This is Don Lever. He was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks before most of the people reading this blog today were born. He is one of 5 Canucks draft picks to have played 1,000 or more NHL games (Lever, Harold Snepsts, Dave Lowry, Trevor Linden, Adrian Aucoin). Lever is 6th among Canuck picks all time in points (Linden, Vaive, Bure, Nedved, Cam Neely).
Someday, those old timey names will be long forgotten, replaced by Canucks drafted and retained for the heart of their career. Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler.
The Vancouver Canucks are all grown up.
The Canucks have already clinched first overall, so tonight’s game is about staying healthy, not developing any bad habits and rounding out the scoring numbers. Vancouver’s depth chart is pure quality, they seem to have a replacement for any injury (save Malhotra, and even then how many tears can you cry for a team with a Sedin and Kesler at center?). This year’s Canucks are not just historically good compared to their own past, this is one of the deepest teams we’ve seen in years. Quality, depth, few weaknesses and some exceptional strengths. You have to look very closely at the 10-11 Canucks to find flaws. Hodgson isn’t where he should be, that’s about it. Big freaking whoop.
Tonight’s game for the Oilers sees them represented by Wile E. Coyote in the old Roadrunner cartoons. Order any damn thing you want from the Acme Corporation but it isn’t going to end well. I can hear the sound of the Oilers falling from a high perch as we speak and we’re miles from game time.
As an Oilers fan, I’m hopeful Tom Renney will remember the can of Whoopass he’s about to open when the learned men of the Oil are discussing next year’s team. Renney is a smart man, so after enduring this season I’m hopeful we’ll see an outburst in Oilchange that goes something like “listen you clowns, I’m the one the camera points too after these idiots screw up breathing. And remember this, I held my tongue in 82-freaking post game scrums and never ripped you. But if you send me back out there with a cap gun and a prison spoon there’s going to be more hell than a little bit.”
Man, I’d like to see that.
Nation Radio is on at noon today, Team 1260. You can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise to get to as many as possible. Here are the scheduled guests:
- Corey Graham, Oil Kings pbp man. We’ll talk about the Oil Kings, the draft, RNH and WHL bus rides.
- Tom Benjamin, the class of the Canucks blogger world. We’ll talk about the Canucks, the playoffs and what Vancouver fans might do if the town team wins out.
- Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey. We’ll discuss the Oilers 11-12, with special attention paid to summer moves.
- Lorne Molleken from Saskatoon Blades. An absolute force, the Blades are having a tough time with the pesky PA Raiders and we’ll find out why.
- Jim Byers of the OKC Baron (he’s their pbp guy) will explain the playoff situation. Please pay attention.
- Gregg Drinnan from Taking Note. I have some connections in the junior hockey world (don’t get excited, they don’t run anything) and have been told Drinnan’s blog is the industry standard. It’s what the Hockey News was to hockey 35 years ago.