Canucks Army GDT #1 – Canucks @ Sharks

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Some time ago, in April (was it April? The first round of the playoffs is usually in April. Maybe it was May?) the Vancouver Canucks were swept out of the Stanley Cup playoffs by an underdog team known as the San Jose Sharks.

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Since then, the Canucks have made significant changes, including ditching the old coach, hiring a new one, and shaking up the bottom six (a figurative shake-up, like when you’ve left orange juice in the fridge too long and all the pulp seeps down to the bottle of the pitcher. You shake it to even out the pulp but it doesn’t really change the overall composition of the components of the pitcher) and sacrificing a bull to Apollo, the Greek God of healing and medicine, in hopes that the top six will stay healthy throughout the season.

The Sharks, meanwhile, ditched the shoulder yokes and tail stripes on their jerseys, as pictured above. Aesthetically, they’ll look more different than the Canucks.


Puck Drop: 7:00 PM


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Radio: Team 1040


Hilariously, despite my assertion in my preview for the defence that Jason Garrison and Alex Edler were not a plausible pairing in John Tortorella’s system, the two have been practicing together and will play together on the second unit, à la Anton Stralman-Marc Staal. Curiously, Ryan Stanton is in the lineup so perhaps the Canucks were serious when they pulled a waiver claim on the player with one NHL game to his credit, in Game 48 for the Chicago Blackhawks last season after they’d wrapped everything up but the Stanley Cup.

In unrelated news, Andrew Alberts has hired a resume writer.

I find the defence somewhat interesting. Torts liked to go with five main defencemen in New York, flipping his fifth guy in and out of the top two pairings but, again, we have yet to see whether that will be a thing in Vancouver. And he’s not telling us, or Ben Kuzma, about it either.

San Jose, per Daily Faceoff, have four unrecognizable faces, one on each line. Rookie Tomas Hertl will line up with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns. Tyler Kennedy came over from Pittsburgh and is slotted with Logan Couture. Former Calgary first rounder Matt Pelech, drafted as a defenceman, is Mike Gillis’ nephew and will be dressing for the opener as an enforcer, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Another pretty cool story is Matthew “Neat-o” Nieto, a Long Beach, CA native was drafted by the Sharks in 2011 in the second round and will make his NHL debut tonight, listed with Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels.

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The defence is similar to what we saw in the playoffs, although Scott Hannan may have finally been taken out behind the woodshed. Brad Stuart remains in the lineup is injured and will not be playing, so Todd McLellan summoned Hannan from behind the woodshed, and he’s the guy for the Canucks to target. Goaltender Antti Niemi is very good, but we know that already. He’s a quality start and even strength save percentage King. To use an old line, we’re pro-goalie, but anti-Niemi here at Canucks Army.

Zac Dalpe is making the transition back to centre, although I think he gets some looks at wing on a higher unit tonight, and Torts won’t keep him between Tom Sestito and Dale Weise all night. The Sedins will play with Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler will centre a line with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen. I’d rather see the AmEx line, but it’s a long season.

PLAYNOW is offering two Vancouver Canucks specials for tonight’s game:

SNIPING THE SHARKS – “Vancouver to score 4+ goals and WIN” is priced at $4.00, meaning you win four times your bet. This is somewhat tempting: the Canucks scored 4 or more times 11 times last season, and won each game. With how strong the Canucks are on D and in net, all you have to worry about is the offence, so it comes down to whether you believe the team has it in them to score four goals in a game.

BEAST MODE – This involves Ryan Kesler scoring at least goal and the Canucks winning, priced at $3.50. Kesler scored in just four games last year, although he had a memorable performance in Game 2 against the Sharks in last year’s playoffs. Like with most players, the team wins more often in games he scores than when he doesn’t. If you’re willing to place action on either bet, I think it’s more likely that the Canucks score 4 than to have Kesler score (looking at about 25% to 20% chances on either side) and you get better odds on the first action.

As part of our new venture and to celebrate our new partnership, you can make your first handful of sports bets with house money. Go to this PlayNow Sports promo page, register for a PlayNow account and insert the promo code “CANUCKSARMY”, (all caps) and PlayNow Sports will give you $25 worth of “freebets.”

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Former Canuck Manny Malhotra Signs AHL Tryout With Charlotte Checkers (The Canuck Way)
Results are in for The Province’s preseason survey (The White Towel)
Gillis defends record as GM (Globe & Mail)
Jason Garrison to “give it his best shot” on Canucks powerplay (Vancouver Sun)
How Andrew Alberts lost his job to a guy with one career NHL game (Pass it to Bulis)


Don’t forget to sign up for Streakcred. I’m on a two-game streak, just… *checks standings* shoot. Four points behind the leader.

But that can change tonight. Taking an upset in Boston, a loss for Cory Schneider and the Devils, and, *sigh* yes, a loss for the Canucks in San Jose. Also looking for Alain Vigneault to win his debut with New York:

Your picks are probably better. Go sign up.

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  • At 27 years old each, Alex Edler & Jannik Hansen represent the youngest legit drafted and developed NHL regulars on the Canucks roster.

    Along with Cory Schneider, they come from the last homerun draft by the Canucks in 2004.

    The following is a list of homegrown draft picks (2005-2013) on each team’s opening day roster (via Capgeek).

    The number of regular season games played is in parentheses and, of course, not all of these players will be in the NHL in a few weeks.

    ANA: Beleskey (209), PALMIERI (70), Vatanen (2), Fowler (195), Smith-Pelley (56), Etem (38), Lindholm (0)

    BOS: Lucic (405), Marchand (218), CARON (88), Hamilton (42)

    BUF: Weber (174), Enroth (53), MYERS (256), Ennis (187), Foligno (61), Pysyk (19), Grigorenko (25), Girgensons (0), Ristolainen (0)

    CAL: Backlund (170), BOUMA (43), Brodie (104), Baertschi (25), Monahan (0)

    CAR: Bowman (106), Bellemore (8), SKINNER (188), Faulk (104), Lindholm (0)

    CHI: Hjalmarsson (306), Toews (408), Kane (446), SMITH (20), Kruger (125), Shaw (85), Saad (48), Nordstrom (0)

    COL: Stastny (467), DUCHENE (266), O’Reilly (265), Elliott (57), Barrie (42), Landeskog (118), MacKinnon (0)

    CBJ: Boll (388), CALVERT (97), Atkinson (62), Johansen (107), Prout (33), Jenner (0), Murray (0)

    DAL: Benn (263), CHIASSON (1), Nichushkin (0)

    DET: Kindl (147), Abdelkader (257), Helm (249), Emmerton (41), Smith (48), Andersson (43), TATAR (27), Ouellet (0)

    EDM: Petry (157), Gagner (414), Eberle (196), HALL (172), Nugent-Hopkins (102), Yakupov (49)

    FLA: MARKSTROM (31), Kulikov (232), Shore (43), Gudbranson (104), Bjugstad (11), Huberdeau (48), Barkov (0)

    LAK: Kopitar (522), Quick (286), Lewis (203), King (80), Martinez (142), DOUGHTY (364), Voynov (102), Clifford (205), Nolan (70)

    MIN: SCANDELLA (89), Granlund (27), Brodin (45), Dumba (0)

    MTL: Price (311), White (89), Pacioretty (247), Subban (203), TINORDI (9), Gallagher (45), Galchenyuk (49),

    NAS: Hornqvist (287), WILSON (210), Josi (100), Ellis (64), Bourque (77), Smith (116), Jones (0), Moser (0)

    NJD: Fayne (170), TEDENBY (105), Henrique (117), Josefson (91), Urbom (14), Larsson (102)

    NYI: MacDonald (232), Okposo (319), BAILEY (329), Hamonic (183), Poulin (29), Martin (201), Tavares (291), Cizikas (60), Nelson (0), Reinhart (0), Donovan (3)

    NYR: Staal (388), Hagelin (112), DEL ZOTTO (250), Stepan (212), Miller (26), Fasth (0)

    OTT: Greening (153), Gryba (33), Condra (155), KARLSSON (233), Wiercioch (50), Smith (200), Cowen (90), Lehner (25), Pageau (9)

    PHI: Giroux (333), BOURDON (45), Rinaldo (98), Couturier (123), Laughton (5),

    PHO: Hanzal (391), Yandle (413), Summers (29), BOEDKER (256), Stone (53), Ekman-Larsson (178), Brown (5), Lessio (0),

    PIT: Crosby (470), Letang (385), Vitale (110), Bortuzzo (21), Jeffrey (90), BENNETT (20), Maatta (0)

    SJS: Vlasic (519), Stalock (3), Couture (232), Braun (135), DEMERS (205), Wingels (80), Hertl (0), Nieto (0)

    STL: Oshie (292), Reaves (131), Berglund (358), Cole (67), PIETRANGELO (224), Schwartz (52), Tarasenko (38)

    TBL: Killorn (38), STAMKOS (373), Barberio (2), Hedman (258), Panik (25), Gudas (22), Palat (14)

    TOR: Kulemin (352), Reimer (105), Gunnarsson (225), KADRI (100), Rielly (0)


    WAS: Backstrom (414), Neuvirth (121), Alzner (264), CARLSON (235), Holtby (58), Carrick (1), Wilson (1)

    WPG: Pavelec (232), Little (405), Postma (39), BOGOSIAN (298), Kane (262), Scheifele (12), Trouba (1)

    • argoleas

      I think a different angle may be more appropriate and/or accurate.

      Just wondering if it is not more accurate to compare not just the draft picks playing for the team, but the ones that get traded as well. For example, no question that Hodgson should be on Van’s list. Or sub him with Kassian’s numbers.

      Also, as Vancouver was transitioning into being a contender, picks and assets were traded for immediate help, so can’t just view this in terms of what picks have matured to play in the team. Perhaps it would make more sense to put the players that came in as replacement for developed picks. Similarly, not having Raymond here seems to me strange since he was exactly what you are posting here but happens not to be resigned.

      In the end, this kind of analysis would be in my view provide a fuller picture.

      • NoMind00 never provides accurate info and often brings in partial stats etc. He rarely provides anything close to meaningful analysis. He has convinced only himself when he pitches his arguments. The rest can easily see through his rubbish.

        Again, he is entertaining. It’s like watching a dog chase its tail around. Kinda funny for a bit then you move on.

      • argoleas

        Aside from suggesting that the 2004 draft was a homerun for Vancouver, there’s little analysis in the post.

        Simply a look at the 2005-2013 draft picks on NHL rosters.

        There’s nothing about trades (Kassian) & undrafted free agent signings (Tanev).

        By the same token, there’s nothing about Buffalo acquiring Hodgson, NYI acquiring Grabner, Ottawa acquiring Ryan or Dallas acquiring Seguin…

        It’s a list which people may interpret as they choose…

  • argoleas

    As a follower in australia my heart sinks when I see you mixing commentary and odds as if gambling is part of the game we love. The slope has been steep and slippery down under. Once the bookies get a foot hold in your market they are hard to budge, and sports media, especially non traditional sports media should be standing up to them, not crawling into bed.

  • argoleas

    well, looks like the Sharks are up 4-1 on the Canucks in their first season game. What a SURPRISE! You mean the Canucks are preforming like the same old mediocre team that was here last year and the years before that? Tell me it aint so! Who could have foreseen and predicted this? MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! LMFAO!

    • argoleas

      Wow, and you only had a 50/50 chance of being right. Just out of curiosity, who do you cheer for…or do you just play the odds and cheer for every team to lose by season’s end?

      • argoleas

        Awww, you make me look foolish. Well, I based my opinion on the Canuck’s losing ways past to present. Not that’s also a surprise, to base an opinion on history? LOL.

        But I’ll go out on another limb and predict that this will be yet another mediocre year just like all the other mediocre years this team has had. I can say that won’t be 50/50 but 100% certainty.
        But hey, I could be wrong, I mean, what are the chances that a team that is basically the same average team they were 2 seasons ago, perform the same mediocre way? No way! That’s how sports works, average team will turn into winner like Cinderella. LOL. Now that’s idea no one can refute. I can’t wait for the cup to come here this post season. LOL.

        • argoleas

          I have no idea what you are trying to say here. Nor did you bother to answer my question from the previous post. It was not my intent to make you look foolish. I’ll leave you to it, enjoy.

  • argoleas

    Well, I thought the Canucks played better, but the same turnovers and bad penalties still are around. I thought Torts would cut down on those but maybe I was wrong and it wasn’t AVs laid back style.

    • argoleas

      If a team loses a game because hey took bad penalties and turned the puck over, it means they played worse than the other team. A team that played better makes less mistakes, not more. Only the Sedins would say that they played well enough to win, but lost. AV isn’t doing so well over in NY today either. Gillis is starting to sweat like Boss Hog.

  • argoleas

    “But I’ll go out on another limb and predict that this will be yet another mediocre year just like all the other mediocre years”

    ” I can say that won’t be 50/50 but 100% certainty.”

    “But hey, I could be wrong”