That was an impressive win last night against a less than inspired Flames squad. I feel like the Flames are a zombie someone forgot to double tap, but instead shot once, leaving them still alive, just barely, and crawling along inch by inch. The Regehr trade to this day still makes no sense to me, I still find it strange about the return they got for Phaneuf, and I laugh that Bouwmeester was once a sought after commodity by the Canucks. Apparently having a draft day talent of "Best pure skater since Paul Coffey" will buy you a lot of time to find your game in the NHL. A lot.
That being said, give full credit to Vancouver for beating down Calgary, as the Canucks made sure they didn't have to rely upon a 5 minute effort in the third period to get it done. They actually played strong to start the game, which was a bit odd to see.
- Higgins looks awesome so far this season. Anyone remember when he was a Hab? He was a golden boy over there. Considered untouchable by their fans. If you asked what it would cost to get him, the Habs fans would demand Bertuzzi and Ohlund as a starting point. It was ugly. But then he fell from grace and we were told he was washed up, that he was lucky to be a third liner at this point. Granted, it's just the start of the year, and we all remember how Raffi lit it up last year only to go stone cold the rest of the way, but so far, Higgins has probably been our most reliable player this season. That move he put on Kipper last night was sick.
- Lapierre, another player we were told was god awful and lucky to be in the league, has also nicely turned things around. He continues to make our 4th line good (I am convinced if he was injured, Weise and Volpatti would look like utter shit again) and is making many of us question how long Manny can last on that 3rd line. Higgins is going, Lappy is going, how would they look together? That pass to Hodgson by the way, was as sexy as Lappy's runway looks.
- Hodgson continues to impress me. I am relatively certain he will be here for the year, but it's still nice to see him get rewarded for good play with some points to his name
- Dale Weise. Better than I gave him credit for. I still think they can drop Volpatti to bring in Pinnizotto when he is ready, but for now, that 4th line looks ok. Weise drives to the net with the puck better than I thought he could. The one thing Weise should never do, is fight. Especially in a 5-0 win. There is no point normally fighting when it's 5-0 for your team, and there is even less point fighting when you are the worlds worst fighter. I am not even using hyperbole. I honestly believe him to be the worst fighter in the NHL. To having no punching power, to his refusal to look his attacker in the eye (Honestly, watch him look away for 89% of the fight) Dale Weise makes Trevor Linden look like Anderson Silva. I understand fighting if you play on the edge, hell, Lappy is doing it this year too, but Weise, buddy, good god. You suck at fighting. Maybe sneak in a taser or something to help your cause.
- Luongo would have a vezina by now if he didn't blow last minute shutouts. Granted, it was a nice tip, but really, has there been a worse goalie in the last 3-4 years for losing a shutout with 5 minutes or less?
- Sulzer, following the ever popular ABB rule (Anybody But Ballard), is getting a lot of praise from the Canuck coaches. Says Alain Vigneault, "He's nothing like Ballard. He doesn't look like Ballard, he doesn't smell like Ballard, he doesn't taste like Ballard. Due to this, we feel he has been fantastic." [Vancouver Sun]
- Dan Murphy, who I am discovering rapidly that I really dislike, has an opinion piece. What is his opinion? His opinion is that the Canucks will have a lot of options on defence once Rome comes back. Controversial, I know. [Sportsnet]
- Pinizzotto done broke himself again. Or as I like to call it, "cap management". Anytime we come too close to having to cut somebody to clear space, somebody gets injured... [Province Sports]
- Dan Murphy also feels that the Canucks win more games when they score more goals then their opponent. That piece should be up tomorrow.
- Want a more boring recap of the game than the one Nucks MIsconduct provided? The only bonus is this one has cliched quotes in it. [Globe and Mail]
- Hockeys Future has an update on all the Canucks prospects. They were also nice enough to still call Prab Rai a prospect. Kudos on that one gentlemen. It's a good read and gives you a bit of info on how each of our prospects is doing this year. Ha. Prab Rai as a prospect with a future. Gets me every time. [Hockeys Future]
- Just because it's more fun reading about our win over the Flames coming from the enemies side. [Calgary Herald]
- Andre Agassi went as Mr. T for Halloween. And here. We. Go. [Vancouver Sun]
- Hey look, it's time for the yearly redemption story of Shane O'Brien! And of course Dater conveniently leaves out the fact Nashville didn't want him back either. It's as if SOB was never on Nashville and that Vancouver was the only team that had issues with him. I look forward to Shane's redemption story on Winnipeg next year. [Denver Post]
- Eventually it will cost a team $5 to pick up Sean Avery on waivers and no one will bite. Avery is back with the Rangers after injuries hit the team and they needed a healthy body. Sean Avery, the herpes of the New York Rangers. He just won't go away. [Freep]
- The Oilers take their show on the road, leaving Mark Lee to weep in his basement as he can't afford the road trip. Want to hear the Nuge talk about not having to do homework anymore? Of course you don't. [Montreal Gazette]
- Andy Sutton gets reamed with the Shanaban, as he is told to sit 5 games. I can't wait until Shanahan has a daily TV court show that will allow even more of a look into the inner workings of the NHL. I would photoshop Shanny's face on a judge, but I am falling asleep. You know I can do it, that counts, right? Good. [Edmonton Journal]
- Jeff Skinner is for real. The kid is insane and has some serious skill. No sophomore slump for him. He basically made Tampa Bay his bitch. Not that making Roloson your bitch is too hard nowadays. But regardless, he had a great game. Hedman looked like trash in this game, by the way. Skinner was out muscling him all night long. Read more about this one game I randomly decided to highlight at [Boston Sucks]
- Joe Thornton vs John Tortorella. Shockingly Big Joe loses at this, too. Read the awesome showdown between coach and player at [LFpress]. Basically Torts calls Joe out for being a loser. Ryan Walters would have been saddened by this.
- Oddly enough Florida is getting another ECHL team which I found odd, because I thought the NHL couldn't demote a team during the season. Good luck in the ECHL though, Panthers! Wait, what? [Miami Herald]