November 19 2015 10:00AM
Jim Benning happened to find himself in Ontario on a Sunday in November, so it should come as no surprise that he would want to maximize his time in hockey rinks, catching an earlier game between Sudbury and Mississauga before settling in for the evening tilt between the Erie Otters and Kitchener Rangers. This is actually Benning's third game scouting the Otters, having watched them take on the Mississauga Steelheads and Windsor Spitfires earlier in his trip.
November 18 2015 10:17PM
Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY Sports
Now that an unsuccessful road trip has come to an appropriate end with a 4-1 loss in Winnipeg, the Vancouver Canucks will return home a humbled group.
It was a brutal seven-game trip for the club, who squandered a promising start to the campaign by dropping six of seven contests, picking up just four of 14 possible points. The club lost narrowly on this road trip and they lost creatively. Vancouver blew big leads, lost close games, surrendered more points in the 3-on-3, shot themselves in the foot on special teams and received shoddy goaltending.
And yet, for all of the bad, it's hard to escape the feeling that the Canucks deserved better - both in Wednesday night's game and on this road trip. This probably isn't a good team, but this isn't a lottery team. This team is better and played better than the ugly 1-4-2 record they racked up against likely non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference.
November 18 2015 06:27PM
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa returned to the lineup after an eight-game absence on Wednesday night.
Vancouver's physical third-pairing defender was obviously eager to make his impact felt in his return, but he may have been a bit too eager.
Early in the contest, Sbisa hit Jets rookie Nikolaj Ehlers with what the referees ruled was an illegal check to the head. Could Sbisa's rule 48 violation warrant a call from the NHL's Department of Player Safety?
November 18 2015 03:58PM
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports
Travis Hamonic is a very good hockey player, and by all accounts an excellent guy.
For family reasons, the New York Islanders are trying to trade Hamonic, a very good defenseman, to a Western Canadian club, according to an original report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman with TSN's Darren Dreger filling in some crucial blanks. Before we proceed, let's say that we hope for a favourable resolution for Hamonic and his family and wish them all the best, whatever the issue may be.
While we won't speculate on the situation itself, we will delve into what sort of player Hamonic is, and whether the Vancouver Canucks might be a team that makes sense as a trading partner for the Islanders.
November 18 2015 03:00PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
The Vancouver Canucks will get their most physical defenseman back in the lineup on Wednesday night.
Luca Sbisa, 25, is due to return to the lineup to play his first game in the month of November, the club announced. Though the stay-at-home defender's performance is often ridiculed in the Vancouver market, some of it is fair and more of it isn't, the club has performed poorly in his absence.
Sbisa's return to the lineup will send his countryman Yannick Weber to the press box, and will scramble up Vancouver's power-play combinations, which may be a good thing at this point.