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?
October 28 2016 08:00AM
We're eight games into the 2016-17 season, just shy of 10% through the schedule. The Flames have won three of their eight games and there are a few questions afoot about their scoring. Are they doing enough of it? Or are they scoring about as much as you'd expect (and the "blame" for the losses more falls on their defensive play and goaltenders)?
Using each player's career shooting (and save) percentages as a guide, we've dug into the Flames' numbers thus far in the season to find out.
Nation World HQ
October 28 2016 05:00AM
Leafs need to get Andersen out of the net, Canucks tired already, Jets need to develop their young prospect, Flames have some optimism after slow start, Oilers planning the parade route, and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.