November 04 2016 09:00AM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks haven't just come back down to Earth. Losers of seven straight, they've crashed right through to the very core and everyone's feeling the heat.
Neither management nor coaching has been immune. To the surprise of many, neither have the team's best players. In what's become an annual ritual, the Sedins have come under scrutiny for the club's inability to generate offence.
The thing to remember, though, is that we're talking about players entering their late-thirties. They've a role to play in this club's malaise. Nothing that we couldn't have - or rather, shouldn't have - seen coming though.
Nation World HQ
November 04 2016 05:00AM
This week, we take a look at Mike Babcock's coaching tactics, Bo Horvat's progress, what's wrong with the Oilers' power play, and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen
November 03 2016 03:02PM
It’s early in the 2016-17 NHL season, but it’s never too early for Canucks fans to start complaining about player deployment! This season has already seen its fair share of head scratching decisions when it comes to who plays when (and with who), and it’s not going to get any easier on Willie Desjardins and his crew if the team keeps on losing.
NHL coaches can’t slip much past the general public these days, what with the ease of access to massive amounts of data, and deployment is no different. One of the most commonly cited events are zone starts, purported to be both an indication of how coaches deploy players and context to explain high or low shot differentials. As it turns out, both of these connections may be greatly exaggerated, meaning these numbers might not be telling you what you think they are.
November 03 2016 02:55PM
Kris Russell had a phenomenal debut with the Edmonton Oilers. Playing on his off-side along with Andrej Sekera on the second pairing, Russell’s strong play gave the Oilers two quality defence pairings through the first few games of the season, a luxury the team hasn’t had since Lubomir Visnovsky and Sheldon Souray were haphazardly discarded at the start of the rebuild.
Unfortunately for Edmonton, the honeymoon is now over. Russell’s play has fallen off, and those concerns about the second pairing are once again worth noting.
November 03 2016 02:30PM
Matthew Tkachuk will play his 10th NHL game tonight, burning off the first year of his ELC, meaning his contract will expire a year earlier than it needs to. With four points in nine games, it's a bold move for the team.
Tkachuk, from a points perspective, isn't producing enough to say he is a vital contributor to this team. Since he is not providing any additional wins through his points contribution, it would be good from a contract perspective to send him to London and bring up Hunter Shinkaruk and have him produce at a similar rate for no ELC loss.
On the other hand, Tkachuk is simply playing out of his mind, regardless of whether or not it shows up on the scoresheet. By looking at the possession numbers, you can certainly make the argument that Tkachuk playing in the NHL is the right spot. In fact among one of the strongest rookie classes in recent NHL memory, he is one of the best possession players.