Kukla's Korner Hockey
... They (Vancouver Canucks) probably need a dozen victories in their final 16 games — starting Monday against the upset-minded New York Islanders — just to squeeze into the playoffs. If they don't, the rear-view mirror of failure will be full of several faces because winning solves everything. Losing solves nothing and exposes everything.
-Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province where you can read more on the Canucks.
Brian McGrattan scores the only goal for the Flames in a 2-1 loss to the Canucks.
The Hotstove last night talked about the Kovalchuk circumvention, taking back money in trades, the Vancouver Caucks and Wild GM Cliff Fletcher getting a contract extension.
Here is the suspension video...
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
They can’t score. And now they can’t defend or maintain discipline. What’s next?
Following a morning video session in which the Vancouver Canucks were shown 65 of the 150 goals they’ve managed to score this season to pump them up mentally, they couldn’t physically handle the speed and skill of the Dallas Stars in a listless 6-1 loss Thursday that bordered on a complete no-show.
No life. No emotion. And certainly no playoffs. With all those odd-man rushes, it had the smell of a coach- killer because it looked like the players had quit.
“I don’t believe that in that room,” said Canucks coach John Tortorella. “Are they fragile? Sure. I still think we have the people who can help us pull through this. Sure, it’s worrisome. We get pinned against the wall right away with two goals that are really just bad reads. We can’t get focused on the lack of scoring and not make simple reads. The only thing we push is to come to work every day to get better. That’s the only way or you can crawl into a fetal position and hope it goes away.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
President Cam Neely told 98.5 The Sports Hub the Bruins had a deal in principle for a player with term remaining on his contract. That trade was shelved, Neely said, because another deal did not happen.
According to a team source, the Bruins’ trade fizzled because an expected transaction between Vancouver and Pittsburgh failed to take place.
The Penguins had been pursuing Ryan Kesler. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Penguins were offering Brandon Sutter, first- and third-round picks, and a defensive prospect.
Once the Canucks moved Kesler to Pittsburgh, they would have proceeded with their trade with the Bruins. The Bruins’ target could not be confirmed. But it’s likely they were targeting smooth-moving left-shot defenseman Alex Edler.
The NHL has announced Zack Kassian of the Vancouver Canucks will have a hearing today for this hit on Brenden Dillon of the Dallas Stars. I do believe it is hearing via a phone call.
Kassian received 5 for boarding and a game, the Canucks lost 6-1.
via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
On the Brendan Dillon injury (Lindy Ruff):
“I was relieved to get him back. It was definitely a shot from behind. Those are tough hits and the best retribution is make the other team play on the power play. He didn’t come from a long way but Dillon was in a bad position when he got hit.”
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
So having the Panthers take Luongo on Tuesday in exchange for what might be a little something or a lot of nothing was at best a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, the albatross of a contract is gone, or all but $800,000 or so a year. The public relations nightmare that Luongo was becoming, through no fault of his own, is gone. And the ever-present doubt about what would become of the Canucks, with Luongo in net again once the playoffs started, is gone.
On the other hand, though, the playoffs might be gone, too, and not just this year.
That is the upshot of one of the most grievously mishandled talent surpluses hockey has ever seen: it is now rebuilding time in Vancouver. The days of contending for championships are in the past, and whether they’ll return in the middle-to-distant future depends on whether this organization has the savvy to assemble the right pieces to forestall a steep decline.
It has not shown anything like that ability since the nucleus players from previous administrations began to tumble down the far side of the hill.
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.
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