Afternoon Headshots: January 31st

Thomas Drance
January 31 2013 03:13PM

Photo of the Vancouver Sports Media reacting to the Canucks' decision to start Luongo on Friday.

Well here is your must hear soundbite of the day, as Harrison Mooney tracked down the audio from Roberto Luongo slyly mocking Twitter anti-hero Damien Cox for being a puppet following Wednesday night's Canucks victory over the Colorado Avalanche. This is all sorts of amazing. [Pass it to Bulis]

For what it's worth Damien Cox mentioned the incident specifically in his write up of Wednesday night's game, while also comparing Roberto Luongo to an evicted tennant who turns to squatting rather than vacating the premeses. Yep that's perfectly analogous to the situation in Vancouver's crease. [Toronto Star]

Staying on the topic of the Strombonian one, here's some fun footage of the knob save heard around the globe! Well really it was just an equipment quirk, and that puck didn't look like it was going in anyway, but still! []

Because goaltending is all anybody wants to talk about in the Vancouver sports media market (and here too), let's stay on the theme. Here's Tony Gallagher on whether or not Roberto Luongo has reasserted himself as the Canucks "number one goaltender" with a series of sparkling performances to begin the season. It's a good enough take just for that, but I swear to god I nearly fell out of my seat when I read Tony praise Alain Vigneault's handling of his goaltenders. Seriously though: that happened. Also I just saw a pig fly by my window. Fuck. [The Province]

Mike Gillis addressed Dale Weise's injury status (he called it a "neck injury" which sounds to cynical old me like it's a concussion), and said a few choice things regarding the Canucks' goaltending situation in an interview with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price on the Team 1040 this afternoon. You can hear the full interview here. [TeamRadio]

The Canucks continue to do excellent work promoting mental health awareness, and are leading a charge (with the other Canadian NHL clubs on board) with a new "Hockey Talks" initaitve. Extremely proud of the organization for their leadership on this issues, it's one that is very personal to me. Ed Willes has the story. [The Province]

More links, photos and observations on the other side of the jump.

Read Article | 5 Comments

Luongo Starts Against the Blackhawks

Thomas Drance
January 31 2013 02:16PM

Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick

The news has come down that the Vancouver Canucks wil start elite netminder Roberto Luongo instead of elite netminder Cory Schneider in Friday night's grudge match against the Chicago Blackhawks. Oy vey.

In some ways it's appropriate. The Canucks organization's seeming preference for Cory Schneider in "big games" dates back to game six of the preliminary round matchup between the Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010-11 postseason. You'll recall that, on the heels of two rough outings for Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider was selected to start that contest. Ultimately he didn't finish it, partly as a result of anxiety induced cramps, but it was the first clear indication that the Canucks were legitimately weighing their options going forward.

Those options were weighed and twelve months later Cory Schneider's ascendance came to pass in game three of the 2011-12 postseason, when Schneider was tapped to play the final three games of Vancouver's first round series against the Los Angeles Kings. After a summer in which Luongo trade speculation ran rampant (and continued, against all odds, during the lockout), it was presumed that the sun was rising on the Cory Schneider era in Vancouver.

But with Luongo set to start his third straight game on Friday, it looks like perhaps the Cory Schneider era lasted a grand total of eight games. Read on past the jump.

Read Article | 3 Comments

On Jason Garrison, Canucks Defenders and Shooting Accuracy

Patrick Johnston
January 31 2013 12:38PM

But can you hit the net, Mr Garrison? (photo: Patrick Johnston)

So Jason Garrison finally hit the net and he scored? Wicked, but should that counter all the awful shots he took before that? Remember how you were bleating about cutting  him from the team just twenty or so hours ago, Canucks fans?

Well relax, soldier. Here's a little truth for you about defencement shooting from the point, how often they hit the net, and whether it makes any difference in a team winning or losing.

Defencemen miss the net more than you realize. On average, about a third of the time; and that's of the shots that aren't blocked before they get to the net.

Some truths about point shots after the jump...

Read Article | 1 Comments

The Good, the Bad and the New Guy

Marda Miller
January 31 2013 12:10PM

Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick.

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. Kesler Who? (Good), Rivalries Rock (Bad) and The New Guy Scores!

Read Article | 6 Comments

Strombabble: An Extroverted Look at Potential Luongo Trade Destinations

Jeff Angus
January 31 2013 09:45AM

Now that the 2013 NHL season is a few weeks old, we are able to begin to form some preliminary thoughts and opinions on teams and players across the league. Because of the condensed schedule, this season is going to be more difficult than a typical 82-game season to predict. The larger the sample size in a given situation, the lower the impact that luck and randomness have on the outcome.

And the opposite holds true for a shortened season with a smaller sample size (in this case, a 48 game season). If the Canucks don’t get Ryan Kesler and/or David Booth back soon, they may be facing an uphill battle in the Western Conference, as they won’t have the benefit of 82 games to get back on track as a dominant hockey club.

Read Article | 8 Comments