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The Morning After The Night Before, 21 November 2016

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When the Blue Jackets were flying, and the Canucks? Well, they weren’t...

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a tough life being a Canucks fan. We have Henrik and Daniel Sedin, two legendary franchise players, and future Hockey Hall of Famers. We have the best goalie the USA has ever produced, in Ryan Miller. Young dynamos such as Bo Horvat, Ben Hutton and Troy Stecher. Yet we don’t have good numbers in the ‘W’ column.

One team that does? The Columbus Blue Jackets. With a young team, filled with speedy wingers who can’t hit, they are not only racking up the goals, but also the wins. They sit in a wildcard spot on 22pts, 6pts more than the Canucks.

I would argue that team is not as good - on paper - as ours. So how are they doing better than us? Opinion will be split on this, but for me, it is 100% coaching at this point. No team should EVER lose a game being 3-0 up in the 3rd, no matter the opponent. The BJs are coached by John "Mad Dog" Tortorella - the man who supposedly ruined this team.

So are the BJs doing well in spite of Torts, or are we doing badly because of Willie? It is genuinely confusing to see a Tortorella-coached team playing such brilliant hockey. And look at the work he’s done with Zach Werenski, who right now is arguably the favorite for the Calder Trophy.

The Canucks have gone from Torts to Willie, with no upturn in results. The BJs went from Todd Richards to Torts, and have seen numbers go up. Perhaps we should fire Willie and hire Todd Richards? He’s an assistant coach with Tampa, ripe for another NHL job. It would complete the circle, if nothing else.

As you can see, I’m struggling to get my head around the resurgence in Columbus. Perhaps some Corsi lovers out there can assist me in understanding it all? While I wait for Neil B to turn up, here is a spattering of links from around the league:

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  • Last night’s NHL action saw the BJs beat the Caps 3-2; the Canes top the Jets 3-1; the Panthers edge the Ranges 3-2 in the shootout; the Flames singe the Red Wings 3-2; and the Kings win the rivalry with the Ducks 3-2. My favorite D man, Hampus Lindholm, had his first two assists of the season for the Ducks. [NHL]
  • And still they managed to lose:
  • Mika Zibanejad suffered a horrendous-looking broken leg last night. Seriously, don’t watch the video if you’re squeamish. Recovery time is apparently 8 weeks, which surely can’t be right. Good health to you Mr Zibanejad. [NY Post]
  • The weekend’s worst news was the sudden collapse of Craig Cunningham, captain of the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona’s AHL affiliate). The game was postponed, and rightly so. All of us at Nucks Misconduct wish him a full and swift recovery. [Tuscon.com]
  • Keep the faith:
  • Ben Kuzma doing his best to help us forget the last 3 years of Alex Burrows, and to enjoy the last three weeks of him instead. Burr has gone from a buyout candidate, and possible Utica candidate, to trade bait for picks. Kudos entirely to Burr for that. He’s a warrior, if nothing else. [Province]
  • This is the week we’ve all been waiting for...we finally find out the team name of the Las Vegas expansion franchise, as well as their logo. Huzzah! [NHL]
  • Like I said in the intro, Zach Werenski is a serious Calder candidate right now, even more so than Shayne Gostisbehere was last season. For real. [NHL]
  • Jeff Carter passed 600 career points last night. He’s one of those players you never expect to see score, yet always seems to:

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Question of the day: How has Torts gone from franchise destroyer in Vancouver to unexpected playoff contender in Columbus, with a disastrous World Cup in between?