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    THE DEBATE Hockey Podcast - Episode 245
    True Cup Contenders

THE DEBATE Hockey Podcast

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast – Episode 232 – Canucks Headline Surprises

Brad Burud/Blake Friars November 7, 2023 1

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THE DEBATE Hockey Podcast


Canucks Headline Surprises

Listen to “THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast – Episode 232 – Canucks Headline Surprises ” on Spreaker.

Brad Burud and Blake Friars discuss various topics in the world of hockey, including the surprising success of the Vancouver Canucks, struggles in Edmonton and Ottawa, and recent controversies in the league. They also touch on the retirement of Joe Thornton and the greatest retired NHL players to never win a Stanley Cup.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Vancouver Canucks have been a positive surprise in the NHL, with a strong start to the season and a cohesive team dynamic.
  • The struggles of the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators highlight the importance of team effort and defensive play.
  • The NHL’s decision to penalize the Ottawa Senators with a forfeited first-round pick for a trade violation is controversial and raises questions about the league’s handling of the situation.
  • The tragic incident involving Adam Johnson underscores the need for player safety measures, such as mandatory neck guards.
  • The Carolina Hurricanes’ goaltending situation is uncertain due to injuries, and the team may need to make a move to secure consistent goaltending for the playoffs.


  • “The Canucks are actually good for now, at least.” – Brad Burud
  • “Good offense comes from good defense. If you play good D in your own end, it’s going to translate to offense.” – Blake Friars
  • “The struggles in Edmonton and Ottawa highlight the need for team effort and defensive play.” – Brad Burud
  • “The tragic incident involving Adam Johnson underscores the need for player safety measures.” – Blake Friars
  • “The Carolina Hurricanes may need to make a move to secure consistent goaltending for the playoffs.” – Brad Burud


The Surprising Success of the Vancouver Canucks: A Dream Come True

As a diehard fan of the Vancouver Canucks, I have been through the highs and lows of supporting this team. But this season, something feels different. The Canucks are off to a blazing start, with an 8-2-1 record and 17 points. They are undefeated at home and have been playing with a level of togetherness and buy-in that I haven’t seen in years. It’s a dream come true for fans like me who have been waiting for this moment for a long time.

One of the key factors behind the Canucks’ success has been their goaltending. Thatcher Demko has been outstanding, with a .970 save percentage and two shutouts in four home starts. He has been a rock in net and has given the team a chance to win every night. But it’s not just Demko who has been impressive. Quinn Hughes has continued to develop into a star defenseman, and Elias Pettersson has been lighting up the scoresheet with his incredible skill and playmaking ability.

Another reason for the Canucks’ success has been the addition of key veteran players to complement their young core. General Manager Jim Benning has made some shrewd moves, bringing in players like Carson Soucy, Ian Cole, and Pius Suter to bolster the team’s depth and provide leadership. These additions have paid off, as the Canucks have been getting contributions from all four lines and have been able to roll their lines with confidence.

But it’s not just the on-ice performance that has been impressive. The Canucks have shown a level of buy-in and commitment that I haven’t seen in years. They are playing with a sense of urgency and determination, and it’s clear that they believe in each other and in the system that Head Coach Travis Green has put in place. The team’s penalty killing, power play, and defensive play have all been top-notch, and it’s a testament to the players’ dedication and hard work.

Of course, it’s still early in the season, and there are bound to be ups and downs along the way. The Canucks’ hot start may not be sustainable over the course of an 82-game season, but there is no denying that they are a good team right now. They have the talent, depth, and coaching to compete with the best teams in the league, and it’s an exciting time to be a Canucks fan.

As we look around the league, there have been other early season surprises as well. The New Jersey Devils, led by Jack Hughes, have been off to a strong start and are tied for the league lead in scoring. The Anaheim Ducks, a team that many expected to struggle, have won six straight games and are playing with a level of confidence and skill that is turning heads. And the Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights were both undefeated until this past weekend, showing that they are still among the top teams in the league.

But not all teams have had a positive start to the season. The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, two Canadian teams with high expectations, have struggled out of the gate. The Oilers, in particular, have been a disappointment, with their lack of effort, defensive play, and goaltending all contributing to their poor start. The Flames, on the other hand, have shown some signs of improvement in recent games but still have a long way to go to reach their potential.

Injuries have also been a major storyline early in the season. Jack Hughes, the young star for the Devils, is out with a shoulder injury, and his timeline for return is still uncertain. Adam Fox, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, is also dealing with a knee injury that could keep him out for an extended period. These injuries have a significant impact on their respective teams and will be something to monitor as the season progresses.

Finally, we must address the recent tragedy involving Adam Johnson. The incident was a stark reminder of the dangers that players face on the ice, and it has sparked a debate about player safety and the need for increased protection. While it’s impossible to prevent all injuries, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk. The NHL has already mandated neck guards for players in the Western Hockey League, and it may be time to consider making them mandatory at all levels of the game.

In conclusion, the Vancouver Canucks’ surprising success has been a dream come true for fans like me. They are playing with a level of togetherness and commitment that is inspiring to watch. But they are not the only team making waves early in the season. The Devils, Ducks, Bruins, and Golden Knights have all had strong starts, while the Oilers and Flames have struggled. Injuries and player safety continue to be major storylines, and it’s important for the league to take steps to protect its players. As the season progresses, it will be fascinating to see how these early trends develop and what surprises await us in the coming months.

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Brad Burud/Blake Friars

Brad Burud brings the rock-solid old-school approach to the show. The Minot, North Dakota native grew up playing hockey, and spends his summers on the links. The diehard hockey fan watches tons of hockey and is full of comments and opinions. The Calgary Flames are his favorite team, and he is often accused of having a Western Conference bias. He is also the host of Flames Unfiltered. Brad brings the conservative, old school approach to the show. He is opinionated and hates losing a debate. Blake Friars brings the Canadian approach to the show. The Bienfait, Saskatchewan native grew up playing hockey for 16 years. The goalie is also a long time Roberto Luongo fan and claims the Vancouver Canucks as his favorite team. Rumors and a few photos have him in Oilers jerseys and cheering for the Habs. He denies it but tends to jump on bandwagons quickly. Blake brings the millennial approach to the show. He is candid in his approach and creates numerous laughs and bad predictions.

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