Kukla's Korner Hockey
Calgary scored the go-ahead goal one second after the minor had been killed.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
It's hard to know when the forces of evil kidnapped the Western Conference and held it for ransom in Jacques Lemaire's basement. The L.A. Kings Stanley Cup victory? Maybe. But, long before the Kings hoisted the chalice, the darkness had already taken hold in St. Louis, in Nashville, in Phoenix, in Minnesota.
The erosion of the Detroit Red Wings? That might have had more to do with it. When the Wings were winning, there was still the idea that you could have success with speed and skill. When they began to deteriorate, it became easier to align yourself with Satan.
But, however it happened, make no mistake this is the world in which the Vancouver Canucks now find themselves in the West. It is a violent world. It's an unforgiving world. And the only way to have success in that world is to be as mean and ugly as the cloven-hooved opposition.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks seem to have an excess of solid wingers which leaves them the envy of many squads in the NHL but after Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler, who showed again last night he's still a formidable player even while trying to comeback from a series of injuries, there isn't a lot in the way of offensive thrust in the middle throughout the rest of the organization.
The excess of wingers mentioned above brings you to the Zack Kassian problem. As it stands at this point, he's simply not playing enough unless you consider 6:52 on the fourth line sufficient for a guy who was tied for the club lead in goals until last weekend. While he was a star on the top line with the Sedin twins and has looked promising at times alongside Ryan Kesler, he was minus-2 last night in the few moments he played with Lapierre and Dale Weise leaving you wondering what kind of player they expect him to be.
If they want a Milan Lucic, don't play him like Guillaume Desbiens. He's big, he can skate and handle the puck, pass and handle the heavy going yet the team seems to prefer the struggling David Booth or steadier but more predictable Jannik Hansen in the offensive situations. But the great Dane's always invaluable contributions to this team have almost always come from his gritty work on the third line, not playing alongside Henrik and Kesler.
Brendan Shanahan explains the cause of the suspension, an illegal forearm to the head.
Early twitter talk is some calling it a collision with both players reaching for the puck, others say hea dshot.
Hansen received 2 for roughing.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
There are 25 other NHL teams who'd kill to have the Canucks' problems but, for this team, the issue this season is the same as it's been for the last four seasons.
They're good, but are they good enough to win the Stanley Cup?
You know they're close and, this half-season, they've addressed some big areas of concern. They're about to add David Booth to their lineup, which makes them deeper than the teams of 2009 through 2012. They're also bigger and tougher, and there is still the tantalizing prospect of what a goalie trade might bring.
But, for everything that's changed about the Orcans, there's still something about them that makes you wonder. Is Alain Vigneault the coach who can bring out the best in this team? Is Mike Gillis the GM who can make the killer move that puts them over the top? Are Henrik and Daniel Sedin exceptional regular-season players but lacking the stuff of a Cup champion? Is Ryan Kesler really the player we saw in 2010-11 or was that simply a career year?
It's the same for virtually every member of this organization. They're good but are they good enough? The Canucks have four tough road games coming up over the next six days against teams from the Central Division. It won't tell the whole story of their season but it will tell us a lot about this team.
Herb Dawe did.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Vigneault said he has Kesler in the lineup, on the second line, on the team’s first power-play unit, and will need him to pick up the faceoff slack left by Manny Malhotra, who was, well, told to go home.
Is that all? Good luck with managing those minutes.
Kesler said he wouldn’t come back unless he’s 100 per cent. So, he must be ready to reprise his role as the team’s heart and soul. Right?
He doesn’t plan to change the way he plays, either. You know, the often daring-but-reckless, gutsy-but-risky style that, when he’s on, can look like he’s driving a stock car and taking turns just a little too fast.
It’s made him oh-so productive when he’s healthy, but oh-so disappointing when he’s injured. Quite the quandary. But Kesler said he doesn’t see any other way.
“The way I play is the reason I’m successful,” Kesler said. “I’m not one of those guys who is going to get by on their skill alone. I have to be one of the hardest-working guys out there.”
Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks announced today that centre Manny Malhotra has been placed on Injured Reserve and will miss the remainder of the 2012.13 NHL season.
“The long term health of Manny Malhotra is of utmost importance to our organization,” said Michael D. Gillis, President and General Manager, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. “Throughout his career Manny has showcased his indispensability through skilled play, being a consummate professional and leader in the room while also continuously giving back to the community. Manny will continue to be a valued member of our organization.”
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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