Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Canucks DEAD LAST???

The NHL begins tonight! And the Canucks have been predicted to come last, dead last. 

For real? I get that we are not the powerhouse President Trophy winners this year but last? In fairness, we were 3rd to last last season. And I don't care what Benning & Linden say, we are not retooling we are rebuilding. What if the Canucks make the playoffs? And you imagine the surprise? I don't think they will but it's the 1st day of the season...let me dream for a second people. I like the direction our rebuild is heading. 

I get it though, where are the goals going to be coming from? 
Last year the Leafs (who had many AHL kids up to tank the season) had more goals than Vancouver...yep, you read that right.
I know what people are going to say, "We signed Eriksson." For too much money I must add. $6M was the going rate...and then Kucherov signs back with TB for $4.75M and Johnny Hockey signs a 6 year deal with the Flames for only $6.7M. But hey, we got Eriksson! Yippie. He had 30 goals last year. Yep....but he wasn't playing for the Canucks. Could he have 30 again? Possibly. And for $6M a year and playing with the twins, he better scored 30-40!
But who else do we got to pick up the scoring pace? We are hoping our young kids are going to be improving and producing more this year.
Baertschi should be better...Horvat will as well. 
Virtanen? That's the hope.
Gaunce? Don't hold your breath. But he better or he's heading back to the AHL. 
The one guy I think will score more this year is Granlund.
But what about Sutter? $5.5M and injured last year...for some reason people in the hockey world love this guy. I'm not a fan but it's his year to produce. And what line will he be on? His criticism was he was behind Crosby and Malkin in Pitts. But he might be behind Sedin and Horvat. Money wasted in my opinion.
We know Burrows isn't going to light the lamp much. Hansen can scored some with his blazing speed but he's not scoring 30 goals. We can't expect much of any offense from Etem or Dorsett.

What about our defensemen?
Elder can score. Tanev, not really. Hutton, who knows?
I like the Gudbransen deal...but is he going to score more goals? I hope so but he hasn't produced offensively in the NHL yet. 
Trymakin? Still developing. 
Sbsia? Bahahaha
We are developing Juolevi to become that stud D like some are predicting. But he's back with the London Knights trying to repeat as CHL champs. (By the way, Tkachuk who maybe people wanted Vancouver to draft made the Flames roster and already on the 2nd line for scoring help).

And our will they do???
Ryan Miller was good. He couldn't stay healthy last year but still making his $6M. Markstrom...needs to be more consistent. Our real hope is in a few years with Demko.

So now that we have gone through that maybe this prediction of last isn't that far off? 

Now before we are start handing the Canucks the best lottery position, let's not forget that the Oilers haven't made the playoffs in 10 seasons. I know, I know, it's different this year. I've been hearing that for 10 years! But I think the Oilers are getting better with McDavid and getting rid of Yakupov. But trading away Taylor Hall was a HUGE mistake in my books. Drafting Puljujarvi was brilliant. Maybe this year they do have real hope?

And the Leafs...they got Austin Matthews and who? Exactly. I think they will be better this year. A great coach and great GM seem to help that sorry looking squad.

So maybe we won't come dead last. But if we do...I just really hope we win the lottery...we need a stud like McDavid or give us some hope. Because hope gives optimism and hope sells tickets. But more importantly score more goals and win more games.

Before we declare Vancouver will be last...the people who predicted that? USA Today. What do they know about hockey??? EA thinks Vancouver will be 11th behind Colorado. What will really happen? We will find out!!!

I could be wrong but I doubt it.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Rivalry Continues...Canucks vs Flames

I'm pumped the NHL season is here!!! And they wanted to start the NHL off with a bang by continuing the divisional rivalry: CANUCKS vs FLAMES. 

Forget the battle of Alberta (actually if Edmonton finally turns it around they can have a legit rivalry again), Vancouver and Calgary had ferocious battle last season. The Canucks won the regular season battle but the Flames won the war in the playoffs. 

But that was this year and now it's a new year. 

The new year has brought some legitimate hype for Flames fans. They had lots to get excited about and cheer for last season as they look forward to a promising future. Loaded with young, hard working and hitting talent they look to win a lot of games. The gold mine of Johnny Gaudreau and the hope of Sam Bennett light the hype fire for this franchise. This combined with the epic Hamilton trade and the return of Giordano give legitimate hope for this season's success. 

The Canucks on the other hand have come out of the Gillis years hurting. Supposedly Linden was to come to the rescue of a downward spiralling franchise. The promise of changes coming, Linden and Benning were true to their word. But were these changes for the better or just a bunch of propaganda to get fans to watch the games? Moving Kassian proved to be good but trading Bonino for Sutter remains to be scene. Letting Richardson and Mathias go gave room to add some young players to the roster. 

Then came the schedule...Vancouver and Calgary get to play back to back home games. Flames fans are pumped. 2 easy wins. Canucks fans are nervous that we are going to go 0-2 to start the season. 

Then opening night hits...
If someone from the future came to me and said the Flames would win 5-1 it wouldn't have come as a surprise. Canuck fans really don't know what they are going to get. 

But the results did shock all Canuck and Flames fans. 5-1 Vancouver in the Saddledome? Are you for real? The Canucks came to play! It started with Hansen's laser from the right side of the rink to the top shelf over Ramo's glove! Despite the beautiful goal by Hudler the Canucks were too strong on opening night. Even Sutter had an amazing goal and the twins produced again. Miller looked solid and Calgary deflected a shot into their own goal. Crazy 1st game. 

Now time for game 2 in Vancouver. 
Honestly I had no idea what to expect but I'm excited that this rivalry is not dead but alive and well. 

What a game! Hard fought battle. Ryan Miller was sensational but Hiller made the huge save in OT. 

Dougie Hamilton opened the scoring with his 1st goal as a Flame. Then the Canucks took over and played well especially the young stars in Horvat, Hutton, and McCann. Which gave Canuck fans some hope. But in the 3rd the Flames started to dominate the play in the Canucks end resulting in the tying goal to force OT. 

The 3 on 3 OT was so fun to watch. Actioned packed hockey. And Sutter had stolen the puck and had Sedin open for the breakaway but Johnny hockey didn't quit and scored an incredible goal to end the game. Calgary continued last seasons success with the 3rd period comeback. 

But at the end of the day, Vancouver got 3 points out of 4 possible points. And Calgary after a disappointing performance bounced back with a never quit performance. 

This rivalry is fantastic. Next game is Saturday Feb 6, 2016. There's a lot of fans looking forward to it! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sutter is overrated and overpaid?

Okay I like Benning and Linden. I know they are smarter than me when it comes to hockey and what the Canucks need. But I'm very confused at these last few moves the Canucks have made. 

Today the Canucks traded Bonino, Adam Clendening (a 22 year old Dman) and a conditional 2016 3rd round draft pick to the Penguins for Brandon Sutter and their 2016 2nd round draft pick. 

Why? Supposedly Sutter is better than Bonino. Is he? It looks like they were tired of Bonino who was brought in to score but didn't produce when needed on the PP. But is Sutter the answer we are looking for in our top 6 fwd group?

Benning did comment today and confirmed this reasoning, "When the games mean something that's when he's at his best. We looked at the other teams in our division and they all improved from the end of last season to now, and I think this move makes our team deeper and it gives us a better chance to compete with the teams in our division and in our conference."

Sutter makes $3.3M and is becoming at UFA after this season. Supposedly they are going to be working on an extension asap because Benning said Sutter's going to be a key to the foundation of the Canucks going forward. I appreciate them trying to get a deal done but I feel they are going to overpay him.

Yikes...what does Sutter bring? 
50% Face-off efficiency.
Leadership. He was an alternate captain in Pitts. 

Benning also said, "He has high-end intangibles and we're going to have some young players that are going to make our team over the next few years along with Bo Horvat, so Brandon will be the leader of that younger group."

The problems I have with this trade are that Sutter isn't the guy we need to be building around. His offensive upside is limited. His PK and face-offs will be valuable. But at the end of the day he's another 3rd line C that we don't need. I don't think he's good enough to produce top 6 production. We need someone to score other than the twins. Sutter isn't that guy. 

I had a great twitter conversation with Jeff Patterson from TSN 1040  today. 

He posted an interesting tweet about our new potential lines: 
Sedin-Sedin-Burrows Baertschi-Horvat-Vrbata Higgins-Sutter-Hansen Prust-Vey-Dorsett Kenins

This scares me...I'm not a fan of Sutter. I think he's overrated and will make more $$$ with this new contract than he's actually worth. 

I believe the best Vancouver will do this season is come 8th and make the playoffs but lose again in the 1st round. If I was Sutter I'd be excited to make more $$$ and get more playing time but I would hate the fact that I just got traded from the Penguins who are always Cup contenders. He's going to miss playing with Crosby and Malkin. 

I hope I'm wrong but I highly doubt it...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Good Bye Eddie, you are missed already!!!

Well it's another draft day to be angry as a Canucks fan. I have really enjoyed what Linden and Benning have been doing with Vancouver since we fired Gillis. But today feels like a Gillis move. 

I'm so frustrated by the continual desire to develop goalies and trade them. I understand fully that goalies don't get the same value as other players. Goalies are no longer drafted in the top of the drafts any more. I get that. But goalies who have been developed should be traded for so much more. 

Eddie Lack has been nothing but a high class kid who has been a blessing to our organization. And if we are honest, if it wasn't for Lack the Canucks would have missed the playoffs again. 

Of course Edmonton, Calgary, and LA are getting better while we are happy to get worse. 
Oilers are thrilled to draft McDavid and trade for Talbot (goalie) and Griffin (4th overall Dman). 
Calgary gets a great young Dman in Dougie Hamilton. 
LA gets a perfect fit for their playoff team in Milan Lucic. 
And Vancouver gives up a starter goaltender for a 3rd round pick (66 overall) and a 7th round pick not this year but next year! 

Why? Is Markstrom really better than Lack? Is that 3rd round draft pick actually going to be in the Canucks lineup one day producing on the ice? Are we needing extra cap room? 

Because from the outside looking in it looks like a terrible trade. And with the 66th overall pick we selected, GUILLAUME BRISEBOIS
Who is Guillaume Brisebois? 
He's a Defenseman from Acadie-Bathurst in the QMJHL. 
He's 17 years old, 6'1, and 175 pounds. 
He was ranked #30 among North American skaters in January by NHL Central Scouting.
He played in the CHL's Top Prospects game this year. 
Brisebois was a part of Team Orr for the CHL's top prospect game where he was relied upon to keep guys like Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner in check.  He's also played games for Hockey Canada as a member of the Ivan Hlinka tournament as well as the U18 world championships.
(Quote from Nucks Misconduct blog)

Here are a few questions he answered in an interview: 
1. What is your best asset on the ice?
"Probably my vision with the puck, my hockey sense."
2. No one — even Connor McDavid — is a finished product at age 17; where do you need to improve the most?
"I want to improve my physical game. I have to work on it. And my battling."
3. Which NHL defenceman do you watch closely?
"I really love to watch Drew Doughty from the L.A. Kings. He does amazing things on the ice."
Read the fully article here on Yahoo Sports

Here's what Bob McKenzie said about him. 
"Very fluid skating marks his game. His quickness and mobility allow him to defend very well and to beat the pressures that opponents are trying to apply.  Smart, reads the play well and makes very solid plays with the puck. He’s not going to overwhelm you with great skill or physical play but he has excellent consistency, reliability and efficiency." -Bob McKenzie, TSN

So he doesn't have great skill but he's consistent, reliable, and efficient, what does that mean? At least he's a fast defensive player who makes good decisions with the puck. Maybe Sisba can learn from this young kid. ;) 

Here's a quick video of a goal he scored on the Power Play.

What does Trevor Linden have to say about this deal? 
Linden: "It was a tough decision. This isn't a popular decision, but we feel it was the right one." Canucks Tweet

Obviously Linden and Benning were hoping for more but this was the best deal they could come up with. I understand getting younger but these draft picks are really shots in the dark. 

Was it worth it to trade Lack who is a NHL goalie for Brisebois? We will see. Probably not. I highly doubt it. I keep hearing that this is supposed to be a deep draft. I hope we drafted the right kid. On a positive note, Horvat has been a nice surprise since we traded Schneider. I hope we can land a solid Free Agent. Us fans need some encouragement.

Good bye Eddie, you are missed already! 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Give the Flames the CREDIT!

Allow me to do a sports rant: 

I'm very tired of the negativity. I don't think Canuck people are giving Calgary enough credit. Everyone is talking about how Vancouver failed, or choked, or can't over come the difficult pressure. 

Some of that is true. But what's really true is how incredible Calgary has been and not just this season but all season. This is a very young talent who have played the right way and are having success. They have drafted well, worked hard, and believed in themselves. I'm not a fan of the Flames but I'm a fan of what they have done as an organization. 

Am I disappointed being up 3-0 and lose Game 6? Of course but give Calgary the credit, they didn't quit. All series they skated hard, they hit hard, they blocked a ton of shots, and they found ways to score. I was impressed by this young talent that had no business being in the playoffs never mind beating the more experienced Canucks. Vancouver's issues are still the same, we can't score in the playoffs to compete. Tonight was an exception but Game 1, 3, and 4 were poor offensive performances by Vancouver but I'm not blaming the Canucks as much as I'm giving the Flames some incredible credit. Good for them. Hiller has been fantastic (minus Game 6). Ferland hits everything and was a significant in the series. Bennett and Gaudreau are full of high ceiling potential. Russell might as well be Bill Russell with all those blocked shots. 

I still trust in what Linden and Benning are doing overall. It will be an interesting offseason with the draft and free agency. But I think it's time to part ways with Higgins. I don't mind having Hansen around. But I want to see Jake Virtanen and Hunter Shinkaruk in the lineup next season. I wish we didn't give contract extensions to Sisba and Dorsett. I do like Bonino and Vrbata and the twins had a bounce back season. I'm encouraged by the development of Lack and Miller showed he's a world class goalie. And of course everyone has been impressive with the year Horvat has had. The Canucks are trying to change on the fly and we will see if that will work. But rebuilding is more difficult that people understand. Look how long it took the Islanders to rebuild, decades. Calgary took a 6 year playoff break and look to be headed in the correct direction. But look at the Oilers with their 9 year drought without being in the playoffs. There hope lies in the hands of Chiarelli and McDavid. Rebuilding is easy to say but a massive up hill grind. 

I picked that whoever won this series would lose to the Ducks but if Calgary can play this way I'm not so confident any more. Ducks might need the flying V to beat these physical Flames. 

Of course I could be wrong but I doubt it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jets & Sabres pull of a BLOCKBUSTER

Today the Winnipeg Jets sent Evander Kane packing. And rightly so. Evander Kane is a mess. He's causing problems in the locker room and frankly, he's not producing enough on the ice. He gets a fresh start (which might be good for him) with the worst team in the league. 

Here's how the trade finalized: 
Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets acquires:
  • Tyler Myers 25yrs old, 14 pts
  • Drew Stafford 29yrs old, 24 pts
  • Joel Armia (prospect 2nd rd in 2014)
  • Brendan Lemieux (prospect 1st rd in 2011)
  • 1st-round pick (2015)

Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo Sabres acquires:
  • Evander Kane 23yrs old, 25 pts
  • Zach Bogosian 24yrs old, 13 pts 
  • Jason Kasdorf (goalie prospect)

I feel so bad for Zach Bogosian going from Winnipeg to Buffalo. He’s the guy who got messed because of E.Kane’s stupidity. 

Tyler Myers must be thrilled to get out of Buffalo and heading to a Canadian city to play hockey. 

And how in the world did Winnipeg work out at trade that included a 1st round pick? Great trade for the Jets. Jets fans should be pumped to about this trade. 

I doubt E.Kane lives up to his potential. 

At this moment the Jets are playoff bound and with this trade I think it basically guarantee’s a playoff birth. Stafford is a physical forward who will do well with the playoff physicality. I’m shocked that Winnipeg got this much in return. 

Of course, I could be wrong but I doubt it. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Who wins the NFC Championship game, Packers or Seahawks?

As you know, I'm a huge Packer fan. But Seattle is my 2nd favourite team. Which means no matter what happens on Sunday I get to cheer for one of my favourite teams in the Super Bowl. In saying that, I'm cheering for my Packers! I want them to win. Love the team. It's been a great year. Rodgers might even win MVP (It should probably go to JJ Watt but I think the writers will go with Aaron because of the individual & team success).

So who wins this Sunday's NFC Championship game??? Drum roll please.............

Unfortunately, I believe it's the Seahawks. 

The #1 one reason why...Aaron Rodgers is hurt. He can't use his mobility to hurt Seattle. Yes I know he didn't need to to beat Dallas but the Cowboy defense isn't like the Seahawks D. Rodgers is off and I think that's what makes the difference. 

Other legit reasons
1. Week 1 we got destroyed. I know that was then and this was now. I know. But it wasn't even close last time. It was last years SB all over game. Seattle dominated on both sides of the ball.
2. The 12 man. Listen, if this was in Lambeau I think we would have a legit chance but with it being in Seattle, it's too tough. Ask SF about last years NFC game. 
3. Russell Wilson might not be selected to the Pro Bowl but he should. He's the difference maker. Not only can he throw, get out of bad situations, and run when needed but he rarely turns the ball over. Just like Rodgers doesn't often and that's why they are in the NFC Championship game. 

Ways GB could win this game:
1. Rodgers plays lights out and is able to do things with his injury that seems impossible. 
2. They stick to the run game and allow the GB Oline and Lacy & Starks to do their thing. 
3. The Def stops Russell Wilson's run game and forces key turnovers. 
4. If they continue not to throw it to Sherman's side and Nelson, Cobb, and Adams make big 1st downs on the left side of the ball. 

Whoever wins this game wins the SB. Just saying that now. Actually I called Seattle to win the SB at the beginning of the playoffs.

So I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it.