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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: More Like Badulov

Canucks Drop Heartbreaker in Overtime 2-1 to the Stars

It shouldn’t need to be said, but this obviously isn’t the result the Canucks were chasing when they came into tonight. That they could outplay the Stars so handily as they did and still lose has to make the sting even worse.

If you squint hard enough, though, you can see almost everything that Canucks fans have wanted to see from this team for years. Fans want a fast team, an entertaining team. They don’t need them to win, either. Hell, they don’t even need to necessarily play well, but if the on-ice process is a step ahead of the results like it was tonight, they’ll gladly take it.

The Canucks outshot the Stars 39-29 in a back-and-forth affair that saw no shortage of chances exchanged in either direction. The website www.NaturalStatTrick.com counts 18 (11 for the Canucks to the Stars’ 7) of the high-danger variety at five-on-five alone.

Both goalies were up to the task. In spite of the barrage of shots and chances, neither Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom or Stars backstop Ben Bishop surrendered a single goal at evens.

On the power play, though, the Stars drew first blood. A poor in-zone read left Tyler Seguin all alone on the doorstep, and he put the Stars ahead by a goal just three-plus minutes into the second frame with a deadly accurate wrist shot that went post and in.

Little over a period later, the Canucks tied the game with a power play goal of their own on the strangest play from the unlikeliest of sources. There was a loose puck at one end, and there was Markstrom and a Stars forward racing for it. Markstrom wins the race, clears the puck and on the ensuing rush, Sam Gagner scores to square this game up at one.

This game went to overtime, where the two sides traded chances at a ridiculous pace before Alexander Radulov took the puck up ice on a two-on-one and sent a wrister past Markstrom for the win halfway through overtime.

Stats

Quick Hits

  • I’ve never been entirely sold on Jacob Markstrom, starting goaltender. That isn’t to say he couldn’t ever make me a believer. There just wasn’t a strong enough body of work for someone relatively advanced in age as Markstrom’s been in Vancouver. Nights like tonight? Yeah, a few more of those and I might start to see the light. Don’t believe the fake news about Bishop outdueling Markstrom. The Stars won, but it wasn’t because they had the better goalie. The Canucks and Stars were almost even by Corsica.Hockey’s expected goals surrendered at about three apiece. Markstrom also played a vital role in the Canucks only goal, though. Hell, he even had a penalty! Markstrom was everywhere. Not only could you not blame him for the two goals the Stars scored; Markstrom didn’t give up a stinker in the first five minutes.
  • Forget the season opener. This was easily the best work Brandon Sutter’s line has done all season. Canucks head coach Travis Green hard-matched his go-to defensive line against the Stars loaded top line with Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov — stiff competition. They won the on-ice shot attempt battle at even strength handily, beating that line 11-7. I think a lot of what people have been giving this line credit for, for most of the season, has been smoke and mirrors. They haven’t been good defensively; they’re just getting bounces, mostly. Tonight, they were legitimately great. Real recognize real.
  • Derrick Pouliot and Alex Biega were great tonight, too. This was easily the best game Pouliot’s had as a Canuck. The transitional data Darryl Keeping provided shows he was extremely effective at moving the puck, and the Canucks control of on-ice shot attempts with Pouliot on the ice (a +10 shot attempt differential) suggests he was pretty damn good everywhere else. Biega was good, too. Hardly a passenger. The coach was a big fan of his game today. Hard to argue with that assessment after the game he just had.

  • The Canucks had one player in the red by five-on-five on-ice shot attempt differential. If you guessed Erik Gubranson, you’re correct. It wasn’t a terrible night, really. No brutal errors or giveaways. There weren’t any good plays either though. Gudbranson has been even or better by five-on-five on-ice shot attempt differential once this season. I get the sense people think he’s improved this season, but most of the data suggest he’s been worse this year than the last.
  • Don’t get caught up in the result. This was the Canucks best game of the year. They dominated everywhere except on the scoreboard. If the Canucks play most of their games like this for the rest of the season, they can legitimately be in the contention for a Wildcard spot for most of the season. I don’t think that’s likely or even in the team’s best long-term interests. You have to like the progress Green is making with the team in just his first year, though. And how’s this for praise from Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock.

  • People are pissed with the Canucks decision to recall Jayson Megna and Michael Chaput, consecutively, while passing on youngsters Reid Boucher and Nikolay Goldobin. I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. I can see the fans side. This season is supposed to be about integrating the kids and playing a more entertaining brand of hockey. It’s hard to do that with Megna and Chaput — we’ve all seen this movie before. It should also be about rewarding the kids, and both Boucher and Goldobin are Comets leading scorers, so what else could they have possibly done to earn the opportunity? By that same token, I’m sure the club wanted to see what Gagner could do in a more offensively inclined role, and they were able to do that by shifting him up to the Bo Horvat line, where Goldobin or Boucher would have undoubtedly played. The Canucks also have a glut of veterans in Utica, so anytime they can subtract from their excess veteran stockpile (they have eight veterans and can only play five a game) they’re going to try and do as much. Also, the Brock Boeser injury that paved the way for Megna’s season debut doesn’t seem serious. The Canucks have one opening in their lineup for either Goldobin or Boucher to play in, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to last for more than a game. Could the Canucks have used a goalscorer in a game like today? Probably. They might not have thought it worthwhile to mess with Goldobin or Boucher’s routine in Utica while they’re making so much progress for just the one game though. Goldobin will eventually get his chance, I am sure. This isn’t pitchfork territory. Not yet, anyway.



  • wojohowitz

    Hold your breath on Boeser. If he is still in pain they will go back to look for a hairline fracture. Was there an update on Megna – he only played 4 minutes.

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    I’m new to Flamesnation but I am startled at how few posters there on this site. Is there another more popular site?I want Flames to cup but want any Canadian team to win- 25 years. Congratulations on your great start.

  • Oneplus

    If you sit down low, you will really have a greater appreciation for Gudbrannsson. He hits to hurt and shoves guys off the puck with one shrug. If you lose him, I think our team is much easier to play against. Lets not run him out of Van just yet.

    • Roy

      oh, the problem is obviously not sitting low enough. How did all those statisticians miss that, because of course, allowing more shots on net when you’re on the ice than any other player on the team is clearly a glaring misrepresentation of the eye test. Just because you are old and mean and grumpy doesn’t mean your team needs a player you get to live vicariously through one or two hits a game. “Hits to hurt”, forsooth – that’s a good thing??!! How about, “plays correct, prescribed athletic team defence to limit shots and chances”

      • Oneplus

        Well, obviously I am not advocating we play some neanderthal that can barely skate and just crushes people. Just saying I had a chance to watch the game near ice level and you really see how physical and tough Guddy is along the boards to play against when you are down there. Maybe its not as easy to see his worth if you watch on tv or are just a stats nerd but he brings a physical element to our d which is otherwise lacking. Like it or not being big and strong helps in hockey too.

      • Betty

        You’re basing everything on a binomial outcome with poor predictive ability, that obviously has systematic, non random flaws (eg, a shot from a guy Gudbranson has steered to the outside counts as much as a breakaway.)

        You want to place blind faith, in a measure that says that Philip Larsen is only 10% worse than Brent Burns? (50.54% corsi at close vs 55%)? Contrary to almost every coach, GM and a majority of fans?

        Statistics are important and useful, but blind faith in not particularly good ones is misguided at best.

        And yeah, hits that hurt help. Notice how the wheels came off Washington? Or how injuries play a major factor in every playoffs?

    • Cageyvet

      About Gudbrannson, I noticed a few of those plays in this game where he just pounced the forward against the boards and sealed him off, that’s the great part of his game.

      When he’s actually on his game, he holds the blue line well and uses his stick through the neutral zone to break up plays. That up ice movement is where he gets some of those open ice hits we’ve mainly seen footage of, not so much here.

      I think he adds value and have posted many times I hope we keep him and he shows the consistency we need from him. Tonight, unfortunately, was in my mind his worst game of the season, strictly by the eye test.

      When he’s mediocre there’s a lot of glass and out, often icings. When he’s bad he coughs up the puck, but not much more than the other bottom 4, it’s just that he’s not strong on zone exits if he faces pressure. The other dmen skate away from trouble, that’s not his game, but he doesn’t usually toss it up the middle or something atrocious like that.

      Tonight he got amazing support from his teammates, I was shocked at how well they handled his many miscues. Weak pushes of the puck into skates, in traffic, became 2 quick passes and a guy skating away.

      No, this was not your traditional up the wall, kick it sideways breakout, this was panic in the corner and they executed despite him.

      We’ve seen it from Hutton as well, and I like him too, but if there’s an area we need consistency from its everyone below Tanev and Edler to see continued success. I miss Tryamkin because this team needs some size that has skill. If Guddy doesn’t get it done, we have to look elsewhere, because you need at least one guy on the back end who can pin guys to the boards and shut them out of the play.

      Speaking of size and skill, I continue to notice Vanek out there, yeah he’s a floater, but he can lean on guys and beat them when he’s motivated. Call me old school, but I want them drafting a Gadjovich and Virtanen regularly. Biega and Dorsett are great examples of how physical play can impact the game, now add some skill….that’s Canadian hockey.

  • Bud Poile

    @robbie4est
    Replying to @JDylanBurke @CanucksArmy
    Is Biega the perfect 7/8 defenceman?
    “Not even close.” JD Burke
    *******************************************
    Jackson McDonald‏ @Johnny_Perogy · Oct 29
    Replying to @robbie4est @JDylanBurke @CanucksArmy
    “I’ll take this one: no”

  • TheRealPB

    Most enjoyable game of the season by far. I’m not sure what the coaches thought — as Garrett said, that should have been a 6-5 game if not for the goaltending, but it just felt like a good game with chances generated on either end, not because of multiple breakdowns. Also, it is extremely encouraging to see how much the Canucks had a very good team in Dallas on its heels at many points; we were really unlucky not to have a few more of those go in and Bishop really stood on his head in both the first and third. A couple of shots off the inside of the post too.

    Biggest two differences to me in Green’s coaching seems to be the tendency of D to both jump into the rush and especially to stand up at the blue line with the D partner very attentive to what’s happening so they track the opposing winger’s movements and also the neutral zone support from forwards so that D actually have an outlet for the pass. So much better than Tortorella’s crazy forecheck overload with a gaping chasm between D and F and WD’s safetythroughdeath neutral zone trap ourselves style.

    Given Megna’s deployment it made sense not to have brought up Goldobin and Boucher, as many commentators (and some CA) have rightly said.

    I wonder if there’s another way to look at Gudbranson or measure his impact. I did not like him in the least last year. But I really do think he’s been far better this year, regardless of what the zone exits data says. I don’t feel like he’s out of position or getting turnstiled like last year. I really went back and pored through some of that zone data said because I think there’s a real mismatch between the eye test and some of those stats. I tried to focus on a lot of his play with the puck in his own end and there were some glass-and-out and just neutral zone clears. But he also had some nice passes out to forwards and more than anything his numbers do suffer from deployment at least a bit — he’s not out there on the PP with more options skate it out, he’s always on the PK, and what I’ve noticed is that with whichever D partner, he seems to take on the role of puck retrieval in the corner, especially on dumpins or against the forecheck. I’ve seen him multiple times be the one to soak up the big hit (or attempted big hit) or get thrown the suicide pass by Del Zotto, Hutton or Tanev or that he takes the hit to get them the puck to skate it out. He’s surprised me with his mobility and all-in-all I think he’s absolutely performed at a top-4 capacity. I think he’s been the second steadiest behind Tanev this year, though I think Hutton and Pouliot have improved by leaps and bounds and Del Zotto has been far better than advertised. It’s really hard to imagine icing a lineup without one bigger d-man and in this role I think he’s been way better than I expected. I found myself during the game thinking that he’s much closer to either earning a bigger contract or getting much more back in a trade than I would have thought at the beginning of the season. In retrospect Demers nixing that trade back to Florida (which was essentially a salary dump back) might be the best thing that could have happened to us.

    • canuckfan

      Gudbranson plays the game hard and hits even harder that is his game opposing forwards I am sure are a little tentative when he is on the ice. It was said on another site there were a bunch of scouts watching last nights game likely Gudbranson is someone they are watching Colorado would be a good destination for him for a certain center, but I would not want to see him traded the way the Canucks are playing as a team now.

    • TheRealRusty

      PB. The issue I have been struggling with since his acquisition is what kind of numbers will it take to lock him up long term? We are potentially giving up 5-6 cost controlled years of McCann and whomever we picked 2nd & 4th in 2016 for 2 years of Guddy. This wont be as big an issue if GMJB were not some idiot savant when it comes to drafting but he has proven to have the midas touch when it comes to evaluating 18year olds (I was never off the Virtanen boat like lots here…).

      Free agent defencemen don’t come cheap and he be asking north of $4.5million. Is the money better spent somewhere else? Do we sign him irregardless of term and contract, do we let him walk away for nothing after this season or do we try to recoup some assets at the trade deadline? I am personally favouring the last option as I believe a tough/physical less mobile defenseman should not be taking up such a chunk of your salary cap if you want to be a cup contender.

      • TheRealPB

        RR, that’s a really good point and I was really surprised that he was holding out for what it sounded like he was, same as in Florida the first time around. But I think there’s a bigger market for mobile big defensemen than I imagined — the Hall-Larsson trade is still testament to that — and I think that we’ll regret this trade way less than Edmonton does with Reinhart for Barzal and what ended up being Beauvillier. McCann had a quick start to the year but he’s injured again I think while I think Candella and Ang are a wash and both Asplund and Mascherin are a long ways from making the NHL whether with Buffalo or Florida. You’re right that there were players in that 2nd and 4th rounds I would have liked to have picked (Debrincat, Gustavsson, Girard, Raddysh, Mete) but then many people passed on many of them.

        Gudbranson today eats up less than 5% of the cap. If he was to go up even to Tanev money, it would be a little over 6%. You’ve got to imagine that Baertschi, Granlund, Virtanen, Stetcher and Pouliot are all in for raises, hefty or otherwise. But since the Sedins either retire or go from occupying 20% of the overall cap to much more likely about 10% of it, you have a lot more to spread around, especially with Higgins and Hansen coming off the books and some of the other bigger name vets likely flipped for something (I suppose this all gets scrambled if we really are a competitive team — given our performance thus far I wouldn’t be surprised if it does).

        • TheRealRusty

          The Hall-Laresen trade was an once off IMHO. The Oilers got fleeced in that deal. I would jump at the chance at a Gudy for Hall type deal, but I highly doubt that we can get similiar value for a soon to be UFA…

      • janmoh

        I’ve been thinking about the same thing. I view Guddy as a 5-6 d-man going forward when we become playoff and then Stanley Cup contenders. We can’t pay him more than 4 million a year and I know he’d want 4.5-5.5 million a year. I feel we have to trade him at the trade deadline. If we need a big presence then we need a cheaper 5-6 d-man. Maybe McEnany? We will need to sign big contract to Boesser and others in the future.

    • Cageyvet

      Hey TRPB, I am laughing, because I just did a long post that basically said that I agree he’s got enough value and we need his role. I also said it was his worst game of the season, which is why I laugh. I’m not sure if it’s me or you on this game, but in general we see eye to eye on this issue. If not Guddy along the boards, then who?

      The biggest weakness I see in his game is when he’s under pressure. You’re right, when he’s not under too much duress he’s been making solid passes and sometimes skating it out. I think there’s room for improvement, he could use his body position to more effect the way Stecher does in the corners and with his frame, have even more success. You only need a step or two as a defenseman to make the play, and I can’t decide if he’s going to learn how to get that extra step or not. Moreover, I’m not yet convinced he processes the play fast enough to take advantage of it. The reality of this team is that he’s the only one we have who’s cut from that cloth and we’re rebuilding, so coach him and roll the dice. The upside is definitely a rock solid top 4 guy.

  • 51Geezer

    I don’t want to see Megna for even one minute, but I think it’s a waivers issue, and that Green’s not keen on him either.
    Great game. If we can see an effort like that throughout the rebuild we’ll all be pretty happy.

  • Flying V

    I was impressed by Gagner in this game. I think one of the best assets that skilled, veteran players like Gagner and Vanek (other than that brutal drop pass giveaway) bring to the Canucks is the ability to stick handle in tight spaces and allow time for other players to set up in the offensive zone. It’s a calming influence in a very fast game.
    I also liked Gudbranson in this game. Sure he handles the puck like it’s a hot potato, but he can hit, and hit hard. I’m wanting to see a few more slap shots from the point from him, his shot is heavy.

  • DJ_44

    Was at the game (seriously, $35 to $40 per ticket on secondary market …. now is the time!) and it was a great game.

    Credit where it is due. I was impressed with Hutton. He had serious compete in the defensive zone, and although you have to adjust your impression due to the Tanev bump, Ben was good. Maybe the best game I have seen him play in two years.

    As JD rightly pointed out, the Sutter line was excellent. Radulov-Seguin-Benn is an intimidating proposition and then some.

    Gudbranson played a great game tonight. He and DZ moved the puck well. That and he has a bit of nasty in his hits. Markstrom was excellent. Bishop had a very calm, strong positional game.
    Just a great, entertaining game of hockey all around.
    It sucked Bo hit the iron in the OT and Radulov scored; but that was the most upbeat and energetic crowd leaving after a loss I had experienced.

    • Bettie

      My husband and I were seasons ticket holders for years, spending thousands to support the team at top dollar, and it really sickens us to see you gloating every home game at buying black market tickets for such a ridiculously low price and encouraging others to do so? Do you really think this practice is supporting the team, because i can assure you it isn’t?!

      • Chris Searle

        Don’t you mean spending thousands to buy seasons tickets and then flipping them on the secondary market for double or triple the face value and pocketing the difference tax free?

      • TheRealRusty

        Bettie, power to him if he is getting a wick deal to attend games. He is getting a great deal on his tickets from ticket scalpers whom had a good 10+ year run of making money off sellouts. Happy to see these scumbags lose their shirts the last 4 years.

        As an ex-season tickets holder myself, I can’t believe how much more value I am getting for my hard earned money now that I have given them up (during the lockout season sickened by the greed on both sides). Instead, a pair of Whitecaps tickets costs me around a thousand and the rest gets spend on our annual 3 week family vacation in an exotic part of the world.

        • Bettie

          Oh I am with you on that Real Rusty, we are also saving thousands and using the extra money to pursue many other interests our wonderful city has to offer and also to give more to various charities, but i do not agree with gloating over buying illegal tickets at a fraction of their original price and calling that supporting the team. It has far bigger ramifications than getting one over on scalpers.

          The arena is already shockingly empty as last nights game showed us, and if many of those still going are paying 35 dollars a ticket, the reality is the team will go bust or the owners will move it. Now that would really be something to crow about hey.

          • Chris Searle

            You logic is somewhat fuzzy here. If the ticket is on the market someone somewhere paid face value for it, so the team isn’t losing a penny. The person losing money is the reseller. That might be a scalper or an individual season ticket holder who went to some games, resold the rest on the secondary market, covered their initial investment in the ticket package and pocketed some additional $$$ tax free. The club, though, isn’t losing any money.

            One big qualifier: unless the team is dumping tickets on the secondary market at below face value, which is another discussion entirely.

  • KekeMortson#12

    Been a long time since I enjoyed a loss so much. Don’t get how some are sniffy about Biega. I swear his try is infectious. Even warming to Vanek. It looks like he wants to be here and when he undressed Dallas D that time, it was too fast for the slo-mo! Some pleasant surprises this year.

    • Rodeobill

      to me, Vanek looks like he is always plodding along at a snail’s pace, but he never seems to get knocked off the puck and just moves through people or around them until he finds himself in front of the net, makes me laugh. I’m warming up to him too. Usually we sign people and they perform below expectation, so far he has exceeded all mine!

  • wojohowitz

    It`s not all roses. They can`t let players like Seguin go end to end thru the neutral zone. That`s how they beat McD and Edmonton – by clogging up the ice between the blue lines. Dallas is a one line team but what a line. Trying to skate with the skating teams won`t work for the Canucks. They don`t have enough of a physical presence. Lockwood is an example of a guy who can skate and loves to hit and what the Canucks need more of.

    • TheRealPB

      But did you honestly think they were badly outplayed, even by that line? Sure, Seguin looked dangerous on several occasions and his goal was a beauty. But I was really surprised at how effective the checking line looked — including generating at least as many quality scoring chances of their own. I think the line combos are getting much more into a groove and settling effectively into it.

      • wojohowitz

        I don`t think they were `badly` outplayed but they were outplayed. Markstrom was spectacular while Bishop was adequate. Have a look at the chart `shot attempts` above. 39-29 in Canucks favour but how many were quality chances. The opposition will adjust to line match ups and the burden will fall on the other lines, particularly on the road. Bottom line is the Canucks can not skate with the better teams in the league and they better not start thinking that they can.

        • DJ_44

          The Canucks can “skate” with the better teams in the league. They do not want to get into a run-and-gun not defense style. Seguin (and others) tried to exploit the middle a few time; the Canucks closed it down. That’s like saying other teams shouldn’t try to skate with the Canucks because Bo will bust up the gut.

          • wojohowitz

            Surely you jest. Maybe six or seven years ago when their half dozen veterans who are aged over thirty were in their prime but to suggest that now you only do yourself a dis-service by cheer leading and ignoring reality. This roster at this time is not playoff bound.

          • DJ_44

            Skating with teams does not mean you do not have slower skaters on the team. The Canucks are not a particular fast skating team. They play fast, however. Most importantly, their defence and centres are all good to very good skater (we are being kind to Hank here). There was not a weak skating defenceman on the ice last night, which was a reason for the success the Canucks had against a group of fast skating Dallas forwards. (Dallas definitely need some better blue liners, but that’s neither here nor there).

            Watch the games, this is not cheerleading, it is observation. Playoff bound? Where has that been stated? I like competitive. Last night, and most games this season so far, have been great to watch.

    • Dirty30

      Actually, skating with the skating teams is exactly what the Canucks need to do because they will get lit up trying to play a cycle game (that’s riding into the sunset with the Sedins) and WD proved that playing a system was simply playing futility.

      WD kept trying to slow the game down so the Sedins could set up and they got burned by young guys that could skate. Green is using his guys who can skate to check the opposition and to create chances … and it’s working. But he is saddled somewhat by some skills guys who have little speed.

      It’s therefore a bit ironic that last year’s plodders are this year’s first line of sorts, and last year’s first line is kind of the plodders this year. If Boucher and Goldobin continue to develop as they are, and the Sedins retire at the end of this season, it’s going to get really exciting really fast next season.

      Still not planning a parade, but with four fast and reasonably skilled lines, Green will have a whole new menu of options to play against teams.

  • JarkkoRuutu

    They need to develop some advanced stats to measure things like opponent fear (when going behind the net with Gudbranson), and opponent surprise (when visiting players get leveled, then look around to take a number and it’s #55)…

    • OttoKickedIt

      Scott Stevens instilled fear in his opponents, name the new metric after him. The Stevens Hurry Play or something like that. It could measure turnovers caused – Gudbranson and Dorsett would be top of this analytic I would think. I think the west coast and CanucksArmy specifically have some of the best analysts – get it done and present at the next Hockey analytics conference.

  • McGretzky

    It’s amazing that on an analytically inclined blog, the “process” by which the Canucks have been playing through eleven games isn’t being praised more.

    Even when the Canucks play a stellar, entertaining brand of hockey, we get the old “it isn’t in their best long term interest” nonsense.

    Without any data or evidence that the Canucks Army model of running a business is better than the Aquilini family.

    Maybe the reason Pouliot and Biega can “shine” on a third pair is because DZ and Guddy are soaking up 2nd pairing minutes…

  • Doodly Doot

    Wow, very good game by both sides. I can watch that kind of hockey all day. I think the team impressed their visitors, but even more importantly, they impressed themselves. No shame in that game. Quality loss.

    I continue to be impressed with Pouliot. And Hutton is starting to come on. The whole d-corps is playing some decent hockey. With our goalie tandem and some growth and line adjustments in the forward group, things are good in Van. I’m really looking forward to what they will do with a pretty tough schedule in November.

      • wojohowitz

        Check out Craig Buttons tweet on the Karjala Cup Tourney coming up in November. Tryamkin makes the team and has a chance to make the Olympics. Shirokov is another one on the roster which is interesting if the Canucks still hold his rights as he could be another Rodin – go home, grow up and then come back.

  • Killer Marmot

    If the Canucks play most of their games like this for the rest of the season, they can legitimately be in the contention for a Wildcard spot for most of the season. I don’t think that’s likely or even in the team’s best long-term interests.

    A sports franchise must constantly balance the long term with the short term. The correct call here is to make a run at the playoffs without trading away draft picks or young players for older players in order to so.

    This will give the fans some excitement and put bums in seats, which what a sports team is supposed to do. And it will put some cash in the owners’ pockets, which will make them more inclined to continue investing in the club.

    • Doodly Doot

      Three cheers to that! I understand the need for that (depth) signing, but Green is proving to be counted on to consistently do the rational thing and assign minutes according to ability (Sedins!) to help the team win… not to ‘try’ to prevent the team from losing.

      A guy like Megna, who seems to be a good hard working dude, is useful to plug holes (in the NHL and AHL) this year and perhaps even next, but with sharp young speedy ‘tenacious’ prospects coming soon (Lockwood, Gaudette) that will disolve. These are the guys for whom Megna seems to be place-holding this season. Chap is not long for a change of venue. Best of luck to him. Seems most of the ire he gets is all on Willie’s insistence to deploy the heck out of him. Crazy pants times are over!

  • Rodeobill

    I think part of the defensive credit this season so far should also go to the forwards. In the last few years we have been hemmed in our own zone for a never-ending purgatory of shifts, periods and games. Our forecheck is much better this year by the looks of it, and perhaps the forwards getting open for outlet passes. I’m sure Green’s new systems help too, but that shut down line sure seems to spend alot of time in the offensive zone which takes pressure off our D and goalies. The team’s numbers would really look different this year so far without that line. Kinda genius actually, if we can’t build a team around a superstar first line, build a super shut down line.