Afternoon Headshots: October 28th, 2013

Image via @JacqSparrow

In the preview of tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals (which will be taking place in the friendly confines of Rogers Arena for what seems like the first time in ages), I mentioned that this past weekend was a pretty slow one from a Canucks perspective with the team getting a few days off to recuperate from their trip.

But now we’ve got a new week on our hands, and there’s a bunch of news and notes to discuss. I didn’t think that any of it really warranted a full post for itself, so instead I decided that this would be a good opportunity to dust off the ol’ Afternoon Headshots.

Just past the jump we’ll take a look at some injury news, recognition for Ryan Kesler’s play, and some other goodies.

Injury News

I used Murph’s tweet to pass along this message mostly because his was one of the only ones to include all of the information in one succint tweet, but also because he’s a friend of the blog. But in reality I could’ve picked any of the 12912912012910 different people that took some time out of their morning to spread roughly the same information.

There’s a few things to take away from all of that injury news though:

a) Thank goodness that Alex Burrows is making his return to the lineup tonight. While the Canucks managed to steal a victory from the Blues on Friday night with a makeshift lineup, it wasn’t pretty in the slightest, and I’d imagine that it would catch up to them sooner rather than later. In his return Burrows will be playing with Higgins and Santorelli on the 2nd line, for now (more on this later..)

b) Good news for the depth guys, particularly Darren Archibald and Tom Sestito. Archibald had some nice moments in his NHL debut against the Blues, apparently showing the Canucks enough to keep him up instead of Pascal Pelletier. Sestito, meanwhile, will continue playing on the 3rd line with Kassian and Richardson for better or for worse. After routinely playing between 3 and 6 minutes for the first 11 games of the season, the man responsible for bringing JAM played 8:30 against the Devils, and 11:24 against the Blues. He actually kind of did some okay things about the Blues, really getting under the skin of David Backes at one point. I’m going to put a moratorium on Tom Sestito jokes for the time being.

c) Poor Jordan Schroeder. So far this year he hasn’t been able to get through a single full game without sustaining another injury. You have to wonder if we’ll hear from him at all this season given the way things are going for him, which adds additional intrigue to the fact that he’s an impending RFA this summer. "One man’s pain is another man’s gain"- Jeremy Welsh.

d) Since Hansen was placed on LTIR he can’t officially return until November 17th. 

e) All of this news makes the following tweet all the more ironically hilarious: 

Ryan Kesler 

It’s hard not to love everything about Ryan Kesler’s game right now, other than the fact that it’s continually prompting people to ride the term "Beast Mode!" into the ground. In 66+ minutes of 5v5 time that Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler have spent playing together, they’re generating 6.4 goals/60 minutes. That is.. obscenely good.

I still think that he’ll eventually be moved back down to the 2nd line C slot, but with the way that top line is clicking right now (and more importantly, the way Mike Santorelli is handling his duties) it’s impossible to make the switch. Which is why I don’t feel too bad about being a vocal member of the camp that Kesler would be more of a 25-goal guy than a 30+ goal guy this season. Who could’ve seen the shot rate (on pace for 340 shots on goal), the ice-time (22:32/game), and the role (the aforementioned partnership with Henrik Sedin) coming? If you say you did, you’re lying.

He was definitely a deserving 3rd star, though. I love how one of the points for Phil Kessel is that he registered 10 shots on goal in that time. As a comparison, Kesler had 19 of his own (in 1 extra game, to be fair). He also set a regular season career high in ice-time last week, when he logged 28:04 against the Islanders. Enjoy the ride, you guys. Maybe even carve a Ryan Kesler-styled pumpkin. 

Alain Vigneault Update

Always the jokester, that AV. I don’t actually have much to say about this other than the fact that I’m constantly amused by how much people around the league affiliated with other organizations seem to talk about the Canucks. There’s the Blackhawks and Bruins, for instance, constantly referring to them as some sort of example of what they’re trying not to be. Just check this person out if you don’t believe me. And then, there’s this fantastic spin by New York Rangers beat guy Pat Leonard.

My advice to AV is to focus on his New York Rangers, who are sporting a 3-6 record, -18 goal differential, and bottom 10 possession metrics. 

Road Trip

Here’s a "behind the scenes" look at the conclusion of the team’s road trip, going from New York back to home sweet home. I thought this was pretty cool, so I figured I’d pass it along to wrap things up. 

Aaaaand finally in case you missed it earlier, here’s a preview of tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals.