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Your Morning Coffee- Saturday Feb 12- Happy Hockey Day In Canada

I love Hockey Day in Canada.  Whether you are out at a local rink, on some frozen pond, on a rain-soaked street or in front of your tv or monitor, Hockey Day is becoming something that fans of the greatest game on earth look forward to here in Canada and the United States.  There's road hockey here in Victoria, the big 5 Hole For Food games on Granville Street, and at the host city for HDIC, the WHL's Kamloops Blazers taking on the Vancouver Giants from Whitehorse.  A big game for the Canucks tonight as they look to get back on track against the hated Calgary Flames.  The Canucks are welcoming Sami Salo back to the lineup tonight, as well as the debut of Victor Oreskovich.  More after the jump...

There should be an unwritten rule that if a team says a player is feeling fine after a big hit, we should just automatically assume they have a concussion.  Despite claims by the Canucks that Dan Hamhuis was feeling fine after the game Wednesday, we know now that was not the case at all.  So with three of the top 6 out of the lineup, the arrival of Salo could not come at a more opportune time.  We all know Salo's injury history, but when he is healthy, he is not just a rock on the back end but a serious offensive threat.  Yes it's gonna take him some time to get up to speed, but having him here to take some of the load off Christian Ehrhoff and Kevin Bieksa is a good thing.

Do the Canucks lack grit?  That question is being bandied around right now after the lack of response to the hit by Getzlaf.  Sure, you could argue that they were more focused on trying to comeback in the game, but at the same time there has to be some kind of line that when crossed, the team is willing to send a response.  By not addressing it, have the Canucks sent a message to other teams that one of the biggest criticisms of the team from the past two seasons has seemingly passed over by the management?

On the one hand, there certainly should have been something done to Getzlaf for the hit, clean or not.  Not that they needed to injure him, but just a physical response.  As I mentioned though, the team was focused on trying to come back in the game, and Anaheim is the kind of team that could take that response and spiral it out of control.  Quite the conundrum, no?  As far as whether or not they have more grit this season, you simply need to look at the third line Center position to tell you the answer.  Ask any team who would provide more grit: Manny Malholtra or Kyle Wellwood

It's beginning to look like the Canucks may acquire some of that grit as we head towards the trade deadline on the 28th, but in the meantime, a little more physical play tempered with composure would hardly be a bad thing...

Bacon, Eggs and Home Fries

Well wasn't that a gong show on Long Island last night.  Not sure who comes out of that looking worse; the Islanders or the Penguins?  Both teams were guilty of dirty, cheap hits.  There are suspensions sure to come, though the news that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is personally involved in the investigation to the incident (yes kids, there's actually an investigation) brings to mind Inspector Cleauseau more than Hercule Poirot.  From the two-handed chop by John Tavares in response to getting run by Maxime Talbot, to the suckerpunch attempt by Matt Martin that was a response to Talbot's hit from behind on the Islanders' Blake Comeau the last time these teams met, that left Comeau with a concussion.  As a Canucks fan seeing Martin stalk Talbot brought back some pretty horrible memories of the one of the darkest days in this franchise's history.  The longest suspension will likely go to Pittsburgh's Eric Godard for leaving the bench to be the third man in when the Isles' Micheal Haley fought Penguins' G Brent Johnson while making his way off the ice.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Pens coach Dan Bylsma get suspended for this as well.  One of the more disturbing moments of the night came as Isles enforcer Trevor Gillies nailed Eric Tangradi with an elbow then began to try and fight him as Tangradi, obviously injured crumpled to the ice.  As an enforcer, that would be outside the code, wouldn't it?  That game was a little different than the dustup between the Bruins and Canadiens earlier in the week in that it seemed way more likely someone was gonna get seriously hurt.  That was as close to boiling over as any game we have seen in a decade at the least... A couple goalies faced off against their former teams last night, with varying degrees of success.  Curtis McIlhinney and the Anaheim Ducks got a goal with just seconds remaining in OT to knock off the Calgary Flames 5-4, while Marty Turco and the Chicago Blackhawks blew a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 in the skills competition.  That sound you hear is the keys to the panic button being rattled in Chi Town... Peter Forsberg made his return to the NHL last night as the Colorado Avalanche lost again, 3-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Forsberg was held off the score sheet, was -2 and thankfully didn't punch Columbus G Mathieu Garon in the balls... the Jeckyl and Hyde Detroit Red Wings stomped a mudhole in the Boston Bruins 6-1 last night, which means they must be due to get shutout in their next outing...

WAACH 'Cast's Band Of The Day- ENTOMBED

One of the godfathers of the Swedish Death Metal scene, their low tuned, gutteral guitar riffs inspired many others from their early demos under the name Nihilist, to their slightly scaled back 'Death n Roll' style in the latter half of their career.  One of the Earache Records bands that made it through the partnership with Columbia Records relatively unscathed, they had a minor hit on their hands when they did a cross promotion with Marvel Comics for the album Wolverine Blues.