Team meeting and tempers flare at practice

When a team is in a funk like the Canucks are it’s only natural for tempers to flare, and they did today at practice as Jonathan McDonald of the Vancouver Province reported.

The Canucks practised today at UBC Thunderbird Arena, and the highlight came 25 minutes in during a full-ice drill. During a breakout, struggling defenceman Willie Mitchell pasted struggling winger Mason Raymond against the side boards. Raymond didn’t like it; heavy physical contact is unusual during an NHL team practice.

Mitchell turned and skated back into his zone to retrieve the puck, at which time Raymond ran him. Two hits, both clean, both unlikely.

Raymond went to the net. Mitchell followed him, and delivered a cross-check followed by a high-stick.

This is either a good thing or a bad thing. It’s good if in fact it signals these guys care and are getting pissed off enough that something like this comes to a head. it’s bad if it’s done out of pure frustration.

It was also reported the team held a meeting this morning at GM Place to air things out…Doesn’t sound like it worked.

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  1. Aries1994 says

    I just read an article about Mike Keane on the Moose farm. Being that he has 3, count them, 3 Stanley Cup rings, from 3 different teams, I strongly suggest that you haul his donkey up here, fast & put him in that dressing room to talk to these players who call themselves Canucks!

  2. levelheaded says

    So long as the emotion flows onto the ice we’re fine. However if this is a sign of a developing locker room division it’s not. Weren’t the players talking about how there was no animosity in the room at all only a few short months ago?

  3. jchockey says

    At least we know these players are feeling the pressure and frustrated. At least we know they’re not complacent with the status quo.

  4. Farhan Lalji says

    Few things:

    1) I am actually glad that there was a scuffle at practice. I hope more guys get pissed off so that they wake the hell up!

    2) Is it just me or are the Canucks the most mentally fragile team in the league (besides Ottawa). Don’t get me wrong – For those that have read my posts on the MAIN-board….a place where I have vowed not to post on until March….I STILL believe that this team will not only turn things around…but will have an excellent February and March. Having said that – being a talented team and being mentally fragile are two different things… the Canuck teams from the WCE era can attest.

    3) Here is what I don’t get with Veenyo: WHY try out all of these bizarre line combo’s…..when perhaps a BETTER solution, would be to go back to what was working at the start of the year.

    -Play Hansen with Burrows and Kesler.
    -Play Bernier with the twins.
    -Put Wellwood back on the 1st unit on the powerplay. As useless as Wellwood is outside of this, the guy has shown some massive signs of brilliance when playing on the 1st line PP unit.
    -Pyatt-Wellwood-Bernier was a line combo that worked well earlier this year. Go back to that if necessary. Raymond, Demitra, or even Sundin himself can then play with the twins.

    Farhan’s 1st choice line combo’s


    Farhan’s 2nd choice line combo’s

    Sedin-Sedin-Demitra (or Sundin)
    Raymond-Johnson-Sundin (or Demitra)

    4) Kevin Bieksa and Mattias Ohlund are seriously playing like the worst defensemen in the league right now. I am not sure why. Mats Sundin is also taking dumb penalties and has proven to be an extreme liability on defense. Nonetheless – I still think Sundin WILL step up eventually……it will still take awhile however unfortunately.

    5) As dismal as things look right now, here is the good news and the bad news in my opinion. The bad news, is that I don’t think we have much of a chance of catching Calgary….or placing in the top 4. To add to the bad news, there are now 8-9 teams, along with the Canucks, that are literally neck-and-neck, ranked between 5-12 (or something like that).

    The GOOD news however, is that the Canucks are still remarkably close to 5th place. If the Canucks can snap out of their funk, then these guys are right smack dab in the thick of things.

    If Chicago (who is way ahead of everyone below them if I understand correctly) can finish 4th in the conference, then perhaps a 5th place Vancouver Canuck team can exploit their lack of experience come playoff time…..assuming that I’m correct that the Canucks will turn it around here.

    For whatever it’s worth – I also think that it’s only a matter of time before Luongo (and the confidence of our defensemen) get back to ‘normal’. Even if Sundin and Demitra do not pan out the way we want, the biggest key to the Canucks will be if Luongo and our confidence on defense returns……..and I truly don’t think those elements are too far from re-appearing.

  5. Farhan Lalji says

    whoops – for my 1st choice line combo, I have Pyatt double shifted! Wellwood fills on for Pyatt on my 4th line…and also gets 1st line PP duty.

  6. JBomb says

    Another season gone down the shitter. I was so optimistic about this team when the season started. So excited to point out to people that we barely missed the playoffs and the core of this team was the same that pushed Anaheim two years ago in the playoffs. This was the same team with money, new ideas, and with young hungry depth guys waiting in the wings. I remember the exubrance of the preseason where we could not lose and how cautious we were all being not to plan the parade right then and there. Where has all that gone? It has gone where every single Canucks season goes, it goes directly into a swift kick into balls of everyone who lives and dies with this team. They fooled us again guys. This fight in practice was but an omen of the sickening collapse that is to come. And if you think we are going to get Tavaras as a silver lining to all this you are also kidding yourself with that.

  7. Farhan Lalji says

    LOL – thanks Clam.


    -It’s NEVER over until it’s over. The Canucks are still only ONE measly point out of FIFTH place (more than likely however, this will amount to atleast 4 points once Edmonton and Dallas get their games in hand).

    -I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Canucks should use the month of February to see where they are at as a team. Period. No BS, no excuses, no nothing. Rustiness, health (as of this typing), etc. are no longer issues.

    -And seriously….all massive confidence issues aside, do you honestly believe that

    a) Bieksa and Ohlund will be this terrible forever?
    b) Luongo will be this average forever?

    Although January disturbed me as a Canuck fan, I STILL contend that the Canucks should be judged based on the way they play in February. Barring any unforseen injuries, I STILL believe that this team will not only turn it around, but will finish in 5th place when it’s all said and done.

    You heard it here first.

    When Luongo rediscovers his game, it will have a MASSIVE rippling effect.

    And yes – I am not offended if anything thinks I’m thoroughly insane.

    This team WILL make the playoffs and this team WILL be a deadly 1st round opponent…and possibly beyond.

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