Vancouver Canucks Friday Roundup: November 7, 2014


Welcome to Friday Roundup at The Canuck Way. Every Friday we’ll take our top 5 Canucks stories of the week, share them with you, and add a little color to the news being talked about around Vancouver. 

Canucks’ Record this Week: 3-1

I’m very happy about this, especially after last night’s game. The current road trip could easily have started off 0-2. They put together a dominant third period against Colorado, and barely hung on last night against San Jose. They are currently only one point behind Anaheim for first place in the Western Conference. I think I speak for many when I ask, “Is this sustainable?” Luckily, Canucks Army has some answers.

Now, on to the news!

1. Kevin Bieksa’s Eye Injury

It was a scary scene on Sunday night, when a puck took a bizarre bounce up into Bieksa’s eye. He had to leave the game and was questionable for Tuesday’s game against Colorado. He did return, however, and has been playing without a visor, even though some people really want him to use one. I would prefer he wears one, personally, especially after Malhotra’s gruesome injury in 2011. Here’s Bieksa’s comments on his injury and wearing a visor:

2. Mysterious Injuries

Twitter was buzzing yesterday morning with the news that Bonino was not participating in the morning skate. Willie Desjardins told the media it was just a maintenance day. But then Zack Kassian didn’t play, apparently because of a lower-body injury. And today The Province is discussing Radim Vrbata’s leg injury. These kinds of bumps and bruises are fairly normal during the course of a season, so it’s nothing to be too alarmed about. What always amuses me though, is how secretive the team is about these injuries. I suppose it’s to protect players who play injured from being targeted, much like I never told the kids at school that I cried during “Beauty and the Beast.” You don’t want to be a target for bullies. But it does lead to hilarious speculation in my mind. I mean, Kassian could be dealing with a knee injury of some kind, or he could have prostate issues. Lower body covers it all.

3. Nick Bonino has more points than Ryan Kesler

In the category of “strong early returns” is Nick Bonino, who had a great week for the Canucks. His stat line – 3 goals, 1 assist – doesn’t reflect how timely his goals were. He scored the game winners against Colorado and San Jose, and played excellent overall games. The great thing for now is that he has more points (12) than the man he was traded for (9), which fans on Twitter were only too eager to point out. This is, of course, all very premature, but fun nonetheless. I’m becoming a pretty big fan of Bonino. You might say I consider him my “Bro-nino.” Hey-o!

More from Canucks News

4. Bo Horvat’s parents are adorable!

It’s always fun to see a rookie break in to the league, and the Canucks did it with some class and fun on Tuesday night. After the old “send the rookie out to skate alone trick,” Willie Desjardins sent Horvat out to take the opening faceoff. That was a really nice touch. But the real story of the night was Horvat’s family, who were so excited to be there and watch Horvat play. My favourite moment came when Dorsett scored the Canucks’ second goal, but it looked like Horvat might have scored it. His family were up on their feet so fast! It was delightful to see the support they give him, and the joy they take in watching him play. Just heartwarming. The game recap is below, you can check out the goal and his family’s reaction around the 2:00 mark.

5. Zack Kassian, hit magnet

In Saturday’s game against the Oilers, Kassian was hit in the head by Andrew Ference, which earned Ference a three game suspension. Then on Tuesday he was tripped by Nick Holden, in a hit that was dangerously close to a knee-on-knee collision. It seems that Zack Kassian is a bad hit magnet. I suspect it’s just that opposing players love to see his helmet pop off. Seriously, that thing flies off on almost any hit. Hopefully this bad hit trend doesn’t continue, especially if Kassian’s lower body troubles are a result of Tuesday’s hit.

Canuck of the Week:

Even though I just raved about Bonino, my Canuck of the Week is Ryan Miller. There is no way the Canucks beat the Sharks without Miller’s performance last night. He made some saves to keep the Canucks in the game early, and then he made more saves to lock down the game when they came back.

This is a trend I’ve been noticing with Miller. He may let in a goal or two in the course of the game, but he seems to have this ability to lock it down and make key saves to help his team either make a comeback or hold on to a win. In the fancy stats world people talk about Score Effects – the way a team plays depending on the score of a game. My theory is that Ryan Miller has his own type of score effect. At some point in the game, even if he’s given up a few goals and the team is behind, he will go into shutdown mode and provide an opportunity for a comeback. I suppose we could call it the Miller effect. Or, in honour of his old team, we could call it “Sabre metrics.”

What stuck out to you this week? Was there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!