Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/16/14 at 09:27 AM ET
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Canucks ticked off seven straight losses to stagger into the Olympic break. They are in 10th place in the Western Conference, 1 point behind No. 8 Dallas. The Canucks might have to get familiar with this type of gear-grinding.
Injuries have rocked the Canucks. The pre-break limpers included Henrik Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, Mike Santorelli, and Andrew Alberts.
But good teams absorb injuries. Good players pull the rope. Depth players assume bigger roles. Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Boston, and Tampa Bay have been banged up. They’re still among their conferences’ best. The Canucks are graying at the wrong time. The Sedins are 33. Their four-year extensions start next season. Their most productive days are over.
That wouldn’t be a problem if the Canucks had young players rising, layers to their roster structure, and flexibility to make deals. Entry-level players such as Jordan Schroeder and Zack Kassian aren’t consistent NHL players yet. Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk, and Brendan Gaunce, their top prospects, are teenagers.
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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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