Canucks photocopy Chris Higgins’ contract, give it to Jannik Hansen

Jannik Hansen has had a pretty good September. In five preseason games, the winger put up four points (2 goals, 2 assists). He also saw quite a bit of time with the Sedins as John Tortorella explored his options with a new roster, and Hansen showed well enough that he’s likely to be deployed there on occasion come the regular season. Furthermore, he somehow managed to take the only good headshot on picture day. And, on Sunday, the Canucks gave him 10 million dollars. As months go, I’d say that’s pretty okay.

Capping off a weirdly busy weekend that also saw the acquisition of forwards Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Walsh from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Kellan Tochkin (the second-best Kellan in Vancouver’s system) and a fourth-round pick, the Canucks announced a four-year contract extension for Hansen that would pay him $2.5 million a season.

Continue Reading —›
Every Goal, 2012-13: Chris Higgins

There weren’t a lot of bright spots for the Canucks last season, but if I had to put my finger on one, it’d be Chris Higgins beard. And I mean literally put my finger on one. That beard seems downright tuggable, like Kris Kringle’s beard in Miracle on 34th Street. (Sidenote: Did you know Dylan McDermott was in that together? As soon as I pulled up the trailer and saw him sharing the screen with Sarah Paulson lookalike Elizabeth Perkins, I thought I was watching an episode of American Horror Story: Asylum. And when Santa appeared, I was certain I was. But alas.)

Of course, Higgins was fun to watch last season for more reasons than simply having the team’s best beard. He also had a pretty good season, scoring 10 goals and being rewarded for his production — not to mention his strong forecheck and ability to play up and down the lineup — with a four-year contract extension. Here are 10 reasons that extension seems like a pretty good idea.

Continue Reading —›
Who are the Canucks’ best penalty killers?

While the Canucks have been a mess on the powerplay this season and have been inconsistent defensively at even-strength, the one area that has been a strength all season long has been the penalty kill. The Canucks have allowed more than one powerplay goal in a game just three times this season and haven’t done so since February 24th against the Detroit Red Wings.

Once the Canucks had some actual centres in Ryan Kesler and Derek Roy, the penalty kill got even better, going seven straight games and 25 opportunities without allowing a goal against. As a result, the Canucks finished 8th in the NHL in penalty kill percentage at 84%. It’s been one of the most consistent areas for the Canucks, killing off 86% last season and 85.6% the season before.

It’s sometimes tough to tell who on the Canucks is most responsible for their shorthanded success. Goaltending obviously plays a big role and it’s assumed that coaching is vital, but which defencemen and forwards have been the best on the penalty kill for the Canucks?

It’s harder to figure out than you’d think.

Continue Reading —›
Canucks sign up for four more years of Chris ‘Kiss Huggins’ Higgins and his famous torso

Early this morning, the Canucks traded a second round pick and defenceman prospect Kevin Connauton for Derek Roy, a pending unrestricted free agent. While this was certainly reasonable value for a scoring centre like Roy, the pending UFA part made some people a little nervous. There’s the possibility that he walks away from the Canucks in the off-season and is little more than a rental.

Of course, some rentals turn out better than others. Perhaps in an effort to qualm these concerns, the Canucks announced that they have re-signed Chris Higgins, another former rental, to a 4-year extension.

Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ on who will play, who won’t play, and who misread the play

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.

Continue Reading —›
You can’t lock out Chris Higgins’ abs

The charity game between Bieksa’s Buddies and the UBC Thunderbirds was a massive hit, raising $100,000 for the Canucks for Kids Fund, Canucks Autism Network, and the Canucks Family Education Centre that was matched by a generous donation from Michael Bublé. It also gave an outlet for Canucks fans desperate to watch their favourite players actually playing hockey.

The game featured many of the elements you would see in a normal Canucks game: wizardous Sedinerie, a terrible second period, and a photograph of Chris Higgins’ remarkable abs. Well, actually, four photos of Chris Higgins’ abs.

So, here they are, I guess. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ on stolen ice time, charitable giving addict Dan Hamhuis, and snubbing Jan Bulis

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

Continue Reading —›
Eddie Lack vs Chris Higgins: Ab Off

Earlier today, Chris Higgins took over the Canucks official Twitter account to answer some questions from fans. Apparently, he received a lot of questions about his abs, for which I feel I should take some of the blame. After all, PITB is the internet’s go-to source for Chris Higgins’ abs.

To Higgins’ credit, he’s always been good-natured about the attention. Some of his teammates, and potential future teammates, might not be.

Continue Reading —›
Who were Ryan Kesler’s best linemates last season?

Sometimes when I get curious enough about something to investigate it, digging up statistics and putting together charts, the answer turns out to be the obvious one. Fortunately, it can also turn up some other interesting information along the way.

Here’s the question I had: which wingers were most effective with Ryan Kesler last season? One of the big questions coming into this season is who should play on the second line with Kesler, once he returns too early? David Booth seems to have his spot all sewn up, but there are many competitors for the opposite wing, including Chris Higgins, Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, Zack Kassian, and Nicklas Jensen. Heck, if Shane Doan signs with the Canucks, you can add him and Alex Burrows to that list.

David Booth and Chris Higgins were Kesler’s most common linemates last season, but were they his most effective linemates? To get the answer, I did some WOWY (With Or Without You) analysis to see how Kesler performed with and without various linemates. In this case, the answer appears to be pretty definitively “yes.”

Continue Reading —›
Every Goal, 2011-12: Chris Higgins, part two

And so we come to the end of the Every Goal series with the back half of Chris Higgins’s entry, a post that bears a striking similarity to the first half.

If you read yesterday’s post, you got used to nice passes from Jannik Hansen, tips from Dan Hamhuis, and Higgins’s standout tendency to get in behind defences and be the first one on rebounds. Nothing has changed in part two. Higgins was a tried and true opportunist in 2011-12, pouncing on loose pucks, finishing off pretty passes, and cashing in on breakaways galore. It remains to be seen if he’ll get as many fortunate opportunities next season as he did last year, but once you’ve watched all 18 Higgins goals from last year, one thing’s for sure: more often than not, if he gets an opportunity, he’s going to convert.

Here are eight more times he converted.

Continue Reading —›
Every Goal, 2011-12: Chris Higgins, part one

From a production standpoint, Chris Higgins’s second season in Canucks’ colours was a pleasant surprise. When he wasn’t sitting out with an unpleasant surprise — a staph infection that was obviously a secret zombie bite — he scored 18 goals, won the hearts of many, and was awarded the Fred J. Hume Unsung Hero award for his efforts.

It’s maybe not the most aptly named trophy. Higgins was plenty sung. As perhaps the only Canuck forward to exceed expectations for the year, he won the hearts of nearly everyone. And for those of you whose hearts are not so easily won by goals, his abs were pretty popular too.

But this post isn’t about his abs. It’s about his goals. (Sorry. I recognize that some of you are disheartened, but take solace in the fact that his abs are resting comfortably under his clothes.) Enjoy the first half of Chris Higgins’s 2011-12 goal haul.

Continue Reading —›
Video: Chris Higgins talks staph infections, Amex line, abs on After Hours

Chris Higgins was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday, marking the third consecutive week that a Canuck has occupied the chair to Scott Oake’s right. March has already given us interviews with Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa, and Higgins’s turn in Oake’s awkward hot seat falls somewhere between the two, neither as wacky as Bieksa’s mug-and-quip-fest, nor as dry as the Hamhuis interview.

For the most part, the talk covers ground with which the majority of Canuck fans should already be familiar: Higgins’s service family, which includes his police officer brother and his firefighter father, the American Express line being good, and Higgins’s staph infection and subsequent struggles last January. But do not dismay, Canuck fans, because if there’s one thing that sets 10 minutes with Scott Oake apart from your standard hockey interview, it’s that Oake asks the questions you’re typically not supposed to ask. In this case, that means Higgins’s After Hours clip features a solid five minutes on his crazy abs.

Continue Reading —›
How do the Canucks coaches record scoring chances?

We have known for some time that the Canucks management and coaching staff pay attention to advanced statistics, though it’s generally thought that they have their own internal analysis rather than simply using what is publicly available through Vic Ferrari’s timeonice.com and Gabriel Desjardins’ behindthenet.ca.

While Mike Gillis and the rest of his team tend to keep mum on specifics, Gillis talked about the analytical revolution in baseball when he was first hired by the Canucks and about being an unconventional manager, and there have been numerous other hints that indicate that the management team uses some form of advanced statistics. Of course, Gillis has also said that applying sabermetrics to hockey just doesn’t work. How much of that is bluster and how much is true remains to be seen.

On Monday morning, however, we did get a tiny glimpse at one of the numbers that Alain Vigneault uses to judge his players. He was asked a question about Chris Higgins and he briefly talked about scoring chances. While we’ve heard Vigneault mention scoring chances before, he actually got specific in regards to Higgins.

Continue Reading —›
Chris Higgins has stopped scoring goals (still has abs)

It’s no secret that Ryan Kesler has been struggling lately. He has just 3 points in his last 9 games and the minor foofaraw in the media over his and Alain Vigneault’s comments merely focussed attention on these struggles. To be honest, though, I’m not actually that concerned about Kesler because I am confident he can turn things around. Mike Gillis doesn’t seem concerned either.

I am, however, concerned about Chris Higgins.

Continue Reading —›
I Find This Photo Odd: Chris Higgins shows no emotion

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this picture of Chris Higgins. At first glance, it’s just a normal shot of a guy, maybe at the end of the shift, maybe just waiting for puck to drop. But on a closer examination, it becomes difficult to determine just what emotion he’s wearing on his face. It could be anything. Hunger? Thirst? Ennui? Disappointment? Jealousy? Zombiism? One simply cannot know.

But I must. And thus, I decided to splice Higgins into a handful of images, just to see if, perhaps, I could find one well-suited to his vacant stare. What follows are my best guesses.

Continue Reading —›
Chris Higgins loses his new female fanbase with gross swollen foot

Two weeks ago, Chris Higgins thrilled female (and certain male) Canucks fans by wiping his nose. While clearing nostrils of snot is not normally considered sexy – though there’s a fetish for everything I suppose – it was what he used to blow his nose and what he revealed in the process that got people excited. Higgins used the bottom of his jersey, revealing that he doesn’t wear a shirt underneath his jersey.

He also revealed that he works out.

Continue Reading —›
Chris Higgins scores goals, has abs

If I told you before the season started that, 20 games into the season, Chris Higgins would be tied with a Sedin for the team-lead in goals, you would assume I was joking. If I told you the Sedin was Henrik, you would know I was joking.

Continue Reading —›

The man they (we) call Kiss Huggins showed enough last season to earn another go-round in Vancouver, as the Canucks paid him $1.9 million to return. It will be interesting to see if he can return, as well, to Ryan Kesler’s wing. Lord knows the spot is wide open at the moment and, while Higgins struggled with his finish at times last year (some of that may have had to do with his sore hand), he showed as much or more chemistry with Kesler as anyone on the roster.

Unfortunately, it only resulted in two goals, and truthfully, I don’t care where he plays in 2012, so long as he can replicate what he does in the clips below, say, 20 more times than that. Here’s every goal Chris Higgins scored (in a Canucks uniform) in 2010-11.

Continue Reading —›

The Vancouver Canucks forwards present an interesting conundrum. Despite leading the league in goals scored, employing two Art Ross trophy winners, a Selke winner, and should-win-the-Selke-but-won’t-because-the-criteria-are-ill-defined player, the Canucks were let down in the playoffs by a fourth line that couldn’t hold their own and a lack of scoring from their second line. Losing Mikael Samuelsson, their fourth-leading scorer in the regular season, and Manny Malhotra, who would have allowed Maxim Lapierre centre the fourth line instead of the third, to injury heading into the playoffs can, perhaps, be blamed for these two areas, but there is certainly a sense that some improvement is necessary.

So what should Mike Gillis do with his forwards that are heading into unrestricted free agency? PITB is here to tell him. And you.

Continue Reading —›

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.

Continue Reading —›

Canucks 1 – 3 Coyotes A goaltender’s duel is nowhere near as much fun as it sounds (just ask Rick DiPietro). Despite the picture you have in your mind, in reality, neither goalie draws pistols, nobody walks paces, and nobody is slapped with a glove. Furthermore, there is never any threat to the United States [...]

Continue Reading —›

Canucks 4 – 2 Wild Like the opening scene of Carrie, this game was all about the 1st period. In the opening twenty minutes, the Canucks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a quick one by Raffi Torres (above), and two debilitatingly effective powerplays. While Minnesota would regroup and take over the game in [...]

Continue Reading —›

“I’ve never been more excited about hockey, now that I have this beard.” 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 [...]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Continue Reading —›