CANUCKS NEWS: So yesterday we heard this, and it’s not exactly what I would call positive news in terms of the health of Quinn Hughes:
"Clearly his bruised "leg" hasn't come around and even had it come around, he will need at least 3-4 days on the ice before he plays".@imacSportsnet on TSL on when Quinn Hughes may play.— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) March 21, 2019
Listen: https://t.co/mDLZc4njsd pic.twitter.com/4yKljd2rmC
So that would put his debut, at the earliest next Tuesday as the Canucks host the Anaheim Ducks. On one hand, it’s reassuring that the Canucks aren’t trying to rush him in if he isn’t 100% and want him to get fully healed. They’ll also need to give him time to practice with the team and work on systems, etc. so I would venture we don’t see him until next Saturday and a big showdown against Dallas (well, it could be big depending on how these games go, I suppose).
And in case you missed it, Hughes is one of the finalists for the Hobey Baker Award (go vote, dammit).
There may not be a game more representative of the Vancouver Canucks as a whole than Wednesday night’s 7-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. It had everything: A dominant performance from Bo Horvat, power play goals, bad officiating both ways, a Shotgun Jake goal, Loui Eriksson’s best game of the season (where his performance was flattered thanks to the points he put up), uncharacteristically lucky bounces and then a horrifying 3rd period collapse that was halted by a couple empty netters. Peak Canucks. And yet here we are, almost being forced to talk about this team and the ‘p’ word. It’s insane.
Let’s see what’s out there for you to peruse, shall we? A couple good pieces at The Athletic on Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman and what their futures could bring... Ben Kuzma on the growth of Bo Horvat through a very challenging year... The NHL loves Elias Pettersson, but not enough to use him to sell the game in Sweden, apparently... Pass It To Bulis on 4 reasons to not stop watching the Canucks as they play out the season... What are the Canucks going to do about Nikolay Goldobin? Canucks Army looks at what could happen with the much-maligned winger...
AROUND THE NHL: In case you haven’t had enough crazy in your diet, the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers have you covered. Yesterday started out with the Oilers having a season ticket holders breakfast, where team President Bob Nicholson dropped some jaw-droppers on the crowd, like blaming Tobias Reider for the Oilers not making the playoffs this season. Seriously. Thankfully, the ever vigilant Edmonton media were there to chastise Nicholson and the Oilers for this utterly ridiculous garbage and oh, right.
So, total clown show, right? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, my friends, for as long as Eugene Melnyk owns an NHL franchise there will only be one ruler of the Kingdom of WTF, and it is he. Melnyk went on Toronto radio last night, and an Ottawa station this morning and left a path of destruction in his wake. In the Toronto interview, he lashed out at the fan base, questioning their loyalty. He even made reference to a “12 year old from Toronto” who isn’t really a Sens fan. This is who he was talking about.
The Ottawa Senators since losing in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Take a deep breath, everyone...— ryan (@ryanclassic) March 1, 2019
• Bryan Murray passes away
• Owner Eugene Melnyk threatens fans at outdoor game that he'll move team
• Melnyk tells Brent Wallace he'll "bury" him
Ryan is married to former Canucks blogger Alix (some of you oldtimers may remember her posting here) and is definitely not a 12 year old from Toronto. Read the thread. It’s an absolute stunning indictment of the franchise.
How could he possibly top this? This morning in an interview with 580 CFRA in Ottawa, Melnyk ripped the Toronto Maple Leafs for screwing up their rebuild (let that sink in for a moment), and basically said that the reason they traded Mark Stone was that he was too old to fit into the plans for the Sens to make their way back to respectability. He also called one of the most respected Sens beat writers “bush league”. It’s like a window into what the Buffalo Bills would have been like had Donald Trump actually purchased them.
Meanwhile, the DoPS will be having a chat with Tampa’s Yanni Gourde for this headshot last night.
GIF- Yanni Gourde High Hit On Jordan Staal: Staal went to the room, Gourde gets a match penalty. There's no room in the game for hits like this. pic.twitter.com/jhunb8V8jz — Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) March 21, 2019 https://t.co/7t9Zj5dNWI— Kukla's Korner (@kuklaskorner) March 21, 2019
We’ve been trying to tell y’all this Tampa team is dirty as hell for a while now. Gourde was one of the instigators behind the garbage we saw on their last visit here. Hopefully the DoPS doesn’t screw up what seems to be a slam dunk (but you know they will)...
The Canucks are having something called ‘Country Night’ on Saturday with the Flames in town and while I like to give the Canucks credit for being somewhat decent when it comes to their social media interactions, this one is a hard no from me. Not even gonna post the cringe-worthy video, but you can seek it out. You have been warned. There’s a back to back this weekend, as John Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets are in town. They’re off until then so once again a Canucks team faces a very well rested opponent on the tail end of one of these back to backs.
The Jackets are struggling big time as playoffs draw near, and last night got bumped out of the last Wild Card spot thanks to a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers and a 4-0 Montreal Canadiens win over the New York Islanders. In other notable games, Roberto Luongo did the Canucks meager playoff aspirations a solid as he led the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes... Wanna know why I don’t think getting to the playoffs would do the Canucks any good? They’d likely have to face either Calgary or Vegas in the first round and after seeing what Vegas did to Winnipeg last night, why would anyone want that? Speaking of struggling teams, the San Jose Sharks have now lost 4 straight, the most recent a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, who had some inspiration in the broadcast booth from a legend last night.