Afternoon Headshots: March 5th

Biesellent is such dad humour.
Via Sealcat, who else?

Today at our humble old Canucks blog we guffawed at some funny photos of Zack Kassian, tried our best (and mostly failed) to figure out whether or not Nicklas Jensen was AHL eligible following his successful season in the Swedish Elite League, laughed at the ineptitude of the Northwest Division and previewed tonight’s contest between the Canucks and the Sharks.

Lots of other Canucks news happened too (okay, not lots but some!) and we’ll recap it after the jump.

Over at the gooey, re-designed Sportsnet website, Dan Murphy has a calm, sensible take on Keith Ballard’s status, continued commitment to the Canucks organization and his value along Vancouver’s backend. Murphy’s analysis is readable, personal, links to a couple of different articles in the Smylosphere, and even takes into account the difference in difficulty between the matchups Keith Ballard faces and those faced by Alex Edler. Definitely your "must read" Canucks take of the day. [Sportsnet]

In case you haven’t hit your "15 article limit" yet, Steve Ewen has more on Keith Ballard’s return from pressbox exile. [The Province]

Meanwhile Sean Zanberg doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Keith Ballard’s play because plus/minus or something. [Nucksmisconduct]

Mike Gillis chats with Brad Ziemer about Keith Ballard and Vancouver’s struggles with consistency this season. [The Vancouver Sun]

Jim Jamieson found out from Canucks Assistant General Manager Lorne Henning today that the Oshawa Generals do still own Nicklas Jensen’s CHL rights, which might have thrown a wrench into Vancouver’s plans to have Jensen play in Chicago as early as this weekend if not for the fact that… [The White Towel]

 Laurence Gilman is a fucking wizard:

Little bit odd that Henning offered one interpretation and Laurence Gilman offered another, don’t you think? I wonder if we’ve heard the last of this particular story.

Speaking of Nicklas Jensen, he holds steady as Vancouver’s top-prospect according to HockeyFuture’s top-20 rankings. Unsurprisingly the biggest riser on their list is Frank Corrado who has jumped up to the top-five after HF pegged him as Vancouver’s eleventh best prospect a year ago. [Hockey’s Future]

Yesterday we cheekily suggested that Cory Schneider’s Vancouver Millionaires mask was an indication that Schneider really badly wanted to start the game against the Red Wings in mid-March. That was tongue in cheek and it turns out we can’t read anything into it at all since Luongo is getting a Millionaires mask done up as well according to Kevin Woodley. Goalies and their gear, man (but seriously, I can’t wait to see it).

Ed Willes thinks the Canucks are getting a rough ride from the zebras thanks to their bad reputation. Because of course that’s what the Vancouver media thinks. [The Province]

Harrison Mooney put together a top-20 list of the worst Canucks-specific jersey fouls. Yuck! [Pass it to Bulis]

Capgeek points out that the Canucks are looking at the league’s crunchiest of cap-situations this summer. The team will need to make some moves to get under the falling salary cap ceiling obviously, but I don’t think the situation is as dire as some might have you believe. The creative utilization of a compliance buyout and the completion of a goalie trade (that includes cap-savings in the return) should be enough to get the Canucks comfortably under the cap, and even make them mid-range players in free-agency. [Capgeek]

Claude Julien got widely skewered by the internet last night for his hypocritical diving comments. A Canucks fan and youtuber Makiavelli basically owned the entire Bruins organization and Wyatt Arnt is on it! [Legion of Blog]

 Finally on the TSN trade deadline pre-preview, Bob McKenzie described the goaltending market as non-existent (paraphrasing, not a direct quote). Guess Luongo will be in a Canucks jersey for the balance of the season which actually makes a fair bit of hockey sense. The godfather also said the Canucks were kicking some tires around the league on a third line centre (no kidding) and additional fourth-line help as well. Once the episode gets posted on-line I assume I’ll transcribe it and write about it at length.

Okay one more thing. Zack Kassian has puck skills (via John Tavares):