The funny part about the Canucks, is that if you didn't look at the standings, you'd swear they'd started the season winless. Yet there they are, still somehow sitting in 2nd place in the Pacific, albeit not for long the way things are going.
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|12.5 (24)||Power Play %||18.2 (19)|
|83.3 (14)||Penalty Kill %||88.5 (6)|
|47.6 (26)||Faceoff Win %||48.7 (22)|
||Shooting %||12.9 (1)|
||Corsi For %||46.2 (27)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
It seems like forever since the start of the season and the starts of these two teams were the talk of the NHL. A few days later and it's become a very one-sided conversation. The Oilers are off to the kind of start we had grown accustomed to when they were manned by the likes of Gretzky, Kurri and He Who Shall Not Be Named
But let's remember something: These are not those Oilers. Yes, they have a ton of talent. But lauding the Oilers for their success now, after a decade of being given every opportunity to get better is like applauding a rich kid whose parents paid his way through a series of business failures until one finally clicks. Also, keeping the sample size in mind, there's lots and lots of time for the Oilers to screw this up, and they're relatively healthy for now. Let's see how they're doing as we get closer to Christmas before we declare the dark times in Edmonton to be over.
Everything seems to be going right for the Oilers, though their competition hasn't exactly been the toughest. Save for the games against St Louis and Washington, they've beaten the same schmucks the Canucks have: Calgary (twice), Buffalo, Carolina, and toss in Winnipeg for good measure. Those 4 teams have a combined 8 wins. If we can see them dismantle the Kings and Ducks, then maybe you might get me to admit that there's something real happening in Edmonton, but right now they're just collecting a lot of low-hanging fruit.
After a start that seemed to instill hope, with the Canucks playing a defensively sound brand of hockey, they have degenerated back into the inept Canucks we saw last year. They can't score. They can't hit. They can't stop teams like Ottawa from running them out of their own rink. And with injuries now starting to mount, we have Jake Virtanen unhappy with his icetime, stating he's finding it hard to get any kind of momentum. We have the Russian Behemoth Nikita Tryamkin still not in the lineup, despite the horrifically bad displays of hockey being churned out by Philip Larsen and Luca Sbisa.
The same problems coming back to bite this team on their collective asses has to be concerning for the management of this team. It does raise questions about coaching, and while they have new assistants in Doug Jarvis and Manny Malhotra, With the Canucks once again being the lowest scoring team in the NHL, it seems like they're simply not doing enough to try and instigate some type of change. Sure, there's line shuffling going on, but we're not seeing the ice time of players being altered in any type of meaningful way. If you want Jake Virtanen and Brendan Gaunce to have an impact on the game, playing them more than 10 minutes a night is probably a step in the right direction.
There's an interesting waiver options for the Canucks to look at this morning: Minnesota's Teemu Pulkinen. He could bring a bit of speed and a chance to prove the Wild were perhaps not giving him the correct usage and
Right... almost forgot who I was talking about there for a minute. The Canucks aren't going to do anything.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Taking a break from the cover tunes today because the new TESTAMENT simply demands it. Brotherhood Of The Snake is gonna be a massive album judging by the tracks I've heard so far, cementing their position in the upper echelon of American metal acts.