Here's a crazy theory: is the listless play we've been seeing from the Canucks lately a sign of a lack of motivation? The club sits 11 points clear of the second place team in their Division. Barring a disaster, they have home ice advantage in the bag for the playoffs. Or is it just a matter of this team finding ways to make things hard for themselves? Earlier in the year, the team couldn't buy a save, but on Saturday Luongo stopped 44 of 46, and now the skaters are in disarray. The special teams and even strength play have alternated dominance throughout the season, but now with mostly everyone healthy, both have fallen flat. In pro sports, I guess nothing is that simple.
News and notes from a sunny February weekend following the jump!
Vancouver Canucks News & Notes
We start with a milestone: The Stanchion celebrating his 2nd career point as a Canuck, going 59 games in between assists:
It sounds like David Booth played through a pretty tough neck injury against the Avs. [Vancouver Sun]
As is being noted more and more, the Canucks have been collecting some ugly points lately. [Vancouver Sun]
In fact, the late-game heroics we've been seeing — especially Saturday's off-the-stanchion game tier by Kevin Bieksa — are starting to approach those of Tim Tebow on the miracle scale. As usual, it's all Kesler's fault. [PITB]
Byron Bitz played his first game with the big club on Saturday, notching a big hit and a good scrap. It was a promising showing in what's been a tough year for Bitz. [The White Towel]
Marda Miller's latest "The Good, The Bad, and The..." [Canucks Army]
Kevin Bieksa's middle name has been changed to "Francesco" on his Wikipedia page. Good work by all involved to make this happen. [Fort Nucks]
Today in Canucks History
[Feb 6, 2004] Longtime Canucks employee Norm Jewison is named the 2004 NHL Alumni 7th Man. The 7th Man Award is awarded annually to a member of the NHL family who has contributed behind the scenes for a significant period of time. In Norm's case, he began working for the Vancouver Canucks prior to the 1977-78 season. He was formally presented his award at the NHL Alumni All-Star Awards Dinner in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
[Feb 6, 2006] Henrik Sedin is named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for the second period ending Sunday, February 5, 2006. He recorded 7 points (2-5-7) in three games played.
NHL News & Notes
Sam Gagner's incredible story continued Saturday night, as he was in on three straight Oiler goals in the first period. Gagner's mark of being in on 11 straight goals actually broke Wayne Gretzky's record of 10. [PHT]
Elliotte Friedman mentioned in between periods that the longest streak of a player being in on his team's goals is 15, set by Jaromir Jagr in 1997. The most points in back-to-back games belong to the Stastny brothers, who I believe Friedman said had 14. Gagner didn't break either of those, but he was a part of the play on Jordan Eberle's tying goal in the 3rd.
Is an NHL team in Seattle still a viable option? Sounds like it. [Seattle Times] The Sedins even get a mention in the article:
Most important, imagine parents and children having the same opportunities my father had when he took me to my first NBA game; having the chance to take their kids to Sodo to see Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose, or the NHL's Sedin twins and Marian Gaborik.
Scott Gomez has now officially gone more than one calendar year without scoring an NHL goal, while making over $7M in salary. As Harrison Mooney explains, he almost fell shy of the milestone. [Puck Daddy]
Of course, there is also a Facebook page dedicated to Gomez's goal futility. If you're having trouble keeping track of Gomez's (lack of) progress, there's always this awesome page, too.
Two years ago yesterday, the hockey world lost its first openly gay player, when Brendan Burke passed away following a terrible car accident. MLHS takes a look at the impact both Brendan's coming out and his passing have had on the hockey world. [Maple Leafs Hot Stove]
Watch as a KHL goalie gets scored on from the faceoff dot...at the opposite end of the rink. [Puck Daddy]
Today in NHL History
[Feb 6, 1986] New Jersey Devil Peter McNab becomes the 42nd NHLer to score 350 goals.