October seems so far away. GMJB hasn’t really done his job this summer. There has been no wild FA signing or trade to create a hurricane of controversy to keep us at NM busy typing. Instead I sit here and hope ESPN Latin America is going to show some of the World Cup of Hockey. At least the Olympics has kept me occupied for the past couple weeks.
Going back to the World Cup, I don’t really feel any excitement about it. Maybe it’s the grumpy old man in me, or the fact I want regular NHL hockey earlier. I think I feel the same as the owners in the fact I don’t want any players to get hurt. Especially players on team North America. I also wonder how tired players will be when it gets to March and the playoff run. I hope the Swedish team gets knocked out early.
Canuck news really has been slow this summer. Sven and his love of dogs has almost got as much press time as Loui’s signing. I don’t really have an issue with this as I love dogs, but even the press is scrambling to fill column space.
So to fill my column space and try and kill some time this summer, let’s daydream about some of the foreseeable issues of the Nucks this year.
1. Do the Nucks need to be better defenders this year or do they need to score more?
In a dream world both would happen. But Vancouver is where dreams come to die, so let’s hope for one of these and in reality expect none of it. But if I wear a dreaming man, I would hope the coaches can get the team to play a better defensive game. Forwards coming back and getting defensemen to position themselves better in the defensive zone to control rebounds would be a start.
2. Can special teams become special again?
The PP was 27th and the PK was 17th in the league. That’s a huge drop from 11th and 2nd respectively. The PP had 6 less goals than the year before but had 9 more chances. The PK was consistently average all year. I hope the return of Sutter can take some of the burden off of Hansen and Horvat. Bo on the PP is something I want to see more of. Hopefully Loui can help resurrect the PP with the Sedins.
3. Which Sbisa will we see this year?
Luca was the poster child for injury last year. And while he will remain the lightning rod of GMJB’s tenure, Luca’s advanced stats said he was a better player than twitter pizza GIFs suggested. There was a lot of talk (…hope) that Luc would be packaged out of town in the office season, but hope is a lot like alcohol as it leads to silly talk. Luca might be down on that third pairing this year which might his play all together, but that really depends on how Guds works out.
4. Will Ryan Miller make it through the year or will be the Vrbata/Hamhuis of this year’s trade deadline?
I guess the same question could be asked of AMFB. Two big contracts are coming to an end. Will GMJB be able to get anything in return for these guys and how much of the contract would the Canucks have to eat? I guess if they are not buyers at the deadline then it should be no problem.
There are a shit-ton more questions to ask, but we have many more days to deliver those.