October 31 2016 08:00AM
Fine... The title may be a bit harsh and premature. It is still pretty early and there is a good chunk of the season still to go. Things could potentially change, but at the moment the sun is not shining on young Alexander Burmistrov and I didn't want to go with the overused "The Curious Case of..." title you see throughout sports writing.
The truth is Burmistrov has come back to the Winnipeg Jets and it has not been pretty.
October 31 2016 07:00AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a big bet on Frederik Andersen this summer when they acquired him for Jonathan Bernier and two high draft picks, then proceeded to sign Andersen to a long-term contract extension. When the new starter struggled to start the season, fans and media alike were concerned about what was going on with the Leafs' starting goalie. The situation culminated in a tense exchange between a reporter and Mike Babcock earlier this week:
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.