[Insert your own "Tale of Two Cities" joke here.]
Yes, hockey is back. Last night there was a lot of NHL action so I will make this intro brief. Vancitydan did a great review of the games last night so go give that a read, it should be floating below this post. In order to not repeat content, I will just give out my stars and FAILURES OH GOD SUCH FAILURES of the night:
Stars of the night:
Eddie Lack: Dude looks like a legit prospect. Off to another strong training camp, Lack has good size and good mobility. Makes you look at Legace and wonder how Legace ever made it in this league. I want Schneider to stay, but should he be dealt this season, Lack is making that scenario not nearly as painful as it would have been if we had no Lack. Plus TSN can have fun with his name. "Canucks not Lack-ing confidence". It practically writes itself.
Marco Sturm: As badly as I wanted Mancari to be the pre-season Champ, Sturm has that title after day one. Of course Sturm played on the stronger squad, and played against a weaker Flames team, but Sturm's knee didn't explode and he had a ton of scoring chances, along with two points last night. Mason Raymond was seen crying openly on the sidelines, wondering why that red light kept coming on when Sturm was on the ice, and was seen asking why Sturm wasn't ringing the puck around the boards and out in the offensive zone (More after the jump)
Keith Ballard/Chris Tanvev: Ballard got 20 + minutes on the night. That along is mind blowing. Chris Tanev looked like he ate the heart of a Unicorn to gain offensive prowess. That is also mind blowing. The pair continued to show their chemistry as they were the best pair on the ice by far. If it wasn't Ballard slapping aside the sticks of the Flames as he circled the offensive zone over and over and over again, it was Tanev jumping in the rush getting shots off on net, hitting posts and taking names. I look forward to Tanev getting stuck with 8 minutes a game due to AV's hatred of Ballard this season.
Steve Pinizzotto: A lot of teams were apparently after this kid in the off-season, and you could see why last night. Just played with a ton of confidence and ended up getting a couple of points. I could have chosen Jensen for this spot too, as he played well, but I felt Pinizzotto deserved the spot as he gets the "What the ****, who is this kid, why is he playing so well?" factor
Mark Mancari: You thought I wouldn't talk about my boy? YOU THOUGHT WRONG. Mark Mancari was given the task of playing with the death squad yesterday, you know that squad, the ones that get sent over the trenches and at the Germans on the first wave during World War 1. Mancari handled this duty very well, getting a goal, and getting 5 shots off, and playing strong on the puck all night long. Mancari looked really good when playing with Hodgson, but was saddled with Fedoruk most of the night. If you can manage to get a goal playing with Fedoruk then I think you can call that a good night.
Cody Hodgson: Played amazing. Was strong on the puck, did not look slow out there, and created several offensive chances. Tony Gallagher rants aside, I am excited to see Cody get a chance with a squad that has actual talent. But like I said, Cody and Mark had that Naslund/Bertuzzi vibe when they played (Mark created space, Cody brought the dangles) so I would really like to see Sturm/Cody/Mancari at one point.
FAILURES OH GOD THE FAILURES of the night:
Owen Nolan: I felt he didn't show nearly enough last night on a very very strong Canucks squad. Obviously you want to give him a bit more time, but for a short exhibition schedule, how much time can you give Nolan to show his stuff? He has a bunch of young kids who showed more than him last night, so I was a bit surprised at the game Nolan had last night
Manny Legace: Not really Legace's fault, he was on a bad squad, but he got lit up last night, which didn't do him any favors in trying to land an NHL gig.
Anders Ericksson: It's hard to imagine a worse start to a game than Anders. Took some penalties and showed terrible foot speed, leaving the broadcasters to make fun of Anders between commercials when they thought they weren't on air.
Roberto Luongo: He didn't show up at all
ON TO THE NEWS!
Vancouver Canuck News:
- Eddie Lack gets praise, is happy, eats cookie to celebrate [Ottawa Citizien]
- Chris Tanev and Stevie P get praise. They do not get cookies to celebrate, however. [Vancouver Sun]
- Tony Gallagher RAGE QUITS his Call of Duty session ("HOW DID HE STAB ME FROM 10 FEET AWAY???") to rage over Vigneault's handling of Cody Hodgson. I like a good AV bashing as good as the next guy, but TG really goes over the top on this one. [Vancouver Province]
- Ben Kuzma is starting to get aboard the Mancari train as he realizes and appreciates the effort put forth by Mark last night. Also mentions some Cody kid who played well. Apparently. Whatever, I was too busy watching Mancari score goals last night to see what Cody did. [Vancouver Province]
- The Owen Nolan story is re-visited. Is anything new added in this article? Of course not. But people gots to get paid, so this article was done. Let's call it the Nolan Re-Mix article. [National Post]
- The Botch weighs in with his thoughts on the Canucks game last night AND makes fun of Aaron Rome. Double win. [Vancouver Province]
- If you're going to read one article today that I link, make it this one. Cam Charron over at Canucks Army has posted a great story into the performance of Roberto Luongo last year that might actually make you put down your pitchforks and torches for a minute. Or not. OFF WITH HIS HEAD! [Canucks Army]
- RJ Umberger got HORRIBLY overpaid, leaving Brian Burke to finally leap up and scream "I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN!". Finally, Brian, your time is now. [Puck Daddy]
- Flyers pounded the Leafs last night 4-0. Reimer, shockingly, did not turn into a giant robot and win the game on his own. [Philly.Com]
- On the Forecheck reviews the Predators 2-0 win over the Capitals last night. Not once was the word "Smashville" used and for that I thank you. [On the Forecheck]
- The Jets won big at home, and then lost on the road, but who cares about the score, HOCKEY IS BACK IN WINNIPEG! It was a pretty cool scene to see NHL hockey finally return to the 'Peg, and I for one look forward to renewing the annual Vancouver tradition of crushing their dreams in the playoffs. [Vancouver Sun]
- Ex-Canuck Andrew Raycroft starts on the Vezina path early by beating down the Canadiens [Montreal Gazette]
- Tampa Bay loses to St. Louis 3-1, leaving many to wonder just what happened to wonder kid Steve Yzerman. "He's losing it" claims Lightning Fan GOBOLTZ12341
- Chicago loses to the Oilers 4-2. And anytime Chicago loses, we fist bump any Canuck fan we see. *fist bump*[Copper and Blue]
- Hockey Wilderness got to talk about a game in which more than one goal was scored. Read their excitement about the 4-3 win over the other Oilers squad. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Patrick O'Sullivan AKA that guy all of you signed off of the free agent list in NHL 12, got 4 points. This will be the last time he ever gets 4 points. Yotes beat the Ducks 7-4. [ESPN]