Welcome back to Nucks News, your regular batch of updates on the Vancouver Canucks and the other 30 NHL teams. Let’s see what we have in store for today.
The Vancouver Canucks look to rebound from the disappointing 7-4 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday with a matchup tomorrow against another youth-movement team, the Carolina Hurricanes. Here in the UK, live NHL games have not been seen for several years, until a new channel popped in our listings last month. And so it was that last night I watched my first live NHL game of the season on FreeSports. It went a little something like this:
Andrei Svechnikov scored his first career goal, and Martin Necas grabbed his first apple. Watching Carolina reminded me a lot of our own Canucks – average goaltending, hit-and-miss D (Jaccob Slavin missed a few plays that cost them), but a youth-infused offense that knows no fear. They are fast becoming my second team.
Should Troy Stecher have been given an ‘A’ by Coach Green? I wouldn’t have complained if he had been added to the leadership group, and Trevor Beggs has written a nice piece on exactly why he feels Troy from Richmond should have been part of that group. [The Hockey Writers]
One story that was mostly buried in the Elias Pettersson hype at the weekend was the near-return of Antoine Roussel from his concussion. He’s back in training and has travelled with the team on the road trip. In Roussel’s own words:
"“That was very stressful for me, for my wife, for my family, you know? It just sucks, you know? You want to get going right away. But when you can’t, you just can’t. You think you’re failing your teammates, failing yourself and the team that just gave yourself nice confidence in a four-year deal. So you feel badly. It was not even a big hit, just like a small elbow. I was telling myself: ‘Man, how did that happen?’ That whole month I was out, (I was) rethinking of that. At the end of the day, you have to move forward.”"
I expect we’ll see him in the line-up towards the end of the road trip. [Sportsnet]
And now, the latest from elsewhere around the NHL:
Last night not only saw that wild Canes-Rangers game, but also a crazy 7-6 OT win for the Leafs over the Blackhawks. Any game where John Tavares scored a hat-trick, Austin Matthews scores twice, Patrick Kane scores twice and Jonathan Toews extends his Rocket Richard lead looks good to me, no matter my feelings on those involved. [NHL]
Roberto Luongo was injured at the weekend and has been placed on the Panthers’ Injured Reserve. I once harbored hopes of him passing Martin Brodeur for most career wins, but at this rate Bobby Lou will struggle to finish 2nd in games played (he’s 27 behind Patrick Roy). So sad that a legend like Lu can’t get a good run of health going. [ESPN]
Finally, we may not like him (and most will probably openly say they hate him), but Duncan Keith reaches that magical 1,000 games played milestone this week. He really should be 20 games shy of this milestone after that elbow to Daniel Sedin, but none of us can deny what a dynamic presence he’s been for this Blackhawks team over the last decade. Stick tap for Keith, who will become the 320th player to reach the milestone, if Tomas Plekanec doesn’t do so before him (they’re tied on 998 games). [NHL]
Question of the day:
Who is YOUR second team in the NHL?