Vancouver Canucks, Kyle Burroughs

Canucks NHL Daily: ‘D’ Line-up Irony, A Great Passes

How ironic to see a Vancouver Canucks line-up with right-handed defencemen occupying four of the six spots.

Quinn Hughes – Luke Schenn
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Ethan Bear
Kyle Burroughs – Terry Myers

That’s your likely depth chart for the match Saturday night in Vegas against the Golden Knights. The perceived weakest part of the Canucks roster going back to last season, unaddressed in the off-season mainly due to salary cap constraints, is now bleeding on to the left side. Particularly remarkable considering Tucker Poolman, before headaches ruined his season once again, would have been one of the top three righties in the line-up.

Shortcomings and injuries on the left side have led to this. Even if Jack Rathbone were to emerge to his full potential, the Canucks don’t really need another waterbug on the left side, leaving Ekman-Larsson as the most physical southpaw. The consistent feistiness of a Kyle Burroughs becomes a required matter when facing much of the rough and tumble west.

Lefty Canucks D-man Travis Dermott, injured since the preseason, has started skating again.

So the irony plays out at the hockey club’s discretion and peril. While we wait …

Let’s Skate !

The Edmonton Oilers moved five points ahead of the Canucks in the Pacific Division standings on Saturday afternoon by scoring four unanswered goals in the third period to beat the New York Rangers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden.

Trailing 3-0 after two periods, defenceman Evan Bouchard scored twice, Dylan Holloway tallied his first NHL goal, and Leon Draisaitl scored a power played goal with two minutes remaining to finish off the comeback win.

The Oilers have the 4th most points in the division, 22, in twenty-one games played. The Canucks are tied for 6th with 17 points and will play their 21st game against the Golden Knights on Saturday night.

Under Water

We’ve had a pandemic postpone hockey games, we’ve seen heavy snow postpone NHL games on occasion, and now a water main break becomes the culprit. The Nashville Predators have postponed two games thus far, Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche and Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, due to the event level at the Bridgestone Arena being under water.

The last home game played by the Predators was back on November 21st, a 4-3 shoot-out win over the Arizona Coyotes.

Make-up dates will be announced.

Greatness Personified

When we lose an NHL legend, we always hear countless stories of what made the particular player fantastic on and off the ice. In the case of Maple Leafs Swedish legend Borje Salming, we take things to a different level.

Salming went through a substantial level of physical and verbal abuse when he arrived on North American shores back in the early 1970’s. Undaunted by anti-Euro bias, the workhorse defenceman battled his way through to a Hockey Hall of Fame induction.

My words don’t due justice – my condolences to our mutual friends and acquaintances who knew him very well and can share endless stories of his greatness, and to his family and fans. Salming died Thursday at age-71 after a battle with A.L.S.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.