Tagged: season preview

Canucks Season Preview Series: Is Manny Worth His Millions?

Canucks Season Preview Series: Is Manny Worth His Millions?

[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, members of the Canucks blogosphere give their two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and address the issues, questions and expectations of the team in their 40th year anniversary.] After another second round playoff exit to the Chicago Blackhawks, Mike Gillis to-do list included a few things. He wanted to make the Canucks tougher to play against. He wanted to add size to the bottom-six. He wanted to improve the Canucks’ 18th-ranked penalty-kill. He wanted to add players with playoff experience. Enter Manny Malhotra. At 6’2″ and 220 lbs., Malhotra is...

Canucks Season Preview Series: Building on Career Years

Canucks Season Preview Series: Building on Career Years

[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, members of the Canucks blogosphere give their two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and address the issues, questions and expectations of the team in their 40th year anniversary.] En route to scoring 268 goals in the season – second in the NHL only to the Washington Capitals – and winning the Northwest Division for the third time in four seasons, a lot of things went right for the Vancouver Canucks. Specifically, Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Alex Edler all took their game to another level in 2009/2010. For the second...

Canucks Season Preview Series: Next In Line

Canucks Season Preview Series: Next In Line

[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, members of the Canucks blogosphere give their two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and address the issues, questions and expectations of the team in their 40th year anniversary.] You won’t receive a lot of argument here if you say that this preseason was relatively boring. With a stacked roster, the Canucks had few openings. And of the players fighting for those jobs, no one stood out more than the others. Still, some players managed to move themselves up or down the Canucks’ depth chart. Alex Bolduc and Guillaume Desbiens look...

Canucks Season Preview Series: The Third Triplet

Canucks Season Preview Series: The Third Triplet

[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, members of the Canucks blogosphere give their two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and address the issues, questions and expectations of the team in their 40th year anniversary.] Photo credit: canuck.nhl.com Last season, Alex Burrows found a home playing on a line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin and scored a career-high 35 goals, a total surpassed by only nine other NHL players. Those nine players? Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Marian Gaborik, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Semin, Dany Heatley and Zach Parise. The stat becomes more impressive when...

Canucks Season Preview Series: Hamhuis’ Homecoming

Canucks Season Preview Series: Hamhuis’ Homecoming

[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, members of the Canucks blogosphere give their two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and address the issues, questions and expectations of the team in their 40th year anniversary.] Some players thrive on playing for their hometown teams. You’ll remember that prior to his professional tryout with the Canucks, Brendan Morrison, who hails from Pitt Meadows, played center on a line with Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi and helped form one of the highest scoring lines in hockey. Cliff Ronning (Burnaby) and Greg Adams (Nelson) were prominent members of the 1994...

Canucks Season Preview Series: Dank, Hank, Hart and Art

Canucks Season Preview Series: Dank, Hank, Hart and Art

[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, we give our two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and the issues, questions and expectations from them in their 40th year anniversary.] The 2009/2010 season is surely a season that Henrik and Daniel Sedin won’t soon forget. Both signed similar 5-year/$30.5 million contracts and both then proceeded to have the best season, statistically, of their careers. Henrik finished with 29 goals, 83 assists and 112 points. His 29 goals were a career-high, his 83 assists were higher than any of his previous season point totals, and his 112 points won...

Out-of-Town Notebook: 2010/2011 Season Predictions and Prognostications

Out-of-Town Notebook: 2010/2011 Season Predictions and Prognostications

Western Conference Standings: 1. Vancouver – 100-115 pts 2. Chicago – 100-115 pts 3. LA – 90-100 pts 4. Detroit 100-110 pts 5. Phoenix – 85-95 pts 6 San Jose – 85-95 pts 7. Calgary – 85-92 pts 8. Nashville – 85-92 pts 9. Anaheim – 85-92 pts 10. Colorado – 85-92 pts 11. St. Louis – 85-92 pts 12. Columbus – 50-70 pts 13. Edmonton – 50-70 pts 14. Minnesota – 50-70 pts 15. Dallas – 50-60 pts Notes on the above: Chicago is the better team, but Vancouver plays in the weakest division in the West. I have...

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Goaltenders

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Goaltenders

On Friday, we talked Eastern Conference goaltending. Today, it’s the West. A Grade Phoenix My memory is cloudy and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong: Ilya Bryzgalov is the best waiver claim of all time. Jason LaBarbera is a solid backup. B+ Grade Vancouver First, the book is out on Roberto Luongo. Stand in his kitchen, you’ll get in his head. Which is fine. Except elite goalies are able to, at the most crucial moment, shut the door on the opposition. I don’t think Roberto Luongo quite has this ability in him. He’s a modern-day Tom Barrasso...

Season Preview: Ranking the Eastern Conference Goaltenders

Season Preview: Ranking the Eastern Conference Goaltenders

Do you need to have an elite goaltender to win the Stanley Cup? The knee-jerk answer to that question is yes, absolutely. In reality? I’m not sure that’s the case. Since they changed Vezina Trophy voting in 1982, only three goalies have won the Vezina and the Stanley Cup in the same year (Martin Brodeur, Grant Fuhr, Billy Smith). When you consider the top-two finalists in Vezina voting over the same period, only nine of a possible 56 goalies have appeared in the Cup Final in the same season as their nomination. Since the lockout, which goalies have won the...

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Defensemen

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Defensemen

Yesterday I passed along my thoughts about the Eastern Conference’s best defense corps. Each team’s defensemen were individually graded, with extra weight given to a team’s expected top-2 pairings. Today let’s look at the Western Conference. A+ Grade Chicago Losing Brent Sopel is like losing a girlfriend in college – easily replaced, you just need to know where to look (tip – go where there’s alcohol being served). Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are the best 1-2 pair in the NHL. A- Grade Detroit Yes, Nik Lidstrom is slowing down, but he’s still a top-5 NHL defenseman. There is great...

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