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December 06 2013 12:40PM
On December 24, Santa Claus will use the power of Christmas Magic to fly all around the world delivering presents to good boys and girls. How he is able to visit all these kids in so little time remains a mystery - but the presents that await on Christmas Morning is a testament to his effectiveness.
We here at the Nation Network possess no such powers. So if you are in the market for an OilersNation, CanucksArmy or a LeafsNation hoodie today is the last day you can order them in time for Christmas. The sale closes tonight at 7 PM MST and odds are they won't be back until next Christmas so get yours while you can.
These babies cost $60 each and a portion of each hoodie sold will go to the Children's Hot Lunch program at the Amiskwaciy Academy in Edmonton.
December 06 2013 11:23AM
By his own admission, and in stark contrast with his predecessor, Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella has an old school view of how to approach coaching an NHL team. The firey 'Torts' doesn't rigorously manipulate matchups, he's often been heard to lambast the common habit of "over-coaching," and he even derides the notion of playing a "system," preferring to characterize his gameplan as a "mindset". Tortorella has also talked at length about not really understanding analytics.
Yet for all of that luddite bluster I'm struck by the extent to which the Canucks have, in the first 30 games of the John Tortorella era, played a style of hockey that adheres closely to some of the conventional wisdom drawn directly from shot based metrics.
Read past the jump for more.
December 05 2013 04:28PM
Small (big?) bit of news today, but obviously worth discussing. Thomas Drance may work over at The Score now, but he also transcribes useful bits of information for us worthless bloggers:
"Alex is out indefinitely. He suffered a knee injury that occurred in the game in Nashville.
We're not sure what the time frame is going to resemble at this point in time, and we'll see over the next week exactly what it may be. But at this point we can't really predict that."
It's not news that Edler was going to be out, but with what, and for how long, is up for debate. Wax all you want about whether Edler creates too many turnovers, but for a second, this has to be recognized as a huge hole in the Canucks lineup. Edler was leading the team in minutes, played on both the powerplay and penalty kill, and is third among Canuck defenceman according to ExtraSkater's quality of competition metric, which measures the percentage of time on ice played by forward competition.
December 05 2013 10:26AM
Welcome back to the Weekly Prospect Report. This past weekend was a big one for the Utica Comets, who went to Abbotsford and came up victorious twice (in front of a largely pro-Comets crowd). Meanwhile, the OHL and WHL prepare for the World Juniors. In the NCAA McNally, Hutton and Labate are all continuing their strong play, and with Rodin's almost at a point-per-game in the SHL, there's some good stuff to talk about.
As always, follow me @nuckprospects on Twitter for the latest in prospect news and feel free to send me feedback on anything prospect-related you wish me to cover.
Without further ado..
December 04 2013 01:53PM
Image via Matthew Henderson
Man, where does the time go? It seems like it was just a few days ago that we were patiently drudging through the preseason, eagerly awaiting the return of meaningful hockey. Remember when Hunter Shinkaruk was scoring sweet goals, and Yannick Weber was looking like a competent NHLer? That was nearly 3 months ago now, crazily enough.
We're now over 1/3 of the way (36.6%, to be exact) through the 2013-14 regular season, as the Canucks played their 30th game of the season on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators. As you'd expect, there have been some notable peaks (see: 5-1-1 Eastern Conference road trip), and some ugly valleys (1-4-3 stretch, with just 15 goals over that span). Overall I think they've have performed roughly around the expectations I had for them, but I feel like this opening part of the season has served as somewhat of a wake-up call for those of you out there expecting the Canucks of old. Things have changed, and expectations need to be tempered.
We'll get into this in rather excruciating detail just past the jump, but it has become abundantly clear that the team we're watching these days doesn't quite have that other gear that it once did. Their margin for error has shrunk, and as a result we've seen them take some difficult losses due to mistakes they used to be able to get away with. That's not to say "they suck!" or "their window has closed!!", because I actually still think they're a pretty competitive team. There are certainly reasons for optimism and room for improvement.
I'd recommend you pour yourself a big cup of coffee, settle in, and get nice and cozy for this one.