The Dreaded Two Goal Lead: Infected Higgins, Mancari call-up, European Parent

I think I know how the infection spread from his foot to his hand…

Canucks news comes fast and furious, and sometimes we find ourselves playing catchup. Thankfully, the Dreaded Two Goal Lead – often called “the worst lead in hockey” – is super easy to come back from. Everybody knows it’s a guaranteed death sentence for those that hold it. Well, much like an ice hockey team coming from two goals down, PITB will now effortlessly catch up.

Chris Higgins won’t be joining the Canucks on their current road trip, thanks to a swollen hand that bears a startling similarity to his recent swollen foot. He’s currently in the hospital with a suspected staph infection; Vigneault reports that he’s responding well to antibiotics and should have a full recovery.

To me, a staph infection is sounding more and more unlikely. If Higgins returns to the lineup and start biting people, it isn’t because he wants to be more like Alex Burrows: he’s a zombie. What’s worse is he’s that one guy during the zombie apocalypse that gets bitten and hides it. No big deal, he says, it’s just a staph infection. I’ll take some antibiotics and it’ll clear right up.

Next thing you know parts of his body will fall off and he’ll steal Matthew Fox’s girl. Keep an eye on him, Canucks: this is the one time this season that a headshot might be appropriate.

Mark Mancari made his fourth appearance with the Canucks on Wednesday night against the San Jose Sharks. The gentle giant was unimpressive during pre-season, getting beat out by Aaron Volpatti, Victor Oreskovich, and Steven Pinizzotto in his quest to be a Raffi Replacement.

A few months later, however, and Volpatti and Pinizzotto are injured and Oreskovich has found his way into Alain Vigneault’s doghouse and the Chicago Wolves lineup.

Mancari, on the other hand, is the highest scoring Canucks prospect for the Wolves, with 24 points in 26 games. That kind of production is hard to ignore and with Chris Higgins contracting a bad case of zombiism, Mancari is getting another chance with the big club.

Ryan Parent is about as far down the Canucks’ depth chart as humanly possible. The Canucks have Chris Tanev, Yann Sauve, Kevin Connauton, Nolan Baumgartner, Sebastian Erixon, and Adam Polasek all available on the farm. That’s enough defencemen to replace the entire Canucks defence corps if it became necessary (such as in the case of Higgins biting them all when they visit him in the hospital).

With that kind of depth, it’s not too surprising that Parent was available to be loaned to Team Canada to play in the Spengler Cup, an invitational tournament held in Switzerland. He joined a few players (and one coach) with Canucks connections. Former Canuck coach Marc Crawford is heading up Team Canada, likely hoping that it will lead back into an NHL coaching job.

Other former Canucks include Byron Ritchie, Brandon Reid, and Joel Perrault. Team Canada dominated their first game against HC Vitkovice, winning 7-1, before getting dominated themselves by the host HC Davos 8-1. Parent has 1 assist in the 2 games.

Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen is Denmark’s best player at the World Junior Championships, which may not be saying much as they are quite possibly the least-talented team in the tournament. While Denmark is obviously out-matched, they did catch the United States off-guard in their first game of the tournament, coming out of the first period down just 3-2. A big reason for that was the Denmark powerplay, which went 3-for-3 in the game, providing the only offence the Danes would receive.

Canucks prospect Jensen quarterbacks the Danish powerplay from the point; he assisted on all 3 goals. But even with his contributions, Denmark will be hard-pressed to avoid relegation, as Switzerland has had good showings against Russia and Sweden, while Latvia has kept scores down and looks like they will be a tough team.

You can catch Jensen and Denmark as they face their toughest test of the tournament versus Team Canada at 5:00 PM Thursday on TSN. If Denmark can keep Canada below 10 goals and score a few themselves, it will be considered a good result.

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  1. Sarah
    December 29, 2011

    If I have to catch zombism from someone, it might as well be Chris Higgins

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  2. Norman
    December 29, 2011

    why is it “The Dreaded Two Goal Lead” now??
    what happened to “spitballin’”? I love spitballin’!!!

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    • Harrison Mooney
      December 29, 2011

      They’re different features. One’s about catching up on the news when we get behind. The other’s quick riffs on topics that might not deserve a full post.

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      • Zach Morris
        December 29, 2011

        Yeah, pay attention :P

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  3. Pat Jenkins
    December 29, 2011

    I think Mike Gillis should invest in a personal hygiene coach for Higgins…

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