Canada's Olympic picks: Why Hamhuis and Vlasic?

Cam Charron
January 07 2014 11:24AM

I guess your acceptance of the Canadian Olympic roster came down to how long it's been since you'd come to peace with the fact that Chris Kunitz was going to make it no matter what. Otherwise, you have to be happy with no checking line, or centremen purely taken for faceoff prowess (if you think that that's all Patrice Bergeron can do, you're plenty wrong) and the defence was built about as well as any keyboard expert on Twitter could do it.

There isn't too much to do with the forward corps in terms of analysis. Claude Giroux, Logan Couture and Martin St. Louis aren't on the team, but those are, in a short tournament, just salt-to-taste omissions against everybody except maybe Kunitz. But from judging my own Twitter feed, the most confusing selections seem to be those of Vancouver Canuck Dan Hamhuis and San Jose Shark Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Hamhuis is a Canuck, so it makes sense to present his case on this website, and for all you visitors, maybe you'll find something of use in my argument in favour of Vlasic. We see the Sharks a lot out here. Too much, in fact.

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Jason Gregor
January 07 2014 10:34AM

Canada finally announced their 2014 roster for the Sochi Olympics, and without a doubt the biggest surprise is Claude Giroux not making the team.

There are eleven returning players on the 25-man roster, but in my eyes Rick Nash continues to be the most overrated player in the NHL. Nash has had one 70-point season, and since the 2010 Olympics he has scored 185 points in 228 games, 25th most amongst Canadian-born players. In that same time span Marty St.Louis has scored the most points, 271, while Giroux is third with 255.

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Strombummer Avoided?: Roberto Luongo Injury Update

Dimitri Filipovic
January 06 2014 04:00PM


It was during Saturday night's evisceration at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings that more than just a regular season game was lost by the Vancouver Canucks. Early in the 3rd period, Dustin Brown acrobatically spun into Roberto Luongo following his rebound of a Justin Williams shot, acquainting his right skate with the goaltender's head. Luongo stayed down for a while, and got looked at by the team's trainers, but was eventually deemed OK to stay in the game.

While he went on to surrender a goal later on in a losing effort, there was nothing in his movement or play that struck me as glaringly awkward. I personally didn't really think twice of the incident after the fact - other than about how big of a scumbag Brown is, of course - but then news broke on Sunday that he was unable to dress as Eddie Lack's backup against the Ducks (enter, Rob Laurie). There were rumblings that it was a high-ankle sprain which was keeping him out, and Mike Gillis did nothing to throw water on the fire.

It sounds as if a full-blown crisis may've been averted, however. While we've yet to hear any definitive news from the team regarding the extent of the injury, James Duthie is reporting some good news for Luongo, the Canucks, and Team Canada. I assume that Duthie wouldn't be tweeting this without having spoken to someone in the know, so it appears that you can all finally exhale..

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Canucks Army Postgame: Stop! Stop! They're Already Dead!

Rhys Jessop
January 05 2014 10:59PM

There was no possible way this game was going to go Vancouver's way. A sound beating at the hands of the L.A. Kings and a Dustin Brown roundhouse kick less than 24 hours prior had knocked out Roberto Luongo, and a mystery ailment had rendered Chris Higgins unavailable, the Canucks were forced to take desperate measures. Benn Ferriero was recalled from Utica to make his Canucks debut, finally giving Canucks fans the long-lusted after Benn and Weber in the lineup. 42 year old former Johnstown Chief (yes, those Chiefs) Rob Laurie joined the ranks of Chris Levesque and Dustin Butler in Canuck emergency backup goalie lore. And most shockingly of all, Tom Sestito was promoted to the second line with Ryan Kesler and Zack Kassian.

And for a fleeting moment in time, it looked like Tom Sestito may just spark the Canucks to a victory over the undefeated at home Anaheim Ducks. But alas, it was not to be. Vancouver folded like a dime store novel after the first en route to a last-second of overtime 4-3 loss. How the hell did things go so sideways so quickly? Read past the jump to find out.

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Canucks Army Postgame: The Kings Provide us with a Friendly Reminder

Dimitri Filipovic
January 04 2014 11:53PM

Luongo is in disbelief at his team's performance, and I don't blame him. [via @SchneidersTeeth]

Let's not sugarcoat it: the Vancouver Canucks got thoroughly outclassed by their opponent on Saturday night. The list of positives for the Canucks is a pretty short one following this game, with pretty much just one name cracking it. For a while there it looked like Roberto Luongo - who really stood on his head all night, showing no ill effects as he made his return from a groin injury which had sidelined him for 4 games - might be able to steal the two points for his team, but he could only hold the fort for as long before the floodgates finally opened.

In the preview today we took a look at the 5-game losing streak the Los Angeles Kings were in the midst of, nothing that while they were losing, they were still playing at a high level and dominating their opposition. It was much of the same in this one for them, as they dominated the Canucks pretty handily from the 12:27 mark of the 1st period onwards, yet still trailed heading into the 3rd. This time around, though, they were finally able to break through following a few unfortunate defensive breakdowns by their opponent.

The final result - 3-1, with the final tally coming via an empty netter - doesn't necessarily look all that bad, especially considering the stature of the LA Kings. But I'd say that the way this game unfolded served as somewhat of a reminder that just because 1 point separates these two teams in the standings doesn't mean that they're on the same level.

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