It’s been a tale of two cities this week with two wildly different games: the 4-1 win against Grabner and the Islanders included a continuation of the #RomeForNorris bandwagon and even a David Booth sighting before the Hawks came to town and flexed their power play muscle en route to a 5-1 win.
Once the dust from these two wildly different games settled, we deemed it worthy to praise the kid again while calling out the coach.
Living High Off The Hog
> Cody Hodgson: Unlike the coach I refuse to bury this kid. He’s on pace for close to a 40 point season (which is better than Kesler or Booth right now) and is one of the few players who continues to hustle every shift. He had two points against the Islanders and was rewarded with his second highest TOI (16:18) this year. His TOI could take a hit when Raymond returns, but until then he remains one of the better forwards not named Sedin.
Your Sins Will Find You Out
> Alain Vigneault: 19 games in and Vancouver is at .500%. If this pace continues they obviously won’t make the playoffs. So table the injuries and "October starts" for a second and you have to look at the coach with a critical eye. Does he lack common sense? Probably not, but then he’ll drop Cody Hodgson against the Hawks (after one mistake that lead to a scoring chance) in favor of Daniel friggin Weise of all players and you’re left to wonder the mental mechanics behind that decision. The fact is the season is a quarter over and Vancouver has looked disorganized and – worst still – disinterested in more periods of hockey than are acceptable and all roads (fair or not) lead back to the bench boss.
After the Chicago game AV said: "All we can do is keep working with them…and sooner or later, we believe with the talent and the work ethic that those guys have, it’s going to pay off." Maybe…but what happens of it doesn’t?
The Spirit Is Willing But The Flesh Is Weak
> Ryan Kesler: If you’re a NFL fan, you likely know this season’s saga with Michael Vick. The Eagles QB – geting virtually zero help from the defense in front of him – has been subject to a number of brutal hits that would knocked most mortal men out cold. Instead Vick fights through them which, while admirable, doesn’t result in better on-field results for the Eagles. I see a bit of Kesler in this: he’s still not 100% from the hip surgery and yet still plays like he can drag his team into the W column like we saw him do against the Predators in the playoffs. The crash he took against the Hawks was typical Kes but also made him questionable for Sunday. Kesler’s play is admirable, but for a team that’s bleeding points and suddenly can’t play at 5-on-5 to save their lives, they need their Selke Kesler back.