Late Afternoon Headshots: May 1st

Image via Brendan Hoare.

Today at our hockey blog we reacted to the news that Roberto Luongo will start game one, unveiled our new partnership with PlayNow Sports that includes a wicked offer for CanucksArmy readers and set up tonight’s game with a podcast. Of course if you want to read our absurdly exhaustive series preview, do that before the playoff opener!

Read past the jump for more Canucks news and stuff!

Despite being shut down by Mike Gillis earlier this year, Manny Malhotra still feels like he can play and contribute at the NHL level, and from the sounds of it, he’ll do what he can to return to action this offseason. "“The playing feeling is not going away,” he told Jim Jamieson recently, adding "We’ll see what the opportunities are this summer." Damn. [White Towel]

Excellent analysis from Daniel Wagner breaking down Vancouver’s penalty-killers. What I’ve found with analyzing short-handed scoring chance data in the past is that the team’s best penalty-kill personnel are also generally the guys who give up scoring chances against at the highest rate. It’s the main reason I’ve never used our in-house data in a similar manner to what Daniel does here with Fenwick. At least in terms of surrendering quality looks against, there’s just a huge difference between playing against the opposition’s first unit night after night and doing what Dale Weise and Mason Raymond do as Vancouver’s third short-handed unit. Anyway Daniel does well to qualify this factor and this is a fantastic post. [Pass it to Bulis]

Battle of California’s Megalodon chats about the Sharks v. Canucks series with NM. [Nucksmisconduct]

Cam Cole on Luongo starting game one of the postseason for the Canucks: "it was practically guaranteed to happen the minute Luongo found himself still Vancouver property when the trade deadline passed." Yep. [Vancouver Sun]

Nice series preview from J.D. Burke, who is picking the Canucks in six. [We’ve Got Twins]

Caylie King isn’t sure the Canucks should be favoured, but tends to think they’ll win this particular coin flip. [Canucks Hockey Blog]

Canucks broadcast statistician Evan Morgan hasn’t missed a game in forty years. Unreal, what a fantastic untold story. [YVR]

Kevin Bieksa, all around good dude so long as you’re not playing against him or rooting for a team that’s playing against him, emphatically says that the Canucks would support a gay teammate. [The Province]

Harrison Mooney profiles Zack Kassian’s mullet and speculates about what he might look like if Vancouver’s postseason extends beyond this first round. [Pass it to Bulis]

The Legion of Blog team, which I believe is now just Jordan Bowman and Wyatt Arndt (with Steve Shalagan getting the Billy Preston treatment, put together an excellent public service announcement reminding fans not to jinx the Canucks. [Legion of Blog]

The Sharks on the record say they don’t really care whether or not it’s Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider in net for the Canucks. [White Towel]

Finally you should totally sign up for StreakCred – the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. For only $20 you can win solid prizes and a portion of the proceeds go to supporting the MS Bike Tour and the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society. You can SIGN UP HERE.