Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
If you thought Edler had a brain-dead season this year — coughing up the puck and playing soft for a man of his tremendous physical abilities — you will be pleased to know that he at least tried to hit somebody in this one. Unfortunately for the Carolina Hurricanes and Eric Staal, it was a ridiculously lame hit on the Canadian forward’s knee in the first period of Thursday’s 3-2 Sweden victory. Edler got a major penalty and was ejected from the game, and rightfully so. Loads of people on Twitter joined the condemnation of the hit.
Staal went down as though he’d had his leg sawed off and if he doesn’t have a serious knee injury that will keep him out a long while, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Edler threw his stick in frustration as he left the ice, and whether he was upset with himself or the call isn’t known. The bonehead play certainly gives Canucks fans pause to ponder just where this guy’s career is going — given he hasn’t made a zot of progress under this coaching staff.
There have been suggestions that general manager Mike Gillis should move Edler before his new no-trade clause kicks in — and suggestions that this won’t be happening, because the organization promised they wouldn’t do that when they convinced him to take a hometown discount to remain with the club. So in all probability, the Canucks will try to keep their reputation as an honourable organization, and keep their word by keeping the player. But they’d better figure out a way to get this kid some help if they ever want to see any benefit from their $30-million investment.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When Mike Gillis said all those good things about Alain Vigneault at his Thursday press conference, there is absolutely no question he meant every one of them, and when the coach is fired, it won’t mean there’s been any change to those feelings — it just means it’s time for a change.
In fact, it’s long, long overdue, and the only reason Vigneault coached here and not in Montreal this season is because Gillis felt strongly he should continue.
There have been reports he refused to sign his own contract extension unless the organization was going to renew Vigneault at the same time, though Gillis denied that Thursday. But ownership has been sour on the coach now for some time, so when the move is made, nobody should feel the coach is being maligned or put upon.
It turns out the ownership was right, and among mistakes Gillis has made, this is one he’s almost certain never to repeat — wait too long on a coach.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks, it seems, are trying to win with a game that’s no longer played in the NHL. This game is based on speed, skill, execution and precision, and while these are noble virtues, they’re no longer effective or necessary in the NHL. This is a sad development for the game, and if Gary Bettman and the league’s other stewards could stop counting their profits long enough to notice it, there’s a chance something might be done.
But that’s also another story for another time. On this day, the relevant theme concerns the Canucks and how they got in this predicament.
For the second year in a row, the Canucks were eliminated by a team that might not have been as flashy but were bigger, heavier and tougher. This showed up in a hundred ways but, mostly, it was apparent in the hockey’s principal war zones where the game has traditionally been won and lost.
“When I die, I want the Vancouver Canucks to be my pallbearers. So they can let me down one last time.”
-a tweet from a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, via Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail where you can read an article on the heroes who are beginning to appear in the playoffs.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Agree whole-heartedly with the under-current around the Vancouver Canucks’ shocking playoff ouster to the San Jose Sharks in four games: trade goalie Cory Schneider and keep Roberto Luongo in net, and try to rebuild on the fly. You’ll get stocking stuffers for Luongo with the $40.6 million left on his contract; you’ll get a couple of young bodies for Schneider, who is only 27.
Luongo is almost untradeable unless the Canucks pick up a whack of his salary. Schneider wouldn’t be. Call up GM Paul Holmgren in Philly, who certainly isn’t tied to Ilya Bryzgalov,32, in net; maybe the owner Ed Snider is because he’d have to buy him out at two-thirds of the $34.5 million left over seven years, but the Flyers, always looking for goalies, would jump at Schneider, who has $8.5 million left over the next two seasons.
Would the Flyers trade centre Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier to get him? Absolutely. What if the Canucks held out for a young forward like Matt Read too. I don’t think they’d trade winger Wayne Simmonds, Holmgren’s favourite player or Jake Voracek, who had 46 points, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
The Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks in OT with a goal by Patrick Marleau on the power play.
Many questions will now be asked regarding the Canucks.
Update from George: Here's the series-winning goal...
And the Vancouver Province asked several questions about the Canucks' future:
from David Ebner of the Globe and Mail,
Up Robson Street, the sidewalk was crowded. The Canucks Team Store, near Bute Street, was almost empty, four people inside. Three of those were the Adolph family, father Ivan and his wife visiting from Lillooet to see their 25-year-old daughter Ayla, who lives in town. Ivan, a hockey fan, had purchased two white Canucks playoff towels for $5 each. He's a Canucks backer but not wildly fervent and the current situation distresses him.
"Not really right now, just the way they're playing," said Ivan outside the store. He pinned blame on coach Alain Vigneault, and defended goaltender Roberto Luongo. "It's not Lui's fault."
Ayla said the mood of the city is the opposite of June, 2011, when the team nearly won the Cup. "That was a really good time," she said. "Now, nobody cares."
Certainly, fans are not fighting to buy tickets. Demand for Canucks tickets was already weak this spring. While the team claimed a sellout at the 18,910-capacity Rogers Arena for Game 1 last week, there were tickets available on Ticketmaster an hour before the puck dropped. For Game 5 on Thursday this week - if there is a Game 5, should the Sharks not complete the sweep - there were tickets available on Monday, good ones, too, if $411 for a seat in the fifth row seemed like an alluring purchase.
"The interest is nonexistent," said Mario Livich, CEO of ticket broker ShowTimeTickets.com.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When next season begins, the Vancouver Canucks will once again be a strong contender to make the playoffs — and if things go well, perhaps even challenge for the lead at times in their newly realigned environment.
They’ll still have outstanding goaltending, and a decent back end, and general manager Mike Gillis will have done something, anything, to improve this popgun offence which has literally choked the life out of what was once a promising shortened 2013 season.
They’ll still have Ryan Kesler — although who knows in what condition — the deteriorating Sedins, David Booth, Alex Burrows, etc., which is fine for the regular season, and perhaps it might even be refreshing for next year’s team to be free of the weighty illusion that they are Cup contenders.
But really, for management, next year is not the issue.
What they should be trying to do is position this team such that in the very near future it doesn’t become the equivalent of the Calgary Flames.
via Mark Spector tweets,
VAN's Bieksa calls out Couture and Thornton for embellishing calls. "It's a lack of integrity."
Bieksa - “Thornton, another so-called Canadian ... He gets slashed, takes his glove off, shakes his hand."
Bieksa: “Couture has been snapping his head back. This isn’t my opinion. The evidence is in the video.”
More Bieksa: “Those are 2 Canadian guys who are supposed to be playing the game with integrity. Maybe our team has to do more of that.”
added 9:07pm, Want to see the video of Bieksa talking abou the Sharks, watch it below via Sporstnet...
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Cory Schneider's "body injury" has healed. His other wounds, apparently not.
And worst of all, his goal-scoring drought continues.
Schneider, re-inserted as the starting goalie for Game 3 by coach Alain Vigneault for no other reason than because he thought it was the right thing to do, was lit up for three early third-period goals - two of them by the amazing Logan Couture - to seal the Vancouver Canucks' fate, both for the evening and for another abbreviated Stanley Cup playoff run. Perhaps "run" isn't the right word.
Because, of course, they are done now. Down 3-0 in the series, with Game 4 here at HP Pavilion on Tuesday, they don't look remotely able - certainly not mentally - to handle what the San Jose Sharks are throwing at them.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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