Canucks and Beyond

The Jaffray Effect

01/19/2008 at 4:42pm EST

The title of this post is borrowed from a reference by Jason Botchford today which perfectly points out the domino effect of the Vancouver Canucks sending Jason Jaffray to the minors last week: Jaffray went out, Kris Beech came in, and the lineups went into a free fall. Yet again.

Not that the lineups were ever that stable, anyway. Other than knowing the Sedin brothers will always play together and that the big goalie is a perma-fixture, every shift seems to reveal a new mystery.

Botchford’s article makes the argument that Vigneault should give more time to see if Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden could develop some chemistry, based on a few shifts from the game in Detroit the other night.

The decision, however, to play Beech with Naslund is more peculiar because in the second half of the Detroit game, Naslund and Trevor Linden looked to have some real chemistry together. It was admittedly brief but it deserves another look.Despite all his line juggling, this is a combination Alain Vigneault has rarely flirted with. Maybe, as the Canucks contend, Linden can’t play every game.

But given the situation of the Canucks lines right now, it seems to make sense to give Linden a try for one full game, at least, playing with Naslund and Raymond.

A nice theory, but there is no serious chance that Linden is going to get 15+ minutes of ice time in a game these days. Maybe during the playoffs, but that’s the only time I can imagine Vigneault bending on the subject.

imageAnyway, despite being on 3 game losing streak, the road trip still worked out to .500 hockey, as the team picked up a point in every game. Do check out The Crazy Canucks latest episode for more on those games.

Tonight is Vancouver vs. Los Angeles, the Kings having just been taken apart by the Calgary Flames last night to move Canucks’ rivals into the #1 spot in the NW Division. But the Canucks are still just one point back, two games in hand… as are the Minnesota Wild.

No doubt, this race is going to go down to the final weeks of the season. Well, if the Canucks are lucky.,,

So, enjoy the game—check out the chat rooms during the game or drop comments on this post if you like. I’ll be around here somewhere. After all, Marc Crawford’s hair is the building and it’s Hockey Night in Canada.

Circus time.

P.S. For anyone wondering what Dan Cloutier’s been up to… well, aside from having a new baby, he’s staying as close to the Kings as he can these days, trying to be supportive…

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