Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Canucks rookies find spot in Vancouver lineup, but not before the vets have their say

It's one of the most anticipated moments in any hockey players career, that moment when the nine day audition turns into a permanent spot on the touring crew of an NHL team.

A day where you learn that you've earned your spot into the top league in the world, or the one where you pack your bags, bid your farewells and return to junior hockey for a little more seasoning and a chance to work out some of the areas that need to improve.

Depending on the tradition of the team it could be a moment with a coach or GM, in Vancouver they do things a little differently, letting the whole team have a say before the good news is delivered.

On Sunday morning, the Canucks added Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann to the roster, the reward for hard work and bringing to end an audition period that left Canucks management with the idea that returning them back to junior hockey was not something up for discussion any more.

Head coach Willie Desjardins started off the welcome, though we suspect that for the first few moments of the discussion the two Canuck rookies probably were running the bus schedules back to Junior through their heads, as Desjardins went over a compilation of on ice miscues of the pair.

Then having noted his displeasure at the work of the team, Desjardins exited the room, leaving it to the teams veterans to take over, where a hard hitting review of the work ethic of the two kids was laid bare, a point where perhaps Virtanen and  McCann were giving some thought to alternative career possibilities.

Finally, Bo Horvath, he barely a year himself as a member of the permanents, broke the facade of the angry old team mates, welcoming the pair to the team, telling them there would be no junior hockey return in their future.

If they're still making hockey cards, it's time to order a print run for McCann and Virtanen, considering their age, chewing gun should be included.

The Canuck's provided the initiation and team building exercise Canucks style to their Canucks TV portal.

The motivation clearly paid off for Vancouver on Monday night, the two newest Canucks were prominent on the ice, not intimidated in any way facing one of the league's legendary squads the Philadelphia Flyers.

So pumped wast Virtanen on the night, that the youngster recorded his first goal of his NHL career, a pretty impressive way to show the coach that the decision to keep the two rookies for the season was a wise one.

Feeding off the energy of their younger players, the Canucks put together a strong effort against the Flyers taking down the visitors by a score of 4-1 at Rogers Centre in Vancouver.

You can review Virtanen's debut goal and the post game reactions through the Canucks twitter feed.

Some of the media reviews from Monday's Canucks win over Philly can be found below:

Virtanen gets his first goal in Canucks' 4-1 win over Flyers
The Canucks future has arrived
Canucks kids come through with flying colours
Horvat coaches, Virtanen listens, Burrows grateful, Willie hopeful
'Stache that puck away - Virtanen's got his first NHL goal
McCann, Virtanen get grilled - but make Canucks
Virtanen nets first goal as Canucks dump Flyers
Canucks make the right call on McCann, Virtanen

Monday, November 02, 2015

NHL Headlines for November

Our Archive for the month of November

November 30 -- Montreal Candiens' Cary Price will miss at least six weeks with lower body injury
November 29 -- Colorado Avalanche hold off Winnipeg Jet's late rally for 5-3 win
November 28 -- Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending: should Jonathan Bernier start Monday against the Edmonton Oilers
November 27 -- Rangers' Stepan out with broken ribs after 'late hit'
November 26 -- Oilers' Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks after odd incident with linesman
November 25 -- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumoured rift with Crosby
November 24 -- Maple Leafs no longer NHL's most valuable franchise, according to Forbes
November 23 -- Youngsters taking over the NHL, Maple Leafs defence man Roman Polak says
November 22 -- Special Teams do it all in 4-2 win over Islanders
November 21 -- Sedin twins lead Canucks to 6-3 win over Blackhawks
November 20 -- Vancouver Canucks GM confident team can recover from its recent stumbles
November 19 -- Capitals fall to Stars, 3-2, as Ovechkin sets Russian NHL goals record
November 18 -- NHL revamps all-star weekend with a $1 million mini 3-on-3 tournament
November 17 -- Blue Jackets, Blues 1 Three in a Row 
November 16 -- Edmonton Oiler's Connor McDavid won't comment on whether injury was caused by clean or dirty play
November 15 -- Canucks fall below 'fine line between winning and losing' on road trip
November 14 -- Toronto anthem singer performs 'O Canada" entirely in French as NHL pays tribute to victims of Paris attacks
November 13 -- Sharks open road trip with win over Red Wings
November 12 -- Canadian coaches, scouts to lead Team Europe in 2016 World Cup of Hockey
November 11 -- Hockey Players Know Who The Real Heroes Are
November 10 -- NHL could reduce size of goalie equipment to boost scoring
November 9 -- Hockey Hall of Fame's 2015 class set for induction ceremony
November 8 -- NHL's wild new overtime format helping kill the shootout
November 7 -- Connor McDavid's injury was deliberate
November 6 -- Kindl's OT goal lifts Red Wings past Leafs, 2-1
November 5 -- Mike Babcock to coach Team Canada again in World Cup of Hockey
November 4 -- Penguins hang on to beat Canucks in 1st game of Western swing
November 3 -- Oilers' Connor McDavid leaves game with 'long-term' upper body injury
November 2 -- McCann, Virtanen get grilled - but make Canucks
November 1 -- Even without Carey Price, Canadiens defeat Jets 5-1

Sunday, November 01, 2015