Canucks 1 Panthers 3: Canucks Fall Apart on Luongo’s Return

Kevin Bieksa gets toppled by first overall draft pick Aaron Ekblad

Kevin Bieksa gets toppled by first overall draft pick Aaron Ekblad

AUTHOR’S NOTE: It has been over a month since I have published my last article “The Goaltending Controversy Del Två”. Due to personal obligations, I have not been able to pen my “After Ten” or other analysis articles where I discuss the current state of the Vancouver Canucks.

 

 

Last night Roberto Luongo returned to the city of Vancouver, the place he called home for eight years. The fans cheered him on throughout the game and it brought what looked like tears to his eyes. His old pals from the Canucks gave him one of the greatest presents of all, a victory in Vancouver allowing him to officially claim he has truly defeated every team in the NHL.

Five minutes into the game the Canucks looked like they had this game marked to be locked up with a win. Fans would have to guess again after the emotion took over the home bench but not the returning goalie.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored three points (2G, 1A) and rattled the Canucks to their core. The home team looked out of place and spent the majority of the time in their own defensive zone. The Canucks attempted to look like the almighty ones by sending out Dorsett to scrap almost every player on the Panthers line-up but he was eventually taken out by Luongo’s blocker.

The only players to show any consistency were Alex Burrows and Bo Horvat. Burrows lit up the highlight reel with his countless opportunities to score and Bo Horvat was, as usual, a face-off god.

It appeared the home team was dull in the second period when two goals were scored. The Panthers went in charging and did not let up on the ailing Canucks.

“When we came out our energy level wasn’t great,” Desjardins said in a post-game interview, “it seemed like we weren’t working hard enough.”

Bo Horvat looked to be in complete agreement with the words his coach spoke.

“We have to start capitalizing on our opportunities,” Horvat said, “We’ve got to play more aggressive and play with more energy.”

The Canucks are aware of their actions on the ice and how it is unacceptable, but will they be able to correct their mistakes as of late?

Ryan Miller made key saves to keep the team within reachable distance in the third period but was let down by his teammates who gave Luongo easy shots to block.

The power play was an utter nightmare, when a two-man advantage that should have allowed the boys to gain some traction did not produce a single shot on net. This is partly due to the fact they were out defended and could not match up to the Panthers strength. Luca Sbisa and Kevin Bieksa were two of the players who were erratic on their play.

The Vancouver Canucks showed a few glimmers of hope in last night’s game but it was not enough to give them the win they needed.

 

Caleb Harder

@cjaharder

2015

#TICH: Iron Mike Makes a Deal

January 3rd, 1998: Iron Mike Keenan started his dismantling of the Vancouver Canucks. After 10 years in a Canucks uniform, the longest serving goalie in franchise history, Kirk McLean, gets dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes, along with Martin Gelinas for Geoff Sanderson, Enrico Ciccone and goaltender, Sean Burke. Those three players played a total of 38 games for the Vancouver Canucks before they, themselves, were sent away from by Keenan.

 

Kirk McLean spent 10 & half years backstopping for the Canucks. He was traded to Carolina January 3, 1998.

Kirk McLean spent 10 & half years backstopping for the Canucks. He was traded to Carolina January 3, 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McLean’s play suffered partly because of a reoccurring knee injury but in all honesty, many people believed Mike Keenan didn’t want the core there anymore and McLean was the first piece, with Gelinas, to be dealt out. McLean and Gelinas were the first but they were not the last. Change came, some of it ended up being blessing in disguise eventually, but this was a deal that Carolina got themselves a starting goaltender and Vezina finalist in Kirk McLean and “Notre Coeur” (Our Heart) Martin Gelinas. The Canucks got back, temporary workers.

It was the beginning of the end of an era that Pat Quinn had built previously. Keenan knocked it down with a wrecking ball and in doing so, set the organization back by a decade. He didn’t care, he wanted to make sure the stamp had “Iron Mike” all over it on the Canucks organization. It did, but it was years before we as fans, saw any of the fruition of it.

This is what happened on January 3, 1998, Today in Canucks History.

 

twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

 

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Notable players traded by Mike Keenan out of the Canucks organization:

TO BUFFALO: Geoff Sanderson

TO VANCOUVER: Brad May

TO NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Trevor Linden

TO VANCOUVER: Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, 3rd Round Pick(Jarkko Ruutu)

TO PHILADELPHIA:Dave Babych, 5th Round Pick(Garrett Prosofsky)

TO VANCOUVER:3rd Round Pick(Justin Morrison)

TO NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Gino Odjick

TO VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Jason Strudwick

TO PHILADELPHIA:Sean Burke

TO VANCOUVER:Garth Snow

TO NEW YORK RANGERS:Russ Courtnall, Esa Tikkanen

TO VANCOUVER:Sergei Nemchinov, Brian Noonan

TO VANCOUVER: Trent Klatt

TO PHILADELPHIA: 6TH Round Pick

#TBT Hockey Hair: Who Rocked What?

When most people think of “hockey hair”, the vision of the mullet comes up, because in the late 80s and early 90s, it was so. When I used to describe guys back then, I would use the term “hockey hair” guys  back then… “He’s tall, blonde, has hockey hair…”. Yeah, it was a thing.  However, not all “hockey hair” is that of business in the front and party in the back. In fact, we have some other categories to show you.

Classic Hockey Hair: The Mullet

Here are some guys that have rocked the mullet their way. Some make me want to cringe, but they all make me laugh.

Kenny Baumgartner rocked the mullet like he was Billy Ray Cyrus.

Kenny Baumgartner rocked the mullet like he was Billy Ray Cyrus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If John Stamos didn't use hairspray, I venture to say his hair looked a lot a like Jagr's famous 'signature' do.

If John Stamos didn’t use hairspray, I venture to say his hair looked a lot a like Jagr’s famous ‘signature’ do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps, Al Iafrate wore it until his last hair follicle fell out.

Perhaps, Al Iafrate wore it until his last hair follicle fell out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coaches got into it too. Barry Melrose sported his mullet with his Armani suits.

The coaches got into it too. Barry Melrose sported his mullet with his Armani suits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The infamous hockey hair better known as the mullet. Who else rocked a pretty good one? Well I’d have to go back to 2010…

Tanner Glass rocked a mullet during his time with the Canucks, although a much more modern version of it, but still a enough party in the back to make the category.

Tanner Glass rocked a mullet during his time with the Canucks, although a much more modern version of it, but still a enough party in the back to make the category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bald and the Beautiful?

My nickname for Alex Auld when he was playing for the Canucks was "Auldy the Baldy". Still, hair or no hair, you can't hide handsome.

My nickname for Alex Auld when he was playing for the Canucks was “Auldy the Baldy”. Still, hair or no hair, you can’t hide handsome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He rocked the bald look so well, he even got a blog named after him, Jan Bulis.

He rocked the bald look so well, he even got a blog named after him, Jan Bulis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The more Mats Sundin lost his hair, the more viking he became on the ice. The opposite of Samson, Sundin rocked that looked like a champ.

The more Mats Sundin lost his hair, the more viking he became on the ice. The opposite of Samson, Sundin rocked that look like a champ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason I want to play pool…

 

Greased Lightning!

Now there is greased…

 

roberto-luongo-canada

Roberto Luongo actually looks better with the slicked back look. It suits him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and there is greasy…

No matter what length of hair he had, Brent Sopel never had it look clean.

No matter what length of hair he had, Brent Sopel never had it look clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or this…

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who has the greasiest hair of all? Why you do, Mike Ricci!

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who has the greasiest hair of all? Why you do, Mike Ricci!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got Flow: Here are the guys that keep the hair product companies in business.

Kris Letang makes the 90's one length Seattle grunge hair look good. I wonder what conditioner he uses.

Kris Letang makes the 90’s one length Seattle grunge hair look good. I wonder what conditioner he uses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Kesler rocked the best Astro Boy hair ever circa 2009.

Ryan Kesler rocked the best Astro Boy hair ever circa 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Jose Theodore had model looks and the locks to go with it.

Vintage Jose Theodore had model looks and the locks to go with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These guys could basically have any hair style and they could make it look good!

Quit Clowning Around!

Ronald McDonald was apparently a hair trend setter for the NHL as well…

Trend Setter! Red Hair, don't care!

Trend Setter! Red Hair, don’t care!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should have the get out of bed clown hair…

Mike Commodore was rocking some ginger fro look during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes for a few seasons.

Mike Commodore was rocking some ginger fro look during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes for a few seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the perfectly coiffed

Daniel Alfredsson was trying to rock a more coiffed clown look.

Daniel Alfredsson was trying to rock a more coiffed clown look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a look at some of the hockey hair of yester-years (and some present). It just goes to show you not all hockey hair is a mullet, but it sure sparked some interesting hairstyles over the years on the ice. Which was your favourite player or hockey figure to every rock a memorable hairstyle? Mine? It belongs to one in stripes… “Hair” himself, Kerry Fraser

 

There was no one more proud of his hair that ever around NHL ice than Kerry Fraser. His nickname says it all... "Hair"

There was no one more proud of his hair that ever around NHL ice than Kerry Fraser. His nickname says it all… “Hair”

The Goaltending Controversy Del Två (Part Two)

eddie-lack-ryan-miller-nhl-vancouver-canucks-dallas-stars-850x560

Since the arrival of Cory Schneider in the 2010-11 season, a significant era began. This period is what fans like to call “The Goaltending Controversy”. 

Schneider came waltzing in swooning the fans and management away from Roberto Luongo. The rookie eventually stole the spotlight from Luongo and became the new starting goalie. Schneider’s reign came to an abrupt end in 2013 when he was traded to New Jersey for a first round draft pick.

Luongo was the starter again and it was the end of the never-ending story. Then came along the 2014 Olympic break. When the break was over, former coach John Tortorella anointed Eddie Lack as the Canucks new starter.

The shafted Luongo was eventually traded to Florida and all was good again. The Canucks, under the new management of Jim Benning, signed Ryan Miller to become the new starting goalie. It was apparent the controversy was finally over and it was the start of a new chapter for the franchise.

Today after a pre-game practice on the Canucks seven game road trip, Jason Botchford went to Twitter with some “big news”.

“Miller will start,” Botchford tweeted, “Willie was leaning Lack but Miller made what the coach thought was a good point.”

One minute later Botchford continued to say, “Miller said it would be more difficult for Lack starting a day after a team day off. Easier to go with the guy who has been playing.”

After these tweets came out, social media erupted with debates and thus re-sparked “The Goaltending Controversy”.

It would be an absolute shame for this to become the highlight of the season. Vancouver has had enough of this recurring theme. It is unclear whether Miller was being selfless or selfish in stealing a game against the Washington Capitals from Lack. From how it has been interpreted by Botchford and other sports news personalities, it appears to be more selfish.

Eddie Lack has started in five games this season. Some may argue he will not be starting tonight because of his 1-3-1 record this season but Lack is not at fault for these losses. In his few starts, Lack has been thrown out to the wolves on the short end of back-to-back games.

Tonight Lack would have had a chance to prove himself to Canucks fans and his teammates as a reliable goaltender but has been given the shaft. It would make more sense to start Ryan Miller in the next game where they play the Pittsburgh Penguins and give Lack the start tonight. For all fans know, Lack may be in net on Thursday, but it will most likely be Miller taking both starts.

It would be a shame to give Lack only the short end of back-to-backs and it could be detrimental to his development. Miller has been given four straight starts as of Sunday afternoon.

It seems to be a no-brainer to start Lack in net after Millers disaster in Detroit on Sunday afternoon. If Miller blows up again tonight, it will be interesting to see what unfolds next.

Welcome back to the Goaltending Controversy.

Caleb Harder

@cjaharder

Has the Goaltending Controversy Reignited?

Dan Hamhuis Injury Crucial To Canucks

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 5.31.11 PM

On Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks played the Anaheim Ducks. Within seconds, Dan Hamhuis tripped on the skate of Daniel Sedin and slid into the boards. 

He lay there motionless until the whistle blew the play dead. It was then that all fans knew something was wrong. 

Henrik Sedin came to help the crippled Hamhuis off the ice as the fans were at their quietest on that night. 

Since the incident, it has been reported by multiple sources that the veteran blue liner could be out “for months” with a lower body injury. 

The Vancouver Canucks now find themselves in a vulnerable position. If Dan Hamhuis were to be out until February, it would for a total of 27 games.

In wake of the injury, the Canucks have called up Frank Corrado from the Utica Comets. Though calling him up has been the first plan of action, it is highly unlikely the Canucks can brush off missing a Top-4 defenseman.

At some point it may become plausible to make a trade to tighten up the ranks. In order to maintain their position among the toughest division in the NHL, it may be in their best interest to make this decision.

It is difficult to make these calls when it is not known how many months a key player is out, but it has to be done. The Canucks already have found themselves in a difficult position with a thin defensive line.

It appears that Luca Sbisa is not ready to take on a top 4 role in the roster and may require another year of development. Placing Corrado in Hamhuis’ spot would not be the wisest in the long run either. He is not NHL caliber and needs more time to season his play.

All in all, it is up to management to decide how they will patch up this gaping hole in the blue line.

Until then, Canucks fans will be wishing Dan Hamhuis a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the ice soon.

Caleb Harder

@cjaharder