Tag: Joacim Eriksson

Tom Sestito, Luke Gazdic

Video: Canucks, Sestito unravel on Wednesday


The Vancouver Canucks didn’t put up a metaphorical fight in losing to the Anaheim Ducks 9-1 on Wednesday; Joacim Eriksson was probably right in describing the team as “not awake.” For better or worse, Tom Sestito seemed “alert,” though.

One game after racking up an ejection (including 27 penalty minutes) in one second of ice time, he was up to similar antics against the Ducks. He generated 22 penalty minutes in a comparatively robust 8:35 of ice time, thanks in large part to this incident with Tim Jackman and Mathieu Perreault in the third period, which earned him another ejection and another instigator penalty:

It wasn’t his only fight against Jackman tonight, either:

In 45 games this season, Sestito has 152 penalty minutes, easily the highest amount in the league. The 26-year-old’s total towers over Antoine Roussel’s 109 in second place.

The Canucks have been crowing about standing up for themselves lately and John Tortorella stood up for Sestito (and against the instigator) earlier on Wednesday. Here’s part of that quote, which seems especially interesting just hours later:

“We get caught in that, but if Tommy Sestito did that again, I would applaud him …” Tortorella said.

Instead, he provided no explanation to reporters after tonight’s shellacking, as the Vancouver Province reports.

Duck and cover: Anaheim drops team-record 9 goals on Vancouver


The Anaheim Ducks decided it wasn’t enough just to make bigger picture history on Wednesday. They did special things in the moment, itself, as they set a franchise record for goals in a single game by absolutely bombarding the Vancouver Canucks 9-1 tonight.

The larger picture is something else as well, though. They’ve now won 18 of their last 19 games, matching a run that only the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens managed to pull off, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.

The Ducks did so with Ryan Getzlaf returning to the lineup and Jonas Hiller giving way to Frederik Andersen. To little surprise, they chased Eddie Lack from the net and didn’t ease up on Joacim Eriksson, firing a ridiculous 23 shots on goal in the third period despite carrying a 6-1 lead into the final frame.

PHT will stay tuned for interesting/angry/devastated comments from the Canucks, but the team’s Twitter feed itself provided some sardonic highlights. Here are a few for you viewing pleasure:

Yup, it was that kind of night for Vancouver and it’s been that sort of surge for the Ducks.

The Ducks ready themselves for some tough tests as they face the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, but those are road games, so that 20-0-2 regulation mark will remain spotless even if their eight-game winning streak ends.

At this point, it seems foolish to question anything about this run or the team that’s putting it together.


Tom Sestito gets ejected for the second straight game as Vancouver unravels

Bruce Boudreau regrets the blowout

In two years, Gillis has gone from top dog to embattled GM

Mike Gillis

It seems like a long time ago now. But in reality, it’s only been two years since Mike Gillis was named the NHL’s top general manager for helping the Vancouver Canucks capture the Presidents’ Trophy and come within a game of winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

Back then, Gillis was frequently lauded for his progressive ideas. He often referenced Moneyball. He hired a sleep doctor. The Canucks even had something called a mind room.

Gillis also made some pretty adept hockey moves. He got Christian Ehrhoff out of of San Jose for next to nothing. He picked up Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre at the 2011 trade deadline. He signed the likes of Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres and Mikael Samuelsson.

A former agent, Gillis also proved a convincing negotiator, locking up key Canucks like the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler to below-market contracts while getting his core players to buy in to a team-first attitude.

“That’s what we need everybody to do,” said Kesler back in 2009. “If we’re going to win the Cup, we need guys to take pay cuts. The way the salary cap is now, you really can’t get what you’re worth now if you want to win. Everybody in this locker room knows that and for us to be a great team going forward, we’re going to have to take a pay cut.”

That was then. Today, it could be argued that no GM’s stock has fallen more than Gillis’s. Two straight first-round exits and suddenly nobody’s talking about sleep doctors anymore. Instead, it’s the ham-fisted way he handled the Roberto Luongo/Cory Schneider saga, that dumb Keith Ballard trade, and, really, we could go on and on here. So let’s — because on top of all the bad moves he’s made, plenty of people call Gillis a whiner, too. When they’re not calling him arrogant and unwilling to admit a mistake, ever.

“From my perspective … it’s been a terrible season for us,” Gillis said in May after the Canucks were swept by the Sharks. “We’re going to have to reinvent ourselves and do things differently in order to be successful. The macro look at this team is that changes have to be made.”

So out went head coach Alain Vigneault and in came John Tortorella (a hiring, by the way, that many felt had ownership’s fingerprints all over it.)

But despite Gillis’s call for a “reset,” the Canucks’ core remains awfully familiar — the Sedins, Kesler, Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Alex Burrows and Luongo.

Where Gillis can perhaps (or perhaps not) find redemption next season is in the club’s pool of prospects. Because we forgot to mention, he’s also been lambasted for his draft record and for trading Cody Hodgson to Buffalo for Zack Kassian.

If Kassian can realize his potential….if draft picks Brendan Gaunce, Bo Horvat, Nicklas Jensen, and/or Frank Corrado can make an impact…if free-agent pickups Kellan Lain and/or Joacim Eriksson pan out…well, if anyone knows sports fans have a short memory, it’s Gillis.

More Canucks day on PHT:

Young guys will be key for Canucks

Agent: KHL teams interested in Tanev

Flyers won’t re-sign Joacim Eriksson, another sign of their confidence in Sergei Bobrovsky

Paul Holmgren

From a short-term perspective, it almost seemed like the Philadelphia Flyers pulled the plug on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky during the 2011 playoffs. After emerging as their No. 1 netminder much earlier than most people expected, head coach Peter Laviolette gave the rookie goalie a short leash in the postseason.

Michael Leighton’s training camp surgery probably pushed Bobrovsky into the spotlight sooner than many in the Flyers organization would have liked, but it seems like the front office is excited about his longer-term future. It seems highly likely that they will go after a veteran (or “proven”) goalie through a trade or free agent signing this summer, but they appear to believe that the Russian stopper has a bright light at the end of his developmental tunnel.

Today provided another bit of evidence of that increasing confidence (and also the unpredictable nature of developing goalies). CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio reports that the Flyers allowed goalie Joacim Eriksson’s signing rights expire this week. This might be stunning news to people who follow prospects closely because Eriksson was once considered the top goalie in the team’s farm system.

It seems like three factors contributed to the decision. The first is the notion that Bobrovsky is the leader of the pack when it comes to being the team’s future No. 1 goalie. The second factor is that Eriksson wasn’t receiving many opportunities to develop overseas. The final bit of reasoning is that the Flyers signed former Minnesota Wild prospect Niko Hovinen last month. Panaccio indicates that the team expects the 6-foot-7 Hovinen to make it to North America sooner than Eriksson, so Hovinen essentially replaced Eriksson in the team’s prospect ranks.

Holmgren said it made no sense to sign Eriksson if they had no place to play him right now. He was not expected to replace either Johan Backlund or Brian Stewart with the AHL Phantoms this season, either.

“Your choice is you sign the guy, give him money and hope he develops,” Holmgren said. “Or you just wait. See what happens if they become free agents. Minnesota drafts Hovinen … it doesn’t happen, he goes back in the draft and nobody drafted him.

“Then this year he became a hot commodity. He started to come on. That’s just the way it is. When you draft kids at 17, sometimes it works out and sometime it doesn’t.”

At the moment, the Flyers don’t own first or second round picks in the 2011 Entry Draft. Panaccio reports that Eriksson (Philadelphia’s seventh round pick in 2008) is eligible to be drafted again, so there’s always the chance the team will bring him back on board with one of their five choices in this year’s draft.

From the draft to free agency and possible trades along the way, it should be an interesting off-season for the often-aggressive Flyers franchise. We’ll keep you informed about their frequently intriguing decisions.