Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Wednesday's Wonderings

by Jes

So, Teemu Selanne decided to announce his comeback, after resting up and having enough of speeding along Finnish highways all winter, and his nagging wife.

I know quite a few Canucks fans are a bit panicky that the Ducks are going to be that much better, so to them I say, "What's the big deal?"

Look, we know the Ducks were going to be the team to beat in the Western Conference, and this comeback just cements that point.

(Sorry, Wings fans, but I see too many weaknesses to give you the #1 spot, despite the fancy schmancy W-L record.)

Even if Selanne is just 3/4 as effective as he was last season, that is still .75 points per game on average that the Ducks will be getting. Given how the Ducks are rolling, this is just some very thick icing on the cake.

I expect that Selanne, like Niedermayer, will come into action in fairly good shape, and will give the Ducks a big boost to their offence. Both Selanne and Niedermayer are two of the world's best, so they have a long way to come down to be merely 'average'. Excellent players can miss time and still come back strong, as we've seen with Forsberg, Lemieux, and so on.

What Canucks fans should be worried about is their own team's state of affairs. It ain't pretty ...

Injuries - the Defence is decimated as Mitchell will be out 4-6 weeks with a Fractured Vertebra. Krajicek is day-to-day with a sore shoulder, and Bieksa's recovery time could take longer than originally anticipated.

It doesn't help that Brendan Morrison, the only good source of secondary scoring that Canucks have up front, is also injured.

Scoring - As mentioned, and as everyone knows, the Canucks are essentially a one-line team. Pyatt is the only other forward with a .50 PPG pace. Kesler? He's dried up, as has Burrows (who never really had much to begin with). Far too much filler on the Canucks roster and not enough oomph.

Special Teams - Last season, the Canucks had a supreme penalty killing machine. This season? They are pretty much middle of the road, as is their Power Play. The Canucks need to have better results in these areas if they seriously think they can contend for more than just a first or second round playoff exit.

Honestly, it would take a minor miracle (or more Luongo miracles) to keep the Canucks in the playoffs. There are just too many other contenders who haven't had the bad luck the Canucks have. Whether the Ducks got Selanne or not wasn't going to change the above factors.

So, the Canucks have now sold out 200 straight home games.

Umm ... yippee *twirls finger*

I'm not sure why Canucks fans would be proud or excited about this mark.

1. This means more money in the pockets of our slumlord owners. Is that something to be happy about?

2. This means it is damn hard to get tickets to see the Canucks.

Really, I'd rather the Canucks not sell out every game. It might teach ownership a lesson (ie. Don't take the fans for granted) and might make it easier to get tickets without frequently donating bodily fluids.

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(Sorry, Wings fans, but I see too many weaknesses to give you the #1 spot, despite the fancy schmancy W-L record.)

You see weaknesses? That's good, because I don't. I know no team is perfect, but for the life of me, I just can't find the flaws in this year's version of The Great Hockey Dynasty.

Maybe in a future post, you can detail these weaknesses. Save us Wingnuts from our delusions of grandeur, and the Big Comedown that surely is coming. ;)
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