This looks like the same team as last year... or does it?

Mizral
10-22-2003, 08:10 AM
Ian MacIntyre had a great peice in this mornings Sun if you didn't catch it. Essentially, he was talking about the tangible improvements that we have seen through the first 6 games. In particular, defensive play. I have to say, I agreed with him on every step. This team has not sacrificed an ounce of it's offensive play - yes, the goals for are low compared to what we've come to expect, but let's face it, the scoring chances have been there for the top line, they haven't been finishing enough - but this team has vastly improved it's defensive play in all three zones.

I believe the 'shutdown' line of Arvedson/Linden/Cooke is a good chunk of the reason this is so. This is something that I do not believe the Canucks have ever had. That third line obviously has some of the best personel on it for a third line as you'll find in this league (only maybe the Stars, Isles, Wings, or Devils, in my opinion, have a better third line than that). But what I love most about it is not only are they good defensivly, but they are tenacious forecheckers, all good skaters, and best of all, not bad offensive players! We have a hell of a two-way line there that I think we can all rest assured will be big +'s this season.

Another, smaller part of the reason this is so, is the improved defensive play of Markus Naslund in particular. As MacIntyre mentioned in his column, this has a domino effect throughout the lineup. If Naslund is backchecking hard, the rest of the guys look to each other on the bench and say, 'Okay, let's get serious about this'. Bertuzzi could do better here, still.

However, THE biggest reason has been our play in our own zone. Mattias Ohlund and Ed Jovanovski may as well be our co-MVP's so far this season. Ohlund has been our leading stalwart defenseman before, and he's showing it again. Ohlund has just been downright solid, and his physical game is taking a step up. Hopefully his offensive game can follow suit. And Jovocop, well, I think it's safe to say he's picking up off of late last year. 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points ties him for the league lead in points for this team. But the most telling stat for Jovo? 20 shots which leads the team. While normally Naslund would be leading the team, 20 shots in 6 games is absolutely GREAT for Jovo. But not only has his offensive game been good, Jovo has been so smooth in his own zone. We truely have a Norris contender on our hands this year, I believe.

Check out some of the +/- leaders on this team:

Marek Malik +7
Brendan Morrison +6
Ed Jovanovski +6
Markus Naslund +6
Todd Bertuzzi +5
Mattias Ohlund +4
Brent Sopel +4

In fact, every player on the Canucks is a + player with only 3 exceptions. Brad May (even), Mike Keane (even), and Sami Salo (-2 ... which really surprises me, since I consider Salo one of our best players this season. I can only assume this is bad luck).

More evidence we're better defensivly? Check this out:

4 Games played for Dan Cloutier. He has a GAA of 2.02, and a Save % of .918

2 Games played for Johan Hedberg. He has a GAA of 0.96, and a Save % of .938

It's early to judge those ones, moreso than most stats, but the trend is encouraging.

According to TSN, the Canucks have allowed 1.67 goals against per game. This is second-highest in the Western Conference, and 4th highest in the league.

Our special teams are the part that needs shoring up. However, this Canucks team is clearly much better defensivly. If this trend continues, we just may have a good shot at the Cup this year.

Ol' Dirty Chinaman*
10-22-2003, 09:44 AM
http://www.mytelus.com/sports/article.do?pageID=sports_home&articleID=1438969

galiano
10-22-2003, 10:20 AM
http://www.mytelus.com/sports/article.do?pageID=sports_home&articleID=1438969


Hey I gotta say your user name is really offensive - get rid of it.

And no I don't give a #$@+@ if you are Chinese. It's still offensive.

Ol' Dirty Chinaman*
10-22-2003, 11:00 AM
Hey I gotta say your user name is really offensive - get rid of it.

And no I don't give a #$@+@ if you are Chinese. It's still offensive.

I am chinese. Why are you so offended ? I don't think anybody has ever had a problem with my username before.

kmad
10-22-2003, 11:37 AM
people get offended by everything these days, it's stupid

Connecticut
10-22-2003, 11:42 AM
I believe the 'shutdown' line of Arvedson/Linden/Cooke is a good chunk of the reason this is so. This is something that I do not believe the Canucks have ever had. That third line obviously has some of the best personel on it for a third line as you'll find in this league (only maybe the Stars, Isles, Wings, or Devils, in my opinion, have a better third line than that). But what I love most about it is not only are they good defensivly, but they are tenacious forecheckers, all good skaters, and best of all, not bad offensive players! We have a hell of a two-way line there that I think we can all rest assured will be big +'s this season.


The great thing about having a shut-down line is not just what they can do in a 45-second shift... it's also the way they shift momentum. The big line produces offensive momentum while the 4th is there for energy... But the 3rd line pretty much kills any momentum the other team is building offensively and that makes a difference long after the line's shift is over. I think the Sedin line does a decent job of this too by having the puck deep in the offensive zone a lot, but when the momentum is against them, they're not always as effective at making that happen... while our third line are masters of that... stopping the other team's surge dead in its tracks.

tantalum
10-22-2003, 11:54 AM
Hey I gotta say your user name is really offensive - get rid of it.

And no I don't give a #$@+@ if you are Chinese. It's still offensive.

Just curious...I know some people find it offensive but what is the history behind the word and usage that makes it so?

Why is "Chinamen" offensive but "Frenchmen" not?

Burke's Evil Spirit
10-22-2003, 12:10 PM
Salo's a -2 due to an atrocious game against Minnesota.

quat
10-22-2003, 12:10 PM
Well said Mizral. I happened to be up late last night working, and put on a game I had taped last year (the game against LA... in La... the one the CAnucks won), and although the season is still young, the difference between the two teams is much larger than I would have expected.

Can't say enough about how much better the Canucks are with a healthy Ohlund in the lineup. The whole D is just waaaay calmer and focused. They were often over welmed and scrambly against an LA team full of rookies. They still suffer bad outlet passes under a strong forcheck, but LA had them on the ropes time and again.

I realize it wasn't standard for the year, but Letowski Ried Cooke is just not Arvy Linden Cooke. I noticed that on the PK Cooke and Linden were out together and you could really see they had chemistry. It's good to note that the CAnucks must have noticed that as well. The Klatter is great, but I'd take Arvedson over him in a second.

The Sedins were playing with King during that game, and it's hard to believe it's the same person that's playing with them now. He is a completely different player, and that makes a huge difference for their line. They played very well in that game, and still you see more development from them this year. The Sedin line is becoming a definite second line scoring threat, and it's clear how talented they are running a PP.

It was weird hearing the annoucers saying things like "the Avs four points behind, still have an outside chance of finishing first in their division"

Auld was decent in net, not great but certainly good enough. The real striking thing was how calm and steady he was.

While I was watching the game, I recalled how last year I was quite worried with the play of the Canucks during that game. Now I'm quite suprised they were able to get by the Blues. It was a game they won, and yet they seemed to fall apart under anyking of pressure.

I am confident in saying the 2003-04 Canucks are a vastly improved team. There's excellent chemistry on the top three lines (I think Chubarov and Ruutu play well together, but May doesn't seem to click with them... It will be interesting to see a line of Keane Chubarov and Ruutu out there tonight) and overall the team fits very well together.

Sweet!

Connecticut
10-22-2003, 12:13 PM
Why is "Chinamen" offensive but "Frenchmen" not?

I disagree, Frenchmen are highly offensive.

And the term Chinaman I think comes from the slave labourers who built railroads in the US and is considered a slur.

I submit this document as a reference... ;)

DUDE
This Chinaman who peed on my rug, I
can't go give him a bill so what the
**** are you talking about?

WALTER
What the **** are you talking about?!
This Chinaman is not the issue! I'm
talking about drawing a line in the
sand, Dude. Across this line you do
not, uh--and also, Dude, Chinaman is
not the preferred nomenclature, uh. . . Asian-
American. Please.

DUDE
Walter, this is not a guy who built
the rail- roads, here, this is a guy
who peed on my rug

Hobo
10-22-2003, 01:31 PM
Big Lebowski, very classy. Fave flick.

Chinaman is offensive because of its association with use where people referred to ethnic chinese as faceless non-individual people - an endless breeding swarm of inscrutable worker bees. The kind of attitude that also saw Japanese being interned during the war.:dunno:

As in: "Chester, can you run up to the Chinaman and buy a quart of milk?", or "That dirty Chinaman put too much starch in my collars again", or "Too bad about that blasting accident, but luckily only a few Chinamen were killed.":teach:

I hate political correctness too ... but it may be the yellow man's "N' word. How about "Unwashed Asian Fellow"??:rolleyes:

The team has had a bunch of improvements - the core players are older, more experienced and should be better players. See Slegr's up-ice passing and his set-up of Bert down low - buh-bye Murray Baron. Arvedsson for Klatt will turn out to be a much better team fit (but I still miss Klatter). Better depth at the farm and a second goaltender who is going to play well for us but also push Cloutier. Lindy (soon to be unemployed) Ruff said he sees this team going to the finals .... and I can hardly wait to see how we match up against Ottawa, Avs, Detroit (second chance required) and if they have Cujo, Boston, who will suprise everyone this year. Canucks are improved all around.

Ol' Dirty Chinaman*
10-22-2003, 02:33 PM
The team is better this year because we have a solidly defensive line with the addition of Arvedsson, and the Sedin's have found chemistry with King.

I'm chinese, so I'm allowed to poke fun at my own race (actually I'm half white half chinese, so its probably my half white side that's doing it).

But its a spin on Ol' Dirty ******* from Wu-Tang clan.

Hobo
10-22-2003, 03:26 PM
Doesn't bother me .... and it probably won't bother many people on a hockey board - but I bet if you logged into CBC's news discussions you'de get a reaction.

You and Gary Mason agree about Arvedsson - the whole team chemistry seems improved. That puck movement against Buffalo was as the Zalm used to say ...... faaaaaannnntastic.