The return of Daniel Sedin on Wednesday was expected to have a trickle-down effect on the Canucks lineup, but Alain Vigneault wasn’t content to just put things back the way they were. He put David Booth, who had just one goal in his last 14 games, with the twins and put Dan Hamhuis on the point of the powerplay instead of returning Sami Salo to his usual spot.
Both turned out to be good decisions: Booth picked up the primary assist on Kevin Bieksa’s gamewinning goal by using his speed to back off the defence, giving Bieksa plenty of room to shoot, while Hamhuis set up Alex Edler on the opening goal on the powerplay.
Both Booth and Hamhuis played a major role in Henrik Sedin’s insurance marker in the third period as well. I had an insurance marker once. It was a felt pen from where my parents bought insurance. It wasn’t as nice as Henrik’s goal.Continue Reading —›
Advanced statistics and quantitative analysis have consistently proven useful in hockey, but any honest hockey math nerd will admit that there are factors the numbers can’t quite measure. Some things operate on the U.S. Supreme Court’s “I know it when I see it” principle. Supposedly, one such unmeasurable factor is chemistry, which has been a major talking point among Canuck nation of late.
During the regular season, David Booth played roughly 35 total even-strength minutes with the Sedin twins. He played more with former Florida Panthers teammate Tomas Kopecky. Yet, with the team facing elimination in Game 4 of the Canucks’ first round series with the Los Angeles Kings, Alain Vigneault modified his lines, bumping Booth up to the top line to skate with the twins. That alteration to the team’s forward lines separated Booth from Ryan Kesler, his linemate all season.
Despite being somewhat bemused by Booth’s move to the Sedins’ right wing, many cheered the split from Kesler, as the two apparently have “no chemistry.” Oh, but they do.Continue Reading —›
We had a bird in my house growing up — a cockatiel. It could speak, sort of. On rare occasions, it would mumble, “Birdy, birdy, birdy,” to the amazement of anybody in the room at the time. (This always struck me as unimpressive. No one would be wowed by a guy that just said, “Human. Human,” all the time.) But no one much cared for Birdy (we let her name herself). She was a biter. Also, my dad was told she was a male when he bought her, but then one day she laid eggs. No one likes a bird that makes a fool of you by changing sexes.
Anyway, after Birdy, I’m not much for birds. But I could totally get behind Moko, a grey African parrot and, apparently, a Vancouver Canucks fan.Continue Reading —›