February 25 2013 01:38PM
Photo Credit: Marcus Ericsson / Bildbyrån
Appearing on the Team 1040 late last week with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis was asked a pointed question about Nicklas Jensen's status with his Swedish Elite League club, Stockholm based AIK. You'll recall that Jensen took a non-traditional route for his 19 year old season, choosing to leave the Ontario Hockey League in favour of a tougher professional men's league in Sweden. This season he's adjusted seamlessly and performed extraordinarily well for a nineteen year old skater in the third most difficult professional hockey league in the world. In 46 games this season, he leads AIK in both goals and power-play goals and is the most productive teenager in the Swedish elite League by a wide-margin.
So it seemed odd that - following a coaching change at AIK - Jensen found himself a regular healthy scratch...
Read on past the jump.
February 25 2013 09:37AM
There it is, in all its screen-capped glory, thanks to Harrison "H-dog" Mooney.
On Hockey Night in Canada this past Saturday, the specifics from the NHL's latest realignment proposal was reported to the public. It would mark a return to a grouping that the Canucks had been in for most of the first half of their NHL life, and the re-born Smythe Division will be rather straightforward when it comes to travel.
Before the Canucks were shunted into the Pacific Division in 1993, the franchise had played for more than a decade in a division that featured Calgary, Edmonton, LA and Winnipeg. (The Sharks were members for their first two seasons in the league.)
February 24 2013 06:50PM
Photo Dave Reginek via NHLInteractive
A game recap isn't really necessary. The small, underlying events that define a single game have little meaning in the long run. Every botched zone exit, every giveaway, every blown coverage, every solitary, unrecorded play that somehow led to a scoring chance for or against gains anonymity the next day. At some point, people will forget what plays, exactly, Jason Garrison or Keith Ballard made that cost the Vancouver Canucks in their game against the Detroit Red Wings, they will just remember the plays existed. The recording of microstats is simply objective note-taking, and we don't even have those.
We don't record the plays that led to certain events for or against. More developed hockey blogs are built prominently around recording zone exits and entries. Some teams track puck touches and passes to get a more accurate read on the things their team does. There is a problem when you watch a hockey game of confirmation bias, that you will perceive things only as you want them to be seen. If you showed a person a hockey game with all the scoring plays clipped out, it is unlikely they would have been able to tell which team won.
Had all the scoring plays been clipped out of the Canucks and Wings game, it would be 0-0 headed to overtime. Unfortunately, it was 8-3.
February 24 2013 01:24PM
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press
Early on Sunday evening, the Canucks will conclude a heartland road swing that has taken them through Chicago, Dallas and Nashville over the past five days with a visit to MoTown to face the winged wheel. The Canucks have performed relatively well on the trip, and have played some pretty respectable hockey with the exception of two really rough periods (the 2nd period in Chicago, and the 1st in Nashville). Ultimately the team has come away with points in every game to go with two regulations wins (albeit none of the "clear" variety).
The Red Wings aren't quite the team they used to be, with the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom being felt acutely in every game state. But their top-six forward group remains nearly as dangerous as any in the game (outside of Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh and maybe Vancouver and New York). The Red Wings and the Canucks have played a handful of memorable, high-scoring contests over the past few years, both puck possession teams seeming to bring out the best in one another, so Sunday's matinée (for West Coast viewers at least) should be fun. Or at least more fun than the relatively eventless Friday night contest against the Predators was, but that's a low bar.
Read on past the jump.
February 24 2013 10:51AM
After the jump: the Nation Network turns five, predicting the end-of-season standings, talking about dirty hits and franchise-defining trades, and lots more good stuff from the past week.