Early Evening Headshots: March 11th

Thomas Drance
March 11 2013 08:06PM

I like this .gif because it makes me imagine Roberto Luongo as a Bond villain.
Oh by the way, if Luongo were a Bond villain, his Bond villain name would be "Number 1" obviously.

Today at our merry hockey nerd blog (for merry hockey nerds!) we tried to forget Sunday night's embarrassing loss to the Wild, considered the benefits of putting a waiver claim in on defenseman Steve Montador, analyzed Jordan Schroeder's Chicago re-assignment and rambled on about Alain Vigneault's strengths and weaknesses as a head coach.

Click past the jump for more Canucks news, more criticism of the team and moar Giants!

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The Pros and Cons of Alain Vigneault

Thomas Drance
March 11 2013 05:42PM

Alain Vigneault racks up wins and criticism in Vancouver.
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty

Alain Vigneault has been under fire in the Vancouver market since, well, for as long as I can remember anyway. It's clear that he rubs media and many fans the wrong way, and ultimately his record is judged through the same prism with which we view other quality regular season coaches in other sports who've failed to win a championship (Andy Reid, Jerry Sloan, etc.). The bottom line is that the Canucks have fallen short of the ultimate goal with Alain Vigneault at the helm, and to many that outweights all of the positives of his tenure.

To top it off, Alain Vigneault is having a rough week. The Canucks have relinquished their lead in the Northwest Division following a series of no-shows against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild. The power-play is a mess, the team isn't scoring enough and auspicious possession numbers aside - the effort put forth by Vigneault's players has seemed inconsistent at best this season. As such Alain Vigneault's seat is heating up like Vesuvius. So I figure, what the hell, this is as good a time as any to look at his track record and evaluate what he brings to the table and what he removes from it.

Read on past the jump.

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Should the Canucks put in a claim on BC Born defenseman Steve Montador?

Thomas Drance
March 11 2013 01:06PM

Steve Montador battles Chris Higgins. Future teammates?

The Chicago Blackhawks have placed defenseman Steve Montador on waivers today, and the Canucks should probably consider claiming him. It isn't a slam-dunk or anything, Montador has dealt with a variety of concussion issues over the past couple of years, is somewhat overpaid for a third-pairing defenseman, and has two years remaining on his deal after this season (with a 2.75 million dollar cap-hit). But he's a right-side defenseman and a quality possession player who can be had for free on the waiver wire. That sounds like something the Canucks could use.

Read on past the jump.

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Canucks re-assign Jordan Schroeder to Chicago, Replace him with Andrew Ebbett

Thomas Drance
March 11 2013 11:15AM

Jordan Schroeder got pushed around the past few games. As a result finds himself returned to Chicago.
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

It was only a month that we were talking about whether or not Ryan Kesler might be bumped over to play the right-wing alongside Jordan Schroeder upon his return from his first injury. That's how impressed we were by the Canucks rookie centreman. But that seems like ages ago as Jordan Schroeder found himself demoted to the fourth line, called out by Alain Vigneault this past weekend, and was then put in the spin cycle by Minnesota rookie Charlie Coyle in Sunday's ugly loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Add it all up and Jordan Schroeder has been sent back to Chicago to rejoin the Wolves. He'll be replaced by diminutive veteran centreman Andrew Ebbett, who started the NHL season off slowly but has been lighting it up in the AHL of late per Wolves play-by-play guy Jason Shaver:

Read on past the jump.

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Canucks Relinquish Northwest Division Lead After Ugly Loss in Minny

Thomas Drance
March 10 2013 11:26PM

I can't possibly imagine a photo that better sums up Sunday's game.
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

On Sunday the Canucks rolled into Minnesota on the heels of three straight losses, to play for first place in the Northwest Division. They had every incentive to show up, tighten up their game defensively and maintain their Northwest Division supremacy. Also they were facing a team that isn't really all that good and was coming off of an emotional game in Nashville the night before. Against a tired, inferior opponent, the no-show the Canucks put in on Sunday is pretty much inexcusable.

It started off badly for the Canucks, as Zach Parise beat Cory Schneider with a relative softy just twenty-four seconds in. It only got worse from there as the Minnesota Wild crushed the Canucks in possession, chances and on the scoreboard too. It's true that the Canucks have a "stinker at Xcel" quota that needed filling this season, but that's an easy excuse that obscures a pretty pathetic effort...

Read on past the jump.

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