Evening Pre-Game Headshots: January 30th

Kassian Smash.
Image via redditer WonderBread9000.

Have you heard, Roberto Luongo is starting tonight. It’s a huge, huge deal. [The Vancouver Sun]

Justin "Oliver Stone" Bourne wonders whether or not the Canucks are giving Luongo an easy start tonight to try and boost his numbers and make him more attractive to rival General Managers (assuming those rival GMs place entirely too much stock in small samples). Hey, after the trick Mike Gillis pulled with Hodgson a year ago you do kind of have to wonder, though that said, I tend to think it’s more likely that Mike Gillis is showcasing Keith Ballard in an effort perhaps to bank the club’s two compliance buyouts? [Backhand Shelf]

Here’s what I think is actually going on. Here’s a quote Mike Gillis gave Ben Kuzma on Tuesday, in which he reacted like he was tired of answering the same old Luongo trade questions: "I don’t know why people refuse to believe the fact that we’re comfortable with these guys (Cory Schneider and Luongo), given the circumstances we’re in." So on Tuesday Mike Gillis tells Ben Kuzma that he’s confused as to why people insist on believing that Vancouver is uncomfortable with Luongo and Schneider sharing the crease and on Wednesday Alain Vigneault proves that the Canucks consider Luongo more than just a backup by giving him his second start in a row. Leverage baby! [The Province]

Good stuff from faceoff fetishist Harrison Mooney on how Jordan Schroeder’s ability to win face-offs is, in part, dicatating his usage and ice-time in his rookie season. Maybe this is a crazy thing to say, but does anyone else kind of think that Jordan Schroeder has some Kyle Wellwod potential? After all, Kyle Wellwood with a commitment to fitness sounds like a guy I’d like to have on my team! [Pass it to Bulis]

Nicklas Jensen will take a short leave from his SEL team (AIK) and do his utmost to try and help Denmark qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. I still really want the Canucks to go after pending UFA Peter Regin this offseason, give him a bionic shoulder transplant, and role with an all Danish line of Jensen-Regin and Jannik Hansen next season. We could call them the Something is Rotten line. [The Vancouver Sun]

More Canucks links and polemic opinion past the jump.

Jason Botchford with a dose of sanity on why Vancouver’s slow start this season is actually less troubling than all the team’s other slow starts over the past several seasons. [The Province]

Brad Ziemer says that Eddie Lack’s recent surgery won’t impact Luongo trade negotiations, in case you were wondering. Frankly, I can’t imagine why anyone would think that the injury status of an AHL goaltender whom the Canucks clearly weren’t planning on using in the NHL this season would have anything to do with Luongo’s trade value – but that’s just me. [The Vancouver Sun]

This is neat in a random as a fuck kind of way: a Canucks Fan wore his Stan Smyl jersey while playing the Canadian national anthem at the KIHL championship game in Taiwan. Jordan Bowman has footage and more details. [Legion of Blog]

Jim Jamieson catches up with Jason Garrison who seems to think his biggest issue is just getting familiar with Vancouver’s power-play system. For what it’s worth, I agree with him completely. [The Province]