Canucks’ 2015 Hock-tober

The kids are ALRIGHT! Last year it was Bo Horvat winning over the team and fans…this year it’s Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann.  It is officially official as the Vancouver Canucks have announced that BOTH Virtanen and McCann have made the team and will not being going back to junior.  Welcome to the NHL, boys!

VirtsMcCannMcCann we dig it, Canucks fans? Yes, yes we can.

October has come and gone and with it the Vancouver Canucks have eleven games in the book with seventy-one more to go. Let’s take a closer look at the October that was for first month of the team’s 2015-16 season.

The Canucks closed out October with a respectable 5-2-4 record and fourteen points. Through eleven games, we have seen a little bit of everything: from three rookies continuing to impress to a few third period collapses to beating the best team in the league on home ice to Miller playing with an edge and enduring just TWO regulation losses.

Infuse the lineup with youth they said. Let the kids play they said. Jake Virtanen, Jared McCann and Ben Hutton showed up to training camp with one aim in mind: make the Canucks roster out of camp and maintain that spot. All three have accomplished that goal. Jake Virtanen leads the team in hits and starting to find his offensive stride, Jared McCann leads the team in goals with five and Ben Hutton is dependable in just about every area of the ice. Sure there have been some growing pains through the games they have all played, but the positives have more than outweighed the negatives proving that there is so much more to come from these three rookies over time.

Ryan Miller is not good enough some said. Ryan Miller is too old and too expensive many others said. Ryan Miller would need to be better than last year, they all said. Through ten games, though yes he has let in a bad goal or two, most nights he has been one of the Canucks best players on the ice.  Miller is boasting some impressive numbers through ten games: a 2.16 goals against average, one shutout and a 0.923 save percentage. He’s been playing with a edge that gives the team a chance to win every game.

Perhaps the most frustrating stat of the season is the fact that it took 6 games on home ice before the Canucks got their first victory in Vancouver. Or the multiple third period leads that ended up as overtime losses. The overtime losses were not ideal BUT the team still picked up points in those games and every single point counts when the team’s aim is to be playoff bound. Impressively, the team has lost just twice in regulation. Perhaps their most impressive games have been against the California teams on the road AND that first victory at home when they took on the league’s top team, Montreal. Another impressive stat through eleven games? The team has a 90% penalty kill success rate and 20% powerplay success rate.

Are there things they can improve on in the remaining 71 games? Absolutely, no matter how well a team is or is not playing, there are always ways for them to keep improving. The Canucks have their work cut out for them if they want to be playoff bound come April, but they are off to a respectable start towards that goal. Next up the Canucks will battle the state of Pennsylvania as they face-off against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on home ice. Here’s to two strong games before the team is back on the road for 7 straight games!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Advertisements

2014 Draft Debrief: Canucks Edition

The 2014 NHL Draft has come and gone and with it left behind some BIG and small movements on the Canucks radar as they were one of (if not) the most active team(s) at the draft.

Team Lindenning had a VERY busy 2014 draft. Change was inevitable coming into the 2014-2015 season, but did anyone see the team being as active at the draft as they were?

TRADE TALK:

TRADE #1: Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ryan Kesler elephant in the room was addressed immediately before it could become a situation that would fester and eat away at the locker room all year long. The Canucks have already had that happen with the Luongo situation that took nearly two years to solve. Benning was forced into to a corner with the Kesler trade as it became public knowledge that Kesler ONLY gave the team a 2-list destination possibility and never wavered from his stance. In the end, Kesler got exactly what he wanted: a ticket out of Vancouver.

It became apparent in his interviews following the news that he was more than ecstatic to be leaving Vancouver for Anaheim. I understand that he is “ready to move on”, BUT some of the things he said felt like he was burning a bridge rather than being grateful for an incredible ten years with the organization that developed him into the two-way player he is today.

Trade #2: Jason Garrison to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Trade #3: 85TH OVERALL 2014 draft pick to the New York Rangers in exchange for Derek Dorsett.

Trade #4: 50TH OVERALL 2014 draft pick to the LA Kings in exchange for Linden Vey.

2014 Vancouver Canucks DRAFT SELECTIONS:

6TH OVERALL: Jake Virtanen (Left Wing)

24TH OVERALL: Jared McCann (Centre)

36TH OVERALL: Thatcher Demko (Goalie)

50TH OVERALL: TRADED to LA in exchange for Linden VEY (Right Wing)

66TH OVERALL: Nikita Tryamkin (Defenceman)

85TH OVERALL (Acquired from Anaheim in the Kesler trade): TRADED to the New York Rangers in exchange for Derek Dorsett.

126TH OVERALL: Gustav Forsling (Defenceman)

156TH OVERALL: Kyle Petit (Centre)

186TH OVERALL: Mackenze Stewart (Defenseman)

7 draft picks and 4 trades later, the 2014 NHL draft came to a close for the Vancouver Canucks. In making some big moves (Kesler/Garrison) the Canucks now have more money in cap space than they’ve had in years and with the free agency frenzy just around the corner…they have the option to spend.

Have you recovered from the frenzy that was the 2014 NHL draft for the Canucks? Are you ready for the frenzy that will be free agency starting tomorrow (July 1)? Will the Canucks bring a veteran goalie to help mentor Lack? Will they lean towards youth or another veteran OR both in regards to bolstering their forwards/defensive lineup? Come tomorrow, we will have answers as to just what Linden and Benning have in mind for the roster moving forward.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.