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About JamesB

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  1. [PGT] Ducks 4, Vancouver 0

    Good analysis, although maybe a bit tough. But I am glad someone else noticed how badly Horvat played. There were several mistakes on the first goal, but the biggest mistake was Horvat just not being able to handle his check. It has been a disappointing year for Horvat. Maybe he was getting overhyped after a pretty good season last year. But I would not be too hard on the Sedins with Hansen. They have been remarkably good for the last three weeks and, at age 35, there is no way the Sedins can be on top of their game every night.
  2. [PGT] Ducks 4, Vancouver 0

    As others have pointed out, right now the Benning plan to develop young players "in a winning environment" with guys who are "culture carriers" and "protect the young guys" is not looking so good. It might be time for Benning to have a talk with the players and play "tough cop". I don't think Willie can be the tough cop. He is more of a supportive developmental guy. But, as I wrote in the GDT, the Canucks' talent level is not that high. To be consistently competitive Miller would have to be great (as he was in first part of the season) and we would need another legitimate top 4 D, and we need more secondary scoring. Still, tonight's game was an embarrassment. I expect the Canucks to look better against LA. I would like to see Pedan get a chance to play. I would play him instead of Weber. Weber is just too small and soft, and does not make up for it with good positional play.
  3. [GDT] Vancouver Canucks @ Anaheim Ducks 11/30/2015.

    Yes, the Canucks are kind of thin in the prime age range. Teams like that pretty much never contend for a Cup. The good news is that the Canucks finally have some good young players: McCann, Hutton, Horvat, Demko, Virtanen, and Boeser -- and Shinkaruk is having a great year in Utica. And Pedan and Gaunce both look like good prospects. What we need is one more really good draft this year. I am hoping Hammer and Vrby play well enough to be traded for first round picks at the deadline (although I know that is a bit optimistic.) I am not arguing for tanking (deliberately losing), but I think that we are unlikely to be in playoff position at the deadline.
  4. [GDT] Vancouver Canucks @ Anaheim Ducks 11/30/2015.

    I was going to make a similar point. The Canucks just do not have enough talent right now. The Sedins have been fantastic this season for guys in their mid-30s. But you cannot count on that for the whole season. After the first line there is no credible secondary scoring threat. On D, the Canucks do not have a legitimate top 4. To have a legit top 4 they would need a guy to slot in a #1 or #2 with Tanev and Hammer sliding down to 3 and 4. And Miller is no more than an average NHL goalie at present. I would not put the blame on Willie.
  5. [GDT] Vancouver Canucks @ Anaheim Ducks 11/30/2015.

    I certainly agree that it would be nice have a legitimate top pairing D join the team. The trouble is they are are hard to find. You pretty much have to grow your own. As for a Prust on every line, he is a best a borderline 4th liner.
  6. [GDT] Vancouver Canucks @ Anaheim Ducks 11/30/2015.

    I hope Virtanen is healthy enough for the world juniors. If so, he should definitely go. And then he should go back to junior. There is no point using up a year of his time to UFA status if he is not helping the team. I would much rather see Grenier, Gaunce or Shinkaruk get a shot. And the team would not lose much in team toughness. Jake is already getting worn down -- not surprising for a 19 year old trying to play a tough physical game in the NHL.
  7. Dane Fox Talk

    Oops. My mistake. No excuses for forgetting this obvious point. But I can add that the players in the ECHL on ELCs get their full AHL salary.
  8. Dane Fox Talk

    Not sure I would describe Fox's overage season as a one-hit wonder. There are lots of guys who score a lot in their overage year in Junior but never make it to the NHL. In fact, that is pretty much the rule. Being a  year older makes a big difference at that age and the guys who do not drafted and play as overagers often have good skills at the junior level but lack a key element that is necessary to make it in the NHL (like skating ability). Guys can improve. Certainly Horvat's skating, which was always decent, improved a lot last year when he was 19. But Fox did not appear to have an NHL skating stride in pre-season this year (just before turning 22 in October). Significant improvement is rare at that age.  So I am not optimistic about Fox. He is still getting paid close to a million year for playing hockey, so it makes sense for him to play. But after his ELC is over he will be looking at making peanuts in the minor leagues and might give up. Also, he is not a natural for the European leagues where the larger ice surfaces makes skating more important than in North America. I wish the best but I do not see him in the Canucks' future.
  9. Brock Boeser Talk

    Not sure exactly what canucksuberalles meant, but I think the point with McCann is that he was the obvious pick but the time Benning picked. By that point he had floated up to the top of pretty much every list. So is a very good prospect but it's not like it took a genius to pick him. The Boeser pick, on the other hand, surprised a lot of people. But so far it looks like a great pick.  The Virtanen pick, on the other hand, will continue to be questioned until it become clear how he compares with Ehlers and Nylander when they are all NHL regulars.
  10. (Official) 2015-2016 NHL Magic Number Chart

    Nice work with the charts. However, I don't think you should take too much personal responsibility for losing seasons. I have a question. I wonder what the critical point total is for determining whether the Canucks will be sellers at the deadline. I want them to either be well above it (implying the team has a shot for deep playoff run) or below (implying that we trade vets for draft picks and have a good draft). The worst outcome will be to pass up the chance to acquire draft picks (or, even worse, trade away draft picks) and then miss the playoffs anyway. 
  11. ** Is there anyone Else but the Canucks...**

    Most coaches choose shoot-out players on the basis of their past record in shoot-outs and penalty shots and on who does well in shoot-outs in practice. That may or may not be first line players. Last night's choices were pretty obvious. Vrby is one the best shoot-out guys in the league, and Burrows and Higgins are both very good in the shootout. For the younger guys to get a look they will need to do well in shoot-outs in practice first.  
  12. [PGT] Canucks 2, Stars 3

    Three good comments (at least they are pretty close to my own opinion). I want to see Benning go into the draft with a good set of picks. So far I think he has lived up to his billing as I think his two drafts with the Canucks have been good. But I really would like to see him go in with a high first round pick, another first round pick and two or three second round picks (Vbry should be worth a first rounder in trade at the deadline if he keeps up his recent play and Hammer would be worth at least a second. And Bartkowksi, Weber and Prust are all guys who might yield a lower pick (maybe 3rd round). However, I admit that is nice to see the Canucks win now as well. If the Canucks are in contention at the trade deadline, these trades of players of picks won't happen. The main thing I want to avoid is hanging on to all the guys with expiring contracts then missing the playoffs anyway. The Stars have an excellent offensive team with Benn, Seguin, etc. Holding them to 2 goals in 65 minutes is pretty good. No reason to complain even though both goals were against the PK. And I agree that WD is a good coach who is executing a long run plan. Despite focusing on player development (which I think he is doing), he is also picking up more points in the standings (last year and this year) than most people expected.
  13. [PGT] Canucks 2, Stars 3

    The Canucks played a good road game against a very tough team. The was close with lots of chances both ways but, overall, I think the Canucks were the better team, as the shot totals indicate. But Neimi played well. Dallas can think him for their two points tonight. The Sedins continue to play amazingly well. Hansen was very good tonight and so we Edler, Tanev, and Hammer. The 4th line (Cracknell, Dorsett and Prust) also played well. Baertschi was disappointing again, however -- pretty much invisible except for the penalty that let to the go-ahead goal by Dallas. (And occasionally we see him getting pushed off the puck.) I thought McCann looked dangerous (as usual).
  14. Jake Virtanen Talk

    This is a good point. The need to fill air time creates a lot of overstatement. That is one reason I have a lot of respect for guys like Elliotte Friedman and Bob MacKenzie who retain their credibility despite the pressures to exaggerate.
  15. Benning on Vancouver 1040

    As long as the Canucks remain in playoff position or in close contention Hammer and Vrby aren't going anywhere. Where would the Canucks have been without those two guys last night against Minny? If the Canucks are dropping out of contention for the playoffs at the trade deadline then it is likely both will be traded for picks at that time. By that point in the season salary is not a big issue for guys on expiring contracts as the acquiring team only pays the remaining pro-rated salary. If keeping some salary helps, great. But I do not expect it to matter much.  By the way, Hammer is decent value at his current cap hit. At 2.5 million he would a steal. Look at what the Canucks paid to re-sign Sbisa. (Nothing against Sbisa -- he is a decent player, but nowhere near as valuable as Hammer.)