Cynicism, Concussions and the Canucks

Thomas Drance
April 11 2012 10:09AM

Many, Darryl Sutter included, think the Canucks may be playing mind-games with Daniel Sedin's head-injury.
But does that square with the caution the team has shown in dealing with concussions this season?

It's the question on the lips of everyone in Canucks Nation this morning, 'Will Daniel Sedin return to the line-up tonight?" Whether Daniel Sedin dresses tonight, or not, isn't just an elephant in the room, it's a mastodon. So it's not a surprise that when Alain Vigneault refused to comment at length on the status of his team's leading-scorer, Vancouver media members were unimpressed (none more so than the columnist who has most transparently campaigned for the head-coaches replacement).

Daniel's relative presence at practice yesterday, he didn't skate with the team, but rather, joined the "Black Aces" in a post-practice skate, set off a wave of speculation: was it a setback? Gamesmanship?

This reaction seems odd doesn't it? Why is it that our first reaction as fans, observers or writers, is to instantly begin debating whether or not the team's handling of Daniel is another example of the Canucks playing politics with head injuries?

Read past the jump!

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Canucks Even Strength Scoring Chance Totals 2011-12

Cam Charron
April 10 2012 09:40PM

Hi, remember how after every game, we'd post a game recap that would include a list of the scoring chance differential of every player? Well, throughout the year, we'd been counting them up, and we finally have some full numbers to share with you tonight.

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Headshots April 10th

Thomas Drance
April 10 2012 06:12PM

Love this Lord Stanley quote from the "origin of the Stanley Cup infograph" put together by Visual Capitalist.

Headshots are a Canucks Army feature where we link to the day's freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost, produced a tribute video or birthed a clever .gif into existence - please e-mail Thom at

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Daniel Suffers Apparent Set Back

Thomas Drance
April 10 2012 12:17PM

Booth and Raymond work with Canucks skill coaches prior to today's practice.
Photo via David Ebner.

Yesterday, Daniel Sedin skated hard at Canucks practice, and it was revealed that he'd been skating in secret prior to that. That wasn't much of a surprise, if that had been Daniel's first exercise since being cleared to begin skating again, that would've been a massive violation of concussion protocol. It looks today, however, like Daniel Sedin has suffered yet another setback as he was absent from practice today.

Concussions are tricky, unpredictable things. Daniel's return to practice yesterday, and the pace he kept throughout the "zippy" hour long skate, had given us a sense of cautious optimism regarding his possibly prompt return to the lineup. With Daniel having suffered an apparent setback in the past twenty four hours, however, that optimism has quickly been replaced with the realization that, almost certainly, Daniel will miss at least the first game of the opening round series, and quite probably more. 

With Daniel back out of the lineup, Vigneault has been forced to shuffle his top-six forward group: Mason Raymond has been bumped up to the top-line, and his role on the second line has been filled by Maxim Lapierre. Zack Kassian, who wore a grey "extras" jersey at yesterday's practice has slotted into Lapierre's spot on the fourth line alongside Byron Bitz and Manny Malhotra.

Click past the jump for a more thorough recap of the many mixed messages emanating out of today's Canucks practice. 

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Stats Be Damned - The Canucks Got This

Cam Davie
April 10 2012 11:58AM

Let's see.. Defenceman scoring, tonnes of Canucks fans, only one Kings player in view ...
And this was the first Canucks/Kings picture I found. Yep, don't worry kids. they got this.
(Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

Thomas Drance, the fearless leader of our venerable blog, used his steadfast numbers to break down the Canucks and Kings series. He took off his Canucks hat to analyze the stats, he removed emotion and bias and determined that the Los Angeles Kings, by the underlying possession numbers, were downright frightening.

Now, it's pretty hard to argue with Thom's numbers, because he is damn good at breaking this stuff down to a level that even an idiot like me can understand. The only way to fight fire is to use fire. My fire consists of only a few stats, but plenty of yelling and arm waving and kicking things within my immediate vicinity.

Canucks fans are an irrational, emotional bunch, and so I shall placate our readers with a rebuttal of Thom's preview. Contrary to the predictions of the "advanced stats" dudes that there are plenty of reasons why the Canucks will this series.

Click past the jump, because I've got five of them.

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