1.- The NHL suspended St Louis Blues F Robert Bortuzzo 4 games for these crosschecks on Nashville F Viktor Arvidsson. Too much, just right, or not enough?
Beggsy - I talked about the “chicken shit” play by Bortuzzo this morning on The Quickie. I think they should suspend him until Arvidsson returns to full health. Some suspensions you can chalk up in the “made a mistake in the heat of the moment” category. I don’t think that applies to Bortuzzo. He had ample time not to do something stupid, yet that’s exactly what he did. The only thing that’s fair is to make him sit until Arvidsson returns.
jimmi - Not only is 4 games too few for repeat offender Bortz, Binnington needs a few games off for cross-checking an already injured Arvidsson. Although that suspension can wait until the next few times we play the Blues. If it’s in the western final, so be it.
westy99 - I still don’t get why he did the second cross-check. He was getting a penalty for the first stupid cross-check. “Hey, you got me in trouble. Here’s another two-hander for you!” The NHL has a long history of under-penalizing stupidity and the NHLPA defends stupidity. He should have got 10 games.
Kent- This whole thing is just a perfect snapshot of what’s wrong with hockey right now. DoPS just suspended a guy one less game for spitting, than they gave Bortuzzo for this heinous attempt to injure. And spare me your mouth breathing, knuckle dragging “It’s a MAN’S GAME” bullshit. He absolutely BURIED a guy on that first check, and then when given the penalty stared the ref down and hit a completely defenceless opponent. It’s a complete failure by on and on ice officials, and Nashville is the only team that actually got punished here.
2.- Antoine Roussel has been sent to Utica on a conditioning stint to prepare him for a return to the Canucks lineup. Who comes out in his place?
Beggsy - It really depends if Brandon Sutter, Jay Beagle and Micheal Ferland are back by then as well. Let pretend they are for fun, shall we? Here are the lines for Monday’s game against Philly for reference.
Morning skate lines for the #Canucks:— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) November 25, 2019
4pm puck drop from Philly on @Sportsnet650
Beagle for Tyler Graovac is easy, so is Sutter for Zack MacEwen. When Roussel comes back, he comes in for Uncle Loui. Poor Sven Baertschi is already on the outside looking in with all these injuries, which isn’t a good look.
Bonus round: What happens when Tyler Motte comes back? I think it’s going to be a toss-up between him, Schaller and Jake for that final spot in the line-up.
jimmi - Hmmm.... seems like a trick LittleThings question with a $6M answer.
westy99 - I think Beggsy had it right except for one thing, Gaudette might go down over Sven because Adam can keep playing while Sven can sit in the press box.
Kent- Loui’s days are numbered. Schaller is going to have to do more, and Jake is likely to be shuffling off to East of Buffalo if he doesn’t start scoring here. Sutter, Roussel, Beagle and Ferland are gonna bump these guys, and not all of them can stay with the parent club. Gaudette’s made a pretty solid case to stay, and while it’s admirable that Loui’s being given a chance to prove they should keep him up, there’s zero reason to now.
3.- The Canucks are 2-1-0 on this road trip. With your predictions last week before the trip started in mind, anything you’d like to change about that?
Beggsy - I said they’d go 3-2-1 on the trip, with one win in Pennsylvania and two wins against Dallas, Nashville and Edmonton. I thought they’d lose to Washington though, so that adds two points on my prediction. They’d have to go 2-0-1 for that to come to fruition. A bit overly positive for my liking, but let’s roll with it.
jimmi - No, won’t change anything. Nucks have surpassed my dismal prediction twice over. My fragile mental fan state is less fragile today. And without making anymore predictions, I predict the Nucks have already won the worst road trip of the season. Screw the NHL schedule sadists, let’s revive the WHA.
westy99 - .500 is the goal, anything above that is a bottle of rum.
Kent- If they don’t do better than I thought, it’s Westy’s fault. If they can get a split in Pennsylvania, I think they go into Edmonton and punk them.
4.- Canucks goaltending controversy: We doing this again or what?
Beggsy - Jacob Markstrom quieted that talk with some strong performances over the weekend. However, this story will continue to bubble under the surface, and that bubble will burst sooner rather than later.
jimmi - Not now, thanks. Maybe later. In 2021.
westy99 - No controversy, Marky gets a contract from the Nucks....and then sucks next year and Demko takes over. I can’t wait until we start throwing numbers out for Marky’s new contract. I will start with 4 years/$5.5 million yr.
Kent- I think the whole CGC should stay on Reddit with the other “interesting” takes. Why on earth is having 2 good goalies bad, and if you’re still not thinking that Markstrom’s earned that starter role and is a good NHL goalie, I can’t help you.
5.- Should we be concerned at the lack of five on five scoring by the Canucks?
Beggsy - I wasn’t too concerned because the underlying numbers were showing that the Canucks were really just a victim of bad puck luck. However, they were absolutely dreadful at five on five against Dallas and Nashville. It’s not time to freak out yet but if the Canucks really are going to gain five of six points over the next three games (to make my optimistic road trip prediction come true), then they’re gonna need more goals at even-strength.
jimmi - The faeries were playing the 5-on-5 game. They won. Once the faery roster is depleted, the Nucks 5-on-5 game will bounce back. Until then, I’m fine with 5 power-play goals every second game. In fact, I’m comfortable with 5 Nucks PP goals every game.
westy99 - 5 on 5 scoring for the Nucks begins with a strong breakout. They had it at the start of the year and then ran into some neutral zone traps. They are going to have to adjust or get ready to lose some games when the PP goes cold.
Kent- You’re welcome. It’s coming, they just haven’t been getting the bounces.