March 20 2014 12:25AM
According to John Tortorella, Nicklas Jensen "has got some balls". What he also has, is 3 goals in 7 games since being called up, and a point in 4 straight. And unbridled youthful enthusiasm, which he isn't remotely hesitant to put on display whenever he has a chance. It's because of all of those things that his emergence has been such a refreshing and appealing, proving to be so starkly different in nearly every way from the rest of this wretched Canucks season.
While he has all of those things I've mentioned, what he doesn't seem to own is an electronic device on which he'd be able to receive memos. Like the one about the team's newly adjusted goals for the final weeks of the season.
The cynic inside of me is thinking "man, this team can't even tank properly!". And while that's certainly a reality - this 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators gets the Canucks nothing in the long run, only setting them back in the quest for a higher and more valuable draft pick - there's also the part of me that's relieved that there's finally something to be excited about. It has been a long, dull campaign.
March 19 2014 01:05PM
It's not set in stone yet because they're technically still mathematically "in the hunt" (as I'm sure Sportsnet will waste no time in reminding you of!), but for all intents and purposes, Monday's loss in Tampa Bay put an end to even the most outside of shots the Canucks had at the playoffs.
We figure you'll need to hit the 95-point mark to have a chance at getting in, and even if the Canucks win their final 11 games, they'll top out at 94. Which is fine, because this is something we've been expecting and bracing for, for a while now. At least around these parts.
With that in mind, every loss the team takes over these final couple of weeks improves their draft position, helping them moving forward. It's more than a little disconcerting how quickly the priorities have changed, but it's the reality.
With that in mind, tune in tonight to not-so-secretly cheer against your favourite team. If that makes you feel like a bad person, you've got an out: it's the annual Canucks for Kids Fun Telethon night, so maybe helping out a good cause will help mitigate some of that aforementioned guilt.
March 19 2014 10:45AM
#Canucks: Hearing that D-man Chris Tanev likely done for the season with hand injury from Monday's game in TB.— Jim Jamieson (@JamiesonCanucks) March 19, 2014
Considering the team's outlook moving forward (hint: it rhymes with Hank), and the fact that Chris Tanev left Monday's game against the Lightning after just 8 minutes of play (especially after having missed 7 games prior to the Olympics with what I assume is a related injury), this isn't exactly a surprise by any means.
But now that it's official and we have some sort of premature closure, it's worth paying tribute to Chris Tanev's breakout campaign. We should also use this as an opportunity to speculate about his future, and what he's worth to the Vancouver Canucks moving forward.
March 17 2014 09:22PM
Really this, a 4-3 loss to the Lightning, was the best possible outcome for the Canucks.
Vancouver didn't pick up any points on Monday night, falling to the Lightning in the second of back-to-back games in the bath salts state. Vancouver had "won" the first leg of the back-to-back set, defeating Roberto Luongo's Florida Panthers in a shootout on Sunday night. So this was a massive improvement. Losses may not be satisfying in the short-term, but we might as well face it, at this point in the year every point not banked is a subtle victory.
It helps that the game was legitimately entertaining. Alex Burrows continued to get back on track, and Nicklas Jensen generated a high volume of scoring chances all night long. Such developments are positive signs for the team going forward, as is the club falling further out of the playoffs (and deeper into the lottery). More on the game after the jump!
March 17 2014 02:10PM
It's Monday and I didn't have any coffee. Here are some hockey-related things I've thought of today.