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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moved!

The Vancity Canuck has now joined the Bloguin family!

I have a new name and new home at: http://www.benchedwhale.com

Don't worry the blog will still be the same as before, except for a site design change and a spiffy banner. I love my new banner...

See you all there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Luongo v. Brodeur

Um, the only place that headline mattered was in Canada. More specifically in Vancouver. Most hockey fans in Canada know Brodeur will be the starting goalie for Team Canada (barring some crazy losing streak or injury). Only delusional Vancouver fans think that Luongo should be the starter instead.

This is no knock on Luongo being a bad goalie, but Brodeur truthfully has the big game experience. He has cups. So when people in Vancouver start discussing who should be the starter, well isn't the answer obvious? Brodeur will be.

This really is only a story because media wants to make it into a story. Media like TSN, they want you to watch the game that they aired tonight, so they set it up to be a battle of the Team Canada goaltenders. Yzerman wasn't even watching.

What was nice about the game: Goals and speed. Even though the Devils choked out most semblance of good fun hockey watching in the neutral zone, the Canucks still prevailed. They were speedy, especially in the 1st. They had goals. They let a few in, took some stupid penalties (I'm looking at your Bieksa) but found a way to come back. Bieksa played like a forward on that rush with Hansen. Loved it.

Luongo will start in net again tomorrow night against Philly. It's PPV, so catch it at a bar on your way home or listen to it on the Team 1040. Let's hope the team brings their feisty game tomorrow and give the Flyers another loss. I hear the Flyers' coach's days are numbered?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This and That: O'Brien, Defensive Defensemen, Brodeur

So the Canucks begin December with a little eastern roadtrip starting off in New Jersey. It begins 15 games in 30 days for the month of December which includes one back to back game (on the road) and one 10:30am PT start time (in Carolina).

Wednesday's game against the Devils will be on TSN, while Thursday's game against the Flyers will be PPV. Strangely enough, two of the Christmas shopping days for ticket holders fall on those days where they have a game. It's kind of lame of the Canucks to make us choose to either watch the game or take a photo with Santa Fin instead.


Anyways, links about Canuck related things:
  • O'Brien should get to play soon, either on Wednesday or Thursday because of the back to back games, with Schneider sitting out the game against the Flyers maybe? AV said to the press that O'Brien needs to play like Douglas Murray of the Sharks "There's a guy who, when he was on the ice, our guys knew it. He was physical, he was hard to play against. He was a guy, who if something happens on the ice you know he's going to be in there and he's going to defend his teammates," -AV to The Province
  • Mirtle put together a list of the top 25 defensive defencemen in the NHL so far (a little past the quarter mark of the season). Christian Ehrhoff and Willie Mitchell come in on that list at #22 and #25 respectively.
  • Brodeur was just named this past week's NHL second star of the week. Tommorrow's game could be great to watch for the goaltending alone. Brodeur and Luongo face each other in net on Wednesday for what is going to be the matchup of the starter and backup for Team Canada (with Fleury taking the 3rd goalie spot) (barring any crazy injuries or terrible play for either player).
  • Even though New Jersey had a coaching change this past summer, don't expect their games to have gotten any more interesting to watch. Their new coach is former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire. Yes, the hated defensive style Minnesota coach. Does this help Brodeur look better in net? Oh maybe. Though what Brodeur has going for him on his resume that Luongo does not is Stanley Cups and lots and lots of playoff experience
  • Brodeur just became an American citizen, actually dual citizen, but don't worry, he'll still play for Team Canada
  • Jeff Vinnick is on the road with the Canucks to capture their Eastern roadtrip, check out his first set of photos here. I love the candid one of the Sedins having lunch (click to enlarge, photo from Canucks.com). Feel free to throw captions in the comments.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pizza Shark Time




People eat pizza, but sharks eat people. Protect your pizza by shaping it like a shark.

Maybe if I shape a pizza like a whale, do you think that gives the Canucks better odds to win tonight? The photo is a screen cap of one of my favorite websites called F-ck Yeah Sharks, if you need some time to waste, do check them out. For your enemy blog needs, check out my friends over at Couchtarts for your Shark needs.

I don't think there is a team that I fear more than the Sharks. I keep up with the Sharks quite a bit since I know the biggest Sharks fan in Vancouver. They win with efficiency, and in a way that is entertaining to watch (not like Detroit). When they lose, then tend to do it in blow out fashion, see last game against Chicago, but then they bounce back and look like they didn't even miss a beat.

Of course, they haven't had success in the postseason, which if you need to make fun of a Sharks fan is your fall back conversation ender.

If I was a hockey player, I think San Jose would be my choice of the team I would play for. They have a great fanbase, great weather, great looking jerseys (love the black armour) and have teal, black and white as their colours. The only thing that they have going against them is that they play the Ducks 6 times a year.

What will happen tonight? Me and Nate were talking last night and could agree that the final score would end up being 4-2, well 3-2 with an open net goal. Nate thinks the Canucks will win and I disagree and think the Sharks will take it (I'm just being a realist here). Last year they took 3 out of the 4 games that we played. Currently the team is the best of a ton of categories: best team in the league, goals, in the top 3 of the PP, the PK and my current favorite fantasy player leads the league in points, Joe Thornton.

This is the first time that Christian Ehrhoff will face his old team. And though I don't think I've written about Ehrhoff yet, I love this guy on our team. Due to this years' weird schedule, after this game, we won't play them again until March, where we will face the Sharks 3 times in the last 24 days of the season.

On the San Jose team, the tandem of Thornton (set up guy) to Heatley (finish man) has been on fire, what a great trade for the Sharks for Heatley. Oh, and Cheechoo has how many goals these days? Yeah. Anyways, I can't wait to see those two play on Team Canada (maybe together?). Patrick Marleau, who was stripped of his C during the summer (it was given to Blake who is currently out on the IR) is having a great year with the lowered amount on pressure on him. The Sharks also have great goaltending, who if you ever get a chance to see, give great interviews on SharksTV. The only thing the Sharks are lacking, to me, is a really good checking line.


Tonight will be a great test for the Canucks, who with Daniel back, are now healthier. Up against a great team, it will show us how good the Canucks really are (or aren't).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meet 2 Young Swedish Prospects..

...that will probably never crack the Canucks roster.


Meet Anton Rodin and Peter Andersson. They also don't have the best interview skills, even when being interviewed in Swedish. Some answers of "Nope" and lots of "Yeah, me too"s in there. Their answer about contact with the Canucks training staff elicited a peculiar answer (see below), it makes me want to know what kind of e-mails Dave Gagner send them, sounds...um a little weird. Elaboration clearly is not their strong point, for their sake, I hope they are better at hockey.

How much contact do you have with the Canucks training staff and do they provide you with tips or advice on how to improve your game?

AR – I usually talk to Inge Hammarstrom because he lives almost where I live and I have also talked to Dave Gagner a few times too.

PA – Dave Gagner has sent me some emails.

This and That: Another Stupid Break

What is with these stupid breaks? Did whoever design this schedule not look what December looks like? One more sleep until the game tomorrow night against the Kings, oh and it's PPV btw.

Since I don't want to write stuff about how Demitra is still not better (though apparently wants to be able to play) or how we haven't taken enough games to OT, so that if we lose we'll still get a pity OT point, which would thus make us look better in the standings, I've decided show you a video that I think you may enjoy:

Miles Fisher's (not Mike Fisher)
music video for his cover of This Must Be The Place. If you have watched American Psycho, you'll love it. If you haven't, go watch the movie, it's priceless.

-The video is NSFW

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mason Raymond Autograph Session

Want Raymond's autograph on a Pharmasave Calender?

Sure you do. He'll be at the Canucks Team Store tomorrow between 4-5pm, click
here for, well not much more than what I have already told you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This and That: Stuff from last week

Yes yes, most of this is old news, but some of you have missed it, so that's why I'm posting this link dump.
  • Down Goal Brown identifies the 10 types of Leaf fans, and how to deal with them
  • Hockey Goal Celebration FAIL:

  • Anaheim fans get in a brawl over Niedermayer's stick

  • Two possible goal of the year possibilities:
Stamkos' Goal:


David Perron's Goal:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Burrows toughs out his injuries

Late story by Botchford on The Province website tonight about how Burrows has been playing through an injury. He was injured by Drew Doughty during the Kings game on October 29th, but since the Moose don't really have any players left to call up, he's been playing through a nagging groin and hip flexor injuries.

This is not an excuse for the lack of scoring or anything, just something interesting to note. With regards to the lack of scoring, well I think to evaluate that we'll have to wait for the return of Daniel Sedin before we start calling out Burr. And while we're on that topic, Daniel's return has been pushed to Sunday against the Blackhawks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Naslund comes out of retirement, will play for Modo

So, the rumor that I wrote about yesterday was true, Naslund will come out of retirement to play with Forsberg. The two have previously played four seasons together for Modo.

Interesting tidbit out of the story on TSN: "According to reports, Naslund and Forsberg have both turned down salaries with the team will play for free"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Forsberg to remain with Modo

Mike Gillis today ended speculation on whether Peter Forsberg would return to the NHL (this season).

From The Province:
"My understanding is Peter is going to stay and play in MoDo and he won't return to the NHL this year," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said. "He made it [the decision] because it's more of a day-to-day thing with his foot as opposed to a situation where he's confident he can play.

"I think it's a tribute to him that he didn't want to put himself in a position where he's taking a roster spot and not being an everyday player on an NHL team."

Rumor has it that Naslund might come out of retirement to play with Forsberg as they have wanted to play together during the NHL...could this come to fruition? We'll have to wait on and see on this one as it's still a rumor, but they two did have dinner together on Thursday night at the NHLPA's Goals and Dreams program...writing this I suddenly feel more like US Weekly...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Off the Schneid

Last night during the CBC broadcast, Mark Lee said that the Canucks were "off the Schneid" after Schneider scored in the 2nd period. I didn't understand his reference, so I looked it up and am delighted to share the meaning with you.

The basic meaning of phrase means is to end a losing streak'.

In baseball (according to Wikepedia), to get off the schneid is:
To break a scoreless, hitless, or winless streak (i.e., a schneid). According to the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term "schneid" comes to baseball via gin rummy, and in turn comes from German / Yiddish "schneider," one who cuts cloth, i.e., a tailor.

So with that 8-2 win over Colorado, I hope that Vancouver is now off the schneid.

Wellwood - No goals in 17 games

Now that we have a few days off, maybe like 6 whole days without a Canucks game, we have a few days to ponder different topics about the team. You may also call it over analyzing, but I don't like to apply labels to everything, so my first thought will be about Kyle Wellwood and his lack of production.

Kyle Wellwood (C) has had no goals in the 17 games he's played this season. He only has 1 assist.

Let's compare that to...
  • Matt Pettinger LW - 1 goal and 1 assist in 6 games played this season
  • Jannik Hansen RW - 1 goal and 1 assist in 2 games played this season
  • Tanner Glass LW - 2 goals and 1 assist in 17 games played this season
Now, I'm not saying that they are all interchangeable for the same player position, but you gotta think that with 6 more days of rest, Daniel Sedin could come back, and if he does, who will be bumped?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not just Canucks, NW Division Links

Hello readers,

As you know, in the past I have written a few things for Cycle Like the Sedins, and well, I'm back at it again.

Last week was the first week in a brand spankin new series on CLS. James has invited bloggers from around the league to write up weekly links from each Division. So far, there have been contributions from Sens at Land's End for the NE Division and Laura from Wazzupwitchu for the Central Division; the other divisions will be represented soon at this becomes more regular thing with each of the writers (understandably we all have busy lives so we're all trying our best).

I have been representing the NW Division each Thursday morning. Each week I look for posts by bloggers about the NW Division that I feel deserve some attention/love. I try to find something to represent a blogger from each of the 5 teams, it obviously won't always happen, but I try.

So:
  • If you have a blog and have written something that you would like to get featured in my weekly links post, e-mail me at thevancitycanuck [at] gmail.com
  • If you are not a blogger, but have read a story that you think is funny/interesting, also hit me up by e-mail or make a comment on my blog and I'll check it out.
I promise to check out the post, and see if it fits my weekly roundup, even if it doesn't at least I'll check out your blog and keep you in mind for the future. If you have a link for another division, feel free to let me know, and I'll pass your idea along to the blogger in charge of that division.

If you don't have a blog, but would like to try your hand at blogging and would like write something, hit me up by e-mail and I can feature you as a guest post on my blog and link to it through CLS. This would be a great way for people who think that they can write a blog, but haven't tried or are hesitant to get started. It's also very non committal, kinda like a one night stand*

So again, feel free to drop me a line by e-mail at thevancitycanuck [at] gmail.com

*Note: One night stands need not apply. But you can check out my 1st links roundup here, and this week's is here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This and That: Daniel sent home and other links

Have you listened to the Team 1040 recently? There's a commercial for an event at the Kingston Tap House this Friday, where Rick Ball is supposed to eat Pratt's shorts because he lost a bet regarding a return of Printers to the BC Lions or something.

This supposed to be a big deal, but like I said to Kevin, you can't trust the Team 1040 with these advertisements, Rick Ball will probably just back out of this one like Don Taylor backed out of getting a gentle vasectomy.

And on to your Canuck news:
And if you haven't read Down Goes Brown's post on the NHL's top secret flow chart for handing out suspensions...well you haven't lived this week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Raycroft led the lead in GAA, but not anymore

This was before the St. Louis game tonight:


















And this was after the St. Louis game.



















Well it was nice while is lasted, at least it looks like Luongo is back for Thursday night. Too bad when Raycroft gave the quote "Don't get hurt" to The Province today, he should have told himself and the team, "please don't suck tonight", maybe that would have helped.

On a sidenote, fans in Scottrade Center got free big macs from the Blues scoring over 5 goals on the Canucks tonight...Insert Kyle Wellwood joke here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Luongo has the flu? Daniel & Jannik skating again

News from Ben Kuzma is that Luongo missed practice today because he didn't feel well. Here is what Vigneault said:
"He's a little under the weather and stayed back at the hotel," said Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. "He started not feeling well yesterday (Saturday) and we'll see how he's doing tomorrow. If he's not better, we'll fly him later into St. Louis."

It was possible that Luongo could have started as early as Tuesday in St. Louis, but perhaps it will be the Detroit game on Thursday instead.

In other news, Daniel is back skating again with his brother and Burrows. Daniel made a joke about Henrik missing him saying he called "Every night," chuckled Daniel. "He cried himself to sleep."

Jannik Hansen was also out on the ice, but isn't ready to go quite yet. He will need contact practices before being ready to play a game.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shane O'Brien pokes Avery with stick, gets suspended



















You knew it was coming. You knew that Shane was gonna get just for getting involved. You knew that Shane couldn't hold back from getting involved.


But is was great to watch non?


So Shane will miss the 1st game in Minnesota of the 5 game roadtrip that the Canucks have left on.

Sometimes when I see him getting involved I just have to shake my head. I don't want him to end up in AV's doghouse again, but he just can't help himself. He was already sequestered to glue his ass to the bench after taking a double-minor penalty late in the second period. Then, he thought it would be a good idea to poke Avery with his hockey stick from his bench! Aaaaah! And on the video, you see AV having to restrain him from jumping off the bench.

"You never want to be suspended and I don't think it deserves one, but I'll take my punishment," said O'Brien, who won't be eligible to play Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild.

"I got sucked in a little bit. Avery was chirping and he cross-checked me in the first period for no reason.

"He was saying stuff to [Darcy] Hordichuk on the bench before it happened and I just felt that was over the line. I just let my emotions take over. It was a heated point of the game and it was getting a little physical." -The Province

He crossed the line because Avery was saying something about Hordichuck??? Seriously?!?!?!

Oh, it really doesn't stop there. O'Brien was like a quote machine today.

"I know there was part of me that wanted to hop the boards and get in it," said O'Brien. "And I know Hordi did too and Ryp [Rick Rypien] was licking his chops. But you've got to be controlled."-The Province

I just keep picturing Rypien licking his chops, can you?

Anyways, the Rangers have been fined $10 000 and Dane Byers (who picked a fight with Tanner Glass in the last 5 minutes of the game) has been suspended 1 game as well.

Video of Canucks v. Rangers scrum

I was gleeing with excitement over Bieksa being a forward, he makes a feisty one...but this video has angry Bieksa also...and I love angry Bieksa.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Canucks sign Pettinger



















The Canucks have realized that Aaron Rome, who is still fights for a defensive spot on the roster, is even less of a winger. So the Canucks have gone out and signed Matt Pettinger to a 1 year, two way contract for the league minimum of $500 000.


Now, let's remember that Pettinger is really not a good winger, in fact during his time in Vancouver, he was a pretty unspectacular, we eventually lost him to Tampa Bay last year through waivers. The
Kuz says it best: "He is best known for accomplishing little when acquired in a trade for Matt Cooke on Feb. 26, 2008" Pettinger is just an average winger who is getting to be old by NHL standards (he's 29), thus there weren't any offers for contracts this year, not even from Tampa Bay.

Instead of heading to Europe, he elected to play for the Manitoba Moose and since the Canucks are forwards and being decimated by injuries or needs some time playing in the AHL (Shirokov), Pettinger is expected to play on the 4th line with Hordichuck and Mario Bliznak.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is the NHL celebrity trendy these days?














So, Zac Efron started off little trend when he showed up with his young costar, Charlie Tahan, from The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud at a Canucks game a couple of weeks ago. Click the link for lots of photos. And I know that you are rolling your eyes at the name of Zac Efron, but please read this story by Lainey before you judge him.















And there was photos of Twilight's Taylor Lautner at the Stanley Cup Finals game supporting the Detroit Red Wings. He is from Michigan so I'll let the Detroit supporting slide.



































And then, Taylor Lautner flew out of Vancouver this weekend after finishing up filming Twilight: Eclipse to LA to attend a LA Kings game with Taylor Swift.















And then photos show up of Claire Danes (albeit, she's not very relevant as a celebrity these days) with Hugh Dancy at a Rangers game.


There's tons more sightings from last year, obviously the
Kings' website has a ton of pics, there also some of One Tree Hill's Chad Michael Murray and True Blood favorite, Alexander Skarsgard with Mats Sundin at a Rangers game (while he was still deciding for which team he would play for). Photo from HockeyExpressen.se















So it makes me wonder, is going to an NHL game trendy for young stars these days?


Now it has to be noted that this is different from appearances of say Hillary Duff, Carrie Underwood or Elisha Cuthbert, as they date hockey players. A hockey girlfriend appearance at a game is not really a shocker, cause you are there to support your man.

But the appearances of Zac Efron, T. Lautner and T. Swift show young hollywood attending regular season hockey games to check out the game. I wonder if this will be a continuing trend with these young celebrity powerhouses and if so, who will we see next?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This and That: Kesler, Burkie and the Monster!

So because Tronna fans can't stay up late at night, and they want a 7pm game, CBC has scheduled the Canucks/Leafs game to start at 4pm PST. That's right, the game starts at 4pm. I would advise just to get over the start time, our bitching really won't matter, Toronto will win this round.

This game on Saturday really has no great benefits to the Canucks, besides 2 points. But could you imagine if Vancouver loses?
Can you imagine the Toronto fans then? I don't want to imagine it, so instead, enjoy your news about the Canucks:

Kesler Contract Talk
Kesler's agent spoke to
Kuzma of The Province about the contract that he feels that Kesler deserves to sign. It's gonna be big money, because Kesler is the type of player that is the heart and soul of a great team. In my opinion, Kesler is captain material. If he wasn't in his last year of his contract, I would be saying that he should be the captain instead of Luongo. Overhardt brings up an interesting statistic that the Canucks "won 74.36 per cent of their games (26-10-3) when the twins had less time than Kesler."

Schneider Ready to Go...
...But he's gonna have to wait until Sunday's game against Edmonton before he'll be able to play because of IR regulations.

Burkie acts like a 5 year old
In a phone interview to The Province today, Brian Burke talked about how he wasn't going to make a big deal of the tampering accusations that were made by the Canucks, but in the end, well you know that he is Brian Burke, and he's making a big deal of it. As per usual, Burkie has some gold quotes:
  • “I’m certainly not going to pour any gasoline on a fire that as far as I’m concerned doesn’t exist. When other organizations talk or complain about the Leafs, I ignore it by and large.”
  • “We weren’t copied with any of the correspondence or made aware of it so when all this talking was going on we were mystified, it was like, what are they talking about?” Burke said. “If we were going to bring a tampering charge against a team we would copy the team on it, make them aware of it. That wasn’t done so we were kind of in the dark on this.
  • “If I didn’t see Mike, that wouldn’t be a snub,” Burke said. “In my building, I always go down and talk to the visiting GM, ask him if they need anything. I don’t know what Mike does. If I see him, I’ll say hi to him, but if I don’t see him I wouldn’t consider it a snub. . . . I’m not jumping off a bridge if I don’t see him and I’m not going to order a cake if I do.”
Now the last quote, it's like trying to figure out a girl is trying to say when she says "I'm FINE". Is he trying to guilt trip Gillis into hanging out with him? It's also kinda like when my mom says "Do what YOU think is right". It's just the ultimate guilt trip, you're so damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

The Monster!













"The Monster," Beauchemin said, offering up his best scary voice, albeit with a distinct Quebecois accent. "The Monster!
"-Globe and Mail

My favorite addition to the Leafs this year is definitely Jonas Gustavsson.
Why?
Well he's Swedish, his name is Jonas, and his nickname is The Monster! (with the exclamation mark!).


















Rawr!


Those are three perfectly good reasons to love The Monster!

Reports out of Toronto that say that he
might be ready to go for the Vancouver game on Saturday afternoon. It's not likely, but it would be nice because Mirtle saying that Schenner might be a healthy scratch, and really Schenn and Gustavsson are the only two things that I like about the Leafs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grabner gets his first NHL goal!














Squee!!!


If I didn't have 3/4 of a pumpkin pie in my fridge I would be so on making the kaiserschmarrn right now. But true to my promise, I will be making it to celebrate Grabner's first goal, soon. I'll have to pick another Austrian dessert for goal #2, maybe some Apfelstrudel next?

So this game, was pretty awesome non?

The Canucks get a powerplay goal from Steve Bernier, who if I may say, looks great with his new haircut and physique. More importantly, he was finally able to stuff in a puck from a rebound. The Canucks penalty kill looked pretty good too, keeping Chicago from taking many shots. Then, Mitchell had a fantastic legal open ice hit on Toews, who got smoked. Please enjoy the video:





Then, Kes takes a hit while bringing the puck into the offensive zone, but manages to get the puck to Grabner, who nets his 1st NHL goal! Woooo! Even better that the Moose was there in the crowd to cheer him on! And for the win, Samuelsson with an unassisted goal.

We did also did get some help in the end there by Antti Niemi, who really should have had Samuelsson's shot, but whatever, Hawks lose. Oh, and Luongo looked better, all big in his net and stuff.

Next game: Leafs at 4pm in the m-f-ing afternoon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grabner Called Up












The Canucks announced today that
Michael Grabner has been recalled from Manitoba.

Grabner is 22 and is one of the few hockey products out of Austria. He played in Austria until coming over to the Dub to play for the Spokane Chiefs. He was then selected 14th overall in the 2006 Entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks.


This year, he has had 4 goals in the last 7 periods of play with the Moose, which made a strong case for why he was to be the one called up for Friday night. He took the red-eye here, and found himself practising on the top line with Burrows and Henrik. He was practising on the 2nd powerplay unit with Kes and Wellwood. This is going to be Grabner's NHL debut for the Canucks and there's a lot of pressure on him to prove to the Canucks management and fans that he was a good draft pick as opposed to a bust. It's good to see that he knows what is at stake for him here: "They're great set-up guys and should be a lot of fun to play with. It just up to me to make the most out of it. It's been a long time coming."-The Province

I'm really hoping that he'll do well. In addition to wanting him to be play well to because he is a Canuck, I have another reason that I want him to succeed.

Bear with me here, I'm gonna go off on a tangent, then attempt to tie it in to hockey.

So back in the day, Austria and Hungary used to be one joined together called the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now after WWI, the dual state was dissolved following their military defeat. Anyways, during the dissolution, the empire got chopped up into tiny countries, and their boarders re-drawn. So the effect of the re-drawn boarders, treaties that were drawn up by the Allies (very one-sided) caused devastating political and economic effects on the new countries.

So some of my family is from the different little countries in the former empire, ie. Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and I've had long discussions with them about the impact of the the changes on sport, specifically hockey.
Hockey is an expensive sport. Not only do you have to pay a ton for equipment, but you also have to have the location, ie. rink to be able to play. It is not like football/foci (soccer to you North Americans) where you can play anywhere, no hockey is a sport that required money, and the building to do it in. And those countries didn't have either, money or facilities for sport. That's why you don't see a lot of Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian etc players, because those kids didn't have the opportunity to play hockey growing up, but a lot of them really do love the sport. So for me, it's great to see a young Austrian getting a chance to play in the NHL. It was also awesome to see Hungary make an appearance at the World Cup last year, even though their team was made up of players that also had day jobs. They ended up losing to Canada 9-0, but they were just happy to be there and play.

So, the point to this rambling is to say how proud I am to see young kids like Grabner with talent and a shot at a chance to be in the NHL. It shows how far hockey has come along in places like Austria or Hungary and makes me hopeful for the future of hockey in those countries. So I'll be pulling for Grabner on Friday night hoping that he does well in his Canuck audition and maybe, if he scores, I'll make some Kaiserschmarrn to celebrate.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm pretty shameless...

Here is some shameless cross promotion:

I have wrote a few words for Cycle Like the Sedins' season preview feature called "The Sore Thumb" for the Vancouver Canucks. Click here to read my submission.

I may have spoken too soon when I wrote up my thoughts about the fragility of our team since Salo is now joining Demitra and Schneider on the injury list. Care to agree/disagree with my thoughts?

Tanner Glass love













Glass had been getting some media love these days. First there is was some love from Kuzma of The Province
here, and then yesterday he got some from the Vancouver Sun.

So who is this guy?

Tanner Glass, 25, was born on November 29th 1983 in Craven, Saskatchewan. He was played in the BCHL for Penticton before being dealt to the Nanaimo Clippers. He was then drafted in the 2003 entry draft by the Florida Panthers at 265th overall. He then went on the play for Dartmouth College for 4 years and even earned a History degree while he was there.

“I am a history buff,” explained the 25-year-old Saskatchewan native in the Canucks dressing room following a practice. “I studied the history of imperialism, the Roman Empire, the American Empire. You look back at major things that happened in the world and it’s interesting to see what led up to them and what caused them.” -Vancouver Sun

He then played just 4 games for the Panther's AHL team, the Rochester Americans before being called up to play for the Panthers. He has some injuries to his shoulder in his 2008-2009 season, had surgery back in February and spent much of his time in the AHL, and thus didn't get a qualifying offer from the Panthers.

Here is where the Canucks come in to the story. We offered him a two-way deal worth $500, 000, so he's a nice cheap addition, and so far so good.
He doesn't have a ton of skill, but he works hard, is scrappy and from what I've heard, has a ton of heart and soul.

This and That: Salo's injury,

Still no hockey for another 3 more days...and this madness is apparently due to Gillis' request of less travel for the Canucks...

Now for your Canuck news:
With the reassignment of Desbiens, I think we'll see either Grabner or Shirokov back up to add some offence. As for the defense, I don't think we'll see any call ups since we still are carrying Aaron Rome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Salo Injury Watch: We may have #38

So, as everyone in Canuck nation feared when they saw Salo get in a collision with Jamie Benn during the Dallas game last night, Salo may be yet again injured. This would injury #38 if he misses the next game. But since to this weird scheduling of 1 game in 8 days, Salo still has a few more days of recovery time. If he's not ready to go by Friday for the game against Calgary, it is likely that Aaron Rome will dress, with Shane O'Brien getting more ice time again.

But this was expected non?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This and That: Stuff to keep you busy during the 4 day break






















Classy Montreal fans

No Canucks game until Sunday. Who designed this schedule? There is a perfectly good Friday or Saturday night that just begs for a hockey game. Alas, there is none, but there is an open practice the Canucks are having on Saturday morning, to tide your hockey fix over. You can find tickets on Canucks.com

Your Canuck news:
  • Hodgson has been told to stay off skates for a minimum of a month, maybe more as he deals with his back injury. He will be re-evaluted in Cleveland in 2 weeks and will undergo aggressive physiotherapy.
  • Shirokov has been assigned to the Manitoba Moose. I think this will actually be good for him to keep his play going since the boys will only be playing 1 game in the next 8 days. Gillis said that "He's not being shipped out on his own," added Gillis. "We're aware and want him to understand that this is part of a process and he's in it and we're very confident about him. And I think he knows that, based on our conversations." I think he will get another shot with the Canucks eventually, so let's hope he gets his play back while in Winnipeg.
  • According to Spike TV, Vancouver Canucks fans are 5th on his list of top 10 teams with the most annoying fans. Hate to break it to the writer, but has he not met a Leaf fan before?
  • Superfan Michael BublĂ© is interviewed by the Vancouver Sun and when asked about playing at MSG: “Madison Square Garden . . . it was a really wonderful night . . . [but] I kept looking up and seeing that stupid Stanley Cup banner, and all I could think was, f--- you.” Fantastic. Love Michael BublĂ©. He has a new cd out too, called Crazy Love.
And for your viewing pleasure, it's Rypien vs. the slow giant, USS Hall Gill

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Canuck questions on the Team Marketing Report Fan Cost Index

The new Team Marketing Report is out, which ranks, as the words of PD said "average cost for an obese, materialistic family of four to attend a game". The full pdf can be found here.





The prices for the Canadian teams have been adjusted to US dollars and the previous' years pricing to the current exchange rate.

Now if you can squint, no wait, look below, and look at the Pct. change in the Canucks average ticket for this year compared to last:










Are they are claiming that the ticket price for the Canucks have DROPPED 5.8% this year? Because I'm pretty sure they didn't. Back in March I wrote about how the Canucks are raising the ticket prices to 55% of the tickets, not dropping them. The only thing I can think that happened in their calculation is that in the adjusted of the price for last years tickets according to the value of the Canadian dollar last year vs. this years tickets, something was calculated incorrectly, or the value was compared incorrectly. Any thoughts?

In the end, while this report may be better for comparing the cost going to see US based teams against each other, I can't trust the dollar conversions for the Canadian teams.

Toronto fined for Wilson's comments, but cleared for tampering

Toronto got a slap on the wrist today. In a media release today, Bill Daly issued a statement that said that said that Ron Wilson's comments during the summer about the Leafs' interest in the Sedins prior to their contract being up, violated provisions of NHL by-law 15. The Leafs organization is being fined for his actions.

Though, the NHL has cleared Burke of statements that he made while on Leafs TV. Gillis pursued the NHL to look in to the matter for possible violation of the NHL's tampering rules.

An excerpt from the statement:

"That while unfortunate and inappropriate, the inclusion of a brief reference to the names of a pair of current Vancouver Canucks players in a television segment that aired once on Leafs TV last week did not constitute a tampering offense under League rules, and that no League action will be taken, or League sanction imposed on the Maple Leafs' organization as a result.

The Maple Leafs have been advised that the League likely would impose discipline for any future inappropriate conduct on their part that may cause, or may reasonably be perceived to cause, damage to the Canucks' franchise, or its relationship with its existing players and/or employees."

So the Leafs got away with a warning from the NHL about future conduct. If we know what Brian Burke is like, this issue will come up again. But since the Leafs have deep pockets, if all the team will endure is a fine, will this really stop Burke at a future press conference or media interview?

Bieksa is a Daddy!

Bieksa's wife Katie gave birth to a their second child, a baby girl named Reese today. He will play tonight if he's up for it, but since Cole is will be turning 2 at the end of the month, you can bet he's had no sleep. Hopefully he'll get the night off to enjoy the moment with the new addition to the family.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This & That: Salo missing from practice, Tanner Glass in for Shirokov

*Updated*
Canuck news from today:

  • Clearly somebody gave Salo a high five or something because he missed practice today. No official word from the Canucks on whether he's injured, he was just absent from practice.
  • After losing 3 straight games, Coach V is making a lineup change with Tanner Glass in for Shirokov on the 3rd line with Wellwood and Bernier. Mason Raymond, who was one of the best Canucks last game, is getting a promotion to the second line. I hope Shirokov takes the game off to regroup and then have a strong game if he gets another chance. Tanner Glass likes to bring energy to the line as well as liking to drop the fisticuffs to protect his teammates...kinda like another Rypien.
  • Bob McKenzie didn't like the hit on Jared Boll by Hordichuk last game. Lame how he keeps writing pussy(cat) throughout this article, which just drops his credibility about the whole arguement. And does TSN think it's less offensive writing it like that? Or did McKenzie have to do that to get through TSN's filter?
Update:
And because in Vancouver, if you couldn't get Olympic tickets and think it's a cool idea to watch the game at Molson Canada Hockey House, tickets are only $500 per day! That's right! $500 per day. But why stop there? You might as well buy yourself a "season pass" for the Olympics for $8500!

And the organizers consider that a steal: "Based on the Superbowl, Formula 1 or the Ryder Cup, we're cheap,". Right.

If you buy tickets, someone should remind you, that you are just watching the game on TV at Hockey House. Those aren't even actual hockey tickets. Though it is catered by Wolfgang Puck (no pun intended) and includes "all-inclusive" drinks. Personally, I'm holding out for the Dutch and their
Heineken House.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Apparently, this was a "must win"

VC: "Look! They're cheering for Raycroft!"

Tempocrew: "Yeah, that's because he actually made a save"


Luongo let in 3 goals on 3 shots. So I guess if you are paying $100+ dollars to watch Luongo not stop goals, you might as well start cheering for something positive, like Raycroft stopping a puck.
Even with Raycroft's puck stopping skills, the Canucks lost 5-3 tonight to the Blue Jackets.



















Jim Jamieson
called this game a "must win". It's game #3, and he's calling this a "must win", which was a bit of a stretch. Though I wouldn't want to turn on the Team 1040 right now to listen to the callers talk how the solution to 3 straight losses is to trade away Luongo, or fire Vigneault, or a combination of both them. Relax, it's only the 3rd game.

Something to celebrate? Sami Salo played his
600th game of his NHL career tonight and in 3 games, he hasn't injured himself (yet). It's taken him a bit longer than others, 10 years in fact for him to hit this point, which may have something to do with the 37 injuries he's had in his career. Just don't congratulate him with a high 5 or something, because you might break his wrist.

Next game: Weds Oct 7th, vs the Montreal midgets

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Night Before Hockey

Happy hockey eve everyone!

Clearly we all know that the Canucks are playing the Flames tomorrow night. Late game for Calgary, with a 7pm PT start. The summer felt so long, but finally hockey is back.

Enemy blog: Check out Kent, who I've met through the CLS re-draft at his blog over at Five Hole Fanatics

Some Canucks stuff:
  • Lukowich cleared waivers, and since the Moose have a plethora of defencemen (apparently), the Canucks are trying to find him a spot to play for the Texas Stars who are lacking defensemen
  • Lawrence Nycholat and Michael Funk also cleared through waivers and are assigned to the Moose.
  • Hodgson got sent back down to Brampton.
  • Henrik gets an A, and as usual, Daniel got a G. But seriously, how did Daniel feel about that? "[Daniel] cried a little bit the first night but it’s alright now,” joked brother Henrik. “It’s a great honor. We’ve got a lot of really great leaders on this team, so a letter doesn’t mean too much.” Sure sure Daniel, don't forget he's also taller and older than you.
  • The Canucks roster is set. Sergei Shirokov, Aaron Rome and Tanner Glass make the team.
  • Bieksa has tweaked his groin, and Rypien has the flu (hopefully not the "flu" he had until March of last year), but they are both expected to play tomorrow night.
  • Sundin finally made it official that he retired.
  • Brian Burke tells Leafs TV that Gillis shopped Burrows, Bieksa and their 1st pick at this years draft for Victor Hedman. Response? There is absolutely no truth to it whatsoever,” Gillis Wednesday from Calgary. “It’s an absolutely preposterous idea."
  • Puck Daddy's staff predict Division winners, and have the NW down to the Canucks or the Flames. ESPN, with the exception of the Mullet, thinks it's going to the Flames, but they think the Vezina is coming down to Luongo or Nabby
Check out DGB's NW Division season preview. He has some great Wellwood and Raycroft bashing in a way that only a Leaf fan could.

Oh, and today the hockey world found out today that that the past few months of the Phoenix Coyotes court case was a complete waste of time.

But to cheer you up and get you excited about tomorrow, watch Rypien destroy Prust:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where are my pants?

I was offended by watching this, well maybe more disgusted than offended? I haven't made up my mind on that one yet. I warn you before watching this, that if you are a girl, you will be too.

Today off of PD, I found the Dallas Stars marketing dept has really sunk low on this one, with the cheesy 80's porn music, the slow closeups...and the "where are my pants?" script writing?

Are they for real? They really did say "Where are my pants?"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Big night for Shirokov in Calgary


Sergei Shirokov is set to play tonight on the top line with Kes and Samuelsson, coming back from a knee sprain that had him out for the past week. This is gonna be a huge night for him. Gillis has already gone on record to the TEAM 1040 saying that "Right now, he hasn't demonstrated anything in my mind that indicates he's ready to play at this level based on this camp". Ouch. At least Gillis isn't being nice to his young hopeful by avoiding the assessment. I like the bluntness from Gillis about Hodgson. And Grabner, although I've been pulling for him, has not been impressive enough to crack the roster.

Shirokov on the other hand, had 2 goals in the 1st game in Terrace (against an AHL roster albeit) and a couple of assists in the 2nd game against San Jose before being sidelined by injury. I don't want to be too excited about his potential, but he could be a good replacement for Demitra, at least while Demitra is out with his shoulder injury (and maybe long term option for the rather expensive contract?).

"He's a smart hockey player and pretty skilled offensively and can find the back of the net."-
Kelser. And we need players like those, the ones that can find the back of the net, unlike the Bernier of last year.

He has 2 back to back games to impress coach V and will face a mostly veteran line-up in Calgary tonight and tomorrow in Edmonton.

Hodgson and Grabner will also play tonight. Hear the game on the TEAM 1040.

Kesler, Bieksa and Hockey Moms

So I've seen the NHL2K10 commercial twice tonight while watching the football game. Not quite sure what to make of it yet. Are they trying to make hockey moms sound like Newfies or people from Chicago? "Welcome to Ha-ckey Night"? Yeauch.

Two of our boys, Kesler and Bieksa, are in the commercial along with Jack Johnson. And our boys look good, non? And Jack Johnson just looks like he's trying to act hardcord like Mike Green, though I kinda like that Kings shirt he's wearing.

Please enjoy some photos from the video shoot (full gallery is here), and you'll find the commercial at the bottom.





















































And now the video:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Canucks News

The Canucks announced a 3 year extension for Coach V today. It was only a couple of months ago that the majority of Vancouver was calling for Vigneault's head to roll, but hey, we have short term memories in this city. If he coaches the whole contract, he will have coached in Van for 7 years straight, though, coaches never ever 'finish' a contract these days do they? We'll see how it plays out in the future, and I can only hope he keeps coaching the boys in the faster more aggressive play like we saw this year.

The Canucks trimmed down their roster today. They sent Yann Sauve back to the QMJHL, and sent Evan Oberg, Taylor Ellington, PC Labrie and Eric Walsky back to Manitoba. Daren Machesney and Travis Ramsy have been released from their PTO (professional tryout contracts) and are going back to Manitoba as well. And not surprising, but the veteran players Ronald Petrovicky and Dave Scatchard have been released from camp with no contract.

And for an injury update, both Schneider and Demitra are going on the long term injury reserve to start the season. Schneider has been skating, but is not been able to have contact yet in practice, Demitra hasn't begun practising yet, and may be sidelined until November. This will give the Canucks a little cap relief at least, but don't you wonder how long it will take before Salo lands on that list as well?

Here is a look into the new Canucks dressing room which is said to cost between 2-3 million dollars. It looks sweet, especially the doors. Yes I like the doors. For a gallery check out this link here, and for an article about it, check out Iain MacIntyre's article here.

And from yesterday's Raise a Reader campaign, here is a pic of Shane O'Brien:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

People at Pre-Season Games

So your Vancity Canuck was at Saturday's pre-season game against the Oilers with R for the first pre-season game at home. During the game, me and R came up with a few thoughts on people that attend pre-season games.

Before I get right into it, I must say that GM Place announced that it was a sell-out, but the people that were there will confirm that the building was clearly not full. Obviously not everyone shows up to the pre-season, hell, I only show because I have tickets and I feel bad letting them go to waste.

Though, for those of you who have them and don't show up, perhaps next time you could just donate your tickets a local children's charity and then feel like you are a good person? It's really easy, all you have to do, if you have a pack (ice pack/half season/full season) is log into your My Canucks Account, then click Forward your tickets to charity. Then, presto! instant good karma. DO IT.

Now, during the various topics of conversation me and R had during the game, the topic of people who show up to pre-season games came up. I personally think there are far too many pre-season games, we should really just have 4, 2 home and 2 away, then right into the regular season.

Every year when you get a pack of tickets from the Canucks, you inevitably get stuck with a few pre-season games, and between the people I share my tickets with, nobody wants to go. We are all gung-ho about picking the tickets for the regular season, (grudgingly getting stuck with the multitude of Minnesota games) and then you get the pre-season tickets. Everyone just sits around being quiet and ho humming until we can take some sucker friend with 25 bucks extra to show up to a worthless pre-season game.

So the people who don't show up are obviously people that have more money than us, and don't mind for their tickets to go to waste while they enjoy their night at home. I haven't achieved that level of financial prosperity to waste tickets yet, even if they are only the pre-season ones.

Then, you get people who pay to go to the pre-season.















People like this guy.

He must have lost some bet.

I hope.

I wouldn't be surprised if the back of the jersey has Pyatt on it.


He was pretty happy about his jersey, and I do thank him for letting me take a photo of him.

So back to the question, who buys tickets to the pre-season? Maybe the same person who would shotgun a mickey of liquor, and then getting promptly kicked out because you are too drunk (so we heard). Or maybe you are like the couple that sat beside us. You might be on a date, drinking beer through a straw and looking like Stifler's mom (no joke). And if you are on a date, clearly the best thing to do, would be to dance every time DJ Dave plays a song, a song like "Get Low" (low, low, low...) by Flo Rida, though please, next time, keep to your own personal space, even if you look like Stifler's mom.

Ugh, preseason people.

So this year, this sucker was me and R.
ps. If that photo is of you and you want it taken down, please send me an e-mail