It seems like forever really, but it really does please me to say "The Canucks play tonight". With their Olympic medalists (and in Pavol Demitra's case, Olympic scoring leader) in tow, the Canucks resume the ROAD TRIP FROM HELL (tm) with a swing by Rick Nash's place. After a one-game Monday the NHL gets back into the swing of things with 12 games on the schedule, including our boys down in O-HI-O. More after the jump...
It should be interesting to see how the Olympics affects certain players. Roberto Luongo has the night off, but will be the starter tomorrow in Detroit. Ryan Kesler will have to shake off the heartbreak of that loss on Sunday, but will have the newly energized Pavol Demitra to help give him a spark. And can I point out that Sami Salo didn't get hurt during the Olympics? Hooray!
21 games to go and the Canucks are going to be against right off the bat with 3 games in 4 nights, including Detroit Wednesday and Chicago Friday. The Canucks likely won't be looking ahead though as they concentrate on the Jackets who have given them some trouble at times this year. What will be interesting is how different both of those teams look tomorrow.
The trade deadline is noon pacific time tomorrow, and the most pressing concern for the Canucks remains a top 4 defenseman. With no foreseeable return of Willie Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa needing more recovery time, the Canucks need to plug the major holes on the back end. Names being tossed around the rumor mill are Nashville's Dan Hamhuis and the Islanders' Andy Sutton. Both are big, defensively responsible guys with puck moving ability.
Everybody hates Sid...
As of yesterday, a Facebook group called 'National Hate Sydney Crosby Day' or something to that effect was close to eclipsing the 80k member mark... One of my favorite hockey blogs of late, especially because of their Olympic coverage has been Puck Daddy, but a recent article has ruffled some feathers up here. Ryan Lambert's recent installment of What We Learned was supposed to come of as humorous. While I suppose you could say it was snark, in the end the post ends up reeking of bitterness.
It got me thinking though, and while I don't purport to be an expert by any stretch, I really think it's time that USA Hockey and the American Hockey media dropped the constant 'Miracle' references. It's detrimental to the development of the program and the growth of the game in the US. Your team is ranked 5th by the IIHF. 5th. That doesn't make you an underdog, it just means you're not the favorite. You can't claim to be an underdog if you think your team played the best all tournament. Underdogs come from nations like Belarus, Norway and even Slovakia. A team loaded with NHL'ers with the league's top ranked goalie winning games are not 'Miracles'.
I get that you want to get a buzz going. The fact that millions watched this game is great news for everyone in hockey. Start building the promotion of the game about winning now, as part of a tradition. And try and remember to be as gracious when you lose as when you win. And Ryan, we don't play the same football you do, but you have a point there, funny you mentioned baseball though, as we all know Canadians don't know anything about baseball, eh?
I know we tend to be pretty mean to the Calgary Flames organization and their fans, but after Darryl Sutter signed Rene Bourque and Matt Stajan to 4 year deals with No Trade Clauses, we have now begun to be genuinely concerned about his mental state.
Full pregame and game day threads are back, we saw a lot of new faces join us during the Olympics, and we hope you will stick around for the stretch run and beyond. Any trade news involving the Canucks will be posted as soon as we get it.