Monday, January 31, 2011

Cody Hodgson called up by Canucks

It's been a couple of years in the making for Vancouver Canucks fans, but Cody Hodgson appears poised to crack the Canucks line up this week, perhaps against the Dallas Stars.

Hodgson has 10 goals and 16 points in 28 games with Manitoba this season and recently returned last week after missing six weeks with a broken orbital bone from taking a teammate's stick to the face in practice.  Hodgson has overcome many injuries and long recoveries over the past couple of years.  In an interview with, Hodgson suggests he'll skate on a line with Jeff Tambellini and Tanner Glass. 

Hodgson's call up comes at an interesting time and creates some questions about the current roster.  Are GM Mike Gillis and coach Alain Vigneault happy with their secondary scoring?  Mason Raymond, Mikael Samuelsson, and Alex Burrows have all had trouble finding the net lately, as have the likes of Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra.  While it's unlikely the Canucks would remove current roster players by the trading deadline, it is curious to see him up. If he's not up to help the team score, perhaps he's being auditioned or showcased in a potential move to augment the Canucks lineup at the trade deadline?

Using an offensive-minded prospect on the fourth line may not be showcasing his talents in the most positive light, so either that theory is off, or Hodgon may seem time as a winger alongside Ryan Kesler in place of Sameulsson, Raymond or Tambellini.

Either way, the Canucks are in a luxurious position with such a large lead over their division rival - the Colorado Avalanche.  The Canucks may be providing their youth with experience at this point in the season to rest their veterans and give their youth some seasoning in case they are called upon due to injury later in the year.

For Hodgson though, he probably doesn't care why he's there - he's just happy to get his shot after a rough couple of seasons.  Hodgson is perhaps the most highly-touted Canucks prospect since the Sedin twins.  Hodgson was a star of the IIHF World Junior Hockey tournament a couple of years back and was the OHL player of the year over the #1 overall pick of the New York Islanders John Tavares.

What do you think? Is Hodgson in Vancouver to increase secondary scoring?  Is he being showcased?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tanguay's phantom shootout goal okay by NHL

Tonight in Vancouver, the Calgary Flames edged the Canucks 4-3 in a shootout thanks to an Alex Tanguay goal that will be talked about for some time.

Tanguay skated in on Canucks' goaltender Roberto Luongo and propelled the puck into his pads.  Luongo stacked his pads, but his momentum carried him into the net.  It was a close call as to whether the puck entered the net.  The on ice officials declared the play stopped (no goal) but went to a replay for review.  Upon review, you cannot see the puck, but a linesman does retrieve the puck from Luongo's pad after he extricated himself from the net.

A reply of the goal can be seen here:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 makes hockey more accessible

If you're like me, you've been sitting on the couch thinking you're falling out of shape fast.  Perhaps you've got crumbs on your shirt, watching your favourite team get trounced and you're starting to think that even YOU could give the team a better shot if you were on the ice.   Too bad your regular weekly game fell apart a couple of years ago because someone got married or injured or moved away, or you can't find a goalie and you just gave up because it's too much work to find enough guys who are available at the same time every week to have a decent game of hockey.  Why must life be so difficult?

Nonis' 'blueprint' preaches patience for Leafs' faithful

The Toronto Maple Leafs are struggling.  Struggling on the ice and struggling off it.  After an interview with Steve Simmons earlier this week, Toronto's Dave Nonis (and former Vancouver Canucks GM) preached patience for a long road ahead towards returning the Maple Leafs to respectability. 

Nonis shared how his tenure in Vancouver was a chapter in a long tale of bringing the Canucks from the bottom to the top of the NHL standings.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wolski traded to Rangers: Deja Vu?

Wojtek Wolski is a New York Ranger.  Traded today for Czech defenseman Michal Rozsival, Wolski will be looking for a fresh start in the Big Apple on a team team.  Wait, have we heard this before? Sort of.

When Wojtek Wolski was traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Phoenix Coyotes last year, it appeared to be a winning deal for both teams involved.  The play Wolski was traded for, Peter Mueller, was struggling with the Coyotes, but lit it up with the Colorado Avalanche almost immediately.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Karma gets best of Ronnberg's Swedes

Only a couple of days after Sweden enjoyed a shootout victory over Canada in the last preliminary game of the World Junior Hockey Championship round-robin, Sweden themselves suffered that same fate to a never-say-die Russian squad that has eliminated them from gold medal contention.

The Russians defeated Sweden in this afternoon semi-final and will move on to play Canada who beat the USA 4-1 Monday evening.

Following Sweden's victory over Canada, Sweden's head coach Ronnberg had some comments that sparked some controversy, even if they had no malicious intent.  The Swedes, and Ronnberg, don’t lack for confidence. After Friday’s shootout win over Canada the head coach said Canada hadn’t given his team as much problem as the Czechs and Russians. Dave Cameron, the Canadian coach, winced at that and said the next day he wished the coaches could play a game against each other.