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.
September 23 2012 05:26PM
A week ago I wrote about how the media have been on the fans' side and are pretty cynical about the position of owners (certainly) and players (somewhat less). A public relations battle has emerged, but what is there for either side to gain, really? The owners would seem to care about what the fans think, but they also know they hold almost all the chips. They have the money to pay the players and they control the venues for where the fans get to watch the games and spend their money.
The narrative a week ago was focused on fans getting screwed; this week that thread remained, to a degree, but questions about how the players are going to hold up in the coming weeks and months became a more dominant story - even though the players have yet to miss the first cheque as a result of the lockout.
In a week where little movement appeared in either side's position, there was still plenty written. Let's have a look.
September 22 2012 02:19PM
The Abbotsford Heat have had a tough time drawing fans from the Lower Mainland to their games. That should change for the next couple of months, as the AHL is suddenly the best professional hockey league in action this fall. The Heat are the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, and many point to the Canucks-Flames rivalry as the culprit behind the low attendance numbers.
Why should you make your way out to Abbotsford this fall for a game? Many reasons. Read on to find them out.