Evening Headshots: January 25th

Thomas Drance
January 25 2013 07:01PM

The latest Straight Jab is pretty excellent.
Photo Credit: Ken Henderson.

Here's an excellent OCD breakdown of Jordan Schroeder's NHL debut on Wednesday against Calgary, which Daniel Wagner broke down on a shift by shift basis. [Pass it to Bulis]

Rob the Hockey Guy thinks Alain Vigneault needs to re-think his shootout strategy. Rob in particular suggests that Vigneault give Zack Kassian a shot in a higher leverage shooting position, and that the team see what Jordan Schroeder and Maxim Lapierre can really do in the skills competition. For the most part he's dead on, though I think the team should still stick with Alex Edler as one of the club's top-three shooters. [Rob the Hockey Guy]

Manny Malhotra will be out of the lineup for the Canucks for Friday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks because his wife (and Steve Nash's sister) Jo Jo Malhotra has recently given birth to a boy child. If my priorities were warped, I'd point out that with Maxim Lapierre hobbled and Malhotra out of the lineup the Canucks will likely struggle in the faceoff dot in the game against the Ducks, but in the big picture who really cares? Congratulations to the Malhotras! [@VanCanucks]

Canucks.nhl.com has re-designed their official team site and the result is gooery (for the uninitiated, that's a compliment similar to saying the new site looks "fresh"). I've also noticed that the team has started a daily link post series called "Cherry Picking." In these links posts on the official team site they appear to be regularly promoting foul-mouthed, unaccredited, independent blog properties like ours and I'd just like to take a minute to give the team due kudos for being forward thinking with this feature. Their willingness to promote our content is very much appreciated. [Canucks.nhl.com]

On Thursday, Mike Gillis appeared on the Team1040 and revealed that Zack Kassian has incorporated mixed-martial arts techniques into his regular training regiment. According to Gillis the organization is pleased with the outcomes so far, but would prefer that Zack Kassian fight players who are more legitimately useful than the likes of Ben Eager. I find this fascinating. Was it MMA training that taught Zack Kassian to throw punches behind his head? [Legion of Blog]

Read on past the jump for more Canucks news, some Luongo speculation, and other links.

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Preview: Game 4 Canucks @ Ducks

Thomas Drance
January 25 2013 03:32PM

All of the seats at the Honda Centre have a Teemu Selanne shirt placed on them. JEALOUS!
Photo Credit: Eric Stephens.

Less than a week after the team's gong-show season opener against the Anaheim Ducks, the Canucks and their anointed starter Cory Schneider will get a second kick at the can on Friday night in Orange County. The Ducks have won both of their games so far this season and have been a dynamic offensive force in those two contests. Over a miniscule sample of games the Ducks are averaging six goals per game, and are capitalizing on 60% of power-play opportunities...

Obviously they won't sustain either number for more than a couple of games, and in fact, if the Canucks hope to beat the Ducks they'll probably need to hold them to fewer than two goals. Vancouver will be without Manny Malhotra due to the birth of his son (I assume his son's life started in the defensive zone), and Maxim Lapierre is battling through a groin injury (though he'll be in the lineup this evening). That leaves an already short-handed Canucks team even shallower in the middle, something Anaheim could well manage to exploit in Friday night's game.

Read on past the jump for more.

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The Top-Seven Canucks Goal "Cellys"

Thomas Drance
January 25 2013 01:06PM

Rogers Arena Celebrates Kevin Bieksa's WCF series winner with controversial confetti.
Uncreditted via MSN.com

Exciting rookie forward Nail Yakupov scored a game-tying goal on Jonathan Quick with four seconds left in an Oilers game on Thursday night, and his over the top goal celebration has been a talking point all day Friday. Arguments about its appropriateness have since given way to arguments about the word "celly." The whole thing is, frankly, exhausting.

Personally I love over the top goal celebrations. Hockey is supposed to be entertaining, and the joy of Yakupov's celebration on Thursday was obvious and pretty damn awesome. The paying customers at the Oilers game sure seemed to like it, and that's what really matters, no?

Anyway, I figured I'd take the opportunity to count down the top-7 best Canucks goal "celly's" (I know it's a stupid term, but who cares it's pretty funny). Click past the jump for more.

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The Canucks Week in Quips

January 25 2013 08:56AM

He's the hero that Vancouver deserves (courtesy @SchneidersTeeth).

This is a new Friday feature combining a healthy mixture of observation, analysis, and foresight on the Vancouver Canucks. If you'd like to get at me about anything covered in this column, follow me on Twitter at @yyjordan and let's start a textual relationship (wink).

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Headshots: January 24th

Thomas Drance
January 24 2013 03:18PM

Here's sparkly Maxim Lapierre because why the hell not?
Photo credit: Sealcat.tumblr.com.

Following Wednesday night's feel good shootout win over the Calgary Flames, all of our favorite Canucks blog are rolling out their post-game content staples. Now I'm sure most of you reading this only check the Canucks Army gamers (and scoring chance data) after you watch a Canucks game, and I totally understand why, but the Smylosphere is chalk full of excellent stuff. So let me recommend some post-game coverage for you from some of our (apparently not so) bitter rivals:

So there you go. Obviously The Province, The Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun do their gamers too (and those gamers are usually very interesting) but you already knew about all of that. So I figured I'd offer you a quick round up of the best postgame content that the Canucks blogosphere regularly has to offer. Get reading!

Some injury notes from today's Canucks practice, where Alain Vigneault also named his team's starter for Saturday night per Jeff Paterson:

Man, oh man. With Ryan Kesler and David Booth already out of the lineup, the Canucks really can't afford to lose a versatile player like Maxim Lapierre at this point. I wonder if Lapierre was struggling with his groin earlier in the week (and this is just the first we've heard of it), since that would in part explain Dale Weise's promotion to the top-9. 

Meanwhile Schneider, who looked shaky at times on Wednesday but did well to get the job done, will make his second straight start against the team that ventilated him in the season opener: the Anaheim "Don't call us Mighty" Ducks.

David Ebner has a lengthy profile of Zack Kassian on the powerforward's 22nd birthday. Because of his general enormousness, it's crazy to think that Zack Kassian is still so young. It's hard (but also really, really fun) to imagine what a monster he's going to be when he really grows up over the next couple of years. Frightening thought, that. [Globe and Mail]

More spitballing on shootouts, and other links to Canucks news on the other side of the jump.

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