Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Now what? Head coach Alain Vigneault has tried benching players, demoted players, put his top forwards on the bottom line.
He has coddled and he has carved his team.
We are all still waiting for some sort of response.
Heck, a heartbeat or two would do right now.
Luongo showed his rust right away when he was beat on the first shot he faced.
He crossed himself up going post-to-post and looked as awkward as you will ever see him when the little-known Joakim Lindstrom tucked the puck between his legs.
Goaltender Curtis Sanford cleared waivers on Thursday and has been sent to Manitoba of the AHL
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Demitra scored once, fired three shots and finished with a plus-1 effort in the 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. He did it with a bruised ego and an effort that has often gone missing with just three goals and six points in his last 14 outings. That’s not what the Canucks coughed up $8 million US for in a two-year deal for the unrestricted free agent. Thats why he started on the fourth line with Darcy Hordichuk and Ryan Johnson against the Devils. And maybe that was the big wake-up call Demitra has needed—even though he was peeved at the process.
“Obviously, I wasn’t happy about it,” said Demitra. “But you have to get focus, get mad and be ready to play. Mats was the reason I came here, because of the rumours during the summer that he was going to be here. All my life, I was playing with one guy all year, and Mats is going to make hockey so easy.
“He has shown for many years that he’s a top player in the league because he’s got that big body and he’s tough to get a puck from. He has great vision and can find you—so it’s going to be nice to play with a guy like that. And you just need to get chemistry going….”
Curtis Sanford appears to be the odd man out among Vancouver’s goaltenders, as the Canucks placed him on waivers Wednesday.
CKNW in Vancouver reports that Sanford, who shared the goaltending duties with Jason Labarbera and Cory Schneider with Roberto Luongo on the shelf, will be sent to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL and the Canucks will try to accomodate a trade for him if he goes unclaimed.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
A couple of things after a 5-3 Vancouver loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, a game that was signed and sealed with a 3-0 Jersey lead after one period.
1) The Canucks looked like a team that wanted to get its coach fired. And Alain Vigneault sounded like he did at the end of last season, when his job was on the line following seven losses in the last eight games, which kept Vancouver out of the playoffs….
2) The Canucks are in a stretch that may get general manager Mike Gillis looking to make a move earlier than the trade deadline. (Gillis might do that anyway because he is not in the least a conventional guy who is going to be bound by an arbitrary date of March 4.)
Two names to watch: Atlanta defenceman Mathieu Schneider and Islanders forward Doug Weight.
from Ben Kuzma of Canucks Nation at the Vancouver Province,
Roberto Luongo pushed hard to convince the coaching staff he should play Tuesday. He should have pushed harder. Much harder.
On a night when the Vancouver Canucks needed great goaltending, an air-tight defence and turnover-free forays through the neutral zone to avoid feeding the transition monster New Jersey Devils, they often looked lost in their own zone and simply waited much too long to force the issue offensively in a 5-3 loss at GM Place….
Where was the early resolve to turn around too many horror shows on home ice? Where was the early leadership? Where was the early goaltending?
more on the Canucks loss to the Devils…
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
In Monday’s practice, Demitra was dropped to the fourth line where he skated with Ryan Johnson and Darcy Hordichuk. By the sound of Vigneault, it seems there’s a good chance Demitra could draw fourth-line duty tonight when the Canucks play host to the New Jersey Devils.
“He has been given quite a few minutes here and I really gave him quite a few chances,” Vigneault said. “For me, if you are not getting points but you are getting scoring chances, that’s a different thing. There’s not much going on there right now.”
Vigneault is particularly disturbed by his team’s play at home. After weathering a difficult start, which saw the Canucks play 19 of their first 30 games on the road, most expected Vancouver to make hay at home.
from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver Canuck superstar goalie Roberto Luongo will partake in a full team practice on Monday and appears set to return to game action this week.
Luongo survived a rigourous 75-minute workout run by goalie coach Ian Clark today at GM Place.
Seven players took shots on Luongo in a variety of drills designed specifically to test his injured groin.
“I pounded it pretty hard and the groin is feeling fine,” said Luongo. “We pretty much explored everything today. There were some broken plays where you kind of had to react and kick your leg out and be in a bit of a vulnerable position and I didn’t have any problems. So that’s really encouraging. I’m really happy with the way things went.”
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
“It felt like its the second game of the season, you know. I didn’t expect to feel any different than I have these first two games,” said Sundin, interrupting a post-game bicycle workout to accommodate the media in the hallway.
“There’s still a lot of work to do, in terms of timing and all that. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs as we go along, but it’s nice in a way to get a chance to play right away again [tonight, against San Jose.]”
“It is going to take time, and we’re going to be talking about this for a while,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “There’s a reason why training camps are three weeks minimum, and it’s to get in game alertness, game shape, game speed, game execution—and Mats doesn’t have that.
“He’s been working extremely hard, and we hope that he’s going to be able to reach the pace of the NHL in a reasonable amount of time.”
Emails streamed in overnight, claiming Mitchell should be suspended for his hit on Gilbert last night.
Watch and listen to what Gilbert thinks of the hit. End of story!
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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.
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