Well, the 2009-10 Vancouver Canucks season is over. Frankly, it was not that large of a shock to me, but still stings anyways. We were playing a team that had equal or stronger talent up front, far superior defense & had a goalie who had better stats than Luongo in most categories. Yet still, there is that feeling this team should have done better.
A lot of the Canucks sudden ending came at the hands of some of its most reliable players thru the regular season. Guys like Kesler, Demitra, Burrows, Raymond and Ehrhoff who were stable & even at times exceeding their expectations pretty much vanished come playoff time. A parade to the penalty box did not help their cause much either. But the non-efforts of some of their biggest players was more concerning to me.
I think a lot can be said of a teams effort when guys like Kyle Wellwood, Jannik Hansen & Shane O'Brien might have put up the best efforts on the team in the game that mattered the most, the final one. No desperation or "we MUST show up now" effort seemed to ever show up in guys like Kesler, Raymond or others.
The same "we can overcome anything" mentality the Canucks had used all season in their late game come from behind victories, the same mentality they even displayed against the Kings a round earlier was non-existant in the Hawks series. Chicago outscored the nucks 11-3 in the 3rd period of this series, they beat them all three times in GM Place, where the Canucks had a 30-8-3 record this season. The Chicago Blackhawks schooled the Canucks in the building they had schooled so many teams this year, the way they had schooled so many teams this year.
Over the next few days, a variety of excuses will come to the surface for sure. "This player was playing with this injury" will be common. but lets face it, does anyone for a second doubt the Hawks players are not also banged up & playing thru adversity? Seriously? With the exception of Sami Salo, who truthfully probably shouldnt have played in the last game, but kudos to him for doing it, no one on the team really has a severe enough injury that they can say that was the reason for the sudden drop off in productivity. Aches & pains are expected in a playoff fight. If it was TOO serious, they wouldnt have been able to play thru it as is. So, an injury really is a thin excuse, not a reason, for a drop off in productivity. Yet fans will eat it up when it comes out that this player & that player were fighting thru a really irritating flea bite or a *GASP* an itchy beard. But seriously, things like shoulder, knee & back injuries in the playoffs are going to be suggested. So, either the Canucks palyers are less able to fight thru adversity, or the entire Hawks franchise were playing in Iron Man suits.
The blame of this season ending on the same day as it did the year before does not solely fall on the players shoulders though. Coach Alain Vigneault (aka- the 2nd best coach in the series) without question shoulders some of the blame. His irrational coaching decisions thru the series were without question as much of the problem as the players wearing the jerseys.
AV took Mikael Samuelsson, who was still producing with the twins, off the Sedin line. Replacing him was offensively invisible (and a major reason for the Canucks game 3 loss after a penalty of idiotic levels which caused the 3rd goal) Alex Burrows. He seemingly rewarded one of the teams least effective stars with a promotion to the top line. This was after Burrows caused the team to not only lose a great scoring opportunity off an icing call with the Sedin line coming out against a tired Hawks line by taking a penalty, but was also at a time that the player in question had ONE playoff goal (not including an irrelevant empty netter against the Kings) in his last 15 playoff games. This is compounded when you realize that till the 3rd period of Game 6, Burrows was more or less the Sedins linemate. For the record, he scored ZERO goals with that promotion (not including an irrelevant empty netter). Burrows has 1 playoff goal (not including 2 empty netters) in 18 consecutive playoff games, got promoted to the top line, where Samuelsson was still producing...BY ALAIN VIGNEAULT!!
The same coaching decisions were evident in round 1 when Andrew Alberts (granted he settled down later in the playoffs) was possibly the worst player on all 16 teams in the playoffs at the time, kept getting chance after chance despite continually blowing it. Odd part was that double A had shown no signs during his short regular season time here to believe he warranted multiple chances. The same Vigneault demoted the teams top goal scorer to the 3rd line after he had slight slump where he only scored 1 goal in 2 1/3 games. Top goal scorer in the playoffs, demoted 2 lines for a slump that even Conn Smythe trophy winners are bound to go thru during a playoffs. Pathetic.
Then comes Vigneaults decisions between the pipes. Roberto Luongo is an elite goalie, no question....when hes on. When he isnt on, its scary though. He clearly was not "on" at home, yet AV kept going back to him & in fact, he went to back-up Andrew Raycroft only once in the entire playoffs, and that was back against the Kings. Luongo gave up 21 goals in 6 games. A goals against average of 3.52 and a save percentage of .862 from the starting goalie in the 2nd round series, and you never once go to your back up?? How about his 5.35 GAVE at home in round 2? Shouldnt that warrant a look at the back up? A back up that in the regular season had a better GAVE & only slightly less SPCT than your 7 million dollar starter?
When did AV turn into Marc Crawford? When did Vigneault quit being a coach, and start being players "buddies"? He played the playoffs like he was trying to win friends with some of the players. Burrows, Alberts, Luongo, Bieksa, Kesler and Raymond were all given ample chances to "step up" & all of them kept wasting their chances for the most part. Yet players who did produce, who were showing up, kept getting the short end of the straw. Mikael Samuelsson told Team Sweden to go fuck themselves earlier this year after getting left off the Swedish Olympic team. What could he have to say about a coach that demoted him 2 lines for essentially having 1 off game or so in the face of all these other non-performers getting handed chance after chance??
AV can perhaps explain why in a do or die game that you are only down a goal or two, your top line is not being double shifted?
- The Sedins had ice times of 18:51 and 18:40 each in the final game.
- Burrows (he of the ONE non-empty net playoff goal in the last 18 games) 19:37??
- Kesler (he of 0 G in the last 7 playoff games & 1 this post-season all together) 18:42??? Wellwood 18:52
- Samuelsson (teams leading goal & points scorer in the playoffs) 16:10.
- Raymond (0 goals, 0 points, -3 +/- in last 4 games) 16:47 played more than the teams best contributor offensively.
The top 3 lines were grossly mismanaged in the final game perhaps more than any other time in the playoffs.
Coach Vigneault one night suggested that Luongo was the 2nd best goalie on the ice that night. He wasnt wrong. He was the 2nd best goalie that night. However, no one once made note of the fact that this comment came from the 2nd best coach in the series. Alain Vigmeault was grossly outcoached by Joel Quenneville and to be brutally honest, maybe a tire iron could have outcoached him.
If the blame is to be broken down into a percentage basis. I would have to split it up like this.
Bieksa & Ehrhoff 5%
Rest of the forwards 5%
Rest of the defense 5%
Sure some of that blame seems unfair. I mean the defense core was eating up minutes they werent really qualified to take on at times with the various injuries. But still, the fact is they had jobs to do & at times werent able to do it.
This team didnt win because of several performances on the ice, and one performance behind the bench.
A little piece of trivia for you new fans to the game of hockey. The Vancouver Canucks used to actually play in Vancouver. True story.
The Canucks, who might have started to wonder if NHL stands for Nomad Hockey League wrapped up a very impressive 14 game, 13 city, 6 week voyage that saw them go 8-5-1 on the trip & gain 17 of a possible 28 points. Not too shabby for a team that came in 1 game below .500 on the road prior to the odyssey.
This feat is even more impressive when you consider Henrik & Daniel Sedin had 6 goals combined on the road trip. Add in Mason Raymond (2 goals) to the goal challenged list & you start to wonder how they won 4 games, let alone 8.
Big performances by Mikael Samuelsson (10 goals), Ryan Kesler (6 goals...and an 11 game point streak), Alex Burrows (7 goals..including some without the Sedins) and a couple timely Jannik Hansen goals, and the goal production was not so bad after all.
The big story of the trip however, was comebacks. It started the 1st game of the trip when the Canucks spotted the hapless Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-0 1st period lead, but roared back to win 5-3 with revenge filled back up Andrew Raycroft coming in to pick up the win in relief duty. Boston Bruins would be spotted a 2-0 1st period lead before the Canucks would win in a SO 3-2. By the time they did it in Columbus, where they trailed 3-1 in the 2nd period, it almost seemed expected. Winning 4-3. Doing it to Columbus twice in a matter of weeks was the moment the "comeback kids" title seemed to really make the rounds with this team. Trailing 2-0, then 3-2 to the Blue Jackets, the Canucks again came from behind & won, again, 4-3 when Christian Ehrhoff scored in overtime. They were down 2-1 to Nashville at the end of 2 periods, but came back to win 4-2. They saved the best for nearly last. After trailing 3-0 at the end of the 1st period, and 4-1 with less than 1/2 a game to play, the Canucks roared back against divisional challengers, Colorado Avalanche, to win 6-4 on the back of a Mikael Samuelsson 2nd period hat trick & Jannick Hansen getting his 2nd straight game winning goal. Even their final battle of the road trip in Phoenix showed the same mentality, that they can do anything. Phoenix had the lead 3-2 early in the 3rd period, but the Canucks tied it up & only finally lost it in the 6th round of a shoot out.
That is 13 points this team obtained in road games that they trailed. Many in the 3rd period. How can you even explain that type of effort?
The likelyhood of a great road trip is even more shocking when you consider the sub-par stats of starter Roberto Luongo compared to his backup, Andrew Raycroft. In goal they had a solid, but not necessarily great effort by back up Andrew Raycroft, who played in part or all of 7 games on the trip. His 3-1-1 record, .914 SPCT & a 2.31 GAVE were a welcomed addition. While Olympic Gold medal winning back stop, Roberto Luongo had a more modest 5-4-0 record, .888 SPCT & a 3.53 GAVE. It was not some of Luis best hockey, yet somehow, the team managed to keep pulling out wins for him, like in Colorado where he surrendered 3 1st period goals, but got the W at the end of the night. It wasnt lights out great goaltending, but it got the job done on the trip.
The fact these guys managed to get above .500 on the trip when you take into consideration some of the things has to be chalked up to pure willpower. Their top 2 players barely scored, one of their top secondary scorers barely scored, they had a brutally thin blueline & their top goalie didnt play like a top goalie some nights. Yet they got it done. Whether it was Mikael Samuelsson, Alex Burrows or Jannik Hansen, someone kept coming up with the much needed timely goals to help them win.
In the grand scheme of 82 games, a 14 game stretch really shouldnt be the make or break of any season, but for the Canucks this likely was. Imagine if they finished the playing 1 game below .500 hockey, like they had on the road going into the trip this season. A 6-7-1 record would put them 4 points further back & no longer in the division lead, clinging onto 6th in the conference for their lives, and perhaps even worse depending who the extra losses would end up being to. If it was Colorado & Nashville, they are suddenly 7th & 3 pts back of the division lead.
The Vancouver Canucks will, barring a horrid collapse, finish with a playoff spot & possibly, a division title. This road trip, although only 17% of the season, meant more to their season than probably 25% in the long run. They survived it, maybe even thrived on it & developed a team game that might help them thru the rest of a season where they will be without staple defemseman Willie Mitchell & even worse, the possibility that Kevin Bieksa will be back.
Probably no team this season has had a more important 14 game stretch this season than the Canucks. Without question, no one had a bigger road trip... Mentally, or literally.
With the season just slightly over 1/2 over, the race for the playoffs is starting to clear a bit. Teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets & the Carolina Hurricanes are already trying to envision what to do about the team in the off season. While at the other end of the spectrum, teams like the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks & San Jose Sharks are looking ahead & trying to figure out what they might need to tweak for their Stanley Cup pursuits.
Mired in the middle is a cluster of teams that frankly includes the majority of the league. Right now they are either just in or just barely out of the playoffs, a simple 3 game slide here, or 4 game streak here can put them out or in the playoff race in a flash. Mixed right in the middle, the Vancouver Canucks.
Currently 6th in the west with 58 points in 48 games, the Canucks sit just 2 points ahead of the 9th place Detroit Red Wings and only 7 ahead of Minnesota Wild & Dallas Stars. They are also only 2 points out of 3rd in the conference, behind their divisional foes from Colorado. But if the Canucks know anything about their season to date, its that they are probably more focused now on maintaining a playoff spot than chasing a division title.
While they are in the mix for a division championship, the fact remains that the Canucks, will be road warrios for the longest road trip in NHL history coming up very soon. Its a road trip that will span 14 games over 6 weeks. See the Canucks are being evicted from their home to make way for the Olympics. Because of this, they will play 20 of their final 35 games on the road....a place that has not been all that pleasant for them this season.
In their first 21 road games, the Canucks have a 9-11-1 record. While they run wild at home with an 19-7-1 record, they have struggled on the road. If there is any saving grace, its that only 10 of those final 20 road games are against teams currently sitting in a playoff spot. They can also take some comfort in the fact they are 3-1-1 in the last 5 road games perhaps. All that aside though, this extended road trip will certainly be the true test of this team.
In the middle of this road trip is a 2 week break for the Olympics. If they struggle in the first half of the trip, they will at least have time to correct the problem perhaps. This can also work against them though. If they have a decent first half on this raod trip, they could potentially lose all the momentum they have built up with 2 weeks away from the rink.
There is also the potential fatigue factor of their top players. With 7 Olympains on the roster, including their most notable pieces, Roberto Luongo, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler & Christian Ehrhoff, the 2 weeks of elite level do or die play could really wear on some players. Granted every team has this problem, but every team isnt going to be doing this in the middle of a 14 game road trip.
In a league where a team that is 8 games above .500 is not in the playoffs right now in their conference, the Canucks can not afford to have a mediocre road trip. A .500 road trip could conceivably end their playoff hopes. By the time this marathon is over, they will have just a little over a month of the season left to rally back from any holes they have made for themselves.
The top line of Sedin-Sedin-Burrows is magical in their own building where line matching benefits them, on the road however, they are less magical & this will mean the Canucks will need to rely on secondary scorers like Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler, Mikael Samuelsson & a hopefully healthy Pavol Demitra to pick up the slack. They could use the likes of Kyle Wellwood and Steve Bernier to pick up their play as well.
Their defense core is solid, when healthy. Christian Ehrhoff, Alex Edler and Sami Salo are quite capable puck moves, while Willie Mitchell, Shane O'Brien and Aaron Rome are capable defensive defenders. But when they have injuries they do seem to be out of sync a bit. Brad Lukowich is a decent NHL defenseman, but the level of skill drops off considerably from there. With Kevin Bieksa out, the Canucks will need to keep healthy thru this trip on the back end.
How will Luongo react to this stretch? He could in theory be playing close to 20 games over this stretch if he plays the majority of Canucks games, and Olympics games. Of course, the likelyhood is he will get only some starts at the Olympics. Which means he should have a bit of rest. Problem will be if he gets too much rest (say he doesnt play for the final 4 or 5 games). Luongo has a long history of starting slow after any type of extended break away from action. This has to worry the Canucks going down the stretch where points will be vitally needed & they will be on the road to start. A cold Luongo might end the Canucks playoff hopes in early March. Andrew Raycroft, the back up has been very good this year & could be relied on to take some of the load off, but if coach Vigneault has one flaw in his coaching, its that his confidence in his back up goalie, despite a very good record, seems to not be there for whatever reason.
This team has been ravaged with injuries this season & over a 14 game stretch, the probability of an injury is realistic. What the Canucks cant afford, is injuries to any of their major pieces, this goes for the entire top 2 lines, defense pairs, and of course Luongo. Any pieces missing could literally destroy a team that will probably struggle thru this venture.
If the Canucks get out of the odyssey close or still in the playoff race, they will probably be ecstatic. They have 10 of their last 15 games of the season at home, a place they have been exceptionally strong this season. But that is a long way away & they first have to worry about getting thru the adventure that will be the make or break part of their season, an incredible 14 game road trip. No team in the league will have any homestand or road trip more vital to their playoff positioning than this 6 week, 13 city, 14 game road trip.
If the Canucks miss the playoffs, fans & critics alike will probably look to this horrible schedule as the downfall. While players & coaches generally dont like to use easily found excuses for shortcomings, this is a blatantly obvious one that cant be overlooked. Of course, if the Canucks do make the playoffs, even if by the thinnest of margains, you will have to take them very seriously at a run in the playoffs. Afterall, if they can survive the road trip & still have enough in the tank to pull them thru it & into the playoffs, then you have to wonder what does it take to put them down. To make the playoffs would likely mean a winning record on the road thru that stretch, and ontop of that, confidence in their abilities on the road. This trip will either break them, or will rally them around each other & possibly create the type of team building that championship teams desperately hope for.
The season might say 82 games on the schedule, but any Canucks fan, reporter, player or staff member knew when the schedule came out, their season really came down to 14 games and 6 weeks.
This is the first roster I put together.
Let me just say, lots of hours of studying were put into these.
I encountered several problems over the course of this, mainly, trying to find stats & news on a couple smaller european leauges. One countries league I never even found an English translation for, so I might be thrown a curve ball or two for them, since they could have a player or two lighting up the league I dont know about.
Another problem was with the upper echelon teams, theres just too many to choose from. Narrowing a potential list of 25 forwards down to 13-14 is harder than it seems.
In any case, here is the first of 12 prospective rosters I have compiled.
The German 2010 Olympic team.
Germany comes into the 2010 Winter Olympics as the lowest ranked team in the tournament by the International Ice Hockey Federation. 12th ranked in the world.
Personally, I take them more seriously than that. I think top 10, maybe even if they have a great tournament, top 8. I mean they have no less than 12 players on the potential roster that have played in the NHL in the past few years.
They certainly arent a power house, but they have more NHL quality players than a few teams ahead of them. That has to make the German team & head coach Uwe Krupp feel they have a chance to upset a bit & make inroads into getting back into the top 10 ranked nations. They arent likely going in thinking medals, but they might be thinking of knocking off the lower ranked countries & show they arent an after thought.
So I give you, my first crack at trying to predict the Olympic rosters of the 2010 competing nations in mens hockey.
Thomas Greiss- SAN JOSE SHARKS (NHL). Thomas might be a back up to one of the NHLs top goalies, but dont be fooled. he is still a capable NHL goalie. Hes no Kolzig, but he is certainly the best of the batch. He will give them a fighting chance to compete every game.
Dmitrij Kotschnew- MOSCOW SPARTAK (KHL). The KHL has quickly become known as the 2nd best league in the world & Dkitrij has put up respectable numbers there. He could contend for the starting job if Thomas stumbles.
Dimitri Patzold- INGOLSTADT ISC (DEL). Just 2 seasons ago Dimitri was actually fighting with Thomas for the back up job for the Sharks. He clearly didnt get it. But it shows his ability level isnt terrible. He will likely be the 3rd goalie.
Christian Ehrhoff- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL). Christian is without debate, the top defenseman the German team has. As an NHL team PP qb he has cemented himself as this teams top d-man unit uncontested.
Dennis Seidenberg- FLORIDA PANTHERS (NHL). Dennis has taken a few years to develop into a top end defenseman in the NHL, and now that he has he will be unquestionably expected to take top minutes for the national team.
Sven Buetenschon- MANNHEIM EAGLES (DEL). Sven was ain the NHL only a few seasons ago. Since then he has gone back home & has done quite well there as well. On his house team he is seen as a defensive defenseman, but his 15 goals in the AHL 3 seasons ago says he can play an offensive game too.
Christoph Schubert- ATLANTA THRASHERS (NHL). Since 25 pts just 3 seasons ago he has regressed offensively each season. Defensively his game has gotten moderately better. A capable 2nd unit defender for this team, he will still likely get lots of time on the ice in all situations.
Alexander Sulzer- MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS (AHL). Alexander has showed enough promise in the Nashville Predators system to have garnered a few games this season with the big club. That experience, along with his strong AHL play gives him the edge for the #5 spot.
Sascha Goc- HANNOVER SCORPIONS (DEL). Sasha hasnt been in the NHL in quite a few years, but his 24 goals last season in the DEL was far & away the leagues msot by a dman. He'll get plenty of minutes probably lots of PP time thanks to his penchant for shooting the puck.
Korbinian Holzer- DEG METRO STARS (DEL). Korbinian has really come on in the past season. Last year he was barely noticed as an Olympic hopeful, this year however...he is now 2nd to Sasha in the DEL in pts by a German defenseman.
Andy Reiss- HANNOVER SCORPIONS (DEL). At 5'11 & 169 lbs he certainly isnt going to intimidate a lot of the NHL level players of this tourney. But he has managed to find a way to make his playing style work for him. A moderate offensive touch & decent defensive skills makes him a probable to take the last spot on the roster.
Marco Sturm- BOSTON BRUINS (NHL). Germanys top offensive weapon, Sturm will be looked at to carry a large chunk of the offensive load. With 6, 20 goal seasons in the NHL on his resume, his offensive touch will be vitally needed for them to have any success.
Jochen Hecht- BUFFALO SABRES (NHL). After Marco, Jochen will be looked at to fill the net. Only 2 seasons ago he scored 20 goals, and has had 50+ pts 3 times in his NHL career. This year he is struggling, but with few options available, they will rely on him to do whatever he can.
Marcel Goc- NASHVILLE PREDATORS (NHL). An NHL regular, Goc has had limited success with his offensive game. But he has managed to stick in the NHL with a keen defensive style that has compensated for his struggles offensively. He will likely still get pushed into an offensive role here at times, but his overall game will be his strongpoint.
Philipp Gogulla- PORTLAND PIRATES (AHL). In his first year of North American hockey, Philipp has put up adequate numbers. His limited time in N.A. gives him an inside edge on getting top 6 minutes on the team. Dont expect a lot offensively from him.
Thomas Greilinger- INGOLSTADT ERC (DEL). This seasons current leading scorer in the DEL is a lock for the team. His league leading 19 goals will be looked upon to prop up the teams offense past the NHL playrers.
Robert Hock- ISERLOHN ROOSTERS (DEL). Probably the oldest guy on the team, Robert has had a strong season this year, 4th in the entire league in pts, and 1st in assists by a German player. Despite being 37 yrs old by the time the Olympics start.
Michael Wolf- ISERLOHN ROOSTERS (DEL). Hock sets them up, Wolf buries them. Currently 4th in the league in goals, and 1st in PP goals, Wolf will be looked at to compliment Robert Hock, especially on the PP.
Marcel Müller- COLOGNE SHARKS (DEL). At only 21, Marcel is pushing his way into the team quickly. He might lose his spot if they opt to go with more experience, or if the currently injured teammate Christoph Ullmann comes back. But for now, I think he has a shot to be here.
Dusan Frosch- COLOGNE SHARKS (DEL). Putting up respectable stats offensively, the short speedy Frosch will be expected to use his speed to generate offense for the team.
Eduard Lewandowski- MOSCOW SPARTAK (KHL). Has shown some offensive flair in the KHL. Shouldnt have too much trouble making this team.
John Tripp- HAMBURG FREEZERS (DEL). Former 2 time drafted NHLer John Tripp now calls Germany his home & is eligible for their team. His deep experience & still respectable stats at his age make him a near lock for the team.
Daniel Kreutzer- DEG METRO STARS (DEL). Solid offensive numbers & his strong playoffs last season make Daniel a likely candidate for the team.
Manuel Klinge- KASSEL HUSKIES (DEL), As one of the few German snipers there are out there, he probably has a fair shot at this team. Only thing that could hold him back is his mediocre defensive play depending how defensive minded they want their forward unit to be. For now, hes making my roster.
maybes- Stefan Ustorf, Andre Rankel, Yannic Seidenberg Thomas Holzmann, Christoph Ullmann, Robert Dietrich, Denis Reul, Alexander Barta, Florian Busch. Felix Schutz.
I did something different for the Blue Jackets. I didnt even try to get 1 single thing done of my own inventory. I decided to rent my services out to another local hound since I just didnt have any CBJ stuff that I felt I imminently needed. In my opinion, the arrangement was ok. Would have liked a b
So, with that I had a limited supply of players to go for.
I learned a quick lesson for the rest of the season....I need a hockey only binder.
I have been using my celebrity binder for my hockey stuff in the preseason, which was a bit clunky, but manageable. With the real season here now & more stuff I will have, its not an option. Lesson 1 noted.
off to the hounding.
Lets start in goal shall we?
STEVE MASON- I got 2 on the trip. In general he seemed good about signing 1 per everytime he was seen. The potential to get multiples was minimal. I think he might do it in smaller settings, but if theres several or more people around he seems intent on sticking to 1 per person. Overall, still a decent signer after his Calder Trophy win last season.
MATHIEU GARON- 2 autographs. Also a trophy winner last season (the Stanley Cup) Mathieu was still his easy going self. Still signing multiples & seeming to have no problem with it. I think he was limiting to 3 or 4, but thats still a decent amount that anyone should be happy with.
FEDOR TYUTIN- 0. Had nothing for him. But I observed him signing multiples for people. He wasnt signing everything, but 3 seemed to be a reasonable number to expect from him.
ROSTISLAV KLESLA- o. Had nothing. In the past, he was elusive & not overly interested in signing. In the last year or so he seems to have eased up. He still seems to be a strict 1 per, but now he doesnt try to avoid people as much as I recall in the apst.
KRIS RUSSELL- 2 autographs. Kris was willing to do multiples, I dont recall what the max was anyone asked for. But he seemed to do everything I saw asked of him. I think he might do several at once.
MARK METHOT, JAN HEJDA, ANTON STRALMAN & MATHIEU ROY- I didnt observe enough to be too sure. But in general, they all signed when asked.
RICK NASH- 4 autographs. Rick has been a pretty consistent 1 per the last few yrs. Yesterday he did 2 at once without even batting an eye. In larger crowds hes still a 1 per it seems, but hes still a near guarantee to get. For a superstar he is still a good signer.
NIKITA FILATOV- 15 autographs. As you can guess by the stats, he does everything. Crap auto, but what do you expect from someone that signed 20+ for 1 person?
JAKUB VORACEK- 0. Had nothing. But Jakub is still a great signer. He has no problems with several items at once.
ANTOINE VERMETTE- 1 autograph. I dont really recall people asking him for several, but the few who had 2 or so out seemed able to get them.Unsure what limits he may have, but 2 seems reasonable.
JARED BOLL- 0. Had nothing. Great signer. If you have several items, its probable he will do them all in 1 shot.
RJ UMBERGER- 0. Had nothing. In the past, he seemed unwilling to be a willing signer. Now he seems to have changed some. Still seemed to be just a 1 per, but the disdain I recalled him having in the past for it seems to have washed away.
DEREK BRASSARD- 0. Had items, but my timing was just bad. Would sign multiples, but he does seem to limit to baybe 3 or 4.
SAMUEL PAHLSSON, RAFFI TORRES, JASON CHIMERA, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS & others- Were generally fine. All signed, maybe not multiples in all cases, but you will get atleast 1 each from them.
Total autographs from Columbus- 26
In addition- 8 Canucks autographs. Including 1 Luongo. 1 Raycroft. 4 Ehrhoff, 1 O'Brien, 1 Raymond
Next up- Montreal Canadiens
Canadagraphs Hockey Blogs
From time to time I have something to say on hockey. Whether its the Vancouver Canucks, NHL in general, Womens Hockey or International Hockey...if I have something to post, it will be in here.