Archive for September 25, 2006

Goalie Wire – Tampa Bay

September 25, 2006

The first goalie has hit the waiver wire.  As expected, a team with goalie depth is trying to shed some of it by placing Sean Burke on waivers. 

As reported earlier, Sean had to yet again prove himself as a capable NHL goaltender this year.  Not only that, but prove worthy of the $1.6m salary he’s carrying right now.

Do not expect the Canucks to pick him up.  After spending $6.75m on their starter, and having to pay twice the expected amount to Kesler, their cap space simply won’t allow it.

A better scenario for the Canucks would have to been to see Johan Holmqvist hit the waiver wire, but Tampa doesn’t want to lose a guy with a lot of upside and plenty of years left to play in the league.

This was a smart move by Tampa Bay, and unfortunate for the Canuck depth chart.  Nonis will continue to follow the waiver wire right up to the start of the season for someone to fill the backup shoes.

Visit this post from last week to see who’s left as an option out there for the team to get.

The Chief Canuck

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Preseason Game Review 4

September 25, 2006

I had the opportunity, courtesy of a good friend of mine, to get to the Canucks first game of the preseason at home.  And as an extra bonus, the Canucks finally pulled off their first win.  Icing a more complete lineup, and seeing the way they performed overall, it seems that they are making some progress as the preseason progresses. 

And that’s the way it should go, let’s hope that it keeps going that direction.

Here are some things I picked up on in the Canucks 4th preseason game.

Michael Grabner – Limited in ice time and played about half as many shifts as the rest of the forwards, but I definitely noticed him out there.  He impressed me in the limited time he played, it’s nice to see a first round pick of the Canucks doing so well at their first camp for the second year in a row (last year it was Bourdon).  Perhaps the Canucks have turned the corner with their selections in the first round.

Luc Bourdon – He was well composed and in position almost all night.  Even the expression on his face showed a calmness that typically only comes with a veteran that’s done this once or twice.  Despite how hard he is on himself, he’s a lock to make the team this year.

Patrick Coulombe – First I’d like to ask him to untuck his sweater.  At just over 5 feet in height, his pants cover half the number on his back as his sweater is tucked in.  It makes him look like a pee-wee player among men.  Admittedly, I hadn’t hadn’t heard of this kid prior to the game.  I think he’ll be hard pressed to make the NHL at any point as a defenseman, but he did work extremely hard and seemed to be everywhere all night.  You may see him get a contract with the Moose this year.  I stand to be corrected on this, but believe he is here as a walk-on on a tryout basis.

Lukas Krajicek – The first thing you notice is that his helmet is about 10 sizes to large for his head.  Or at least it looks that way.  Krajicek got plenty of opportunity on the power play, and to play an offensive role on the team.  He was only credited with four shots on net, but he definitely took a few more than that that were either blocked or were otherwise deflected. 

Willie Mitchell – He was smaller than marketed to the Vancouver fans.  He may be tough defensively, but he seemed to have trouble finding his groove.  Then again, I guess he doesn’t need to bring a groove to the team, but more of a grind.  To me, this was an expensive contract that I’m not yet sold on is worth the price paid. 

Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Markus Naslund, & Mattias Ohlund – They all looked their usual reliable self.  These players were key to the team previously, and I’m glad to see them all back in good form.

Roberto Luongo– He made some spectacular saves, but I think the thing I found most surprising was the crowd reaction whenever he made a save.  Spectacular or not, the crowd was in awe and responded with great cheers every time.  You’d think that they’d never seen a save before.  Point is that they have, just not in the post-season.  The ironic thing is that Roberto hasn’t either.

The Shootout– This was the first opportunity that I’ve had to attend a game when it went all the way to a shootout.  It was unbelievably exciting, and I’m thrilled that the NHL pushed it through and is sticking with it.  I do have an expectation though of the team this year.  With Luongo in net, I expect this team to win every shootout they get into.  No exceptions.  If they do, that alone will likely give them enough extra points to make the playoffs. 

All in all, a preseason game lacks the intesity, and therefore much of the excitement of a regular season game.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s still not fun to get to show up at GM Place to see what the new Canucks are all about.

The Chief Canuck