October 28 2016 06:00PM
Willie Desjardins hasn’t been known for his line matching during his tenure as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks - in fact, he’s been heavily criticized for it. The Canucks’ bench boss has long showed a preference for rolling four lines, but this year’s preseason held a notable exception: the game against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.
Tonight, the Oilers are back in Vancouver, and McDavid is one of the league’s hottest players - something that we’ll probably be a regular occurrence over the next decade. So will Willie and his staff put the same emphasis on hard-matching McDavid like they did in the preseason?
October 28 2016 03:00PM
Over the past couple of days, there have been some intriguing options placed on waivers. Dylan McIlrath, Magnus Paajarvi and Teemu Pulkkinen were all exposed over the last couple of days. Yes, these players have flaws to their games, but they are still quite young and given the Canucks current situation, might've been worth a flyer.
There is obviously a lot that goes into the decision to claim a player on waivers, thus there are many opinions on the subject matter. But that isn't what I wanted to cover today.
October 28 2016 11:41AM
For the second straight year, there are concerns in Canuck Nation about the deployment of young Jake Virtanen. The sixth overall pick in 2014 is averaging under 10 minutes a night so far this season, and the frustration is beginning to show. Be it a phantom injury, ice time woes, a lack of confidence, or a lack of trust from the coach, Virtanen’s 2016-17 campaign isn’t starting off the way that we were hoping.
While the comparisons to William Nylander and Nik Ehlers are always going to be there, at this point it’s best to view Virtanen on his own, and the biggest question right now is: is he being handled properly by Vancouver’s coaching staff and management. To that, I’d have to answer with a resounding no.
October 28 2016 10:19AM
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY SPORTS
Sometimes, when somebody describes a hockey player, you get a mental image of them in your head. The summer of inane arguments about Kris Russell, both involving the Leafs and other teams, gave me a mental image of a hulking, physical, shot blocking machine. Has to be, with the way people talk about him; my eyes must've just been deceiving me when he looked pretty pedestrian-sized on my TV.
Sure enough, he's 5'10, 170. A real-world average height and weight who's description is larger than life. This post isn't about Kris Russell in the slightest, but it was baffling to me that this guy, who gets talked about as the player who is more likely to take a player out of the league than to get taken out, is an inch shorter and about the same weight as Mitch Marner.
October 28 2016 09:42AM
With last night's win in St. Louis, the Detroit Red Wings are starting to get not their just own fanbase, but countless NHL observers to stand up and take notice. There are some impressive factors that have led the Wings to snag 12 points in 8 games so far. How good a start is this based on recent history? Well, let's say then can finish the first 10-game segment of this season with 15 points -- want to know the last time they did that?