March 08 2012 09:04AM
If you have read my articles here at the Canucks Army for the past few months, you are aware of Vancouver’s collection of unheralded college prospects. Back in October, I profiled 2011 draft pick Joseph LaBate, even going so far as to compare him to David Backes. LaBate’s freshman season at the University of Wisconsin has gone according to plan – he is playing a top six role for a strong college program, and his regular season recently wrapped up. He finished with five goals and 20 points in 34 games for the Badgers.
The University of Wisconsin has churned out some impressive NHL talent in recent years. The notables include Derek Stepan (Rangers), Craig Smith (Predators), Brendan Smith (Red Wings), Jamie McBain (Hurricanes), Jake Gardiner (Leafs), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers), and they currently have the best skater in college hockey in puck-moving defenseman Justin Schultz (Ducks). Coach Mike Eaves has done a great job preparing these guys for the NHL, as the majority of them have spent little to no time in the AHL. Leading up to the 2011 draft, LaBate was pegged as a bit of a project pick (as most 6’4” 18-year-old skaters are), but his overall improvement this season is extremely encouraging.
I have seen bits and pieces of his games on television and the internet, but to get a more thorough picture of how his game has developed, I decided to reach out to Chuck Schwartz from Bucky’s Fifth Quarter, a blog covering all things related to University of Wisconsin sports.
Give Chuck a follow on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz).
March 07 2012 03:30PM
Great view of the Canucks as they take to the ice last week against the Blues.
(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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 email@example.com.
March 07 2012 10:59AM
When the Canucks signed Kevin Bieksa but allowed Christian Ehrhoff to become an unrestricted free agent, there were naturally concerns. Ehrhoff is a quality defenseman, and was a big part of the Canucks offense, both on the power play and at even-strength. As it turns out, however, Ehrhoff misses the Canucks’ power play more than the Canucks’ power play misses him.
March 07 2012 09:50AM
If the Sedins are frustrated, they haven't been showing it.
(Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Ok, yes, so I stole the title. Big deal. It's totally the problem with the Canucks right now.
After a listless loss to the Stars, many fans on twitter were despondent at the team's lack of effort of late. Friends text me "tell me why I shouldn't be getting anxious about the Sedins' play" It's tough to give a straight answer, so let's look at some numbers first.
March 06 2012 11:53PM
This was a straight-up awful performance team-round by the Vancouver Canucks. The team didn't get the saves it needed from Roberto Luongo, the defence left a lot of gaps open, and the forwards simply didn't do enough to pressure the Dallas net. Despite two scoring chances right off the hop, including a penalty shot and the first goal from Chris Higgins, the Canucks let themselves slowly get beat up mathematically in this one.
On the plus side, my endorsement of Steve Ott at the trading deadline was vindicated. This man was a horse tonight. Not so much Seabiscuit, but more like Hidalgo. Analysis, scoring chances, Statistical Stars and Goats and more after the jump.