, but the organization has such little going for it right now it's hard to tell what aspects of the team are controlled by ownership and what aspects are controlled by management.
March 12 2014 01:11PM
I have to admit that I figured I'd be catering Wednesday's Canucks/Jets preview around John Tortorella's firing, and what we could expect from Interim Head Coach Mike Sullivan's
1st 7th game as the bench boss.
But at least for now, that's not the case. John Tortorella is still hanging around by a thread, with the Vancouver Canucks trying to gather themselves (and their chicklets, after having their "teeth kicked in" for the second time in days).
They'll try to do so in Winnipeg, against the Winnipeg Jets and their raucous crowd, in a matchup between two teams tied for 10th in the Western Conference at 68 points. Let the Evander Kane fawning, and Ondrej Pavelec(tric) jokes begin!