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 —›
Much like Stella Payne, Jordan Schroeder had lost his groove, so the Canucks sent him down to Chicago to get it back. On Tuesday, he made a strong case for having rediscovered it.
Alain Vigneault faced a lot of criticism for his decision to pair Jordan Schroeder with Dale Weise and Tom Sestito in the games before Schroeder’s demotion to the minors, but much of it was misplaced. Sure, Schroeder is the most skilled player on that line, but that should be perfectly clear. To be a centre in the NHL, you have to be able to elevate your wingers rather than falling to their level, and Schroeder was unable to stand out on that fourth line during his first stint with the team.
Early in his second stint, however, he finally broke through, making Dale Weise look like the Daniel Sedin to his Henrik as the two combined for a highlight-reel goal that turned out to be the game-winner. It’s a great goal, and it only gets greater the more you watch it. How does a 2-on-4 during a line change turn into a down-low 1-on-0 for Dale Weise in a matter of seconds, especially against the St. Louis Blues, who are usually airtight defensively? Well. Let’s break it down.Continue Reading —›
During the broadcast of this game, Dan Murphy pointed out that it’s been over a year since the Canucks last played the Predators, which is crazy. It had been 366 days since they last met, but there’s more alarming news. The Canucks haven’t beaten the Predators in regulation since 2011. That almost makes it seem like it’s been two years! We should definitely be concerned.
Fortunately, the Canucks finally broke the streak, by beating the Predators at their own game, namely hockey. Defensive and boring hockey, to be specific. I nearly fell asleep when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
If it was a Hollywood movie, this game would have gone very differently. First of all, Henrik’s franchise record-setting point would have come in the dying seconds of overtime, with his record-tying point tying the game with 0.1 seconds left in regulation. Also, the Sedins would look like the guy who played the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network. The Canucks would have won this game against all odds and an important lesson about perseverance would have been learned. Henrik would have been carried off the ice on the shoulders of his teammates, while he was simultaneously carrying the Stanley Cup, because it would have been game seven of the Finals.
Alas, Hollywood doesn’t make movies about freakishly consistent Swedish twins who break franchise records for Canadian hockey teams, particularly ones that are not underdogs. No marketability. Since I couldn’t watch a movie with a tear-jerking, inspirational ending, I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
When Dale Weise won the fastest skater competition at the Canucks Superskills on Sunday to the tune of “Highway to the Danger Zone,” the reaction from Canucks fans was one of incredulity. Even Joey Kenward seemed shocked at the arena, saying, “I know a lot of your teammates are going to be surprised that you won the fastest skater competition, but you’re not surprised at all.”
Weise’s deadpan reaction was perfect: “No, not at all.”
The shock was understandable. When you think of speedsters on the Canucks, the names Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, and Jordan Schroeder come to mind. Maybe, you think of Keith Ballard, who won the fastest skater competition last year and whose mobility is his greatest asset. Weise doesn’t even enter into the discussion.
In fact, Canucks fans generally have a low opinion of Weise, mainly because of the role they see him playing. When the Canucks picked him up off waivers from the New York Rangers last season, it was essentially because Steve Pinizzotto got injured during the pre-season and their next best option was Victor Oreskovich. Weise was coming in as a fourth-liner and was expected to do typical fourth-line stuff: bang, crash, and fight.
The problem is that Weise is not a particularly good fighter. While he’s a willing combatant (most of the time), he’s not the kind of guy who strikes the fear of God in the opposition. Since he didn’t fight particularly well and only scored 8 points in 68 games, some Canucks fans decided he wasn’t much use and needed to be replaced.Continue Reading —›
There haven’t been a lot of bright spots for the Vancouver Canucks through their first two games, but I think most observers can agree that Dale Weise has been one of them. His strong play versus both Edmonton and Anaheim came as a surprise to just about everybody, Dutch fans excluded. It was so noticeable that Mike Gillis mentioned him in a recent sitdown with Cam Cole, and on Tuesday, Alain Vigneault promoted him to a line with Mason Raymond and Jordan Schroeder. (Or maybe he demoted Mason Raymond. We’re not quite sure.)
Weise even landed on the front page of NHL.com Tuesday, although, unfortunately, it was for the image you see above. Yes, Weise had a few lesser moments as well over the Canucks’ first weekend. Granted, it was easy to overlook them when he was making things happen at both ends of the ice, but apparently, one Canucks fan decided it was time to throw a little water on all the Dale Weise love. Youtube user “4skinWillie” — who we’ll infer from his username is 12 years old — has put together a brief collection of those lesser moments Sunday night versus Edmonton. It’s totally uncalled for. But it’s also pretty funny.Continue Reading —›
On Saturday night, the Hockey Night in Canada crew couldn’t stop debating the debacle in the Canucks’ crease and I repeatedly heard them say that Alain Vigneault should “stick with the gameplan” and start Cory Schneider against the Edmonton Oilers. Vigneault only half-listened. He stuck with the gameplan, which happened to be to start Roberto Luongo on the second night of a back-to-back.
In fact, what if all of this has been the gameplan, a complicated scheme to completely depreciate the trade value of both goaltenders so that Gillis is unable to trade either one this season, thereby giving Vigneault the benefit of two great goaltenders heading into the playoffs. If so, that’s a stupid gameplan and he should stop sticking to it immediately. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
When the Tilburg Trappers decided to hold an auction to raise money for the financially struggling Amsterdam G’s, they went with the most valuable item they could find: a Dale Weise jersey.
That should give an indication of just how big a star Weise is becoming in the Netherlands during the lockout, as he continues to rack up the points in the Dutch Eredivisie. But while Weise is the only NHL player in the Netherlands right now, he’s not the only lockout import looking to become a hockey star.
Weise’s girlfriend, Lauren Raban, has joined the Tilsburg Trappers women’s team and is dominating at almost the same level as Weise.Continue Reading —›
Two weeks ago, Dale Weise became the first (and, to date, only) Canuck to go overseas during the lockout, joining, of all teams, the Destily Trappers in Tilburg, Netherlands. The Trappers play in the Eredivisie, otherwise known as the Dutch hockey league, which Weise, along with many of us, only became aware of when they offered him a contract. After Googling it — and perhaps forgetting to specify “ice” hockey and coming across photos of the gold medal-winning Dutch field hockey team — the Canucks’ fourth liner couldn’t say no.
Okay, considering he brought his girlfriend along, he probably didn’t do it for the women. More than likely, it was the opportunity to be a star on par with Joe Simons. It’s hard to blame him for wanting to play as a big-minute skill guy for a little while, especially after a season in which the Canucks made it clear he’d be plying his trade in the NHL primarily as a fourth-line ruffian.
Look at him up there, ogling his number 88 jersey. Dale Weise is the Eric Lindros of Holland.
Weise got off to a hot start in Tilburg, scoring 34 seconds into his first shift. You can watch that goal as part of this video feature he did with Dutch media outlet NOS, who followed him on his first game day from his apartment to the Stappegoor IJssportcentrum Tilburg where the Trappers play.Continue Reading —›
According to a report from Jon Keen, long-time WHL play-by-play man, Dale Weise is the first Canucks heading overseas during the lockout. He’s not heading to any of the usual suspects, like Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, or Switzerland. Instead, he’s heading to the Netherlands to play for the Tilburg Trappers of the Eredivisie.
Weise wouldn’t be the first NHL player to commit to the Dutch league during the lockout, but he would be the first to actually play. The Trappers previously signed Pittsburgh Penguins forward Dustin Jeffrey, only to see him bail on his commitment and head to Austria to play for Medvescak Zagreb. The Trappers manager indicated that the club would be looking for a replacement for Jeffrey and appear to have found that replacement in Weise.Continue Reading —›
I’m willing to wager that, if you close your eyes and try to picture Dale Weise scoring a goal, the only thing that comes to mind is the one he potted versus Ottawa. Admittedly, that power move was a thing of beauty (however aided and abetted by Chris Neil, who was supposed to be attempting to stop him), but it was actually one of four times Weise lit the lamp in a Canucks uniform.
It’s hard to picture the others, but that shouldn’t be too surprising — it’s hard to picture much of anything else that Weise did in his first full year. However, as forgettable as his rookie campaign was, I don’t think people quite realize how impressive that makes it. After years of fourth liners that were noticeable for all the wrong reasons, Weise’s steady, unspectacular presence was a tiny revelation.
Granted, an argument like the one above won’t make much of an impact during arbitration, for which Weise filed last week, and frankly, a little more edge to his game wouldn’t hurt. (Imagine if, for instance, he were as abrasive on the ice as he is on Twitter. He’d be beloved in this city.) But still, the early-season waiver claim was notably not terrible this year when that’s what we’ve come to expect from players in his position. In fact, at times, he showed some decent hands. Let these four goals remind you of that.Continue Reading —›
Dale Weise’s rookie campaign has to be considered a minor success. Sure, we could dwell on the things that he’s failed to do, such as provide much in the way of energy or offense (apart from a spiffy end-to-end rush versus the Ottawa Senators). And, despite dropping the gloves a handful of times, Weise has been far from the intimidating rat poison the Canucks have needed.
Still, the former Ranger has been quietly effective in his first full season. Despite his inexperience, Weise has done a great job keeping the puck out of his own net and moving it out from the defensive zone, where he starts most of his shifts. As fourth line wingers go, he’s been one of the most competent and defensively sound the Canucks have iced since the lockout. Frankly, his ability to not suck has been a breath of fresh air.
Of course, quiet effectiveness isn’t exactly what you want from your energy guy, and after seeing what Mike Duco has managed to do in that same role, it’s hard to argue that Duco shouldn’t be the new Dale Weise.Continue Reading —›
I didn’t take offense to much the Canucks did in last Saturday’s tilt with the Boston Bruins. Sure, they went after Shawn Thornton with gusto, but to hear Boston fans tell it, Shawn Thornton fought Mothra in the 1960s and the Canucks are all fairies, so he should have been just fine. And heck, for a guy who was stabbed in the throat with a track javelin, he sure gave it to Tony Gallagher pretty good on Sticks and Stones, huh?
That said, on Monday, I made it clear that I didn’t like Dale Weise’s seeming flip-flop on the non-fight with Shawn Thornton later in the first period. It looked, to me, like he gave every indication that he wanted to fight, then, when the puck dropped and Thornton’s gloves did the same, he changed his mind. I was wrong.Continue Reading —›
2011 was a fabulous year for Canucks hockey. Sure, the Stanley Cup Final may not have ended quite the way Vancouver fans wanted it to, but the Canucks were still in it, and that’s a rarity deserving of some serious appreciation.
If you ask me, so was the 2011 team in its entirety. Between the wizardry of the Sedins, the raw power of Ryan Kesler, the stable of offensive-minded defensemen, the occasional flashes of brilliance from the skilled corps of middle wingers, and the gaggle of set plays the team employs, the fans in this city are spoiled right now. We may never see another team like this one again.
With that in mind, it would be crazy to let this year in Canucks hockey lapse without looking back at some of its incredible goals. What follows is a countdown of our favourite 50, which will run Monday through Friday at 9am sharp. Please feel free to disagree with this highly subjective list in the comments.
So it begins.Continue Reading —›
Early in Saturday night’s affair, it was clear that the Ottawa Senators had heard the rumours that the Canucks wilted at physical play, and playing rough appeared to be their strategy from the outset. Unfortunately, when your strategy involves giving Chris Neil more icetime than any other forward, it’s probably not going to win you many games.
What people don’t seem to realize is that it wasn’t the Boston Bruins’ toughness that won them the Stanley Cup Final — it was their skill. It’s just that their skill happened to also be tough. Anybody that thinks you can beat the Canucks by gooning it up with less skilled players will see results like this game — results that I saw as well, because I watched this game.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 —›
Drance Numbers is the silly research wing of PITB. While Messrs. Wagner and Mooney blog nationally and solve mysteries, Drance Numbers will look into the minutiae of quantifiable NHL data and bore you with it every Friday. Today, Drance looks at the situations in which the Canucks are most likely to drop the gloves.Continue Reading —›
Two players were injured in the Canucks’ preseason game against the San Jose Sharks on September 25, 2011. One has returned to the lineup with gusto, scoring 5 points in 4 games; the other is done for the season. Alain Vigneault confirmed today that Steve Pinizzotto’s season is over before it even began — the rugged winger has undergone shoulder surgery.Continue Reading —›
Dale Weise appears to have found a home in Vancouver. Claimed off waivers after struggling to crack the New York Rangers’ lineup for nearly half a decade, he’s become a major part of a revamped Canucks’ fourth line that’s getting icetime and contributing in a way we’re simply not used to in Vancouver. The gritty winger looks comfortable.
Case in point: this photo, in which Weise appears to be having a lie-down on an invisible couch. Comfortable, yes, but this is too comfortable. Regardless of how settled you might feel, Dale Weise, it is unacceptable to lounge on unseen living room furniture during shifts.Continue Reading —›
Here’s a video of the Canucks paying a visit to Canuck Place to carve pumpkins with the kids. It’s adorable, and I encourage you to watch it, especially if you like things that are exceedingly sweet.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks made a minor roster tweak Tuesday morning, claiming winger Dale Weise off waivers from the New York Rangers, and waiving Victor Oreskovich in his place. For many, including Oreskovich himself, probably, the move comes as a surprise. Just who is Dale Weise (apart from the guy from the Gatorade fail video) and why do the Canucks think they’re a better team with him than with Oreskovich?Continue Reading —›