February 18 2012 10:11AM
Other considered preview headlines: "Eviction Nonis" and "Baby got Burke!"
The last time the Leafs defeated the Canucks in Vancouver, the calender read 2003. Phil Kessel and I were in the 10th grade, Brian Burke was the architect of an entertaining Canucks team having a renaissance in the Vancouver market, and Dave Nonis was Burke's assistant general manager. Yep, a lot has changed since that day, and also, Dave Nonis is still Burke's assistant general manager.
Tonight, in fair Vancouver where we lay our scene, two teams both alike in post-expansion indignity will renew acquaintances. With two former Canucks General Managers in the house, it promises to be more than just another mid-February game, so expect money on the board.
At this point, the Canucks are clearly Gillis' team but Nonis and Burke were the guys who grafted the adamantium onto the exoskeleton of Vancouver's, apparently Wolverine-like, contending hockey club. Between them, they brought in the Sedins and Luongo (in hilariously lopsided deals). They drafted Kesler, Raymond, Edler, Hansen and Cory Schneider (also, Patrick White). They were wise enough to sign Bieksa to an ELC after he punched out Fedor Fedorov, and unwise enough to give us the "Byron Ritchie: power-play quarterback" era. This was the management team which took a chance on Burrows, and also, stubbornly stuck with Dan Cloutier...
The team Nonis and Burke bring with them tonight is not one of those limp-noodle, top-10 pick (Boston via Toronto), cough up a three goal lead at home to Alex Burrows (then trade half of your team the very next day) Leafs teams of the recent past. This season's Leafs are legitimately exciting to watch, they can score with anybody and, in the midst of a tight race to make the playoffs in the East, they should be desperate.
A more thorough preview and underlying numbers for both teams after the jump!
February 18 2012 12:49AM
"Rather than spit some outsider gibberish about what we think about the trade deadline we asked friend of the Nation Brian Sutherby - veteran of 460 NHL games and a fella who has been traded twice - what its like to go through the deadline as an NHL player.
It's kinda like cheating on a test. Why learn math when we can ask the smartest kid in the class to take the test for us? That's good thinkin' right there.
The rest of this article is all him as they say* But we take all the credit for forcing him to write it with all the threatening BBMs that we have sent that arrive in the middle of the night due to the time difference.
Classic." - Wanye
February 17 2012 02:47PM
Mike Davies and the Wolves just keep on rollin'
(Photo: Chris Jerina/AHL in Photos)
After a bit of a hiatus following the AHL All Star Game, your favourite Chicago Wolves feature is back!
In the past week the Wolves played three times, picking up two wins. That continues their hot 2012; they've now got 12 wins in 18 games since the beginning of the year.
February 17 2012 12:09PM
The Good and the Bad of this past week.
It's Friday. So we close out the "Week That Was" with our latest volume of... "Cheers and Jeers!"
This week, I scold Marchand and idiot Canucks fans (it seems like they go hand-in-hand now), and wrap things up in regulation by applauding Luongo and playing hockey for a great cause.
February 17 2012 08:47AM
Vigneault, the twins and their teammates are putting together a second straight season to remember.
Much was said about the Vancouver Canucks setting franchise records with 54 victories and 117 points last season. With a 17-1-2 stretch from late November through late January, and a 12-1 roll in March a year ago - the Canucks were doing things no team in the franchise’s 40-year history had ever accomplished. And it all added up to an NHL best record and the first President’s Trophy in the hockey club’s history. But you know all of that. You also know that when the final buzzer sounded on June 15th, none of that mattered.
Read on past the jump!