December 08 2011 01:14PM
Maxim Lapierre makes his eaglerly-awaited return to the Bell Centre tonight
Game Day Recon: Game #28 - Canucks @ Le Club Hockey Canadien
December 08 2011 12:33PM
This is a weekly feature that will highlight The Good, The Bad and The *fill in the blank* exciting things that are currently happening in the NHL. Did Shanahan finally suspend a Bruin? Did Aaron Rome get a hat-trick? Was a hockey blogger actually photographed & caught sitting in his basement without any pants? I hope all of these things occur.
December 08 2011 10:38AM
The quick and easy answer to that question is about 2 shots per game.
It was announced last night that David Booth, an early-season trade pickup by Mike Gillis, will be out 4-to-6 weeks with a MCL injury sustained in Tuesday's 6-0 win over Colorado. Booth was the victim of a knee-on-knee collision from Colorado's Kevin Porter, who can expect a howler from Brendan Shanahan's office sometime Thursday or Friday.
December 08 2011 10:03AM
The first three episodes of the NHLNumbers podcast focused mostly on definitions and theory in general. In episode four, we move on to applying what we've talked about to particular teams/players/news in the league. This week, we decided to focus on the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers - a couple of clubs with a lot to talk about and great writers to talk with. Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post and ESPN as well as Geoff Detweiler of Broadstreet Hockey stop by to share their insights.
December 08 2011 09:10AM
It is no secret that the Canucks coaching staff does not consider Keith Ballard a top four defenseman. There are a few reasons as to why (his level of play, most notably). Ballard is a great skater, but he gets lost in defensive coverage, and often times struggles with gap control against rushing forwards. He can’t play the right side, which makes it tough for him to move up the depth chart with Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler firmly entrenched as the top two left side defensemen.
With the past (and present) injuries to right-sided defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo, a lot of pressure is put on the likes of Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts to step in and play a larger role on the right side. The Canucks need to add at least one defenseman before the trade deadline this season, and one that can preferably play a top four role on the right side. I’d go as far to say it is the only real weakness the team will need to shore up (depending on the injury situation up front).
Chris Tanev may step back in and assume an important role down the stretch like he did last season, but relying on an unproven sophomore is far from a foolproof strategy. The Canucks could very likely swap out Ballard and bring in a more stable defensive defenseman. They could also keep Ballard and bring a defenseman in, but I can’t see them continuing to justify paying a bottom pairing (at best) defenseman over $4 million annually. So who are some of the potentially available defensemen the Canucks could target?