The Canucks are at .500 after 6 games. That's not fog you see, that's the smoke from pitchforks of disgruntled Canucks fans blaming this predicament on Roberto Luongo, Alain Vigneault, Jason Garrison and Mike Gillis. So is this a shock, or is this simply what more people should have expected out of the gate from a team that went in down two offensive weapons?
3 out of 6 points in a 3 games in 4 nights scenario through California isn't such a bad result, unless you're the Vancouver Canucks. Stop me if you've heard this one, but some people aren't happy about it. Whether it's blaming a shootout loss on Roberto Luongo against LA, or blaming the previous game against the Sharks on the coach and Vancouver's newest defenceman, some Canucks fans are in mid-season agitation form.
Yes, we get it. There's not a lot of time in this shortened season. So a quick look back even at the last two seasons show the Canucks oozing out of the gate at the exact same pace. Do they need to rattle off a string of wins here? Of course, but knowing what we know about this team and the way they come out of the gate, why act like this is a surprise? This is just typical Canucks Janutober hockey at it's average best. Yes we know they need to get Ryan Kesler and to a lesser extent David Booth into the lineup, but was there anyone saying before the season started that this wasn't going to be an issue? If you did, well...
The good news is that the team the Canucks face tonight are well on their way to another mediocre finish, the Colorado Avalanche. While they have a few good components, this is not your father's
Nordiques Avalanche team that used to quite literally make the Canucks their bitches when they rolled through town. Much like the Oilers before them, the glory days are fading into distant memory, and unlike said Oilers, things don't seem to getting better any time soon in Denver. Losing Gabriel Landeskog to a head injury after that dirty hit from the Sharks' Brad Stuart isn't helping their fortunes, and they're currently battling Phoenix (which has that whole ownership thing hanging over their heads) and Calgary (who are old as dirt and have Jay Feaster dripping nacho cheese on their heads) for the right to be Edmonton this year.
So then just to make sure the drama is heightened, the Canucks announce that Roberto Luongo is starting tonight, leading some to speculate that he's having his stats padded the way Mike Gillis did with Cody Hodgson to increase his attractiveness in a trade down the road. Justin Bourne of The Score was wondering this, but while it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility, I would imagine this is merely the Canucks utilizing their advantage of having two top quality goaltenders, and using Luongo against a team he plays well against. You could of course say that they're protecting him from starting against Chicago, but I would say you read too much Barry Rozner, and in addition seek some help for your obvious drinking issues. There may be some truth to it all, but given that Eddie Lack is gone for the season after hip surgery, it does make the Canucks' urgency to trade lessened a bit.
I wish I could make lasagna that tastes the way it does the day after you make it
The Canucks' might not have too much trouble against the banged-up Avs, but they should be mindful of looking ahead to Friday and a visit from those bastard Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks are in Minnesota tonight for something called 'Rivalry Wednesdays' on NBCSN, which is weird because EVERYONE knows that it's the Canucks who are the biggest rivals of the North Stars, right Mr. Reynolds? ;)
I promise to wean myself from using the phrase "It's early in the season..." I promise, but I am gonna go out on a limb here and say the Islanders just might be a dark horse for making the playoffs. Look at what they did to Pittsburgh last night. This is a team that is getting some balanced scoring, and some fine goaltending from Evgeni Nabokov right now. In this crazy sprint to the end of April, I won't be surprised to see them in the top 8 in the East. And speaking of the Isles, Colin McDonald got a 2 game Shanaban for a hit from behind on the Penguins' Ben Lovejoy... Another couple teams off to great starts battle tonight as Montreal is in Ottawa to face the Senators. The Habs will still be without PK Subban, who will likely be back this weekend... Brandon Prust appears to have spent his off-season enrolled in the Brad Marchand Academy Of Less-Than-Credible Acting... And yes, Brad Marchand is still an insufferable douche bag, even in Jeff Skinner slew foots people...
KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY
This concert was just announced for Vancouver, and it's certainly a big one for fans of underground metal as Texas Black Metal Wizards ABSU are making their first appearance in BC. They call their particular brand of musical brilliance "Mythological Occult Metal", incorporating Celtic, Folk, and even Jazz and Psychedelic influences. You may not have heard of them, but you almost heard of their drummer, Russ Givens (better known as Proscriptor McGovern) as he almost became the drummer for Slayer a couple years back...
Here's my favorite track from them, off the album Tara, this is