Drance Numbers: Did the Canucks really change after the Boston game?

There were plenty of interesting statements in Mike Gillis’s epic season wrapup press conference Tuesday morning, but one of the most jarring came in response to the very first question posed to him by the press. To kick things off, David Ebner of The Globe & Mail asked Gillis when the “issues” that ultimately led to the Canucks’ early exit first began to surface.

As a disciple of the extremist “Church of Hockey Math” (trademark, Blake Price), I’m always skeptical of a statement that lends this much power to an “intangible” force like “collective team emotion.” It’s a pretty dubious claim when you stop to think about it: a veteran team, one of the league’s best over the past two seasons, saw their season derailed by a regular-season win in early January?

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Video: The Vancouver Wellwoods at the national street hockey championships in Victoria

If you follow this blog with any regularity, you know about the Wellwoods, PITB’s official women’s road hockey team. Back in February, we helped them to find two sponsors to pay for a jersey upgrade — BC Diabetes, an organization dedicated to providing no-cost treatment to diabetics, and Ken Johnson, a nice young man and cat owner just looking for his soulmate.

But soliciting for money to buy clothes isn’t all the Wellwoods do. They also play street hockey, and back in October, they headed to Victoria for the 3rd annual HNIC Play On! street hockey national championships. The ladies have been involved in the tournament since its inception three years ago, finishing 4th in year one and 2nd in year two. Like the Canucks, they came into 2011 hoping to get back to the finals and achieve a better result. Could they do it?

No. They finished 4th. (We’re still proud of them, though.) However, they did take a step forward this year in terms of documenting the experience. Last year, Captain Morgan Tierney journaled the tournament for us. This year, the Wellwoods made a video. This is that video.

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Alex Burrows to join Duncan Keith on Team Canada for the 2012 World Championship

The thirteenth and final forward for Canada’s entry in the 2012 World Championships is reportedly Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks.

Burrows has represented his country on the international stage before, but in ball hockey. He competed in the 2003 and 2005 ball hockey World Championships, leading Team Canada to gold each time. Being named to Team Canada in ice hockey is yet another chapter in Burrows’ incredible success story.

This time around, he likely won’t be playing as integral an offensive role, however, as the team already boasts talent like Corey Perry, John Tavares, Jeff Skinner, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle. Burrows’ skill on the penalty kill and defensive acumen likely played into the decision to add him to the roster (or maybe just the fact that he said yes).

There may be a bit of awkwardness in the locker room, though: Duncan Keith is one of the defencemen heading to Finland and Sweden for the two week tournament.

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