Evening Headshots January 17th

Vancity Buzz thinks Zack Kassian is a dead ringer for Richard Simmons.
I triple doggy dare them to say that to his face.

In lieu of any preseason matches this year, the Canucks held a scrimmage on Wednesday night. Here’s a round up of observations from Brad ZeimerCam Cole, Patrick Johnston and Ben Kuzma.

Our pal Jeff Angus, who is moving on up, made his debut at Canucks.nhl.com with a two part fantasy hockey primer. Congrats to Jeff and the good folks at Canucks.nhl.com for making a smart, smart hire.

Cam Charron lambasts the notion that the so called "Luongo rule" will have a negative impact on the star goaltender’s trade value. The crux of Cam’s argument is that there are no guarantee that Luongo will retire early and that the cap-hit would most likely be manageable anyway. Also that the penalty is so far off that, well, who really cares? So basically the "Luongo rule" is exactly like the budget deficit.

Jordan Bowman put together a Canucks scavanger hunt that you can keep with you during the season, and cross things like "John Garrett mentions cheese on the broadcast" or "John Garrett mentions a show he likes on the broadcast" off the list as they happen! In real time! Funny stuff.

Jason Botchford chats with Cory Schneider about critical moments in his evolution as a player, and the anxiety attack that caused him to cramp up in game six of the first round series against Chicago in 2011. 

In "best things that happened on the internet today" DownGoesBrown and Blogge Salming dropped a parody trailer "Luongo Unchained." Featuring Brian Burke lines like, "Davey [Nonis] you had my attention, but now you have my job" this is just excellent, excellent stuff. Nice write up from Pass it to Bulis too.

More Canucks news and links after the jump.

On the off chance that you haven’t hit your "fifteen read limit" (and lord knows I have) the Province has a Q&A with Keith Ballard in which Vancouver’s six defenseman, among other things, stands up for David Booth’s willingness to put himself on the line on Twitter.

Speaking of plugs, over at the PlayNowSports blog I continued with my projected goal total series looking at the likes of Raymond, Higgins and Hansen and the "depth forwards" in Volpatti, Ebbett and Vancouver’s secret weapon "replacement level forward x." 

Ed Willes ranks the teams in the Northwest Division and sees the Oilers making the playoffs and the Minnesota Wild pushing for top spot in the division. Because the central looks to be dilapidated this season, I buy that this is the year that the Northwest Division returns two teams to the playoffs, but I think three is a stretch and I certainly don’t think it’ll be the Wild. Bluechip additions Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, better health, and the possibility that Mikael Granlund proves to be a difference maker in his rookie season will make the Wild an improved team, but we’re still talking about the 30th ranked offense in the NHL last season and a club that had a goal differential nearly 80 points worse than the Canucks at even-strength alone. So yeah, nice additions aside, my bet would be that the Wild have too much ground to make up, and too few capable tough-minutes defenseman, to give the Canucks a run for their money in the Northwest this year. 

The Oilers on the other hand, I think I believe in. Tyler Dellow’s case that they’re a likely playoff team is compelling, but we’ll have to see if Dubnyk, the percentages and the defense hold up.

Finally I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane, as Cam Cole re-visited the 48 game season from 1995 and makes the cogent point that basically nothing has changed in the NHL including the fact that defense wins championships.