With only one game left for the Canucks against the Flames on Saturday night, a game which is completely irrelevant to the playoff order in the West, the Canucks are playing for nothing. Since it really isn't up to the Canucks as to who they will end up playing in the first round the only thing about Saturday night's game that will matter to the Canucks is to STAY HEALTHY.
But even though we have no power over the order, it's still fun to look at the week ahead about who we might face off against in the first round of the playoffs. Mathematically there are only three possibilities of who we could play: Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators or LA Kings. All are winnable in a series for the Canucks, but there are still some pros and cons about preference of who we play.
All three teams are sitting at 98 points after last night, with LA and Detroit having two games left while Nashville only has one. Right now Nashville has the tie breaker between the three teams with the most wins.
Detroit Red Wings
The Wings still have two games remaining, one at Columbus and one at Chicago and have a 35% of ending up in 6th spot. In the four games played this season, the Wings have won 3 and the Canucks 1. Though they are currently tied in points, both LA and Nashville have the tiebreaker over Detroit. They are currently listed ahead of the Preds since they still have a game in hand over them.
The Red Wings are a scary team. I can't think of any fan of a Western Conference team that actually wants a matchup against the Wings. In addition to just being plain good there is also a good 4 hour flight from Vancouver to Detroit and a three hour time difference. There is also a built up fear against the Wings being a better team, regardless if they are the better team or not. The only thing 'questionable' about the Wings is really their goalie Jimmy Howard and his lack of experience. But if you've seen Roberto Luongo lately, then Howard's inexperience in the playoffs is not as worrisome as Luongo's knob of his stick lately.
Continued after the jump...no comments
Let's just get this out of the way first: he's not going to win it
That being said, Henrik Sedin has been named by the Profession Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) of Vancouver as the Canuck nominee for the Masterton trophy. The nomination was for his “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication”. Not only did he improve in his on ice play, he and his brother donated $1.5 million to the BC Children's hospital. Really great stuff by Henrik.
Why will he not win? No it's not some east coast bias, but rather the award seems to be handed out to a player that has gone through a hardship like injury or health problem and then come back to play. And really have you read the Jose Theodore's story? So the likelihood is very low that Sedin will win it, but still it's nice for him to be recognized.
Check out Japers Rink as they trade all of the nominees as they get announced. The winner will be decided by a league wide vote of the PHWA and will be announced at the NHL awards in Vegas.no comments
Three games left and there's a Y beside our name!
What is not so woo?
According to THIS article by Jason Botchford in The Province, it doesn't sound like Shane O'Brien is out of the doghouse just yet.
Not unless he’s lost 13 pounds in three days and sufficiently repented for his off-ice sins, which, the Canucks inferred, suggest he does not care about the game or his team.
By all accounts, O’Brien has been working his tail off in exile. Sweating off pounds and guilt.
But before he can make a return, he still has to face some more tribunals. He has to meet with head coach Alain Vigneault, which could happen Sunday, and with GM Mike Gillis who isn’t scheduled to sit down with him until Monday. None of the meetings are expected to be warm and cuddly.
So based on what Botchford's article, it sounds like O'Brien won't be in the lineup tomorrow against Minnesota. It's too bad since watching Alberts on the ice makes me wish O'Brien was in the lineup instead, and that's saying a lot.
As much as I have a soft spot with O'Brien, being a repeat offender at what he has done is unacceptable as a pro hockey player. His job is to stay in shape, show up to practice on time and play hard every game. Gaining weight and showing up an hour late to work is unacceptable when you are being paid loads of money to play hockey as your job. Playing hockey is a dream job that really for his type calibre player at his age will not be around for that many more years. He's an RFA at the end of this season and antics like this certainly can't help his case for a new contract.no comments
Heyyyy! We clinched a spot in the playoffs! But last night, really was the Michael Grabner show.
The boxscore says that he only played 13:37 last night, but he looked like he had his coming out night last night with his first career hat trick.
Since he was called up from the Moose, Grabner has had plenty of chances to get a goal but he just hasn't been able to bury them. With the return of Bernier and Samuelsson on the horizon, I was fearful of Grabner being squeezed out of the line up for his lack of production. Don't get me wrong, he still very may be scratched in favour of other players in the playoffs, but with last nights 3 goals he makes the decision a little more interesting.
Recap and videos after the jumpno comments