Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
“The law,” as Mr. Bumble so aptly put it in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, “is a ass — a idiot.”
In this case, we are not talking about 17th-century English law, the part that supposed that a man’s wife acted under his direction at all times. (“If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor,” Bumble lamented.)
We are, today, addressing the law of the National Hockey League, under which “direction” is a fluid concept, written in chalk, designed to be heavily underlined and accompanied by a stern finger-wag, or erased, according to the wind direction.
Case in point: Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler, pursuing a puck behind the Phoenix Coyotes’ net Thursday night, finds goalie Mike Smith is in the process of playing it. Edler barges into him from behind, knocking the goalie flat, touching off a minor brouhaha as the Coyotes, quite reasonably, rush to their ’keeper’s defence.
if you missed the hit last night, watch it here...
Daniel Sedin did return to the game, Mike Smith was replaced by Jason Labarbera at the start of the 3rd period.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
In the aftermath of the Vancouver Canucks’ win on Tuesday night, it was gently suggested to Henrik Sedin that it’s not necessarily a good thing he has almost as many goals as his brother.
The Canucks captain thought about this for a moment, nodded his head in the affirmative, then dissected Daniel’s slump as neatly as he dissects the opposition’s defence.
“He needs to play in a very un-Swedish way,” Henrik said.
Do you mean selfishly, his interrogator suggested.
“Exactly. That’s when he’s at his best. You saw after he scored that goal I was open but he faked a shot and went through his legs. It’s great to watch and it builds up the guys around him.
“When you’re a goal scorer and you don’t score goals, it’s tough. You saw after he scored he started to make plays the way he used to.”
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Sometimes you just get “The Feeling” about a team. That perhaps, this is just not its time.
Or, when you are Alain Vigneault, that this might be the end of your time. In Vancouver, at least.
The Vancouver Canucks have gone blah. Meh…
Watching them used to be must-see TV on a West Coast start after the kids have gone to bed. But that was back when they used to score tic-tac-toe goals, throwing it around on the power play like the Harlem Globetrotters.
Today, the only one in Van City with a ball eternally spinning on the tip of the finger is general manager Mike Gillis, who hasn’t been able to find his deal for a goaltender. We applaud his dogged patience, but it has left Vigneault with a Top 6 player dressed in goalie pads and a baseball cap at the end the bench every night, and a wonky team save percentage of .905.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Right now this group seems incapable of helping itself. Minus Kesler to give them a second unit to threaten offensively five-on-five and make the first power play unit effective, they can’t score enough to play the style they were designed to play, yet aren’t getting the goaltending to win the 2-1 games. They can’t even win a faceoff these days with the bogus centres they have, the team constantly starting without the puck.
“I thought we actually played a pretty solid 60-minute game,” said captain Henrik Sedin, admitting faceoffs were a problem, “but when the power play isn’t going and you start every shift without the puck and you’re chasing it makes it tougher to get some offence going.”
How long this wait will last remains to be seen but it’s becoming increasingly clear the team accountants should at least be easing off on their projections when it comes to playoff revenues this year.
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
When you think Vancouver and millionaires and Stanley Cup finals, who comes to mind?
Seems fitting that the Canucks’ $64-million man, Roberto Luongo, and his team will be wearing the awesome Vancouver Millionaires throwback uniforms on Saturday as the team hosts the Detroit Red Wings.
The Vancouver Millionaires, who wore maroon and ironically got paid dirt, won the 1915 Stanley Cup, sweeping the (barely) pre-Alfredsson Ottawa Senators in a best-of-five.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
It must come as some comfort to the faithful that, in addition to global warming and the national debt, Alain Vigneault is solely responsible for the Vancouver Canucks’ recent troubles.
That simplifies things, doesn’t it? Remove Vigneault, and you’ve removed the Canucks’ problems. Remove Vigneault and the juggernaut general manager Mike Gillis has assembled will be unleashed. It’s a nice, neat answer to a difficult question, and sometimes we like it that way.
In this case, it’s also as credible as an Elvis sighting.
If you’re honest, the Canucks, as they’re currently constructed, are exactly where they should be in the Western Conference standings. They are part of a large, amorphous mass which is everyone except Chicago and Anaheim. When they get top-notch goaltending or dominating performances by the Sedins or their power play is cooking, they are probably better than most. If they slip in any of those areas, as they have recently, they struggle.
This notion that the Canucks are a powerhouse, however, is absurd and you don’t have to look any farther than the depth chart at centre ice to understand why.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Well, we had warned hockey fans that a short, compacted season would be full of surprises and to expect the unexpected.
But whether you would have believed us before the puck dropped this season that a midseason matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets would feature a club in disarray, having won only three times in 12 games, against a red-hot squad with five straight wins, well, I think we all know which club you have guessed was which.
That Tuesday night’s encounter in Columbus in fact pits the streaking Jackets hosting the slumping Canucks, well, I guess that just goes to prove a 48-game season is indeed open to almost anything.
So you might as well believe this, too, that if the Jackets beat the Canucks in regulation Tuesday night, they’ll only be two points behind them in the jam-jar standings of the West.
What in the wild, wild, world of sports is going on, you say?
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
This is NOT an attempt to stir up a new round of Roberto Luongo-to-Toronto rumours. Honest. Just spitballing, noodling on a scrap of paper, so everyone relax.
Just thinking, however, that nobody's fooling anybody here anymore. Vancouver, falling in the Western Conference standings, needs help at positions more than they need a backup goalie with a $5.333 cap hit. The Leafs, meanwhile, may like James Reimer, but he's not as good as Luongo and may never be.
The landscape seems ripe for a deal. Vancouver obviously has no other serious suitors. The Leafs are in a solid playoff position now but know that could slip away, and the goaltending was iffy last week.
Tyler Bozak seems to be the element that could work for Vancouver, although he's UFA in July. Otherwise, the Canucks know they're not getting a top pick or prospect for Luongo in any deal unless they include other elements. Would they move a player like Zack Kassian along with Luongo, if they could get a player like Jake Gardiner back along with Bozak?
Again, just spitballing here. That's NOT a trade rumour.
more plus other hockey notes...
A CBC report and a little bizarre to me...
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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