CANUCKS NEWS: As fun as Saturday night’s game was (and it was literally just Daniel Sedin punching Brad Marchand in the face away from perfection), sadly we must return to reality. And that reality is that Jim Benning doesn’t seem to understand what the glaring needs are for this team. Despite every possible metric, eye test and common sense assessment that says this team is a dumpster fire on defence, Jim’s got his priorities, and that’s toughness up front.
The #Canucks had a scout listed at the EDM - COL game yesterday, a day after Benning said he could be looking for size at the deadline. Wonder if Patrick Maroon is a target?— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) February 19, 2018
They have almost literally zero chance of making the playoffs, so why in the hell would they be buying ANYTHING but draft picks or prospects right now? Even if you’re a pro-Benning person, how on earth is this an appropriate response to the state of this team right now? Maroon is a pending free agent. This team is 17 points out, they don’t need to be getting a rental, especially for the price that Edmonton would be demanding for him. Don’t let the win on Saturday fool you: this is a bad hockey club. There are a number of problems and a good lot of them are on the back end. If they don’t address this in a big way soon, it will continue like this... On the bright side, there is this being floated out there
Hearing the Ducks could have interest in Thomas Vanek, they were 1 of the teams that looked at signing him last summer. Vanek's agent will check in gm Jim Benning tomorrow for an update on his client. #Canucks— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) February 19, 2018
The next game for the Canucks is Tuesday against Colorado, so they held their annual Super Skills competition yesterday at Rogers Arena. Here’s the highlights for you:
Around The League: Is there another sport that suffers as many self-inflicted black eyes as hockey in general and the NHL in particular? The latest gaffe was a pretty ugly one. 4 fans being tossed from a game in Chicago for racist comments made to Washington’s Devante Smith-Pelly in the penalty box during a 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks. While the league and both clubs have made statements condemning the incident, it does show the need for the league to do more to make sure that statements like “Hockey Is For Everyone” aren’t ringing hollow. Maybe they need to look at the way incidents are handled in European Football leagues, where racist chants and banners see the clubs get punished for the actions of their fan base? And it’s not just a Chicago thing, or just an American thing. This needs to stop. It’s 2018 and if you want to grow this game, then you have to do everything in your power to flush out this kind of crap from the culture of hockey... The Flyers could be buying as the deadline approaches, and that’s something that should be of interest to the Canucks management. Both Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth are injured. The Flyers did get a win out of backup farmhand Alex Lyon, as he came on in relief of Neuvirth against the Rangers yesterday. It was Lyon’s first NHL appearance, but with the Flyers holding onto 3rd place in the Metropolitan division right now, getting some help in goal has to be a priority to ensure they don’t tumble down the standings... The Jets continue to lead the Central Division after giving Florida a blow to their playoff hopes in a 7-2 stomping... Pittsburgh continues to be red-hot as they won their 5th straight, taking down Columbus 5-2... The Oilers got a hat trick from Connor McDavid as they ended Colorado’s 10 game home win streak with a 4-2 win in Denver last night...
Olympic Update: The medal rounds are set, as the US and Canada will once again battle for Gold Thursday. Wednesday’s Bronze medal match will see the O.A.R. and Finland face off. Meanwhile over in the Men’s bracket, Canada is awaiting the winner of Finland and South Korea for their Quarter-Final matchup. There’s still the qualifying round for a number of teams to come starting tomorrow, and in addition to the Finns and South Koreans, there’s the US with a huge game against Slovakia, Slovenia taking on Norway, and the Germans versus the Swiss.