Dispatches from a Goaltending Controversy: Mike Liut Edition

Thomas Drance
February 05 2013 11:28AM

Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

On Monday, Cory Schneider's agent Mike Liut spoke with Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun about the endlessly controversial situation in Vancouver's crease. To these eyes, Liut's comments come across as restrained, though it's clear that Cory Schneider (and his agent) would prefer that the twenty-seven year old American goaltender not have to go ten games between starts too frequently this season.

Read on past the jump.

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Canucks Light That Doobie Right Up: Recap and Chance Data

Dimitri Filipovic
February 04 2013 11:56PM

Photo Credit: Andy Devlin/Getty Images.

In his post on player usage this afternoon, Thomas Drance alluded to #trapitup, which has become a staple on Twitter during Canucks games this season. Fans of the team have complained about how the team has been playing a boring brand of hockey; as a result, Alain Vigneault's head on a stick is the only reasonable course of action, obviously.

It's awfully difficult to voice those complaints after Monday night's thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over the upstart Edmonton Oilers, though. Maybe now we'll have to get back to last season's #fliptheswitch.

Read on Past the Jump for the Scoring Chances, and Analysis.

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The Mentos Third Pairing and Vigneault's Early Season Player Usage

Thomas Drance
February 04 2013 03:21PM

Nerd Credit: Rob Vollman.

It's early in the season, we still don't have timeonice.com up and running (and that may not happen all season, sadly), and there's still an awful lot of small sample noise in the advanced data. This unfortunate correlation of forces makes doing any wide-ranging analysis difficult this early in the season beyond pointing out an unsustainable shooting clip here, or some atrocious bad luck there. One thing that we can already look at, however, are deployment trends and Rob Vollman's Player Usage Charts (see the image above) are perhaps the most accessible way of doing so. 

Read on past the jump.

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Game 9 Preview: Canucks @ Oilers

Thomas Drance
February 04 2013 01:00PM

Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver got a break this weekend from their early season meat grinder schedule - the club played their first eight games in twelve days - and presumably used the footage from Friday night's uninspired shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks to help them get some additional shut-eye too!

Over the past eight games the Canucks have faced a bevy of quality teams in the Kings, Blackhawks and Sharks, and a couple of playoff bubble teams in the Oilers and the Ducks. Also they played games against the Flames and the Avalanche. The Canucks have emerged from their tough, treading water stretch with a 4-2-2 record which is good for their best start to a season since 2005 (hilarious). I'd say the record so far, inflated as it is by the loser point, is reason for some optimism especially in light of the club's injury woes.

Read on past the jump.

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The Worst Lead In Hockey

Graphic Comments
February 04 2013 08:32AM

The worst lead in hockey

The good news is the Canucks have had a 2-0 lead in five of their first eight games, and a one goal lead in two others. The bad news is they've given away 8 points to conference opponents in those games.

That being said, the Canucks are off to the best start in years. And so is Luongo. As I said last time, try and remember that the calendar is meaningless. Forget that it's January and just pretend that it's October.

The Canucks' start feels way better now, doesn't it?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting there is nothing to worry about in Canucksville. In fact, there are always plenty of concerns. The last time I completely gave on my pessimism, they were up 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final. And we know how that turned out...

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