Friday, December 08, 2006

Playing Musical Chairs

Since Monday night when the Canucks last played, the rest of the Northwest Division have taken advantage of their games in hand. Going into tonight's game against the defending Stanley Cup champions, Carolina Hurricanes, the boys in Orca Bay blue are last in the division and two points out of a playoff spot. They are also dead last in the league in scoring (but you knew that already).

From the sounds of things, even Alain Vigneault is desperately looking for that magic formula to get the offense going (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province):

On Tuesday, Ryan Kesler vowed to make the most of being the latest to benefit from prime-line time with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

The euphoria lasted one practice.

On Thursday, Kesler lined up with Alexandre Burrows and Trevor Linden as Canucks coach Alain Vigneault again shuffled all his combinations like a busy black-jack dealer.
Jan Bulis will finally (okay, maybe) get his opportunity to play with the Sedins; Matt Cooke may or may not play with Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun):

About three months ago, just as the Vancouver Canucks were gathering in Vernon for training camp, most media pundits had the team's top two lines figured out.

Jan Bulis was going to replace the departed Anson Carter and skate with the Sedin twins, and Matt Cooke would fill Todd Bertuzzi's spot alongside Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund.

Alain Vigneault had other ideas. The Canuck coach has tried almost every combination imaginable -- except for the above two -- in an attempt to coax some offence out of his team. Nothing has worked, so it's back to what many thought was Plan A.

Tonight, when the Canucks take on the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes at General Motors Place, Bulis will finally get his chance to play with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, while Cooke will get his opportunity to prove he can be a top-six forward.

Bulis is delighted. Cooke is taking an I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it attitude. Ryan Kesler, who thought he was going to play with the twins, is confused.
Ryan, I think everyone is.

More from today's MSM:

  • After two seasons in Europe, Yannick Tremblay, airplane pilot and journeyman defenseman, will return to the NHL and make his Canucks debut tonight
  • Ryan Kesler sits down with Elliott Pap (Vancouver Sun) and talks football and about getting a larger apartment (presumably after getting his larger paycheque).
  • Tom Mayenknecht (Vancouver Sun) puts in his two cents on the NHL's unbalanced schedule.
  • Ed Willes (Vancouver Province) is sounding the alarm on this Canucks team.
  • Big day for Rory backers. Rory was interviewed by Pratt and Taylor yesterday; articles about him appeared in today's Globe and Mail and Canadian Press; and at tonight's game, the Canucks are selling "Vote for Rory" t-shirts.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:11 AM


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