Headshots: March 26th

Thomas Drance
March 26 2013 03:55PM


This is a real thing that @strombone1 tweeted to beak Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler.
Kesler subsequently described it as a manwich which, what even?

Today at Canucks Army we previewed tonight's Canucks home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, poked holes in Gallagher's head-slapping theory that Jannik Hansen is a substandard playmaker unfit for power-play time, thought the Keith Ballard as a forward experiment was worth a shot, preferred Kaspars Daugavins to Jussi Jokinen on waivers, and kicked off our "Bold Moves" series with a look back at the decision making process behind the Keith Ballard trade.

For more Canucks news items, corny jokes, all caps sentences and cotton candy Gandalfs click past the jump.

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Keith Ballard at Forward: The Great Experiment

Patrick Johnston
March 26 2013 02:59PM

This post requires you to take a moment and consider an alternate reality.

It requires you to step back and allow yourself to consider a player without any preconceptions, to consider what talents a player has and then to make a judgment on his position. There's no consideration for a player's salary, or how he was acquired. This is simply about talent.

Ok, you ready?

Let's go talk about Keith Ballard, NHL forward.

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Game #33 Preview: Blue Jackets @ Canucks

Dimitri Filipovic
March 26 2013 01:56PM


The Canucks look to get by Fedor Tyutin and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Thanks to a scheduling quirk resulting from the lockout, the Vancouver Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets face each other on Tuesday night for the 3rd time in 19 days. The first two contests took place in Ohio and were, um, fairly painful to watch. The matchups featured a game that ended in a shootout, a game that was decided in overtime, and just 5 goals total in over 129 combined minutes of play.

The Canucks are coming back home off of a thoroughly successful roadtrip, and are winners of four in a row. But I'm sure the visiting Blue Jackets - who are 7-1-2 in their past 10, themselves - will try their best to stop both that streak, and the fans from having any fun.

For what it's worth, the last time I made mention of how few goals I was expecting heading into a game, the Canucks beat the Nashville Predators by a score of 7-4. Just remember who to thank if this one goes that way.

Read Past the Jump for More on the Game.

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Bold Moves: The Keith Ballard Trade

Thomas Drance
March 26 2013 01:12PM


Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick via NHLI/Getty

This hockey season for the first time in his tenure as General Manager, Mike Gillis is beginning to feel some heat in the Vancouver sports market. Since he was first hired back in 2008, he's largely been immune to critcism and mostly that's for good reason. He's nailed the details, racked up one of the best win/loss records in the NHL and his team made it all the way to game seven of the Stanley Cup Final. In doing so, he's built up a fair bit of capital on the "good will" front.

But that capital is evaporating as quickly as Vancouver's strangehold on the Northwest Division. Part of the reason that the court of public opinion has slowly begun to turn against Mike Gillis is, in part, that for the first season since 2008-09 Vancouver's PDO (PDO is the sum of a team's shooting percentage and save percentage, and functions as a shorthand measurement of puck luck) isn't two standard deviations above the mean. 

But it's his performance on the trade market where the criticism of Mike Gillis begins to really pick up some urgency. This week we'll profile four "bold moves" that Mike Gillis has made over the past three seasons. We'll point out the particular areas where Mike Gillis has spent his "good will" and invested in a handful of assets from whom he's recouped a limited return so far. That series begins today with the Keith Ballard trade. Read past the jump.

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On the Waiver Wire: Should the Canucks Put in a Claim on Jussi Jokinen or Kaspars Daugavins?

Thomas Drance
March 26 2013 11:12AM


Jussi Jokinen owns the faceoff circle.

Mike Gillis noted in an interview on the Team 1040 recently that there has been more waiver action this season than we've ever seen in years past. Today there are a couple of intriguing names on waivers in Jussi Jokinen and Kaspars Daugavins, and neither of them is a player of the "one-dimensional fourth line enforcer" variety. With the Canucks forward group so depleted by injury that the team has turned to playing Keith Ballard out of position at left-wing, should they hazard aclaim in on either of these two forwards? 

We'll evaluate on the other side of the jump.

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