Full Metal Blue Jackets

Thomas Drance
March 12 2013 09:17PM

Mason Raymond earns his team an extra point in the coin flip shootout.
Cool shot by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

From an entertainment and results perspective, this now concluded Canucks road trip was pretty much the road trip from hell. It began last Thursday in Ohio, as the Canucks played a joyless contest against the Blue Jackets and lost in over-ime. From there the Canucks ventured to Minnesota and got the snot kicked out of them by the Wild on Sunday. Finally, like good tin-soldiers, they returned to Ohio on Thursday to try and salvage some dignity. They managed too by the skin of their teeth, as Roberto Luongo, Mason Raymond and Jason Garrison led the club to a 2-1 victory in the skills competition.

Analysis and scoring chance data on the other side of the jump.

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David Booth has been performing well, even if his results don't show

Cam Charron
March 12 2013 03:09PM

David Booth makes an awful lot of money to shoot hockey pucks at everything but a hockey net. Angry Internet commenters have been making sure to let everybody know that David Booth is goal-less, although in the games I have watched, Booth has looked to generate a few chances off his stick inside the scoring zone. I have some images below that show this.

But that's not enough. Of course, fans expect results. No team in the last three seasons has been more economic with its shots as the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have the highest team average PDO in the last three seasons. PDO, the addition of shooting and save percentage, is known to drive results in the short term. Given that the Canucks have had the second best average shooting percentage since the conclusion of the 2009 season (9.0%, only Washington is higher, with 9.2%. League median is 8.2%) and the highest save percentage, it's weird for the Canucks to be within a time of crisis where nothing is going in, nothing is staying out, and the team isn't even generating quality opportunities.

Ah, but David Booth has been.

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When you just can't take it any more

Patrick Johnston
March 12 2013 12:36PM

Is that Cam Charron?

I needed a break. You may have noticed, but my name hasn't appeared here in nearly two weeks. That wasn't really intentional, it just worked out that way.

It turns out, I really needed a break.

Yes, I still watched the games, I still kept track of the chances, of how the team was doing even as my eyes were getting annoyed; it couldn't be that bad, could it?

Then I didn't even watch the last two. Partly, life intervened, but mostly, I just couldn't face it. I knew both games would be dire. Columbus and Minnesota? The Canucks have been playing dull enough hockey as it is. Two games against two of the NHL's dullest, on the road? Come on. 

I also knew that I'd be going to a Predators game in the coming days, that that game was likely to be a snoozer.

So I said, you owe it to yourself to check out some different things.

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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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