I think I've found the solution to the Canucks' "lack of toughness", and it can be solved from within the organization. No trade will be necessary.
Make it team policy that anyone who plays for the Canucks has to get a face tattoo.
The perception that the team lacks toughness would evaporate instantly. I dare any NHL player to take a run at a guy with a face tattoo, or any NHL referee to make a bad call against them. That would be like juggling sticks of dynamite. It's a simple fact of nature that a man willing to tattoo something on his face is capable of flying off the handle at the drop of a hat. Does anyone mess with Weezy or Tyson? Exactly.
Problem solved. Onto the links.
Vancouver Canucks news & notes
Mike Gillis was on the TEAM yesterday and commented on everything from Kesler, Schneider in shootouts, helmets in warm-up, the team's play since Boston, potential trade options and Salo's condition. [The White Towel]
Sounds like the Sedins both want another crack at the shootout. I proposed this in the post after the Tampa game. Since the twins were last utilized in the skills competition, they've both won scoring titles. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn't stand eating mushrooms, and then all of a sudden you're 25 and you realize you haven't tried them in 15 years? You just might end up liking them. [The Province]
Maybe the Canucks biggest need at the trade deadline this year? Salo insurance. The stats with and without him in the lineup are hard to argue with. I'm not sure this is so much a result of losing Sami himself or just what it does to the D pairings when he's not there. [The White Towel]
With only 3 games in the next 12 days, Alain Vigneault is talkin' 'bout practise. [Vancouver Sun]
John Cullen with some quick Canuck thoughts. I like his bit about the Boston game:
You pour too much into a game that doesn't mean enough in the long run, and it's impossible to argue that game hasn't cost them, both in points and in confidence.
Chris Higgins has just 3 goals in his past 22 games. It was unlikely he would maintain his near 30-goal pace from November, but considering who he's playing with on a nightly basis he should be doing better. [PITB]
Today in Canucks History
[Jan 19, 1971] Rookie defenceman Dale Tallon is the first player to represent Vancouver in the NHL All-Star Game, played at Boston Garden.
NHL news & notes
Brian Elliott has received a 2-year, 3.6M contract extension with the Blues. He sits 2nd in the NHL in both GAA and Save % (tied), and he's going to the All-Star Game because of it. Well deserved. [CBC]
Gary Bettman was in Anaheim last night taking in the Ducks-Coyotes game. While I was hoping they'd show a crowd shot of him in his Coyotes jersey and Coyotes hat waving a giant Coyotes finger, instead he was taking questions about the new CBA. He hopes talks will begin after the All-Star break. [NHL.com]
Note for Bruins fans: That was a joke. That is not actually Brad Marchand. He has much better taste in shirts.
Last night the Canadiens played the Capitals, and Rene Bourque had to answer the bell for the elbow he threw on Nicklas Backstrom back on Jan 3 that left the Capitals star concussed. Bourque threw down with Matt Hendricks, and did a pretty decent job of holding his own. [HockeyFights.com]
I'll end things off with a sweet John Stewart takedown of the Bruins [thanks @ArtemChubarov]
Today in NHL History
[Jan 19, 1995] The NHL Board of Governors approved the sale of the Winnipeg Jets, officially clearing the way for the team to move to Phoenix for the 1996-97 season.