|THE CANADIAN PRESS
|Canucks use chair on ice at practice
There was something different about yesterday’s practice, as the Canadian Press describes in curiosity.
“A chair came out of the stands to take a couple of shifts during the Vancouver Canucks practice Tuesday.”
“During a drill, the chair was placed about four metres inside the blue-line,” said the Canadian Press. “The idea was for the Canuck defencemen to keep their heads up, try to shoot around the obstacle, and get some pucks on net. “
"I don't think I've seen that one," said defenceman Aaron Miller, a 13-year veteran. "I really wanted to hit it."
"I skated with a chair once when I was five," Roberto Luongo said.
The Canadian Press said, “Miller understood what the coaches wanted.”
"We have to work on getting our shots through," he said. "We've had too many shots blocks.
"Those are the measures the coaches are taking. I guess every little tool you can use to try and make yourself better is fine with me."
Coach Alain Vigneault was asked if the chair experiment was a success.
"I'll tell you after the next game," he grinned. "That, like other areas of our game, we need to improve on and get better."
|Isbister wants to prove he’s worthy
Jason Botchford takes notice of the Canuck trend for the search of the top-six forwards.
Botchford said, “Following failures by Ryan Shannon, Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond to hold on to a top-six forward spot with the Canucks, Brad Isbister appears to be next in line to step into the slot that is fast becoming Vancouver's no man's land.”
“For the Canucks, it's yet another cheap experiment in their on-going, and seemingly never-ending, effort to find a consistent scoring threat up front.,” Botchford said.
“For Isbister, 30, it could be a chance to shake the underachiever label, stay out of the press box and reclaim a career that has been on a downward trend since he scored 22 goals eight years ago.”
"I think he has been improving," head coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's a little bit like our team. You see flashes of a really good, skating power forward who goes to the net, gets the puck out. He needs to put it all together, just like we need to put it all together.”
"Obviously, coaches want the same player night-in and night-out and that's what I'm going to try and do," Isbister said.
|Whiz Kids all done for now
With the prospects slowly fading from the picture, Jason Botchford writes that at least one of them will be back.
“On Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks sent [Mason] Raymond down to Manitoba to get some playing time and how long he stays there depends on his success,” Botchford said.
“Raymond did not make it in time to play with the Moose in their game Tuesday, but he is expected to be in the lineup tonight.”
Botchford notes, “If he does well, there's a slight chance the Canucks could recall him for their game Friday against Los Angeles.”
"We'll see how he plays," GM Dave Nonis said.
"We don't want long stretches where he doesn't play. Potentially, he could fit in overall this year [with the Canucks], but it's too early to say. We don't want him just watching."
"[Ryan Shannon and Raymond] have a lot of talent and a lot of upside," coach Alain Vigneault said. "They bring us a different dimension. But when those two guys are in the lineup at the same time, we're an easier group to play against.
"With [Brendan] Morrison not being a big, physical presence and the [Sedin] twins not being big physical players either, [having Raymond and Shannon in the lineup] might not be the identity we're looking for."
|Tale of the tape clears Cooke
Though most penalities are ‘booed’ at, there is one that deserved that ‘boo’. Jason Botchford describes Cooke’s unnecessary penalty.
“Cooke received a misconduct penalty when it was somehow ruled he came off the bench to join an altercation in the waning seconds of Monday's game against San Jose,” said Botchford.
“It's an infraction that has often been followed by a 10-game suspension in the past.”
“But the NHL took it all back after reviewing the tape Tuesday, realizing Cooke was on the ice when the fracas started.”