I took a self-inflicted night off of Canucks hockey last night, only watching a few minutes of the game. Between the World Juniors and the Canucks busy schedule, there have been a lot of games lately, and I simply felt like doing other things (like putting this post together). But boy, am I stoked for Saturday's game against the Bruins. You sometimes wonder if the players are looking past a certain game towards a bigger match-up, and I know as a fan, that's exactly what I was doing. It's going to be fun.
I do enjoy the speculation of who's going to start in goal. Luongo's hot right now, but Schneider is a Boston boy and has been patiently waiting for a big start. I think you go with Lou only because — much like his past in Chicago — he's been ventilated in that building and it would be good for his psyche to know if he can win there.
Lots of stuff to get to!
Vancouver Canucks news & notes:
- Roberto Luongo posted his 57th career shutout last night in his 700th career game. [Canucks.com, hey look at who got tweet of the night!]
- Harrison Mooney talks up the Sedins on Puck Daddy. It's terrific to see a Canucks fan so articulately making the case for the twins on a huge blog like PD, but it's also sad that it even needs to be done. [Puck Daddy]
- Quotes taken out of context, John Garrett edition: "That big equipment of Anti Niemi comes in handy." What, no mention of the "reacharound" by Garrett in that game? [Pass it to Bulis]
- Patrick Johnston defends Keith Ballard, and does a pretty good job. In my opinion, Ballard is perhaps the only player on the team who doesn't fit into a clearly defined role, and I don't like that. I wouldn't be sad or shocked if he was traded this year. [Canucks Army]
- DID YOU KNOW Jannik Hansen is on pace for 20 goals? [Legion of Blog]
Today in Canucks history: [Jan 5, 1993] Pavel Bure receives 246,447 fan votes, becoming the first Canuck player to be voted to play in the NHL All-Star game.
NHL news & notes:
- The results are in for All-Star Fan Balloting, and it ain't pretty, folks. Your starters: Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Dion Phaneuf, Erik Karlsson, and Tim Thomas.
- John Tortorella apologized, but was still fined $30,000 for his post-Winter Classic officiating rant. That is a heavy levy, but understandable when you consider he basically suggested that NHL referees conspired with a television network to fix the outcome of a game. Even if it was with a wink and a nudge, that doesn't come through in most news columns. [Sportsnet]
- The Boston Bruins routed the New Jersey Devils 6-1 last night, and now have a +60 goal differential this season. That is just ludicrous. Can't wait for Saturday! [Sporting News]
- The Leafs waived goodbye to Colton Orr yesterday. Another enforcer out of the league. [Vancouver Sun]
- Kerry Fraser with a really long thing about the Krys Barch-PK Subban fiasco. [TSN] Speaking of...
- Jeff Marek on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast yesterday speculated (the keyword here) from things he has heard that Barch's comment to Subban was something along the lines of "did you slip on a banana peel?" Now, that sounds bad given the accusation, but when you think about it it is definitely possible he didn't mean anything by it, and it was just one of those horrifying situations we've all been in where we say something without being completely aware of the implications. [MvsW radio, starts around 18:25]
- Dan Carcillo has been suspended 7 games for his charge on Tom Gilbert the other night:
Today in NHL history: [Jan 5, 1983] Wayne Gretzky scored his 100th point of the season. He achieved his 100th point in only the 42nd game of the season.
- This is strange: Jesse Pauls, defenceman for my local junior team the Victoria Royals, announced his retirement yesterday. What would cause an 18-year-old to retire, aside from his health? Anyone know anything about this? Hope he's OK. [Victoria Royals]
- Eric Francis with a really, really terrible article on Evgeni Kuznetsov. Rife with generalities, untruths, jingoism, and flat out racism at the end. He should be ashamed of this crap. [SLAM Sports]
- Some smart people dissect what Francis said: Cam Charron on Backhand Shelf, and Rob Parker on Japers' Rink.