Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks have nine forwards in double digits in goals, two more at nine and another at eight, meaning they could have 12 forwards with at least 10 goals by the end of the season. You don’t think of the Canucks as an offensive juggernaut, but they’ve already scored more goals this season (197) than they did all of last season (196).
“It’s the four lines,” Hansen says. “(Desjardins) wants us to be a deep team. John’s thing was we have to win this game, then we’ll worry about the next game. He played some guys too much and didn’t trust the fourth line as much.”
“Maybe last year guys felt they didn’t need to show up because they were going to play for seven minutes,” says Henrik Sedin. “You can’t win that way.”
When they’re at their best, the Canucks also play with a speed and creativity that were completely missing last season. Bieksa says there’s more freedom this season. Desjardins also coaches with a lighter hand than his predecessor.
“He’s able to relate to guys in different ways,” Bieksa says. “He has a feel for the team.”
Which isn’t to say it’s Club Med around the Canucks. Desjardins doesn’t practise a lot but, when he does, he means business. The Canucks’ sessions are fast and demanding. Last season under Torts, not so much and the players believe that’s honed the team’s edge.
The Vancouver Canucks will likely be heading into the playoffs without their top goaltender.
According to TSN's Farhan Lalji, Ryan Miller will not start skating for at least three weeks which means by the time he is ready to return to game action, the team could be into the first round of the playoffs.
The 34-year-old Miller suffered a lower-body injury in late February when teammate Jannik Hansen crashed into him. The original timeline for the injury was 4-6 weeks. In his first year with the Canucks Miller has appeared in 44 games with a 28-15-1 record, a 2.47 goals against average, and a .913 save percentage.
All expectations now are that should the Canucks make the playoffs, Eddie Lack will be in net to start.
Kerry Frase of TSN answers an email...
In the Ducks-Canucks game, Patrick Maroon was going to take a tripping call. He turned to Kassian and said "let's go" as Kassian had been encouraging him to fight for 3 games. Maroon then quickly threw his stick down with a 'fake" gloves drop and then he put his hands over his ears and turned his back until he felt a punch, then he dropped the gloves and "drew" the even up call. Yes a good play on his part.....if you think all diving/embellishing is an acceptable play.
But my question is why do the refs fall for that? And do they like being shown up when they see it on replay? Should he get fined by the NHL for embellishment?
Turning to engage and invite an opponent to fight and then 'turtle' is definitely a form of embellishment that, in my opinion, is definitely worthy of a fine. A player that resorts to this in this type of unmanly behavior is doing so purely for the purpose of attempting to draw a penalty. A minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and/or misconduct penalty for "inciting" can also be imposed to a player that is guilty of this form of conduct (Rule 75.4 iii & v).
We shouldn't just focus our attention on Patrick Maroon here for his successful attempt to draw Zack Kassian into incurring a penalty. The game footage shows that Maroon turned and said something to Kassian, faced the Vancouver player and did drop his stick prior to using his gloves as ear-muffs. This was an absolute 'dumb' penalty for Zach Kassian to incur and negate a Canuck power play when Maroon was being whistled for tripping Henrik Sedin.
read on and watch the incident below...
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
The Sharks (32-26-8, 72 points) remain four points behind Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division and an automatic playoff berth, and six behind the second-place Canucks. The Kings are in fourth with 75 points, and each of those division rivals has a game in hand on San Jose, which fell to just 15-15-5 at home.
It’s not looking good.
“It’s painful because it’s a team we’re chasing in the standings,” Wingels said. “These opportunities, there’s not too many more of these. They slip away.”
Joe Pavelski said: “It was our biggest game to date. We got the start we want and we get the lead, and we give it away slowly. We can be better than that.”
Watch the game highlights below...
from Ryan Kesler at The Players' Tribune,
I wanted a trade out of Vancouver this offseason for several reasons. That’s no disrespect to the fans, my teammates, or Canucks ownership, but I think both sides needed a change. I’ve got three kids at home; I just wanted a more normal life for them away from the rink. Playing in Canada can be a fishbowl not just for players but for families, too. That said, this was really hard. I know you read that all the time, but Vancouver was my home since I was 19. I grew up with Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, and the Sedins. These guys will always be my close friends. One day you wake up and you realize, Wow, I’m really leaving my buddies. It’s weird because I spent all summer preparing for a move, but when I actually got the call from my agent that I was headed to Anaheim, a little bit of anxiety rushed in.
My first thought was: Sunshine. Shorts and flip flops. Nice.
My second thought was: Getzlaf and Perry. Interesting.
Then came a rush of really complicated thoughts: How am I going to tell my 6-year-old daughter that she has to say goodbye to her best friends? What happens with my Canadian bank account? How do those taxes work? Where do I live? How do you even move furniture and stuff?
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
If the Vancouver Canucks have demonstrated one trait over their 45 years — it is this.
They will never, ever let their following get comfortable with their success. If we'd forgotten about that during their modest run of the last couple of weeks, it came rushing back in one hideous evening against the NHL's worst team.
It wasn't just that the Canucks lost to the Buffalo Sabres. It's that they surrendered six goals (including an empty-netter) to a team that had scored 20 fewer goals than any other NHL team. It's that they gave up two goals, including the game-winner, to Torrey Mitchell, who hadn't scored in 28 games. It's that they were unprofessional and unprepared from the first minute, when Yannick Weber took the game's only penalty — to the last minute, when Eddie Lack served up the insurance goal on a silver platter.
How do you explain this one? You can't, but isn't that always the beauty of the Canucks.
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller will be sidelined four to six weeks while he recovers from a lower-body injury, general manager Jim Benning confirmed to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on Wednesday..
Miller left Sunday night's game against the New York Islanders with an apparent leg injury sustained early in the second period of his team's 4-0 victory.
Jim Benning, GM of the Canucks says sprained knee for Miller, 4-6 weeks.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The storylines continue to change on a daily basis. Is Zack Kassian the new triplet? Is Eddie Lack the new starting goalie? Are they buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?
But amid all the intrigue one thing remains constant for the Vancouver Canucks this season — they’re winning a lot more than they’re losing, and with the finish line now in sight, they still sit in a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Sunday afternoon on Long Island, the Canucks started the game without six players who were in their opening night lineup, then lost goalie Ryan Miller early in the second period and they still bounced the New York Islanders 4-0, who were sitting in second place in the East when the day began.
The offence? Naturally it was led by Kassian — who couldn’t get out of the press box last week and now has three goals in two games while playing with the Sedins — and the unlikely pair of 19-year-old Bo Horvat and Latvian rookie Ronalds Kenins.
The defence? Naturally they were without three of their top four, then lost Luca Sbisa for much of the third period and still blanked the NHL’s second-ranked offence with Miller and Eddie Lack combining for the rare tag-team shutout.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com