I suppose it’s kind of fitting that the Canucks’ first game back after the break is against the Colorado Avalanche, as they’d do well to take a long, hard look at what’s going on in the Mile High City. The Avs were the worst team in the NHL last season, and have rebounded mightily, not that you’d even hear about it thanks to the Vegas Golden Knights hoopla. The way Jared Bednar has turned the Avs around in year two is nothing short of remarkable. They got younger, they got faster, and they cleared the team of players that weren’t buying in. If the Canucks could emulate this approach, we’d be fortunate indeed. Ben Kuzma has a more detailed breakdown of the new-look Avs here this morning in the Province.
The Canucks will look to try and erase the memory of what had to be their most embarrassing performance of the season: a 4-0 loss on home ice to the Buffalo Sabres. One has to wonder if Jake Virtanen will be in the press box again tonight. JV had a horrendous turnover that led to a goal in that game, and rode the pine from that point til well into the 3rd period. It’s probably going to help him long term that Travis Green holds him accountable, but there’s a number of players who would be well served by such a wakeup call. As this lost season draws to a close, I would prefer to see some players moved out at the deadline (especially as this year should really be a busy one, with many teams looking to load up for the post-season) and giving guys like Reid Boucher and Nikolay Goldobin a long hard look.
Did anyone catch that AHL All Star Game last night? No surprise, Thatcher Demko and Reid Boucher played big roles in the North Division’s victory over the Pacific Division. From all accounts the Comets organization did a hell of a job with the entire weekend, and it was a great showcase for one of the smaller markets in the AHL, and their gorgeous new arena.
With the Canucks annual Hockey Talks night last week, and Bell Let’s Talk Day tomorrow, the Canucks have once again shown leadership in the fight against mental illness with the launch of a new initiative with the BC Government to bring awareness and battling the stigma of addiction and it’s role in mental illness. BC in particular, and Canada in general is trying to cope with an unacceptable number of deaths from drugs, and with ambassador Kirk McLean, the Canucks are helping open the discussion needed to get people the help they need.
Today, we welcomed BC Mental Health and Addiction workers to @RogersArena to discuss the stigma around substance abuse so that people can feel safe accessing the treatment and supports they need. https://t.co/aNNBAzgQr2— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 30, 2018
Maybe you know someone who struggles with addiction. Or maybe, you’ve lost a loved one to this. I have, and while this initiative cannot bring him back, it does give hope that other families will not have to endure the heartbreak of losing someone to this disease on society. If you know someone who could use help, or just want to understand more, please go to stopoverdosebc.ca and learn more. Here’s the ad you will see tonight, and at the games in the future at Rogers Arena.
RIP, Trevor. We are devastated by your loss, and miss you so much.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
You may have heard that Slayer are calling it a day, and will be playing across North America on a farewell tour with Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Behemoth and Testament. If you hoped to get tickets for the Vancouver show, you’re gonna have to hook up with a scalper because they’re already sold out. There’s still tickets for Toronto though, so I will be looking into those asap. Let’s go back to 1985 for a little live Slayer. Enjoy the game, everyone.