Monday, December 13, 2010

The Dreaded Two-Goal Lead: Cody Hodgson Broke His Face

Canucks news comes fast and furious, and sometimes we find ourselves playing catchup. Thankfully, the Dreaded Two Goal Lead--often called "the worst lead in hockey"--is super easy to come back from. Everybody knows it's a guaranteed death sentence for those that hold it. Well, much like an ice hockey team coming from two goals down, PITB will now effortlessly catch up.

Another day, another reason to panic about Canucks' top prospect Cody Hodgson. Fresh off a string of positive results and reports, the young center's luck took another negative turn when he took a high stick to the face in practice. Things got even worse when it turned out he had a chip and a crack in his orbital bone. And, since it wouldn't be a Cody Hodgson story without a smattering of uncertainty and a vast array of conflicting reports, nobody's sure whether he'll be undergoing a facial surgery that would keep him out long-term or hoping it heals naturally so that he can return to the lineup in two weeks or so, in full face-shield. Word is he's going for the non-surgery option, but if it doesn't heal properly, he'll have to undergo the surgery anyhow, just two weeks delayed. It's complicated. Once again, the situation required a specialist's opinion. Tip to aspiring specialists: befriend Cody Hodgson. He'll call a lot.

You've probably never heard of Darren Archibald, and that's because, like John Wayne, he was never drafted. Archibald's potential probably tops out as a third-line winger, but any time the Canucks get a guy with NHL potential for free, it's tough to complain. Not impossible. Just tough. Archibald, a 20-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, is a 6'3", 195 lb. left winger with his own Hockey Fights page, so you know he's got power forward potential. He's also got 51 goals and 57 assists in 125 games with the OHL's Barrie Colts, so you know he can score a little. Word is that he's a "complete player," which is nice, although that term can also be a nice way to say he isn't particularly good at anything.

We're still waiting for one of Gillis's under-the-radar signings to really pay off, but you can't argue with his Eye of Sauron approach to building the prospect pool. He'll take a potential NHLer from anywhere. But it's also worth noting that the Canucks weren't Archibald's only suitor (Archibalds always have more than one suitor). He chose to come to Vancouver. That's a regular story these days.

Yes, lost in the terror that is Cody Hodgson's latest intriguing ailment was Jordan Schroeder also suffering an injury, after an opponent fell on his ankle 6:47 into the second. He was seen on crutches after the game. The good news? The Canucks' medical staff had crutches on hand (sometimes they're tough to track down when you need them). Things don't appear to be too serious for Schroeder, although he's missed a couple games now and figures to miss a few more. A full report on his injury hasn't been issued yet.

Before Canuck fans panic too much, let's recall that we have other prospects who aren't in the sick bay. In fact, lost in the shuffle of all this doom and gloom is the positive news that Billy Sweatt has actually passed Cody Hodgson in team scoring, and now sits one point behind Sergei Shirokov for the team lead.

That said, the farm is down a few forwards. To help the cause, the Canucks have tried to get big right-winger Guillaume Desbiens through waivers. That said, you have to wonder when and if Desbiens will be back in a Canucks uniform this season. As fourth-line grit goes, he had a bit of a fail when he forgot how to punch, and he didn't accomplish much else while he was here. He's been good to go for a few games but hasn't gotten a start. You have to wonder if the Canucks would risk losing him for nothing if they weren't more okay with the possibility now than at the start of the season.

It's interesting that Desbiens has been healthy, but couldn't get back into the lineup, especially in place of call-up Jonas Andersson. Andersson doesn't require waivers to be sent down, but the Canucks were willing to take their chances with Desbiens. Don't look now, but Jonas Andersson may have quietly won Desbiens' job.


  1. Ahh. Great post. Love the wit. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever enjoyed an injury report as much as this one. Seriously.

  2. "He chose to come to Vancouver. That's a regular story these days."

    I think he more likely chose to go to Winnipeg. Which makes him clinically insane.

  3. Peter Andersson? Don't you mean Jonas?

  4. Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate that you appreciate my late-night writing.

    Thanks, Daniel. I appreciate that you edit my late-night writing.

  5. I thought 2-1 was the worst lead in hockey..

  6. I'd just like to point out that Desbiens didn't understand his role as much as JonasAnderssonKnowsHisRole. Just sayin'.


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