Afternoon Headshots: February 11th

Thomas Drance
February 11 2013 03:55PM

Via /r/Canucks redditer Eagle1388, a screenshot of some dude repping the Canucks hard on the Price is Right today

Speaking of prices, and whether or not those prices are "right"; on Friday Brad Ziemer got a Mike Gillis quote in which Vancouver's General Manager reiterated that whichever team wants to acquire Roberto Luongo, they're going to have a pay a fair price for the superstar goaltender. By the way, Roberto Luongo is starting for Vancouver tomorrow and here's my take on that decision: Vancouver is eager to demonstrate that their oft-stated, and scoffed at "we're happy keeping both of them" threat isn't an empty one. [The Vancouver Sun

Jason Botchford with a not particularly positive sounding update on David Booth, whose recovery from a groin injury sounds like it's behind schedule. That's bad news, but it could be an awful lot worse so let's spin this like Henrik Sedin. First of all, Booth is practicing (in a no-contact jersey) with the club, so at least he's on the ice even if he's not feeling one-hundred percent. Secondly, upon Booth's return one of Kassian, Booth, Raymond, Higgins, Hansen or Burrows will be bumped down to the fourth line - so at least Vancouver is deep at Booth's position. Thirdly, the Canucks are already three points clear of the Edmonton Oilers (and also have a game in hand) in the Northwest Division, and they'll be getting Ryan Kesler back very shortly (I still think that'll happen this week) so, yeah, Booth can take his time. [The White Towel]

More links and commentary past the jump.

Read Article | 1 Comments

A Note on Manny Malhotra's Matchups

Thomas Drance
February 11 2013 01:40PM

Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

The news out of Canucks practice today is that Manny Malhotra isn't taking part for whatever reason. I'd assume that it's nothing serious and that he's just getting a maintenance day, but I'm sure the Canucks will vaguely brief the media and partially his absence at some point on Monday afternoon. 

In the early going this season, Malhotra has delivered basically what is expected from him at this point. Obviously he isn't quite the dominant defensive force that he was in '10-11, and probably doesn't have a regular spot in a contending team's top-nine. But he's still a reliable face-off winner, he's still being trusted to soak up defensive zone starts, and he still plays Vancouver's toughest minutes among forwards when the team is short-handed. 

Read on past the jump.

Read Article | 11 Comments

On Impressions, the Percentages and Jordan Schroeder's Two-Way Play

Thomas Drance
February 11 2013 12:23PM

Photo Credit: Les Bazso, PNG Files

While Henrik Sedin closes in on Markus Naslund's all-time franchise points leader milestone, Jordan Schroeder is approaching his own milestone. It's one that barely warrants mention but is hugely impressive nonetheless: barring some unforseen catastrophe, the impressive Canucks rookie will play his one-hundredth minute at even-strength in the first period of Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Mild (TM @Socialassassin2).

Why is that impressive? Because in Jordan Schroeder's ninety-eight minutes and twenty-six seconds of even-strength ice-time so far this season, the Canucks have yet to surrender a goal against. Read on past the jump.

Read Article | 4 Comments

Alain Vigneault's Coin isn't Funny, But the Jokes Serve a Purpose

Thomas Drance
February 11 2013 11:14AM

There were many revealing moments during Roberto Luongo's bangarang appearance on CBC's After Hours on Saturday night, immediately following the Canucks' five-one victory over the Flames. Luongo was in fine form cracking several wicked jokes, name dropping Smylosphere staples like the Stanchion and generating thousands of pageviews for indie blogs like this one by calling Scott Oake a "milt" on national television.

But one moment particularly stood out to me. During the interview, while the cameras were rolling live, Canucks headcoach Alain Vigneault approached the Roberto Luongo, Craig Simpson, Scott Oake threesome and made an off camera quip at his "backup" goaltender. According to Luongo, Vigneault told him to sing his coaches praises if he had any interesting in receiving playing time going forward. It was a light moment, and yet another instance of Alain Vigneault having altogether too much fun with his goaltending controversy and the breathless coverage of Vancouver's crowded crease.

Read on past the jump for more.

Read Article | 3 Comments

Best of the Nation – 2.10.13

Jonathan Willis
February 10 2013 09:31AM

Lots of good stuff after the jump – trades and transactions, NHL expansion, Craig MacTavish on his old team in Vancouver, Olympic speculation and more. Plus – a special look at the (highly impressive) results of our Jets Nation casting call.

Read Article | 7 Comments