Again, I must apologize for my lack of updates recently, but I’ve been quite busy, and work still comes first.
Although it’s been a while since my last post, I have been able to watch most of the Canucks’ games. I must admit, the Blue & Green seems to be picking it up in terms of scoring. During the last eight-games stretch, which the Canucks have won five, they have scored at least four goals in all of their wins.
The results were optimistic, with an 8-2 blowout at Colorado, followed by another 5-2 win at home against the Avs, a 4-1 win over the Kings, another 7-3 blowout at home against the Oilers, and finally today’s 5-2 solid win against possibly the hottest team in the east, the NJ Devils.
A number of factors contributed to the recent success, including the return of injured players like Daniel Sedin and Jannik Hansen. The impressive plays of Christian Ehrhoff with his 6G 11A while posting a +10 plus/minus is definitely another reason. Last year’s MVP Ryan Kesler is also having a breakout sesaon with 5 goals and 20 assists, only 27 games into the season.
Another underrated Star of last season – Alex Burrows had a slow start due to Daniel’s absence, but is picking up his play with 5 points in the last four games.
Captain Luongo is also regaining his old form, as his numbers are improving as we approach the Christmas break. If the past is any indication, Loui will only get better as the season progresses.
The Canucks are now on a four-game road swing, leaving New Jersey tonight, the team will play the remaining three games in Philadelphia, Carolina and Nashville. It was definitely a positive start for this road trip, defeating perhaps the best team they will face in this trip.
This year, being an Olympic year is interesting whenever goalies fighting to represent their countries are faced-off against each other. Two nights ago, the battle for the Finnish starting-position saw Kiprusoff shutting out Rinne and the Predators 5-0. Tonight, it was team Canada’s goaltender-candidate Brodeur battling out with fellow-candidate Luongo. It was Roberto’s night as he blanked Devil’s All-Star Zach Parise numerous times for the victory.
Although the team is playing some decent hockey of late, their efforts are now shown in terms of standings. The Canucks playing 27 games with 15 wins are still three spots out of a playoff berth, ranked 11th in the West.
The closest three teams above Vancouver – Columbus (8th), Dallas (9th) and Detroit (1oth) all have at least two fewer wins than the Canucks, playing the same number of games, except Detroit (26GP). The reason why they are on top is ONLY because of the OT-Loss Point.
Right now, a point is awarded to both teams if they are tied during regulation time, with the eventual winner getting an extra point. This absurd rule has caused an abnormality for rewarding defensive style hockey, and penalizing teams with ambition to go out and win it all. This goes completely opposite to what the League has been trying to do in the past decade, which is to bring back the entertaining offensive-minded style of hockey.
Like any sport, shouldn’t the NHL put more focus on Wins than on Losses or Ties???
In fact, the 7th-seeded Phoenix Coyotes, who also played 27 games, have exactly the same wins as the Canucks, but is four spots on top of Vancouver because of ONE stupid OT-Loss Point.
So if the Playoffs starts tomorrow, the Phoenix will be in not because they are better offensively, but because in one of their many losses, they were able to delay the defeat beyond regulation time. The Canucks will not make the playoffs even though they’ve scored 17 more goals in the same number of games than the Coyotes. (Canucks – 85 GF in 27 games, Coyotes – 68 GF)
Really???!!!! Is this what the League wants???
Of course, I am not only saying this because the Canucks are currently on the short side of the stick. Even if the positions are reversed, I would still think that this method of calculation is problematic.
We should just drop the OT-Loss point, and for all teams tied in Points and Games Played, the team with the higher GF wins. Now, THIS is how you reward offensively-mind teams, and THIS is how you reward scoring, and THIS is how you make the game that we love so much entertaining again, Mr. Bettman.