After wrapping up that homestand with a 4-2-1 record, the Vancouver Canucks are in the 'Murrican capital tonight, taking on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to kick off their final Eastern road swing of the season. And in true Canucks fashion, they're doing it with a myriad of dramas unfolding. First we have the Chris Higgins situation. Higgy cleared waivers, and reported to the Utica Comets. Higgins is from that part of New York, so while it's a disappointment to be in this situation I am sure it's tempered somewhat by being able to play close to home, and knowing he can provide a leadership role for the Comets.
We have the whole 'Low-life Sedins' thing, which saw Denis Potvin offer up an apology for the utterly bizarre comments he made about Daniel following the win over Florida the other night. I think the thing I liked, is that while we had hacks like Mark Spector piling on and taking cheap shots while they had the opportunity to take a run at the Canucks (something our old friend Spec is notorious for, and note, he got the wrong Sedin here):
As much respect as I have for Henrik, when a Burrows teammate complains about words said, it rings pretty hollow.— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) January 12, 2016
While guys worthy of respect simply come out and defend the player being maligned because it's a) the right thing to do and b) honest. As far as Spec, well... nice back pedal, bud. And if you missed it, Cox couldn't pass either. So take a look at Cox's back pedal tweet. Someone said something about Rypien? That takes an already pathetic move by Shawn Thornton, and moves it into unacceptable territory. Hearsay, for sure. But if this is true, that's so far over the line.
Finally, we have a full-on goaltender controversy. Yup, I said it. I know we've been dealing with this for years now, and it seemed like it was a thing of the past, but with Ryan Miller continuing to ride the pine despite getting the clearance to return to the lineup how could it be anything but? Jacob Markstrom has done everything that's been expected of him, answering what was a pretty serious question leading into this season, and one that had many people doubting him after the games we saw him play in last year: can he translate his AHL success to the NHL level? While he hasn't quite been the league leader he was in the A, he has given the Canucks a chance to win every night. At the very least, the Canucks have to give an even split the rest of the way with Miller and Markstrom, he's earned that much. Miller gets the start tonight, but we'll see tomorrow when they head into Carolina for a rematch against the Hurricanes. Oh, and you may as well start the game 1-0 Caps, because...
Dan O'Halloran & Kelly Sutherland are your zebras for Caps-Canucks tonight at 7pm at the VC.— Ed Frankovic (@EdFrankovic) January 14, 2016
FRESH HOT LINKS
Imagine, for a moment, in 2011 people suggested the Boston Bruins had no right to complain about the Aaron Rome hit because they had Brad Marchand on their team.
- The youth movement is go
- Great piece from last week on those low-life Sedins over at Van City Buzz
- East coast bias? More like from the AB border on...
- Our pals over at Japers Rink with their pregame thoughts
- Road heavy schedule caused problems? You don't say...
- Alexander The Great could break Gretzky's 'unbreakable' record, and I am okay with that...
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
In the light of the death of Alan Rickman to cancer yesterday at age 69, I thought of throwing down VENOM's 'Die Hard' as a tribute, but I knew there had to be something out there that better fit the bill here. I present to you: HANS GRUBER AND THE DIE HARDS. Ahem.