The criticisms of the leadership group of this team (off ice, not on) have been many and varied. Some are valid, others born of frustration that comes from things like the crap shoot that drafting can be. What this team did on Saturday night however has to be one of the most asinine things in this regime's tenure, hands down.
We have come to accept that the management of this team feels that the Canucks can indeed compete for a playoff spot. After Friday night's improbable win, they were indeed in a playoff spot. So with a rematch the following night, the reasoning behind dressing only 5 defencemen, and a 13th forward who was injured and would not play is absolutely unacceptable. They were able to call up a defenceman from Utica, and he could have been getting off a plane in Calgary at noon, but they chose to go into this game against a divisional rival short handed instead? And what happened? Right out of the gate, the Flames started targeting the Canucks D, with late (in the case of the Michael Ferland hit on Nikita Tryamkin) and dirty (Garnet Hathaway's shockingly uncalled hit on Luca Sbisa, where he's got his hands in Sbisa's face, driving his head into the glass on the hit) hits, looking to make an already tenuous D situation worse, and they almost succeeded when they took Tryamkin out for a while in the 1st. The Flames scored twice in his absence and that essentially lost the game. How on earth can fans have any confidence in the management group of this team when they allowed the team to enter a game with a disadvantage like this, one that was easily fixable?
|Lost 1||Streak||Lost 2
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|14.1 (27)||Power Play %||19.1 (13)|
|80.3 (20)||Penalty Kill %||82.3 (14)|
|52.5 (5)||Faceoff Win %||48.9 (18)|
||Shooting %||8.9 (17)|
||Corsi For %||51.6 (9)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
This season teams have been licking their chops when the Canucks roll in, given their dismal road record. For Nashville, they're eyeing Vancouver as a chance to break out of a nasty home ice slump, where they've gone 2-4-4 in their last 10. And as they continue to soldier on without PK Subban James Neal, Viktor Arvedsson and Colin Wilson, that's a lot of scoring out of their lineup and they'll need to try and get the Canucks down early, knowing the fragile confidence of this team on the road.
Christopher Tanev is back tonight, which is a massive boost for the Canucks' chances. They have however had to put Ben Hutton on the IR, and thankfully they've called up Andrey Pedan from Utica. Whether he actually plays or not is anyone's guess, since even a dire need to fill a position isn't a guarantee Willie will slot you in.
Ryan Miller will get the start tonight for the Canucks against Pekka Rinne for Nashville.
As mentioned, Bo Horvat was named to the All Star Game in LA, the youngest Canuck to be named since Trevor Linden in 1991. It's a well deserved honor for the Canucks C, and a chance for him to showcase his talents in the 3 on 3 tournament. One thing that's really a bad look for the NHL (and lord, how they manage to screw up things like this is beyond comprehension) but somehow Artemi Panerin of the Chicago Blackhawks (you know, 41 pts, 6th in scoring) is not going to LA. His teammate, Jonathan Toews is though. Yes, Toews' 7 goals and 13 assists is all star worthy. Our pal Sarah Connors had a great tweet today, asking people to RT with players on the teams they follow who have more points than Toews.
QUOTE THIS TWEET WITH PLAYERS FROM YOUR TEAM THAT HAVE MORE POINTS THAN JONATHAN TOEWS— Sarah Connors (@sarah_connors) January 10, 2017
It's pretty damn funny. And it shows how out of touch the NHL's powers that be are when it comes to actually giving the fans what they want. Instead, we get pandering to Chicago's fan base and a stunningly tone deaf commercial...
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Yeah, it's Suicidal Tendencies' 'Institutionalized', the song you didn't know you needed to hear today...
And on a sad note, all of us here at Nucks Misconduct wish to convey our condolences to everyone over at Columbus' The Cannon on the news of the passing of Jeff Little. Our thoughts are with you.