The Vancouver Canucks chartered postgame from Chicago to Seattle and woke up, or will, in the Emerald City looking to wrap up their six-game roadie with a winning record. Once they wait out all of the pomp and circumstance preceding the Kraken’s first ever home game Saturday night, the Canucks will try to defeat a team that has started the season 1-3-1 with a Pacific-Division-worst minus-8 goal differential. It will be a big, big event, and to be successful, Vancouver just needs to set it all aside and play a game similar to what just unfolded in Chicago in their 4-1 win. So while we’re waiting for that …
Let’s Skate! …
— Here’s the teams that remain completely unbeaten in the National Hockey League: Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers. The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Philadelphia Flyers, all from the Metropolitan Division, have lost, but not in regulation.
— Good golly Miss Molly, the Canadiens lost again, this time to the Carolina Hurricanes with the return of “Mr. Offer Sheet”, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who scored for the Canes in his first return to the Bell Centre since the Stanley Cup Final. Ouch. The Habs haven’t started this poorly since 1995. Of course, life ain’t easy with the unexpected retirement of their most important defenceman, captain Shea Weber, and the leave of absence of all-world netminder Carey Price. Coverage in that link from Jon Still at Montreal Hockey Now.
— We’re awaiting the results of International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) test games for Team China in men’s hockey, because there’s a chance the home team in the Beijing Winter Games could be sooooo bad, that they won’t be allowed to play. Traditionally the host country gets an invitation to one of the slots in the 12-team field, but unlike Italy in Torino in 2006, where the hosts were simply outmatched, the Chinese squad might be considered pathetic.
“They didn’t do their job properly, preparing for the competitions,” New IIHF President Luc Tardif said.
The Chinese are scheduled to open against Team USA. Should be fun if anything needs to be decided by goal differential later in the tourney.
By the way, the Chinese women’s team is fine, they participate in a Russian women’s league, and are more than ready for the competition.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly shared his thoughts on the Beijing Winter Games for Vancouver Canucks fans in an interview with VHN last week.
— The little brother of Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes, Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils, the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, will miss some time on Injured Reserve with a dislocated shoulder. He was thrown to the ice by Jeremy Lauzon of the Seattle (smokin’ de) Kraken on Tuesday. It appears he will not require surgery at this time.
— Back to those undefeated teams … have you seen what’s happening in south Florida? If you start from the goal line out, then this Florida Panthers club is in pretty good shape as both Sergei Bobrovski and young Spencer Knight are capable of running the show. “Bob” handled the latest victory Thursday night. The man, the myth, the legend George Richards reports for Florida Hockey Now that the team is off to its best start ever.
Enjoy the Hockey Action!!