So we finally saw some Canucks action last night, as our plucky upstarts came close but ultimately lost to the San Jose Sharks in a close 3-2 OT loss. I say close - the shot totals were 33-15 in the Sharks' favor - but if we're looking for reasons to be optimistic, then taking the Sharks to OT despite being heavily outshot has to be a start to that. Let's just forget that we were leading 2-1 with 25 seconds remaining in the 3rd...
CANUCKS IN ACTION
- The boxscore tells some stories. Jake Virtanen picked up a shoulder injury, limiting him to an assist in 9:10 of ice time. Every player received special teams time, with Bo and Baer pairing up for more than 5mins each on the PP. Richard Bachman went 15-15 in his half of the game; Michael Garteig was not as fortunate, going 10-13. [NHL]
- Ben Kuzma's (rather brief) review of the game focussed heavily on Bo and Baer, naturally. Philip Larsen clearly needs some acclimatization time. [Province]
- Recap from the Sharks' perspective: hard work but never in doubt. I really want to see them choke again, I much prefer those Sharks to the successful, winning kind. [Mercury News]
- Other NHL pre-season action saw Mika Zibanejad put up three points on his Rangers debut; Dale Weise score on his first appearance for the Flyers; Roberto Luongo get some ice time as he recovers from injury; and Brody Sutter score for Carolina the day after Brett Sutter scored for LA. Brett, Brody...seems like it's Brandon's time coming up. [NHL.com scores]
- In all the hullabaloo about the Canucks, it was easy to forget that Game 1 of the best-of-3 World Cup of Hockey final took place last night. Team Canada was lethargic, but with Team Europe missing Marian Gaborik, and Thomas Vanek apparently giving up the ghost (what a poor attitude on the guy, seriously), Canada coasted to a 3-1 victory. [Sportsnet]
- I really wanted to pick Thomas Vanek apart for a little bit. This is a guy who has undoubted talent, but clearly doesn't have the work ethic, as his declining contributions over the last two seasons have shown. He couldn't fit in a talented Minnesota team, and has moved on to his 5th NHL team in four seasons this summer. So to come out on the day of the biggest game of your international career and tell the whole world that your team can't win...I swear, if Vanek ever suits up for the Canucks, I am taking a leave of absence until he leaves again. He doesn't deserve to wear the Team Europe jersey, and he damn well doesn't deserve any respect from either his teammates or his opponents. [The Score]
- LEAGUE BIAS ALERT: The NHL have announced their centennial plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the league's inception. I am outraged that Bettman has chosen Wayne Gretzky as the ambassador for the program, rather than a Canuck. Well, not really, but it just didn't feel right NOT having a league bias comment in today's links. [NHL]
- Hooray for TSN! They have released a list of fantasy hockey advice, and both Jannik Hansen and Loui Eriksson appear on it! Wait, it says 'buyers beware', and that Beaker and Eriksson are going to regress...damn you TSN! [TSN]
- Let's all laugh at the Chicago Blackhawks. Yes, they win a lot of Cups. Yes, I want those Cups too. But now they have Artemi Panarin looking for 6 years @ $6m AAV. Surely that's where they have to look at trading Brent Seabrook to us, right? [Sportsnet]
- Andrew Shaw. Future Brad Marchand, or future Raffi Torres? Last night saw him hit a young guy from behind, then fight another, all while inciting the crowd to cheer. The guy completely lost it. He's either going to be a nightmare to play against (Marchand), or a nightmare for Chris Pronger and his team (Torres). Either way, Montreal fans will at least be entertained this season. [The Score]
Question of the day: After last night's showing, can Philip Larsen prove he's ready for the #6 spot on the Canucks' D, or has he handed momentum back to Luca Sbisa?