Continuing our series on previewing the 2011/2012 Vancouver Canucks, today we present Ryan Kesler. What we remember: Prior to this season, Ryan Kesler, like most Canucks, was criticized for his uneven play in the postseason. With only 3 goals and 14 points in 22 previous playoff games, it’s hard to argue the point. Except this criticism didn’t take into account that he was playing injured through pretty much all of those games. This past postseason, for the first time in his NHL career, Kesler started the playoffs uninjured and proved to be a big-game player at the time of year...Click here to read more.
Tagged: season preview
The other day, we looked at the Eastern Conference bluelines. Today, let’s look at the Western Conference defence rankings. A Grade Chicago Last Year (A+) A slip in the ratings heading into 2011-12, as neither Duncan Keith nor Brent Seabrook were quite as good last year as they were the season before. Meanwhile, Nick Hjalmarsson also disappointed. However, Nick Leddy looks like a future top-4 stalwart, and there’s some veteran depth now with the signings of Steve Montador, Sean O’Donnell and Sami Lepisto. Los Angeles Last Year (A-) This is assuming Drew Doughty signs. Otherwise they drop a grade. Doughty...Click here to read more.
It’s taken me a while to look back at last year’s season and start to think about how the team can take that step forward after a near perfect campaign last year. That’s one of the biggest challenges – it was near perfect. It could have been perfect when you look back at all the records that were set, but it wasn’t because of one game which went wrong – Game 7 – and as such the season wont be defined by its records and wins but rather by one loss. ***** I tweeted at the start of the playoffs...Click here to read more.
At the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, we had an opportunity to ask some of them some questions. Today, we present a one-on-one with former Saint John Sea Dog and Memorial Cup champion, Steven Anthony. Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com CHB: Describe how you felt after winning the Memorial Cup. Steven Anthony: It was exciting. It’s what every junior player in Canada play for the whole year. For us to be able to put a team together, and have an incredible group of guys on one team, it was something we knew was possible throughout the year and to get it was...Click here to read more.
As the Canucks prospects assemble in Penticton, BC for the Young Stars Tournament, we had an opportunity to ask some of them some questions. Today, we present a one-on-one with Twitter star and forward prospect, Bill Sweatt. Photo credit: canucks.nhl.com CHB: Give us your thoughts on how you felt last year went for you, personally and professionally. Bill Sweatt: I think it went pretty well. I got sent down in the exhibition games part of the preseason. And then I just developed, went down there in the AHL, developed my game. Realistically, I knew I was probably going to have...Click here to read more.
Today, we start a series looking at the 2011/2012 edition of the Vancouver Canucks. First up: Henrik and Daniel Sedin. What we remember: Henrik and Daniel Sedin continued to respond to their critics in 2010/2011. Henrik followed up his 112-point, Hart and Art Ross-winning season with a strong 94-point one. Daniel, after scoring 85 points in 63 games the season before, scored 104 points and wrestled the Art Ross away from Henrik; he won the Ted Lindsay Award too. Both were just as proficient in the postseason; Henrik and Daniel finished 2nd and 3rd in playoff scoring, respectively. Unfortunately, the...Click here to read more.
As discussed in yesterday’s post, changing a coach at mid-season, rather than in the off-season, seems to have a greater positive impact on team performance. Examining all the coaching moves since the start of the 2005-06 season reveals some other interesting tidbits: Only four coaches hired at mid-season led their teams to a worse performance than the coach they replaced: 2009-10 Philadelphia: Peter Laviolette (.535) replaced John Stevens (.540). One could argue these are almost equal results. 2008-09 Tampa Bay: Rick Tocchet (.397 winning percentage) replaced Barry Melrose (.438). Funny how Melrose was ridiculed for his performance returning to the...Click here to read more.
Another September, another new coach for the New Jersey Devils. Peter DeBoer becomes the seventh coach the Devils have had since the NHL lockout, following Jacques Lemaire, John Maclean, Brent Sutter, Claude Julien, Lou Lamoriello and Larry Robinson. The question is – do these moves have any impact? I took a look at NHL coaching changes since 2005 and grouped them into three categories: Off-season change (one coach replaces another in the off-season) Mid-season change (one coach replaces another and finishes the season) Mid-season change-turned-permanent (mid-season coaching replacement sticks around, leading the team into the next season) Here’s what was...Click here to read more.
Slowly but surely, Cody Hodgson is picking up the pieces again. His back injuries of a year ago are a thing of the past and he recently told The Province that he’s as strong as he’s ever been, which is a breath of fresh air for those who have heralded Hodgson as the future of the Vancouver Canucks organization. Truth be told, the Canucks will need a youthful and energetic presence come October. Still rallying from the bitterness of losing the Stanley Cup at home, it’s safe to say that some of the players are still a little physically weary...Click here to read more.
Sure the NHL schedule officially begins in October, and training camps start in September. But for hockey fans, the season truly begins in August. August is when hockey season preview magazines hit the store racks. This is a fan’s first indication of what the experts think is in store for the coming season. If you’re a lucky fan, your franchise is predicted to make the playoffs. If you are truly lucky, your team is considered Stanley Cup contenders. Which brings us to this year’s Sports Forecaster Hockey Yearbook. The yearbook predicts the following standings for the 2011-12 season: What’s striking...Click here to read more.