I tried to think of a picture or a video that sums up how Saturday went for the Canucks and what kind of an impact it could have on them to start the season, what with injuries and suspensions galore. I think this fits the bill:
Injuries to David Booth, Jordan Schroeder and Niklas Jensen all going down with injuries, and pending suspensions to Dale Weise (for his STUPID elbow on Taylor Hall) and Zack Kassian (for his reckless stick swing that broke Sam Gagner's jaw) mean you're going to see a pretty veteran-laden lineup tonight at Rogers Arena as the Canucks host the Phoenix Coyotes.
Weise likely gets a slap on the wrist for his hit, and is anyone really upset about him missing a game or two? But I find myself scratching my head over the in-person hearing for Kassian. He deserves a suspension for careless use of the stick, of that there is no question, but to suggest that what happened in the incident was deliberate is ludicrous. And suggestions of criminality? Hogwash. One of the true detriments that being a fan of sports in this internet age is the hyper-sensitivity and overuse of hyperbole in incidents that affect our teams. All fan bases are guilty of it. Zack Kassian deserves to sit for what he did, but painting him in the same light as some axe-wielding murderer, or even as a modern day Marty McSorely is disingenuous. Harrison Mooney had a nice take on it over at Pass It To Bulis. Edmonton's response to all this reeks of the Buffalo Sabres response to Milan Lucic running Ryan Miller a while back: Adding face-punchers to the lineup for 'toughness', as they added Steve MacIntyre to their lineup, and coach Dallas Eakins and, quite hilariously, Ben Eager calling out Kassian and Eager even going so far as to make rather obvious threats against the skilled players of the Canucks. Eager would do well to work on the facets of his game that actually matter, so that he's not down in Oklahoma City the next time the Canucks and Oilers meet up. But hey, it's not like we haven't seen hypocrisy from the Oilers camp before, right? We all know what a deliberate stick swing actually looks like. The Oilers would do well to tone down the yapping, so that things do not head down a path we know all too well in these parts.
So what to make of this preseason so far? While some are sounding the panic alarms already, seemingly ignorant of the fact that preseason results are rarely an indicator of regular season success, I would think it's going to be a while til we see just what kind of team the Canucks are. New coaching staff, new players, rookies fighting for positions that previously were locked up, and of course, the goaltending issues mean it could be weeks before we see this team really take shape.
Also, I am going to be representing Nucks Misconduct as I do a radio hit this afternoon at 4:35 pm Pacific time on WCRD 91.3 at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, speaking with them about the Canucks on their NHL show. I sure hope we'll have something to talk about, haha. You can listen here.
Kickass Metal Tune Of The Day
Going back to one of the more unheralded bands out of Seattle for this one. At a time when the world was fawning over anything in flannel and Doc Martin's, this power trio was creating some wicked thrash metal. Off their amazing "As Above... So Below" album, here's Forced Entry.