2Cheers and Jeers!
Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Cheers and Jeers: January 22nd

The Canucks returned from their bye week, and they matched their two-game win streak going into it with a two-game losing streak coming out of it.

There are some reasons for optimism though. Most notable among them is the fact that the Canucks are getting healthy again. That, and Jacob Markstrom seems to be getting his season back on track.

The playoff? Well, they’re still out of sight if we’re being honest with ourselves. But this team can at least hang in there most nights if they keep on this current trajectory. That counts for something, right?

Cheers to Bo Horvat’s return to the lineup following a month-plus absence from the Canucks lineup due to a bone break in his ankle suffered in a December 5th game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Without Horvat, the Canucks have won four of a possible 19 games in that span, so clearly, Horvat’s absence was felt.

Jeers to the Canucks ongoing crisis of usage on the blue line. Ben Hutton and Derrick Pouliot have had to sit way, way more games than is reasonable at this stage. Even with Erik Gudbranson dealing with back spasms, there wasn’t room for Hutton, who sat for the Canucks Sunday night match against the Winnipeg Jets.

This is just getting absurd. By no stretch of the imagination has Michael Del Zotto (or Gudbranson, for that matter) been better than Pouliot or Hutton, but the coach doesn’t only play Del Zotto in every game — he plays him like a top four defenceman! This just makes absolutely no sense to me.

Cheers to the CHL Top Prospects game in Guelph, Ontario this Friday. I started following this mid-season showcase when it was in Vancouver, and I’ve been hooked since. It’s a negligible sample of just the one game, but it’s usually alright hockey and a good chance to see some of the players that should figure heavily in the draft discussion around June.

Jeers to the injury to Gudbranson that could serve to undermine the Canucks effort to recuperate some value on the rugged, stay-at-home defender at the trade deadline. Apparently, he’s just going through back spasms, so it doesn’t sound too serious. But losing the ability to trade him at the deadline would just be so Canucks, wouldn’t it?

Cheers to a Jack Rathbone highlight! The indispensable Canucks prospect .gif machine @NucksWatch was watching one of Rathbone’s games last night and was kind enough to give us a glimpse into why the Canucks drafted in the fourth-round of last year’s draft. We’ve heard about his offensive instincts and his skating ability. Yesterday, we saw that he could hit, too — albeit, against a teenager.