Alain Vigneault has the tendency to shuffle his forward lines like a magician shuffles cards: most of it is sleight-of-hand and nothing really changes in the end. He and Rick Bowness have frequently done the same with defence pairings in the past over the last couple seasons, but certain pairings tended to stick together and avoid the juggling.
When Christian Ehrhoff was with the Canucks, he was all-but-inseparable from Alex Edler. At one point, Kevin Bieksa only hit the ice when Willie Mitchell was at his side. Over the last couple seasons, it’s been Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis who have been attached at the hip. Other pairings were malleable, but those pairings were, at the very least, semi-permanent.
Heading into this season, the pairing of Bieksa and Hamhuis, affectionately and disgustingly known as HamJuice, were a given. Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev, who performed well when paired together in the previous season, were assumed to be the bottom pairing. That left the newly-arrive Jason Garrison to play with Edler, something I had been anticipating ever since he signed with the Canucks.
It looked like the defence pairings were about as set in stone as they could possibly be. But it took just 5 games for those stones to be thrown to the ground and broken up like the Ten Commandments.Continue Reading —›
Henrik Sedin became the Vancouver Canucks’ all-time leading point-getter Friday night, collecting his 757th career point when he threaded a filthy pass to Alex Burrows for a second period one-timer. It was an incredible moment, one marred only by two small hiccups: first, the Dallas Stars would storm back with three unanswered goals to ensure that the feat occurred in a loss. Second, the aftermath of the historic point saw no stoppage in play for a good three minutes. The fans responded with a standing ovation in the meantime, which was cool, but when that stoppage finally came, Sportsnet went to commercial, which was less so.
As a viewer at home, it was frustrating to have to leave the party.
But if you’re still ruing that moment, we’ve got two things to help you. The first is an incredible, uninterrupted video of the entire sequence following Henrik’s record-breaking point, filmed at nearly ice level. The second is an explanation of why you were watching ads while the Rogers Arena crowd was watching Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund salute the man that had bested them.Continue Reading —›