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Willie Shuffles The Top Lines, Biega Recalled And More

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This guy is far from my shitlist lately. Atta boy, Brad!
This guy is far from my shitlist lately. Atta boy, Brad!
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we've seen it before, but it appears Jannik Hansen will be getting to play with the Brothers Sedin against the Rangers on Saturday night, while Radim Vrbata gets demoted to line 2 with Alexandre Burrows and Nick Bonino.

Let's take a quick look at who's hot and cold for the Canuck lately.

First off: the team has lost 3 games in a row for the first time all season. Losses to the Leafs, Sens and Canadiens at the end of a 7-games in 12 nights road trip. The Canucks looked seemingly wasted in the final 2 games of that trip. Unlike last season, however, the Canucks scored 6 goals in those last 3 losses. The issue, beyond fatigue, is the defence and lord we have seen defensive breakdowns all season despite the excellent start. Has the goaltending been inconsistent? Yea sure, at times. But when Linden and Co. preached a more up-tempo style of hockey before the season started who didn't see that meaning an ass-load of odd man rushes against? OK, perhaps a lot of you. Ryan Miller cannot stop them all. But I don't wanna say more about that. They need to tighten up defensively somehow without killing their offensive punch from all 4 lines.

Speaking of Miller, he talked about a lot of things, including the tiresome road trip on Friday:

Wanna see scary? How about this:

NHL Standings

That almost doesn't seem fair does it? 3 points away from being in 9th spot in the West with an 18-9-2 record? No pressure, guys. Yeesh. It is worthy of being happy about though. The Canucks have been good enough so far this season to still be in a solid spot in the standings. Yea, the race is tight but after 18 road games played in 29 games....I like where they are.

HOT AND COLD

-Henrik Sedin has 2 assists in his last 4 games.

-Daniel Sedin has 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 4 games.

-Radim Vrbata (aka "Verby") has 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 4 games and 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 5. So, on paper, the demotion seems crappy, hey Radim?

Let's move on to line 2.

-Nick Bonino has disappeared like Fredo Corleone. He has ZERO points in his last 6 games. He has not scored a goal in 15 games. Oh my.....

-Alex Burrows has no points in his last 6 games. None. Did I not tell you he wasn't gonna score more than 15 when not on the Sedin line?

-Chris Higgins has no points in his last 6 games as well. So you can see why Willie shuffles the deck a bit. Line 2 is currently dead.

THE REST OF THE FORWARDS

-Jannik Hansen has 1 assist in his last 3 games played, 3 assists in his last 8 games, so let's promote him. It has worked before. Anybody here wanna see Burr at least get another peak at ice time with the Sedins?

-Derek Dorsett has 2 goals in his last 8 games. That is pretty good for his expectation levels.

-Brad Richardson has really showed up on the scoresheet even in times of woe. He has 4 goals and 4 assists in his last 7 games. Talk about an unsung hero!

No, I am not gonna mention Bo Horvat and Linden Vey. Keep plugging along, kids!

THE DEFENCE RESTS

-Kevin Bieksa has 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 2 games.

-Alex Edler has 1 assist in his last 9 games and 2 assists in his last 15 games. OK fine, I give up on him being a D-man quarterback.

-The rest of the Canucks' defence (Sbisa, Stanton, Tanev and Weber) have a collective 1 goal and 2 assists in their last 5 games. Love hurts.

CANUCKS RECALL BIEGA

The Canucks recalled defenceman Alex Biega from the Utica Comets on Friday. The Montreal native was selected in the 5th round in 2006 by the Buffalo Sabres. The Canucks signed Biega as a free agent in 2013. He has 2 goals and 10 points in 25 games for the Comets this season. I love that Jim Benning keeps on bringing these youngsters up like this. If that isn't development 101 what is? This is Biega's first NHL call-up. In Benning I completely trust. Apparently he was recently watching Comets games and Biega impressed him. How's that for a proactive GM?

DOWN ON THE FARM

-Speaking of the Comets, they currently have a 17-5-4 record, which puts them tops in their AHL Conference.

-Nicklas Jensen and Frankie Corrado were recently sent back down to the farm. Welcome back Shawn Matthias!

-The Comets' scoring leaderboard looks something like this:

Utica Comets scoring leaders

-Joacim Eriksson has a 10-3-0 record with a 2.30 GAA and .917 save percentage.

-Jacob Markstrom has a 7-1-4 record with a 1.77 GAA and .937 save percentage. Yes, the goaltending future of the Canucks currently looks bright.

Good night, all! I was gonna share more links... BAH SCREW IT!

-Why the Canucks are likely to regress. (VancityBuzz.com)

-Things That Make You Go Hmmm... (Canucks Hockey Blog) I love these peeps.

-Is This Canucks Team That Much Better Than The Tort's Fire Edition? (Ed Willes, Da Province)

-Da Province's Jason Botchford sinks to a new low with this abortion.Yah, take a look. You like seeing dead bodies in a car wreck. Or at least, you are curious. So you look anyways. Way to disrespect the Beliveau family, you ass.

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