The road trip continues as does the debate: Is this a slump if they are the hottest team in the league? We know the team has put forth some lackluster efforts of late, but they continue to win. And even when they don't win, they continue to get points, unlike earlier in the season where they couldn't buy their way into overtime. They're a little banged up and looking lost, yet night after night this team is doing just enough to win, so is it fair to call it a slump? Your guess is as good as mine. I have been saying all along that there's something to be said about teams that find a way to win. Sure the shootout isn't gonna help them come playoff time, but battling through adversity? That's something you want a team to know, to live and breathe. This Canucks team may have more heart than last year's incarnation. And for the rest of the NHL, that's not good news.
Heading into tonight's match against Minnesota, the Canucks are waiting to hear if Henrik Sedin is good to go tonight. He was wearing a walking boot after the Nashville game, victim of a slapshot off his ankle, but the CT scan in Minneapolis came back negative and he was on the ice this morning, looking to Canucks press corps members very much like he will be ready to go for game time. The possessor of the 2nd longest ironman streak in the NHL, Henrik had a big game Tuesday in spite of the injury and will be called upon once again as the Canucks look to dispatch their divisional rivals.
One guy who won't be in the lineup is Dale Weise. He also suffered an injury blocking a shot and will be out tonight, the Canucks have called up 'Count' Mike Duco from the Chicago Wolves to take Weise's place on the 4th line. The Minnesota Wild will be welcoming back Mikko Koivu back to their lineup tonight, and he is a key component for the Wild as they fight tooth and nail to hang on to that 8th and final playoff spot. The biggest thing Koivu brings to the Wild is goal scoring, something this team struggles mightily with, and let's face it, in the run and gun West, if you can't score you're not going too far.
Standing in the Wild's way tonight is
Roberto Cory Schneider, much to the dismay of Wild fans, and the relief of Canucks fans. Why does he play so bad in Minnesota? Not sure. But we don't have to find out tonight, because of that whole problem we have with two kickass goalies on the roster. Sure does suck to be the Canucks sometimes, amirite? Luongo will be back in the crease Saturday night as the Canucks make a return to Hockey Night In Canada for the first appearance in nearly 7 years, to take on the Flames. Olli Jokinen better have a double Big Mac meal before that one...
Tim Thomas, sleeper agent? Maybe not, but it sure as hell is beginning to look like he is a saboteur, destroying the Bruins from within. On the heels of the Bruins' worst loss of the season, a 6-0 humiliation at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres (yes, Ryan Miller's Buffalo Sabres), today Timmy once again refused to answer media questions about his latest political statement on Facebook, walking out on the media scrum. Thomas used his Facebook account to decry the recent US government ruling requiring Catholic Hospitals and health care providers to provide birth control access. The Catholic Church feels this is a declaration of war against their beliefs and Thomas likened this to the Holocaust, being a sensible man void of any need for hyperbole. He walked out of today's scrum, quipping a Miranda Rights-like "I'm going to use my rights to remain silent". When you consider that this is often what is uttered by those arresting you as you are accused of committing a crime, the Freudian implications are hilarious. Thomas is wrong, again. Tim is claiming that these statements are personal, because they're on his Facebook page and therefore off limits. The page is littered with pictures and postings of his accomplishment as a hockey player and employee of the Boston Bruins. And being a member of the professional sports community, your actions on and off the ice are going to be scrutinized. Good and bad. You can't expect the media to only cover you making a personal appearance at a charity event, then overlook something like this. That's not how it works. It is the price of stardom. We didn't invent the game, but he chose to play it. The real question once again is: Is this causing problems in the room for the Bruins? The comments from coach Claude Julien suggest he's certainly growing weary of what has to be a distraction. The Bruins are struggling right now, and their frustration was clear as day on the ice last night. This isn't going away, and it may be to the detriment of Boston's stretch drive.
CLASSIC METAL SONG OF THE DAY
Something a little different, and a track fitting for the doomy, gloomy day outside. British doom lords Paradise Lost with one of their classics 'True Belief'