The season is still in diapers and I’m already confused. Here are some insights, speculation and just plain old rants about events around the league.
The Canucks Eastern Doppelgänger
Has anyone else noticed that for that last few years the Philadelphia Flyers have been the Vancouver Canucks’ Eastern Doppelganger? In recent years, a lot of people pick them as favorites (like Canucks) but despite their obvious talent they tend to implode (like the Canucks). They’ve signed goalies to ridiculously large contracts (like the Canucks). They’ve regretted it (like you-know-who). They always fall short in the playoffs (sadly, Canuck-esque). And just like Vancouver did, they blame the coach instead of the GM. The firing of Peter Laviolette was not unexpected because of these similarities, but their timing was crappy. Why give this guy a shot at all this season? Now he’s unemployed with no available NHL team to throw his skates onto the ice for. And let’s be honest I think that if Laviolette had been let go at the end of last season, he would have been a good choice for the Canucks. Yes, yes, Torts isn’t doing horribly (yet) but… I think Laviolette would have been a solid choice if the option was there. And I can’t help but wonder with blow-out loses like 9-2 and 6-0 if the Rangers are thinking the same thing.
Mike Fisher’s is the new Zdeno Chara
Shame on you, Mr. Carrie Underwood. The hit on Cpdy Franson was completely in-the-numbers illegal but he gets no supplemental discipline. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since Zdeno Chara got nothing for the same hit as well.
But seriously, Alex Edler collides with Tomas Hertl, who has his head down, and gets suspended 3 games. Brendan Shanahan continues to baffle. I continue to have no idea what is considered a suspendable hit, definitively… unless it’s something the Bruins did, then it’s never a suspension. That much I get. I think Shanahan has a wheel, like the Wheel of Fortune wheel, and he just spins it and wherever it lands, boom! Judgement!
And About Edler
All this said, I am not an Edler fan. I used to be… before his last contract negotiation when I thought he, you know, knew how to play. But for the last couple of years he’s made a series of bad passes, questionable plays and careless hits.
And those plays aren’t just in the NHL. That hit on Eric Staal in the World Championships was totally reckless and Staal is still dealing with knee issues. I really wish the Canucks had traded Edler for someone useful (and Alberts too while we’re at it). Hopefully Torts can scream some sense back into Edler or has the common sense to bench him. At $30 million over 6 years with a no-trade clause, the Canucks need better from him.