With no hockey this season, fans have not had a lot to cheer about. And with the way things are going, there may not be an NHL season at all. However, I have great news, die-hard hockey fans. The wait is now over, as the best juniors from around the world clash on the frozen waters of Ufa, Russia. Canada is probably in the tougher of the two groups, as they will play Slovakia, the United States of America and Russia in the preliminary round along with Germany. In the two pre-tournament games, Canada lost 3-2 to Finland, but recovered with a 2-1 shootout win against the defending champions from Sweden. Boone Jenner was suspended for three games for a hit on Jesper Pettersson in the second period. Pettersson is now out for the entire tournament.
In the preliminary round, Canada got off to a terrific start against the Germans in the first game, scoring seven goals through two periods of play. In the first intermission, it was already 2-1 for red and white, and by the time it was four minutes into the second period, the Canadians had added another tally. The fourth goal for Canada was controversial, as it seemed that Dougie Hamilton stepped over the blue line a second too soon. Despite having video review confirmation that he was offside, the goal counted. In the final two minutes of the period, Germany scored twice to make it 6-3 making the game somewhat interesting, but with five seconds to go Mark Scheifele made it 7-3 and that was pretty much it. In the final period, Canada added two more and Malcolm Subban made a brilliant save on Tobias Rieder. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made his world junior debut with a goal and four assists. Canada won, 9-3. Game two,,Canada vs. Slovakia. In their first game, Slovakia forced the Russians into overtime only to lose and come out of the game with just a single point. This game was different for both sides. Slovakia came out to a flying start scoring two goals in a span of ten minutes, building an early lead. The goals came from Marko Dano and Juraj Mikus. Canada made it 4-3 just before the second period wound down, but until that point, red and white had never lead. Just like two days ago, Canada added a pair of goals in the third period to wrap up a 6-3 win over Slovakia. The score might have been nice, but the amount of Slovakian power plays was not. In the German game, Canada was in the sin bin only four times. In this game both J.C. Lipon and Anthony Camara received five-minute majors and game misconducts; Lipon for checking to the head and Camara for charging. Subban, Canada’s goalie had another good night in net making 25 saves.
There is probably no bigger rivalry in hockey than Canada and the United States. The U.S.A won it’s first preliminary round game against the Germans, but lost only narrowly to Russia, 2-1. Going into this game Canadian coach Steve Spott, wanted his team to stay out of the penalty box as much as possible, and tighten up defensively. This resulted in less penalties, and for the first time in this tournament Canada did not allow three goals in one game. Canada got off to a good, early start as Nugent-Hopkins, led by example and put one past American goalie John Gibson from the high slot. Just two minutes later, Brett Ritchie circled around behind the American goal, and fed Ryan Strome for Canada’s second goal of the game. The second period was quiet in terms of scoring, but Canadian defensemen Griffin Reinhart got a double minor for high-sticking Ryan Hartman. The Canadians killed it off thanks to some brilliant goaltending by Malcolm Subban. In the third period, Jacob Trouba cut Canada’s lead in half, with a weird goal, as it seemed to skip and flutter past Subban. The last five minutes were particularly scary for Canada due to the States having various great chances, ,but Canada was able to hold to the 2-1 win, and top spot in group B.
Canada’s next game is against the host nation, Russia, who sits just one point behind Canada in-group B. If Canada wins they will go directly to the semi-finals, and also earn a couple days of rest. If Russia wins, they will go directly to the semi-finals and Canada will have to play in the quarterfinals. As for the Americans, they cannot lose to Slovakia or they are out, and they can finish no better than third in-group B.
GO CANADA GO!
By Gabriele Liessi
We’ve waited, we’ve wondered and some may have cried, but finally it is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I report the termination of the NHL lockout, and the subsequent return of NHL hockey. That’s right hockey fans and rink rats, after the endless unbearable episodes of negotiations between the NHL players union and the even BIGGER babies, the two parties have finally agreed to settling their differences and dropping the puck. In the wee hours on Sunday, January 6th of a fresh 2013, the NHL and the NHL players union agreed to a tentative new collective bargaining agreement that will remain in effect for the next 10 years. 10 years guaranteed to last without another work stoppage, which is welcomed news to hockey fans and unfortunate beneficiaries of Mr. Gary Bettman.
The inner-workings of the new CBA look to be as complicated as the city’s zoning by-law, however there are a few main points which really stand out. For instance, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to a 50/50 revenue sharing arrangement. This was a centerpiece for the two sides throughout the negotiations and was a large reason that the lockout lasted as long as it did. Another important fact is the increased benefits the players will receive regarding pensions. As ridiculous as it may seem that players making upwards of way-too-much would ever have to bat an eye at the thought of financial trouble after retirement, there are many other players who work their whole lives to play in the NHL but see their careers end abruptly because of injury or poor play, and end up in dire financial need. Their previous arrangement saw many players such as the aforementioned who could not support themselves after their NHL careers, which is a problem that will cease to exist thanks to the new CBA.
But hockey isn’t all about the technicalities; let’s focus on the only reason why you guys REALLY read this article, what now for the Vancouver Canucks? Is this the year? We only have to play like 40-something games right? Gosh might as well give us the cup now! Because the Canucks are good right? Right……? Well it’s been a while, but let’s take a look.
Because of the shortened season the NHL has made the decision to schedule games according to location in proximity to other teams. For example, this dwarf season will see the Canucks play Edmonton, Calgary, and the teams from California for the majority of the campaign while fans won’t get a chance to see any teams from the east coast such as New York, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia. With that in mind, it is obvious to see that this year easy games will be non-existent for the Vancouver Canucks. The caliber of both the San Jose Sharks and defending Stanley Cup Champions the Los Angeles Kings will provide the Canucks with weekly tests, and in a short season such is a result of the lockout every win is more important, and every loss is felt harder, so the strength of the roster will be tested on a nightly basis.
But let’s look at the team. We have had a few minor departures over the extended off-season including veteran defenseman and long time Canuck Sami Salo, who signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent, and fellow blue liner Aaron Rome, who inked a new deal with the Dallas Stars. The only new player that fans will be able to scrutinize is Defenseman Jason Garrison who signed a new lengthy deal with the team in the off-season. Garrison is expected to fill Salo’s role on the power play as he possesses a heavy shot and is a mobile skater. Pressure also falls onto the shoulders of various younger players such as Zack Kassian and Chris Tanev, who have large duties to fill this upcoming season.
Whoever hoists the Stanley Cup this year will undoubtedly hoist a Stanley Cup with an asterisk, as most fans will discredit the winner because of the minimal span of the season. Whether you boycott the NHL and burn your jerseys, or clear out your room for that Canucks shrine again, it is without a doubt that this will be an exciting season that “isn’t a real season”. So does that mean that if the Canucks finally end their 42 year long drought that it simply won’t count? Just don’t tell Canucks fans that *
By Matthew Inouye
Tis the season to play hockey! Fa La La La La La La La…NOPE. Yes, much to our discontent, the NHL has yet to agree to a CBA with the players union that would get the games going again, and they seem to be farther and farther from a resolution with each day that passes. Having said that, we do have a lot to be excited for during this special time of year: long endless dinners with smelly relatives as well as the privilege of wrestling our ways through the metro town walkways searching for that perfectly returnable special something. But we often forget about one of winter’s greatest gifts, the tournament of dreams that stands resolute unlike any other of its kind. A frivolous collection of the world’s best young hockey players all amassed into one 11 day tournament for international junior hockey supremacy. That’s right folks; an NHL absence causes the eyes of the hockey world to turn unto the classic, unlike-any-other, tournament of stars, The World Junior Hockey Championship.
For those of you for whom to all hockey means is a couple of red headed twins and a riot, then allow me to shed a little light on one of the most dramatic and exciting tournaments in all of sport. Every year on Boxing Day a 10 team tournament opens featuring the best 16-19 year olds of the world’s top hockey nations that will last until January 5th of the New Year. The venue of this tournament changes every year much like that of the super bowl or grey cup with this year’s host being the Russian city of Ufa. But prior to the beginning of the tournament on Boxing Day, scouting and evaluation of potential players is done well in advance.
After Hockey Canada announces the coach of the team, the scouting and evaluation process begins instantaneously. With several pre-tournaments such as the summer’s Canada-Russia Challenge and the recently played Subway Super Series Hockey Canada extensively evaluates Canada’s top prospects to make the National Team come Christmas. Specific players are immediately earmarked as shoo-ins, while others are being looked at on a trial basis and some players not being noticed until a few weeks before the final cuts. A pre-mature idea can be given about the roster, however it is subject to spontaneous alteration.
Canada finished with a disappointing bronze medal at last year’s tournament, defeating Finland 4-0 in the bronze medal game. Mika Zibanejad, armed with one of hockey’s most tantalizing surnames, scored the overtime winner against Russia to win the Gold medal for Sweden by a score of 1-0. Although hard to take, Canada was not expected to place higher than third in the tournament.
But this year brings a new batch of fresh talent. A cornucopia of Canadian Junior hockey
players lies on the table of Team Canada’s selection board for this year’s tournament, complete with dynamic offensive ability as well as some of the best defensemen that junior hockey has to offer. Forwards include offensive machines Jonathan Huberdeau, Ryan Strome and Ty Rattie, with headlining defensemen such as Matt Dumba, Griffin Reinhart and Morgan Rielly. The names go on and on, full of potential heroes for Canada come the New Year. Canucks prospect Brendan Gaunce participated in the Subway Super Series as a member of team OHL and is projected to have a serious shot at making the national team.
With a lack of progress by the NHL, the World Junior Championship serves as a theoretical hockey stew for our starving hockey stomachs. Boxing Day brings more than great sales and endless lines; it puts to stage the hopes and dreams of the devoted and passionate. There is no guarantee that the players in this tournament will go on to play in the NHL one day, which just adds to the excitement and drama of the event. So on the night before Christmas when all through the house, you’re crying because of no hockey and complaining to the mouse, hang in there and just wait a couple more days, because hockey’s best rookies are headed your way.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!
By Matthew Inouye
If you’ve been following the MLB playoffs at all, you have probably realized three things. 1) So this is what is happening during hockey season. 2) That Brian Wilson guy has a beard to be feared. 3) It’s apparently very difficult to find decent singers to sing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch. Most importantly, you hopefully realized that the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. On Sunday, an unbelievable series of comebacks have reached their climax as the San Francisco Giants won 4-3 in extra innings, sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the championship series. The win marked San Francisco’s second World Series win in the last three years, and it came against one of the deadliest rotations in baseball: the Detroit Tigers.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling” expressed Giants catcher Buster Posey just minutes after Sergio Romo struck out the league’s best hitter Miguel Cabrera to win the World Series for San Francisco. Somewhat of a fitting end to a forgettable World Series for the Tigers’ second baseman. During the regular season Miguel Cabrera took home the coveted Triple Crown, placing first in the departments of batting average, runs batted in, and home runs. Cabrera’s deadly bat this season was virtually non-existent for most of the series, despite a two run home run in game four.
The win was not solely on the lacklustre performance from the Tigers’ offence; it was also due to the extreme effectiveness of the Giants’ pitching. With a star-studded bullpen that includes stars such as Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, the Giants were able to unquestionably muffle the offense of the Detroit Tigers.
The road to the World Series was an eventful one for the Giants. Coming back from two wins to none against the Cincinnati Reds in the best of five National League Division Series, the Giants became the first team in MLB history to complete such a feat. Their next opponents were the defending World Series Champions, the St.Louis Cardinals. Having trailed that series three wins to one, the Giants once again pulled up their socks and clawed their way back to beat the defending champs in game seven. The emotional championship win was felt all throughout San Francisco as thousands of fans gathered outside the City Hall to watch the game and celebrate the win. This was much like the extent of how excited our city was during game seven of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, accompanied of course by a little less pepper spray, and a lot more class.
So if growing restless with the NHL lockout means paying a little more attention to America’s pastime, I say we take it in stride and pop open a bag of Cracker Jacks. Although baseball may not deliver the same blood-pumping, glass-rattling excitement as our Canadian brand of entertainment, baseball is an intricate and cerebral chess match which can provide just as much good theatre as hockey.
By Matthew Inouye
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner” -Nelson Mandela. Only Nelson was referring to bettering the goodness of humanity, not ending a professional sport labor dispute. However this powerful quotation is very much applicable to the current situation with the NHL lockout. At 2:00p.m. on October 26, 2012 the NHL officially announced that they are cancelling all scheduled games from now until November 30, 2012. Although expected, it is still a hard pill to swallow for hockey-starved Canucks fans and is not being taken likely by Canuck nation. With all November games cancelled and most of Canada’s top players in Europe, many eyes turn to the under-appreciated scene of junior hockey. Because like a spring peach, junior hockey still has good stuff, just not quite ripe yet.
With the big boys O.C. we are given a unique opportunity to evaluate the wave of young talent in the world of hockey. The most familiar branch of junior hockey to most people is the WHL or Western Hockey League, which is a professional hockey league for players between the ages of 15-20. Teams in the WHL represent cities located in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Vancouver’s WHL is the Vancouver Giants, the junior team of many NHL superstars including Philadelphia’s Andrej Meszaros, and Vancouver’s Benedict Arnold, Boston Bruin Milan Lucic. The Giants have had a difficult start to the season posting a record of 3-10 (Three wins and ten losses). They currently sit last in the B.C. division trailing the first place Kamloops Blazers by 25 points. However, there are some young diamonds in the rough that is the Giants’ dismal start.
16 year old Cranbrook BC native Payton Lee has started in net for the Vancouver Giants on numerous occasions. Hey grade 11s, how would you like to be playing professional hockey on route to the NHL? Homework? Or hockey pucks? Lee has played two games so far this season having won one and lost one, although not their starter, the Giants can look forward to many more contributions from the young tender in the future. Also, with the lockout continuing to bless the Giants by keeping players in the WHL instead of the NHL, they were allowed to hold onto prized defensive prospect David Musil. Musil was selected 31st overall in the 2011 NHL entry draft by the dangerously young Edmonton Oilers. Musil stands a towering 6’ 3” and rarely struggles to provide a physical presence. Although his Czech-originated last named suggests, Musil was born in Delta BC, a city that acts as a talent factory for young hockey players to this day. Despite a shaky start, there is still a lot of hockey to be played for the Giants, and they will battle each and every night to try and make sure the only place Kelowna is above them is on the map.
So while we wait for the negotiations to resume, we can take the time to learn a bit more about hockey’s future. Although the quality of hockey is not quite par, I will be the first to advocate the benefits of junior hockey. In junior hockey the players are not fighting for millions or championship rings, they are fighting for a dream and driven by the love of the game, an ideology far too rare in the world of professional sports today. As is being so eloquently displayed by our friendly neighbourhood commissioner.
By Matthew Inouye
By Matthew Inouye, Grade 10
“This is the year!” This perennial statement of hope still stands strong after 41 years of Vancouver Canucks hockey, a statement of seemingly increasing validity with each passing season. But now, as the winter snow begins to melt and Mother Nature turns on the spring showerhead, the Canucks find themselves with just days left until the beginning of the 2011-2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. But we need to take a closer look at the team in order to truly tell whether or not the this year’s Canucks have what it takes to fix a forty-year trend of “We’ll get’em next year!”
When teachers donned their signs and students cheered as a strike-induced pseudo-vacation goes into effect, we found ourselves with quite a bit of free time on our hands. Now, we could have used this time to study for a big Social Studies test, finish up (or start) a gigantic English project that would be due on the class back to school, or get an interim report signed a week after the actual due date. But, we all knew that the smart thing to do was to cheer on the hottest team in town—the Vancouver Canucks. Continue reading here!
By Gurpreet Randhawa, Grade 10
When Cory Schneider was drafted in the 2004 NHL entry draft, not many people thought that he would’ve given Roberto Luongo some competition for the starting goaltender position.
On October 18th, 2011, Schneider made his first start of the 2010-2011 NHL regular season against the Carolina Hurricanes. He stopped 32 shots in the 5-1 victory. Schneider ended the season with a 2.23 GAA and a .992 save percentage over 25 games. His record was 16-4-2, and he finished his rookie season with the William M. Jennings Trophy. Schneider has started the 2011-2012 season with a 10-5-0 record and has a save percentage of 92.7% so far. The million-dollar question is: should the Canucks deal Schneider?
By Dickson Liong, Grade 10
Concussion has officially become the new “biggest problem” for athletes. Professionals who play high-contact sports are risking not only their careers but also their own lives.
Let’s use the National Hockey League as an example.
People are now debating over whether the National Hockey League should ban fighting, because people are finally paying attention to the fact that repeated shots to the head can cause concussion or, worse, severe brain damage.
By Mike Chen, Grade 12
As the New York Rangers celebrated, Roberto Luongo collected the puck out of his net while Canucks fans booed and jeered him. Luongo and the Canucks lost the game 4-0, with Luongo making just 15 saves. While it’s obvious that Roberto did not have a good game, or a good month for that matter, the team in front of him has not played well either. The Canucks were shut out three times in October, with many players struggling offensively and defensively. Now, many Canucks fans have overlooked the team’s performance as a whole, and singled out Luongo to take all the blame.
By Dickson Liong, Grade 10
Whether you like it or not, education is an essential part of living. People have to go to school at one point or another in their life. This is the case for almost every Canadians, even for Evander Kane, a former student of John Oliver Secondary and a current team member of the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg.
David Stary is a student support worker currently working for the Vancouver School Board. He once spent 14 years at John Oliver Secondary School working with students with disabilities and was fortunate enough to work in some of the classes that Kane was in.
By Chris Tam and Mike Chen, Grade 12
Editor’s Note: The following was written on October 20th and does not contain the most up-to-date information.
Being so early in the season, the Canucks have yet to find their Presidents’-Trophy-winning form, but it’s clear that the road to the Stanley Cup will not be easy. Great expectations are projected for the home team, but are they up to the test?
By Dickson Liong, Grade 10
Did you know that Windermere Secondary School has a 16-year-old teenager who has been drafted by the Vancouver Giants into the Western Hockey League (WHL)?
His name is Trevor Lima, and he is currently in grade 11.
Trevor is a 5-foot-9, 170-pound, right-handed defenseman. For a 16-year-old hockey player, he is in pretty good shape.
Lima was selected in the sixth round, 123rd overall, at the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft in Edmonton.
Many say Lima is one of the top defensemen to come out of British Columbia. One thing is for sure: (more…)
By Chris Tam and Mike Chen, Grade 12
Hello Warriors! As we are all settling back into school, the NHL is preparing for another great season. We here at the Word have assembled our “Power Rankings” for the top 5 NHL teams as a season preview, with special coverage on our Vancouver Canucks.
NHL Power Rankings
- Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks are determined to get back to the finals and win it all this season! They may have a rough start to the season as winger Mason Raymond and MVP Ryan Kesler are both expected to miss at least a month of action due to injuries (back and hip, respectively). But, the Canucks have proven in the past that they have enough depth to keep playing without missing a beat. Their defence core is still strong despite the loss of Christian Ehrhoff. At the net, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider will share the crease, in the league’s top goaltending tandem. The team is a heavy favourite to return to the Cup Final.
- San Jose Sharks
Coming off two straight Western Conference Finals appearances with only one win out of nine games, the Sharks smelt blood. On draft day, the Sharks acquired defenseman Brent Burns, who can control the offensive tempo from the blue line. Up front, two-time fifty goal scorer Dany Heatly was dealt to the Wild for speedy winger Martin Havlat. Without a doubt, Captain Joe Thornton and the rest of the Sharks are hungry for the Stanley Cup.
- Los Angeles Kings
Being arguably the most improved team in the last season, the Kings took advantage of Philadelphia’s off-season hysteria by grabbing their captain, Mike Richards. They then signed sniper Simon Gagne, a former teammate of Richards in Philadelphia. The team’s concern is speed, but with two young puck-moving defensemen, Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson, no concerns have been raised so far. In the crease, Jonathan Quick has quickly developed into a reliable starting goaltender. The Kings, being young and skilled, will be a threat in the West for years to come.
- Pittsburgh Penguins
Although Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal were plagued with injuries last season, the Penguins still claimed the 5th spot in the East, based on their team-first mentality. With Malkin and Staal ready to start the season and Crosby just about set to play, this team is Chris’s pick to win the East this season. Backed by Marc-Andre Fleury and coached by Dan Bylsma, the Penguins are stacked. There is no doubt that they will be in the mix come playoff time.
- Washington Capitals
The Capitals have been a contender for the President’s Trophy in the past four seasons and we expect the same from them this time. With a top line of Ovechkin–Backstrom–Semin, Washington has the firepower… Do they have the willpower, though? This past off-season, they added some size and grit with the likes of Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer. If somebody other than Alex Ovechkin can start taking a leadership role with the team, look for the Capitals to be a tough team to beat this coming season.
The Canucks had a relatively quiet off-season, when GM Mike Gillis went and refined an already stellar team. Power forward Marco Sturm was the biggest name to sign in Vancouver this off-season. Although he has undergone two knee surgeries in the past, he has put up points in the past, so he does add some desperately needed grit to the roster. On the blue line, the void left by Christian Ehrhoff will be filled by Keith Ballard, Sami Salo, and rookie Chris Tanev. The forwards are led by the Sedin twins, who have risen to elite-player status. Ideally, Cody Hodgson will step up to play the second line center role, with Higgins and Samuelson flanking him. When healthy, the Canucks have the most depth in their forward positions of any team, which was a key part of their success from last season. And Vancouver’s favourite whipping boy, Roberto Luongo, is still a top five goaltender in the league and the franchise player. He will definitely be looking to prove his critics wrong this season and shed his unwanted (and undeserved) “chocker” label.
Mike’s Prediction: I believe this team will make it to the Western Conference Final, but that’s as far as they will go. Their depth in all three positions as well as their experience and motivation will make them a legitimate threat in the league, but I am picking the San Jose Sharks to win it all this season.
Chris’s Prediction: Keith Ballard, Cody Hodgson, and Marco Sturm will step up and become the players they were expected to be. The Canucks will go marching back to the Stanley Cup Finals in June….and NO WAY is San Jose making it past the second round, Mike!
By: Chris Tam, Grade 11
Since you already know what has happened in the world of sports last month, instead of just repeating it, I will attempt to predict what will happen in November and give insight into what might happen this month.
First off, the Canucks have gotten over their early October slump but still can’t finish off the easy games. However the second line has been contributing more as of late helping the team against their division rivals Minnesota and Colorado. Some games to look out for this month are Edmonton on November 2nd, Montreal on November 9th, Toronto on November 13th, Pittsburgh on November 17thand. of course, Chicago on November 20th. The road trip this month is quite stellar, facing all the Canadian teams in the East, the Canucks will have it tough against a Montreal team that went to the final four last Spring. As well, Pittsburgh versus the Canucks game is always excellent. Does anyone remember Luongo’s save off Crosby’s penalty shot in OT? Most likely the Canucks will do about a .500 game average on the road trip, going 2-2-1, but will hopefully have a blowout game against Toronto. However, for some reason, Toronto was not horrible last month going 4-0-0 in the first 2 weeks. Returning home, the Canucks will face Chicago in a must see game for any Canucks fan, which could be an early indicator of how far they might go this season.
In other news, the not-so-roaring Lions haven’t clinched a playoff birth and are waiting to select that first overall pick. After Printers choked and threw a rage quit inducing interception that would allow the Blue Bombers to win a game they never should have, Printers was then chopped off the team. Please don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Printers. If by some off-chance the Lions somehow get a playoff spot, Calgary or Saskatchewan will outplay them and they’ll be out once again.
Honestly, I don’t know much about MLB, but I predict Philadelphia to bounce back and play against Texas in the final, with Philadelphia squeezing out a win in game 6 to win it. If you are like me and rarely watch any baseball, try to catch the World Series at least; either way, the final series is always quite exciting. Also if Philadelphia makes it, you can watch history repeat if and when Roy Halladay throws a perfect game, which would only be the second time ever in a world series, the last being in 1956.
Read next month’s Windermere Word for the next edition of the predictions and foresights in the world sports!
By: Chris Tam, Grade 11
Don’t get me wrong; I am a die-hard Canucks fanatic, but this whole captaincy fiasco needs to be cleared up. Amid all the controversy over Luongo resigning from his captaincy, only one thing seems clear; any captain of the Canucks will somehow manage to choke when they need him most.
Not since Trevor Linden carried the entire team on his back en route to a Game Seven loss in the Stanley Cup Final has a captain of the Canucks showed what it really takes to be the leader of his team. After Trevor Linden was traded, subsequent captains have failed outright at getting the Canucks past the second round.
Mark Messier, the 6-time Stanley Cup champion? He couldn’t even get the Canucks into the playoffs for three straight years; however, it wasn’t entirely his fault. Markus Naslund? Pfft, the guy had three, maybe four excellent regular seasons then went on to choke just about every time in the playoffs. Then the fan favourite Roberto Luongo gets to have the coveted C on his chinny chin chin. No goalie has ever been the captain of any team since the late 1940’s, and for good reason.
As both the goalie and the team spokesperson, if the team had a terrible game, it puts Luongo in a very awkward position. If he has to be the honest spokesman it would sound like he’s putting the blame on the defence rather than himself, which happened a few times during his time as captain. “It was a precarious position to be in,” he said. “Sometimes, it came off the wrong way.”
Maybe the media got to his head or maybe he was more concentrated on other things; but for whatever reason, Luongo was missing in action for both Chicago series, especially for both Game 6 losses. However, I digress; the entire defence was flat-out depleted. Salo had a ruptured testicle, Mitchell had a concussion, and the rest were banged-up as well.
At any rate, Luongo managed to follow in the footsteps of the past captains and choke when they needed him to make the clutch save. Whoever is given the “honour” of being the next Canuck’s captain, whether it be Henrik or Kesler (most likely Henrik), I hope they can wear that C like Linden did and make the chokes of the past forgotten.
By: Jasmin Gadey, Grade 8
Welcome back to Canucks hockey everyone! Now that the Winter Olympics have ended and we’ve proved to our neighbours below the border that hockey is truly Canada’s game, it’s time to get back to the NHL. The Canucks are back in action and ready for the month of March which begins with the team continuing the ridiculously long road trip. Last month our hometown boys had played fairly well, going 3-4 in the two weeks of road games they had. Although each game was on the road, the Canucks were playing solid and working hard each game. Speaking of games away from home, the Canucks will play another six games before returning to GM Place to take on the Senators on the 13th. Believe it or not Canucks fans, that’s one of the last ten home games left. In fact, there are only 21 games left in the regular season. If the Canucks keep up with the level of play they had just before their incredibly long road trip, they’ll stay high in the standings and most likely make the playoffs! Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Luongo is an Olympic Gold Medalist and Kesler and Salo also took home silver and bronze medals. The future is looking friendly for the Vancouver Canucks who have now made a name for themselves. Go Canucks Go!