A commonly held belief is that Canadians outside of British Columbia hate the Canucks. The Toronto Stars’ Damien Cox took to Twitter on Wednesday to call them “divers and fakers” and said that’s why the “rest of country hates ’em.” The Los Angeles Kings’ official twitter made reference to that belief. After earning a 4-2 win over Vancouver in Game 1, the Kings tweeted, “To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you’re welcome.”
As you might imaging, Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider doesn’t feel these attacks on the Canucks are warranted.
“What’s frustrating to us is when the national media and people outside the city parachute in and form these opinions,” Schneider said. “They take things for facts that aren’t really facts. If you talk to us and spend any time with us, you understand we’re good guys.”
Schneider went on to explain that the Canucks are hated because they’re a good team and it simply comes with the territory. He then added, “Nobody cares about Edmonton so nobody hates them. It’s that simple.”
I guess taking a swipe at the Oilers is a good way to show that your team is full of misunderstood “good guys.” That aside, Schneider has a point to an extent. There are people who will be envious and even angry if a team outside their city is excels. We tend to like seeing the underdogs overcome the odds if we don’t regard the favorites as our team. Still, that’s not always the case and there are good teams that are also well liked.
As for the Oilers, well, given that they are scheduled to pick first overall for the third straight year and with the core they’re building, they should be a pretty strong team in a few seasons. At that point, we’ll see if people give them the Canucks treatment.
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.
Read more about his rise here.
In his fifth NHL game, intriguing Washington Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana scored his first NHL goal (and point).
Let’s be honest, though; Evgeny Kuznetsov deserves plenty of the credit, as he sent a fantastic pass for Vrana’s tap-in tally.
See it for yourself:
Even if that was mostly Kuznetsov, Vrana has been getting his chances so far.
He generated four shots on goal in two separate occasions so far in his four games of NHL action, so maybe he was due for a chance like this.
Considering he’s just 20 years old, the Capitals could get used to Kuznetsov to Vrana.
Update: The Capitals won 4-1, and Vrana’s first goal wasn’t the only noteworthy “first.” After piling on shots, John Carlson finally scored his first goal of the season:
No one’s going to confuse Dmitry Kulikov with Jack Eichel, but the Buffalo Sabres are likely happy to have him back after a long absence, too.
The Sabres have been on an upward trend lately (5-2-2 in their last nine games), and now they get a key defenseman back against the Washington Capitals on Friday night.
Kulikov last played on Nov. 9 and hasn’t recorded a point in 12 games, making for a tough start to his stint with the Sabres. Maybe he’ll begin to get a little more traction with his new team tonight?
He’s far from the only returning Buffalo player, either, as Josh Gorges and Nicolas Deslauriers are also back in the mix. Kulikov is slated to be on the Sabres’ second pairing with Cody Franson.
Buffalo sent Brendan Guhle to the AHL to make room for these tweaks.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without captain Nick Foligno because of an illness on Friday, opening up an opportunity for interesting prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand.
The team tweeted out his linemates as Matt Calvert and Lukas Sedlak as a solid fourth line facing the Detroit Red Wings.
He failed to generate much (zero points, two shots on goal) in three games so far with Columbus this season, receiving about 25 minutes of ice time over that span.
With eight goals and 12 points in 19 AHL games so far in 2016-17, there’s the thought that he could eventually make the next step to becoming a decent contributor for the Blue Jackets.
Perhaps this will constitute his first real step in that direction?
Apparently this is a pretty abrupt situation for the 21-year-old: