Found November 07, 2013 on
Rob The Hockey Guy:
New York Rangers
Image Courtesy: Vancouver Sun
During the Pavel Bure jersey retirement on Saturday, a smattering of boos was reserved for Canucks’ general manager Mike Gillis (most had the good sense not to boo, but the booing was noticeable). Booing the most successful general manager in Canucks history (while giving a standing ovation to a much less successful former general manager, Pat Quinn) was puzzling to me. Sure, Mike Gillis has had a bad couple of years recently, but he was the toast of the town not long ago. Furthermore, booing Mike Gillis ignores reality.
Have you been paying attention Canucks fans? Gillis just signed Daniel and Henrik Sedin to bargain contracts yet again, keeping them at less than market value. He has also done a remarkable job at restocking the team’s depth this year with unheralded players that are performing much better than their contracts.
It has been a pretty nice start to the season for Vancouver. This team isn’t a Presidents’ Trophy team anymore and they aren’t expected to win a Stanley Cup this year, so the bar we measure them has lowered. Nevertheless, some acquisitions made by GM Mike Gillis are giving me hope that the team could contend for the Stanley Cup a little sooner than I expected.
In all likelihood, the Canucks’ hope for becoming a Stanley Cup favourite once again hinges on some of their young players like Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk developing into impact players while the Sedins and Roberto Luongo are still stars. But the work that Mike Gillis has done recently just might speed up that process.
Meet the new guys:
The Canucks’ star players have jived with new head coach John Tortorella better than anyone could have expected. His transition to Vancouver has been a lot smoother than Alain Vigneault’s in New York and nobody is pining for Dallas Eakins like they were back in June. Henrik and Daniel Sedin look born again, filling the net like they did in 2011 again while playing over 22 minutes per game. Torts has the team playing aggressive and is reshaping the team’s identity.
Here are the ice time leaders among Canucks forwards: Ryan Kesler, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Mike Santorelli. I don’t know anyone who saw that coming. Santorelli’s strong play has vaulted him to play on the team’s second line and vaulted Ryan Kesler to a line with the Sedins. Santorelli plays on the power play, penalty kill and is their go-to shootout performer. He’s fourth in team scoring, including two overtime goals! As if that wasn’t enough, Santorelli has Manny Malhotra-esq in the faceoff circle, winning 61% of his faceoffs (third best in the NHL).
The guy who was expected to replace Andrew Ebbett as the team’s 13th forward is now Mr. Everything. Can 27 year old one-time 20 goal scorer continue this production? It would seem unlikely, but if he is even 80% of the player we see right now, he will be a nice addition as the team’s third line centre.
The man expected to fill the void as fourth line centre has quietly put together a very nice season. Richardson has provided the speed and grit that was expected, but he has filled the net too. Richardson is sixth in scoring, tied with Chris Higgins, and has two shorthanded goals. He’s one of John Tortorella’s most reliable penalty killers on the third best penalty killing team in the league.
I have joked on Twitter that I am the president of the Ryan Stanton fan club, so you know how I feel about him. What a find Stanton has turned out to be. He has stepped in and been the perfect #6 defenceman for the Canucks. Not bad for a player with only one career NHL game under his belt when they claimed him off waivers from the Blackhawks before this season. It makes you wonder what teams like the Edmonton Oilers were thinking, given they are in desperate need of a defenceman. The news keeps getting better as Stanton is under contract this year and next for only $550,000 and is only 24 years old.
If the new guys can continue to be difference makers, it changes everything for the Canucks. But are these new guys for real? We’re about to find out.
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BEST OF MAXIM
With Roberto Luongo’s mustache mask celebrating Movember, I started my internal hamster on the internal wheel to light my internal light bulb. And, as those Beatles guys said once, this list got by “with a little help from my friends.” I present to you the best 20 hockey goalie masks in the history of hockey goalie masks. John Vanbiesbrouck Florida Panthers Doug Pensinger...
The Rise of Mike Santorelli
One of the earliest bright spots of the John Tortorella era to date has been the success of Mike Santorelli. The forward that was at one point seemingly destined for Utica – due mostly to his two-way contract – is now the staple of Vancouver‘s second line and a key cog in the functions of this hockey club as a whole.
What has most likely endeared...
The Vancouver Canucks played a perfectly reasonable road game against the Coyotes on Nov. 5 – it was slow, boring and mostly safe.
It’s hard to assess blame in a 3-2 shootout loss on the road but the game came down to a few minor errors.
Despite the loss, there were quite a few positive to come from the trip the desert. Ryan Kesler scored one of the nicest...
Players all around the NHL are wearing mustaches this month as they partake in Movember, an initiative in which men wear mustaches to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues. Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo is joining the effort, but he’s doing so in a little different way.
While Luongo isn’t growing a mustache of his own, the Canucks netminder is going to...
Even the pros are getting into no-shave-November as Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo goalie has plans to wear this mask featuring Johnny Canuck with a rockin’ stache, NESN reports.
You can get in on the action too, by donating to the Next Impulse Sports Movember team. And yes, photo upodates of our mustaches will emerge in the near future.
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is celebrating the month of November in a special way. After the October’ breast cancer campaign, November is a month for men (and some unfortunate women). November has been dubbed “Movember” where guys grow mustaches in support of charity for men’s health issues.
Luongo won’t be sporting a mustache on his face...
Dan Hamhuis won the lottery. But it’s the Vancouver Canucks’ power play that needs to cash in.
With a rare man-advantage goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Canucks will stick for now with coach John Tortorella’s new power-play formation. It looks a lot like one of old coach Alain Vigneault’s power-play formations: four forwards and a lone defenceman...
Canucks gameday links: NWSB Matchup Insight | NWSB Preview + Prediction
The Vancouver Canucks take on the Sharks for the third time this season tonight at the SAP Center in San Jose. The Sharks have lost three straight heading into tonight’s action but have dominated the Canucks so far this season.
With the odds stacked against the visitors, below are five keys to tonight’s...
Chris Higgins had a goal and an assist and Roberto Luongo made 22 saves to help the Vancouver Canucks snap a nine-game losing streak to the San Jose Sharks with a 4-2 victory on Thursday night.
Brad Richardson, Mike Santorelli and Zack Kassian also scored for the Canucks, who had lost all five regular season meetings between the teams the past two seasons and were swept by San Jose...
Rivalry? Says who?
It’s not a rivalry until the other teams goon rips off a jersey, shreds an under shirt and a little bit of hair is pulled. That’s right, for those of you who missed the obvious reference; it was a game in Chicago in 2009 that really started the Canucks and Blackhawks rivalry.
4 years later and not quite the playoff history the Canucks and Blackhawks have,...
Courtesy USA Today Images
The Vancouver Canucks California swing starts Thursday night vs the dreaded San Jose Sharks. The Canucks have not won in San Jose for what feels like decades and will have to be at the top of their game against the dominant Sharks.
The Canucks managed to salvage a point out of Phoenix with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. After a sleepy...
John Tortorella looked like a New York City traffic cop Wednesday.
Standing at centre ice while waving his hands and then pointing in different directions with his stick, the vocal Vancouver Canucks coach was giving a new-look power play some new practice options.
With Alex Burrows joining the first unit with Ryan Kesler, Henrik and Daniel Sedin while Dan Hamhuis manned the point...
Once in a while, as if to show us that no game is gravely important, the hockey gods take over and have some fun.
The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks were powerless to stop their folly Thursday in a game that featured goals bizarre, grotesque and comical. The Canucks, at least, could laugh along with the gods as they beat the Sharks 4-2 to end a nine-game losing streak against...