Stick in Link: Weirdly chill Tortorella; Luongo set to return, Eriksson reassigned

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Thoughts on shots: one possible reason why Dan Hamhuis gets so much power play time

After a string of success, the Canucks’ power play is back to its early season struggles, with just one goal with the man advantage in the last seven games. That one goal hardly counts, as it was scored by Brad Richardson as a power play expired. The actual power play units haven’t produced a goal in their last 19 opportunities.

Unsurprisingly, Canucks fans have turned to armchair coaching, with one of the main targets being the presence of Dan Hamhuis on the first unit. Everything else about that unit makes perfect sense: the Sedins provide the playmaking, Jason Garrison has the big shot from the point, and Ryan Kesler can be a trigger man or provide a screen in front.

The only player that doesn’t seem to fit is Hamhuis, who has never put up much in the way of points on the power play in his career and is neither a quarterback nor a cannon on the blue line. Compounding matters, he’s yet another left-handed shot, with many of the Sedins creative plays coming to a screeching halt without a right-handed shot available for the one-timer at the left point.

While Hamhuis has many strengths, the power play just doesn’t seem to be one of them, but John Tortorella and Mike Sullivan seem intent on using him there. While doing some analysis on individual shot totals for the Canucks, I stumbled across an interesting statistic that may help explain why.

You see, while Dan Hamhuis does not have the most powerful shot, he is the most effective at getting his shot on net among Canucks’ defencemen.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Tampa Bay Lightning, January 1, 2014

If your New Year’s Resolution was to try to be more optimistic about the Canucks, well, their first game of 2014 probably didn’t help at all. The Canucks were, to put it gently, a crap factory versus the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night, outplayed in every facet of the game.

John Tortorella called it the club’s worst game of the year. Was it? Yes, because the year is less than a full day old, so they haven’t had time to play any other games. Technically, it was also their best game of the year, and I watched this game.

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