Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: kevin bieksa
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
“I still believe in our group. I trust the twins are going to come here and be ready. (Defenceman Dan Hamhuis) will be hungrier than ever. We have a lot of pride on this team, a lot of integrity, and we’re not happy about what happened last year. I think we’re all going to look in the mirror and come back motivated. I’m excited about this year.”
After an offseason in which the organization was taken down to the studs, so are a lot of people. But it’s a funny thing.
For all the changes made to the Canucks this summer — and that was everything except the drapes and carpeting — the team’s fortunes are still very much tied to a group of players who’ve been together for almost a decade. The Canucks are younger. They should be deeper. There’s a new president, a new GM and a new coach, to say nothing of a new goaltending tandem and a new second-line centre.
But, for all that, this team will still go as far as the Sedins, Bieksa, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler and Hamhuis (admittedly a late-comer to the Founders’ Club) can carry them. The look will be different. The supporting cast will be different. But the core group, at least at the start of the season, will be the same.
The Vancouver Canucks will be without defenceman Kevin Bieksa for at least the next five games with an undisclosed injury.
Canucks acting head coach Mike Sullivan said the 32-year-old won't be going with the team on their upcoming road trip meaning he's out until at least after the Olympic break.
The eight-year veteran has three points in his last three games and 19 in 55 games this season. He played more than 23 minutes in Vancouver's loss to Chicago on Wednesday.
On the losing end of a 5-2 score to the New York Rangers, Bieksa fought Brian Boyle and Boyle's helmet too.
Both received 5 for fighting at the 20 minute mark of the 3rd period.
Hybrid icing has been neither a cure-all nor a disaster.
In instances where there's a race for the puck and a defenseman has a clear advantage heading toward the faceoff dot, he no longer needs to fear someone trying to ram him into the end boards between the dot and the icing line. The play's simply blown dead.
In instances where teams nursing a lead hope to prey upon their opponents' desperation by pursuing iced pucks at Larry Murphy speed, burning clock until they reluctantly touch the puck, and in instances where teams desperate to tie the game find that the "attainable passing" rule's abolishment yields home-run passes that don't click wrecking precious seconds off the clock late in games, they can still "go for it."
via Mark Spector tweets,
VAN's Bieksa calls out Couture and Thornton for embellishing calls. "It's a lack of integrity."
Bieksa - “Thornton, another so-called Canadian ... He gets slashed, takes his glove off, shakes his hand."
Bieksa: “Couture has been snapping his head back. This isn’t my opinion. The evidence is in the video.”
More Bieksa: “Those are 2 Canadian guys who are supposed to be playing the game with integrity. Maybe our team has to do more of that.”
added 9:07pm, Want to see the video of Bieksa talking abou the Sharks, watch it below via Sporstnet...
but it is Bieksa. Listen to the interview, then click the link below the video.
More at The Legion of Blog at the Vancouver Province.
A save to prevent a two goal lead and a goal to tie the game.
Canucks did win in the shootout.
“I don’t think we’ll focus on his shoulder too much — he’s a pretty hard guy to hit. For me, if I can put him though the boards, I’ll do that regardless if he has a sore shoulder or not.”
-Kevin Bieksa of the Vancouver Canucks talking about Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. More on game 5 from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
After all, when Ballard and Hamhuis were acquired, Bieksa looked like the sacrificial salary cap lamb before Sami Salo ruptured an Achilles’ tendon on July 22. Even though his name would surface again in trade debate, Bieksa resolved to remain calm and concentrate on his game. His teammates certainly noticed. Bieksa paired with Andrew Alberts and Aaron Rome on Saturday in a 4-2 win over Calgary and has become the glue on a back end that’s trying to keep from coming unglued. Although not on pace to match his breakout 42-point season in 2006-07, Bieksa has 19 points (6-13) in 55 games and is a better all-round player.
“His high-percentage plays, work ethic and attitude have been team-oriented and he’s been a great model for the younger guys,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “When he was telling people he wasn’t paying attention to what was going on [trade rumours], I think he really meant it. That’s why he could focus.”...
“He’s dealt with a lot of crap the past couple of years with the trade rumours and he was probably not playing his best hockey,” said Kesler. “But he’s been one of our top D-men.”
ESPN captures the moment.
Yes, I had Kesler in the headline instead of Bieksa and now fixed. Told you folks I need to recharge, I could feel it and this proves it.
from Gordon McIntyre of The White Towel,
Kevin Bieksa was 2-0 in fights this season, but he took one on the button in the first period Saturday night and didn’t return to the game.
Tom Kostopoulos, fresh off serving a six-game suspension for breaking the jaw of Detroit defenceman Brad Stuart with a shoulder to the head, was jamming at Roberto Luongo after the Canucks goalie had covered up the puck.
Bieksa and Kostopoulos dropped the gloves, each threw two or three blows that missed, then Kostopoulos connected, buckling Bieksa’s knees.
The Canucks defender looked wobbly and was escorted to the dressing room.
continued and watch the fight below…
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Kevin Bieksa said he believes the Vancouver Canucks deserved a better fate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons.
Back-to-back six-game losses in the Western Conference semifinals, courtesy the Chicago Blackhawks, will do that to one’s psyche. While the results haven’t sat well with the defenseman, Bieksa also feels lessons learned in those losses only will strengthen the group in its pursuit of the big trophy this season.
“Losing when you think you deserve better is a tough thing,” Bieksa told NHL.com.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
The Canucks did entertain moving Bieksa, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $3.75-million, prior to the season, but they kept coming back to one difficult truth. Their team was run out of playoff-quality defencemen in a second straight postseason loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last spring, and trading Bieksa would allow for that possibility again.
That same logic – and Sami Salo’s uncertain return from a ruptured Achilles tendon – still applies heading into next month’s trade deadline, and moreover, Bieksa may have made himself too valuable to trade. (Being Vancouver’s only right-handed defencemen also helps his odds of staying).
The Canucks still must clear salary-cap space, about $1.5-million, to get Salo back on the active roster, but it appears less and less likely that they will move Bieksa to do so.
from Ben Kuzma of The White Towel,
Bieksa hasn’t lost any sleep over the latest rumoured scenario that would see him shipped to Washington for under-achieving Capitals forward Tomas Fleischmann. The upside for the Canucks would be getting something now for the pending unrestricted free agent. The downside is losing a veteran blueliner, risking another injury on the back end and leaving the Canucks with only Sami Salo as a right-hand shot. And there’s no guarantee how well Salo will perform when he eventually recovers from a ruptured Achilles suffered July 22. Add it all up and Bieksa is amused by it all.
“I think it’s hilarious,” said Bieksa. “It’s funny how you guys keep throwing my name out there and I’m still standing here. I don’t think I can comment on every rumour that’s out there, but certainly with his one, I’m still here today and that’s all I can say. Rumours are out there and I’ve had my fair share. I’ve learned to deal with it and it doesn’t bother me.”
Tonight, the Canadiens take on the Senators in Ottawa, perhaps still recovering from their 3-0 loss at the hands of New Jersey on Thursday. The Canadiens looked terrible against the Devils, going long stretches without a shot as New Jersey invoked pre-lockout hockey to shut down any offence the Habs could muster. Sure, the Devils were helped by the inane refereeing of Stéphane Auger, but the Canadiens themselves were to fault on Thursday as they failed to put forth the effort needed to beat Martin Brodeur.
As an aside, Brodeur did make some fantastic saves, but so did Carey Price. With an average goaltender, the Habs may have lost 6-0. It was that one sided at times.
So, while the Habs prepare for the Sens, a few questions linger from Thursday:
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks will still look at trading Bieksa. But they aren’t in a rush. It’s moved the betting line. People are beginning to see there remains a good chance now Bieksa will start the season with Vancouver. There are a number of reasons why.
The trade market is barren (see Tomas Kaberle). The Canucks have some flexibility under the salary cap with both Alex Burrows and Salo expected to start the season on injured reserve.
Bieksa is the Canucks only healthy defencemen, among eight, with a right-handed shot. Losing him now would begin to unravel Gillis’s nearly single-minded pursuit this offseason — to get better and deeper on defence.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The problem with Bieksa is that Vancouver needs good, young cheap players or draft picks because they are close to the salary cap and they cannot take salary back. Bieksa has one year left at $3.75 million, so the Stars would have to be able to fit in Bieksa, move out one of their current defensemen, and give up some prospects.
I just don’t know how you make that work on their current budget, or if it’s worth it to get one year of Bieksa.
from Ben Kuzma of the White Towel at the Vancouver Province,
The Anaheim Ducks are doing more than kicking the tires on Kevin Bieksa. They’re checking the sticker price.
If the Ducks are willing to part with a draft pick and a prospect, that could send the Vancouver Canucks defenceman and the $3.75 million US remaining on his salary to a team in need of back-end help. It would also ease salary cap concerns for the Canucks, who added $825,000 to the mix Thursday in Jannik Hansen’s arbitration settlement that puts the the club more than $1 million over the $59.4 million ceiling.
After trading defenceman Steve Eminger to the New York Rangers — and losing Scott Niedermayer to retirement — the Ducks are down to Lumobir Visnovsky, Sheldon Brookbank, Tony Lydman and Danny Syvret as roster veterans and have yet to sign restricted free agent James Wisniewski.
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,
No one is saying it on the record but the Ducks still want to add another defenseman of some significance and their prime target as of now would be Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa.
Let’s get this straight. Bieksa would not be the cure-all to a unit whose current top two performers are Lubomir Visnovsky and James Wisniewski, who’s still unsigned and likely won’t be before his Aug. 3 arbitration hearing given the sizable difference between the defenseman and the club.
But there are advantages to acquiring Bieksa, who’s clearly on the trade market after the Canucks added veterans Keith Ballard and Dan Hamhuis. He’s 29 and relatively affordable with $3.5 million owed this season on an expiring contract. He’s also productive when healthy as he has twice put up 40-point seasons….
If the Ducks are unable to land Bieksa, would they consider taking a flier on oft-injured, big-salaried Sheldon Souray if they can get Edmonton to take streaky, big-salaried Jason Blake?
The Vancouver Canucks received some awful news on the injury front Monday when they learned that they would be without defenceman Kevin Bieksa for up to three months with severed tendons in his left ankle.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
“I went to put pressure on it to skate back to the net and my ankle kind of gave out,” Bieksa said. “I thought maybe my skate blade was broken, but I kind of figured it out from there. It’s not my Achilles at all.”
Bieksa said he didn’t want to discuss any details about the injury until he knows more. But he leaned heavily on a crutch as he left the dressing room and will be going back to Vancouver today. The injury will probably be measured in weeks, possibly many of them, not days.
Asked the extent of it, coach Alain Vigneault said: “We’re not quite sure yet. He got a skate cut and we’re not sure of the severity of it, so we’ll know tomorrow after a MRI.”
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
It has taken a self-inflicted wound to keep Teemu Selanne from inflicting more pain on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at GM Place. It has also reopened debate within the NHL Players Association whether players are properly protected from razor-sharp blades penetrating ultra-thin uniforms….
“You think about the socks and how much that plays a role in it and how thin they are these days,” Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said Sunday. “I know I’ve spoken about it to a few people on the NHLPA and hopefully it’s something they address.”
from Iain MacIntrye of the Vancouver Sun,
Winger Kyle Wellwood has been given a few days off. He cleared waivers this morning and is back in Vancouver waiting for the Canucks to find him a place to play in the minors….
The Canucks are trying to find another minor-league team with room for Wellwood, although Vancouver will be paying his NHL salary of $998,000 US.
Bieksa is eligible to come off the injured list today will likely play Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He strained his knee early in the Canucks’ victory in Calgary one week ago.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
While his teammates flew to Washington on Sunday to continue a six-game road trip, Kevin Bieksa flew back to Vancouver to have his injured left knee further evaluated.
The Canucks defenceman will have an MRI [magnetic resonance image] on Sunday to assess how long he’ll be sidelined following a first-period collision Saturday with Wayne Primeau..
from the Vancouver Province,
In one summation, Kevin Bieksa explains the elation of finally focussing on weight-bearing exercises to strengthen his surgically- repaired calf muscle.
In the next summation, the Vancouver Canucks defenceman admits there’s no timetable for his return from the laceration he suffered Nov. 1. And he doesn’t want to think about the prospect of not playing again until next fall.
“I’ll deal with that when I get there,” said Bieksa