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!
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.
January 31 2013 12:04AM
Photo from Rich Lam/NHLInteractive
Well, a lot of things happened in the Vancouver Canucks most recent win over the Colorado Avalanche. I missed part of the game because I took a time machine back to the year 2007, because it's been a while since Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins so obviously carried a game for this team.
That's not too fair to the rest of the forward group. I haven't watched every Canucks game this season, but my impression has been that the group has been the weaker team most nights. That, combined with a 2-2-2 start, and it was probably a good night for the team to face a weak divisional foe missing inarguably its best two players in Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly. Also, the Canucks have seemed to have beaten Colorado every single game since the Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic era.
And the team responded well. They, well crushed Colorado in every aspect of the game, as they probably should have done. Our detailed recap is below.
January 30 2013 06:56PM
Image via redditer WonderBread9000.
Justin "Oliver Stone" Bourne wonders whether or not the Canucks are giving Luongo an easy start tonight to try and boost his numbers and make him more attractive to rival General Managers (assuming those rival GMs place entirely too much stock in small samples). Hey, after the trick Mike Gillis pulled with Hodgson a year ago you do kind of have to wonder, though that said, I tend to think it's more likely that Mike Gillis is showcasing Keith Ballard in an effort perhaps to bank the club's two compliance buyouts? [Backhand Shelf]
Here's what I think is actually going on. Here's a quote Mike Gillis gave Ben Kuzma on Tuesday, in which he reacted like he was tired of answering the same old Luongo trade questions: "I don't know why people refuse to believe the fact that we're comfortable with these guys (Cory Schneider and Luongo), given the circumstances we're in." So on Tuesday Mike Gillis tells Ben Kuzma that he's confused as to why people insist on believing that Vancouver is uncomfortable with Luongo and Schneider sharing the crease and on Wednesday Alain Vigneault proves that the Canucks consider Luongo more than just a backup by giving him his second start in a row. Leverage baby! [The Province]
Good stuff from faceoff fetishist Harrison Mooney on how Jordan Schroeder's ability to win face-offs is, in part, dicatating his usage and ice-time in his rookie season. Maybe this is a crazy thing to say, but does anyone else kind of think that Jordan Schroeder has some Kyle Wellwod potential? After all, Kyle Wellwood with a commitment to fitness sounds like a guy I'd like to have on my team! [Pass it to Bulis]
Nicklas Jensen will take a short leave from his SEL team (AIK) and do his utmost to try and help Denmark qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. I still really want the Canucks to go after pending UFA Peter Regin this offseason, give him a bionic shoulder transplant, and role with an all Danish line of Jensen-Regin and Jannik Hansen next season. We could call them the Something is Rotten line. [The Vancouver Sun]
More Canucks links and polemic opinion past the jump.
January 30 2013 01:45PM
Luongo starting for the Canucks tonight isn't a controversy.
Ryan O'Reilly not starting for the Avalanche? Now that's a controversy.
Roberto Luongo is starting for the Vancouver Canucks tonight against Colorado, for the second game in a row, the latest inexplicable move by the milt of a bench boss who seems determined to keep this goalie controversy active and festering in the minds of his players, players who are performing below their expected ability because of the mental distraction wrought on them by not knowing in the back of their minds who the clear No. 1 goaltender is for this once proud franchise.
Gee, that's a mouthful, and difficult to write without placing my tongue firmly on the part of my keyboard analogous to the cheek, and spewing nonsense out of my mouth. The words are certainly in English, but the thoughts don't make any sense.