How Unusual Was Frederik Andersen's Cold Streak?

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:

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Adventures in Deployment: Matching McDavid

Jeremy Davis
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?

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Fun with the CBA: Waiver Priority Order

Ryan Biech
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.

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The Canucks are Letting Jake Virtanen Flounder in "Limbo-Land"

Jeremy Davis
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.

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Mitch Marner's skillset is too big to worry about him being small

Jeff Veillette
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.

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