From the Archives: Daniel’s Worst Christmas, an original holiday tale

Originally published on December 18,2010, “Daniel’s Worst Christmas” is a poetic retelling of the Canucks’ 2009-10 regular season in which an injury to Daniel Sedin led to a Hart trophy season for his twin brother, Henrik. But that wasn’t the whole story…

With Christmas only days away, we thought we’d bring this one back from the dead. Granted, some of its jokes are a year-old (but the Calgary Flames remain bad, so that one still works), and it remains a poem, unfortunately, but you might still find it worth your time.

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Drance Numbers: Has Mason Raymond’s game changed since his injury?

About this there is no doubt: Mason Raymond has guts, and twice the testicular fortitude of Johnny Knoxville.

Even if you hold the schmaltz, it’s fair and accurate to describe his recovery and his performance following his return as inspiring. He’s filling in on nearly every forward line, dominating possession and generating a boatload of chances and offense.

But that’s all stuff that Raymond was doing during the last campaign as well, yet he was disappointing to the majority of Canucks fans. What’s different so far this year is that he’s scoring goals at a much higher rate than he did the season previous. So is he scoring goals because his game has “changed” since his return from injury? Now that is a more contentious issue.

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Stop worrying: Cody Hodgson gets enough ice time

10 minutes into the first period of Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, Canucks fans got a chance to see a delightfully old-school moment: a slap-shot off the rush that rang off the post and in. That type of goal used to be a lot more common: the highlight reels from the 70′s and 80′s are full of players flying down the wing and unleashing a slap-shot from the top of the faceoff circle past a helpless goaltender. That just doesn’t happen anymore.

What was even more electrifying was who scored the goal: it was Cody Hodgson, the rookie, giving the fans a flashback to the golden years of the slap-shot.

It was a surprise not just because of how rare the slap-shot goal off the rush has become, but also because we haven’t seen that side of Hodgson’s game yet. The majority of Hodgson’s shots this season seem to have been wristshots, with most of them being, to put it as nicely as possible, unimpressive. Hodgson’s goal on Jimmy Howard Wednesday night should serve to remind everyone that he was considered to have one of the hardest shots in the OHL: he was voted as having the second hardest shot in 2009 by OHL coaches and the third hardest in 2010, the year he only played 13 regular season games. Clearly, OHL coaches respected his shot.

Suffice it to say, a lot of people were talking about Hodgson on Twitter, the radio, and the forums. Oddly enough, though, most of them weren’t talking about his gorgeous goal and his hellacious slap-shot. Instead, they were talking about his icetime.

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