Feb 092012
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com

Because I sometimes like to overthink things, here are some quick thoughts this morning:

  • Those advocating for Cody Hodgson to get more ice-time may get their wish. Unfortunately, it may well be at the expense of Henrik Sedin and his 552 consecutive games played iron man streak. After getting in front of a Kevin Klein shot during the Canucks’ 4-3 win over the Predators on Tuesday night, Hank missed practice yesterday and was seen limping around in a walking boot. For now, the team has listed him as day-to-day, but the Canucks should know more about the extent of the injury once the CAT scan results come in.
  • It speaks to Canucks fans’ confidence in Hodgson these days that most are slotting him in the top-six without much hesitation (forgetting for a moment that his current 3-game pointless streak is his longest in almost 2 months).
  • If anyone’s interested, Dale Weise is also scheduled for a CAT scan after blocking a shot in Tuesday’s game.
  • The Canucks called up Mike Duco this morning so one of Hank or Weise or both are definitely out for tonight’s game.
  • Should the Canucks decide to call up another forward, Jordan Schroeder – with 12 points (6G-6A) in his last 12 games and 21 points (10G-11A) in his last 28 games – is the early favorite to get the call. However, that depends on what position the Canucks are trying to fill. Schroeder’s beginning to show some promise in his natural position at center, but has looked uncomfortable on the wing. If the Canucks choose to move Max Lapierre up to center the 3rd line and have Manny Malhotra center the 4th line, then they may call up another winger instead. And Mark Mancari, who has 15 points (6G-9A) in 15 games since his brief cup of tea with the Canucks in December, has looked good as well.
  • Maybe you guys can help me with this one… Looking at CapGeek, it shows the Canucks with 26 players (including Duco, Andrew Ebbett and Aaron Volpatti, the latter two players being on LTIR). I’m assuming here that Duco is an emergency recall, but I’m not sure the cap number makes sense. (i.e. Were the Canucks at the cap when they placed Ebbett and Volpatti on LTIR and thus can maximize their LTIR exemption?) Also, with little LTIR exemption remaining, am I right to think that someone else will have to move – or one of Hank, Weise and Higgins will have to go LTIR – for the Canucks to be able to call up another player?
  • This is obviously pure speculation, but if Hank – or Chris Higgins, for that matter – are injured long-term, how does it change GM Mike Gillis’ approach to the trade deadline? Due to their many injuries this season, the Canucks haven’t saved a lot of cap space for the deadline and Hank and Higgins would combine for $8 million in LTIR cap exemption. Depending on how long either of them will be out for, it must be tempting for Gillis to maximize using that exemption and then worrying about coming back to compliance later.
Sep 252011

We’re halfway through the preseason schedule. Here are some quick thoughts on what’s transpired so far:

  • The Canucks will once again ice a rag-tag lineup in tonight’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks before getting down to 6 forward lines and 9-10 defensemen for the remainder of the exhibition schedule. For those who’ve made it this far – Mike Duco, Steve Pinizzotto, Antoine Roussel, Niko Dimitrakos, Ryan Parent, Alex Sulzer, among others – this could be their last chance for romance. [Jim Jamieson, Vancouver Province]
  • Among those already sent down to Chicago Wolves include: Anton Rodin, Prab Rai, Stefan Schneider, Alex Friesen, Matt Clackson, Nathan Longpre, Kevin Connauton, Adam Polasek and Taylor Ellington. Kellan Tochkin was sent back to the Medicine Hat Tigers. Manny Legace and Steve Begin, both of whom were on PTO contracts, have also been released. [TEAM 1040]
  • Watching Cody Hodgson through the first week of training camp, I can’t help but feel more optimistic than ever on his development. After two injury-plagued seasons, he finally looks healthy; and with that, he looks stronger on the puck and a step quicker. In 3 preseason games, coach Alain Vigneault has placed Cody in every situation imaginable – playing with stiffs, playing with a couple of scoring vets, and playing on both special teams – and he acquitted himself well each time. [Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province; Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province; TSN]
  • One other guy who’s made an impression – good or bad, I’ll leave to you to decide – is Mike Duco. Against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, he went after Taylor Hall and then scored the game-winning goal. Against the Anaheim Ducks last night, he got Ryan Getzlaf to drop the gloves. His style of play has drawn some comparisons to “the little ball of hate”, Brad Marchand, and the last we remember of Marchand was him using Daniel Sedin’s head as a speed bag.
  • Speaking of Duco, it appears he got under the Ducks’ skins so much that, as soon as he stepped out of the penalty box, Ducks forward Jean-Francois Jacques beelined straight from the bench and sucker punched him.

    If that doesn’t scream supplementary discipline, I don’t know what does. [TSN]

  • Finally, there’s been a lot of criticism of the Canucks sitting out most of their regular roster for most of the preseason. To that, I say it’s called preseason for a reason. I’ll agree it sucks to be paying regular season prices for preseason games, but as long as season ticket holders are willing to pony up the money, there’s no incentive for teams to end this practice. [Puck Daddy]
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