December 06 2013 11:17PM
We had a photographer at the game and everything
Cosmetically, it will look worse. The Vancouver Canucks will wake up tomorrow now in a playoff position, because they failed to dispatch the Phoenix Coyotes in regulation time, and they gave up a point to the team they were theoretically chasing, and the Coyotes hold onto the second Wild Card start by virtue of having played fewer games.
Realistically, the Coyotes are winning games they shouldn't, and getting points out of games they shouldn't, and their shooting and save percentages have helped along some mediocre play. The Coyotes will not finish one point ahead of the Canucks for the standings, in all likelihood. The Canucks have been better at controlling play with the score close, and with the score tied. It's just those little blown leads, those goals that go in not well-timed situations, that has cost the team points in regulation.
Ultimately though, this game will be looked back upon as a success. Vancouver won a game against a division rival 3-2, and they did it without using the shootout, which counts more in the standings. Chris Higgins scored the overtime winner, and he's okay by us.
December 06 2013 01:12PM
Pictured: the City of Glendale
Wake up everybody! A win by Vancouver and the Canucks are right back in playoff position! Granted, Phoenix will have games in hand, but that's besides the point. The truth is, the Coyotes have been slipping a little of late and having won three of four, the Canucks are right back in the race.
But really, it's December. Who cares. Until about mid-January, the standings for the most part reflect the team that's banked the most wins in the last week or so. A week ago, the slumping Canucks had lost seven of eight. Now they've won three of four, and have gone from three points out to one point out. Phoenix have won two of seven! Who is on form? Who has momentum?
Who the heck is even on the Coyotes?
(NOTE: I was discussing with a fellow Vancouver blogger that the reason the Vancouver fanbase is committed to negativism is that they have no natural rival to rally against, except for the Canucks. We decided that the Canucks needed a rival, so we're going to go with Phoenix. Stick it in your ear, Phoenicians. We hate you now.)
Nation World HQ
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.