February 18 2017 02:30PM
On Jan. 24, Elliotte Friedman offered up some thoughts about shift lengths in his 30 Thoughts column. Specifically, it was about how much time Erik Karlsson spends on the ice over the course of a single shift (#17):
A year ago, Karlsson played the most in the NHL (2,375:55) and had the longest shift length (1:04). But he was tied for 72nd in shifts per game and 34th in overall shifts taken. It’s not like he’s stapled to the bench, as his overall time is eighth. But he’s now second in the NHL in shifts per game, going from 27.1 to 32.2 per night. His length has dropped to 0:50, which is 38th. He’s agreed to stay out a little less, but the trade-off is minimal as they put him out there more.
What does this have to do with the Flames? Well, shorter shifts generally result in more effective shifts. And Johnny Gaudreau has gone from being tied for 64th among all forwards in average shift time in 2015-16 to fourth this season.
That's quite a jump, wouldn't you say?
February 18 2017 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports
When the Canucks face the Calgary Flames on Saturday, they'll have played 22 games since the turn of the calendar. Jacob Markstrom's been their netminder for five.
The obvious story therein is the number of starts Miller -- a 36-year-old netminder who's raised concerns in each of his two previous seasons in Vancouver about his workload -- received in that stretch, and with good reason. It's neither to the team nor the player's benefit to do so, and nothing suggests they're changing their ways in the second leg of this most important stretch of their season.
I wonder, though, if that's equal parts faith in Miller as it is skepticism of Markstrom's ability to so much as hold the fort. That's idle speculation on my part, but for posterity's sake, I wanted to see whether the Canucks are justified in their reticence to commit to Markstrom in any meaningful way.
February 17 2017 03:30PM
© Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
The Winnipeg Jets have been struggling to win games, so let's go over and take a look at the Manitoba Moose... who are also struggling.
Well, at least we can take a look at the individuals on the Moose to gauge the potential future help from the farm team.
February 17 2017 03:00PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
Here we are, just twelve short days from the March 1st NHL trade deadline. Things are about to get interesting.
The Canucks sit five points removed from the last wild-card spot and play the team they are chasing, the Calgary Flames, on Saturday. The L.A. Kings are hanging around, and have two games in hand. Coupled with a downright hostile schedule, it's looking like the Canucks will be in tough to make the playoffs.
All this underscores exactly why the Canucks need to be decisive as they address the topic du jour. They need to sell what few assets they can, and let the season wind down to its inevitable conclusion.
February 17 2017 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher - USA Today Sports
With the Trade Deadline a little under two weeks away, the Canucks have four games left to decide their war-room tactics. They play Calgary and Philadelphia back-to-back this weekend, then have their NHL-mandated five-day bye week until they face San Jose on the following Saturday. After playing Detroit on Tuesday night, management will likely spend deadline day in the Rogers Arena offices before embarking for San Jose.
Earlier yesterday afternoon, Jim Benning made an appearance on TSN 1040 to discuss their preparation for the upcoming events, as well as what to expect from the Canucks and teams around the league.