Thursday, April 30, 2009

Canucks recall...Jeff Cowan?

Jeff Cowan is on his way back to Vancouver. Do people even know that he still plays for Vancouver? I didn't. He was recalled this morning from Peoria of the AHL to the Canucks. What does this mean? Nothing really. His team was eliminated from the from the playoffs 2 days ago, and the Manitoba Moose are just about to start their second round of the AHL playoffs.

Guest Post at Cycle Like the Sedins: Round 2

Your Vancity Canuck is again writing on Cycle Like the Sedins' mini-blog for the Canucks vs. Blackhawks series. James O'Brien of CLS has invited me to be part of his awesome mini-blogs and has let me ramble on again about the Canucks.

This series will again have a blogger from other team, so this time round, Clare, from All Hawks Hockey will be also posting. I will again try to cross post, or at least update you with the links. If you have any suggestions or want to submit something send me an e-mail. I'll be a little late with my initial postings, and the postings after the home games, because I'm freakin going to them! (well except for Game 1, but rdizzle will be there). Wooooo!

So check out the CLS mini-blog here: Canucks vs. Blackhawks or on the blog list on the right.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NBC get's their dream match-up

In case you gave up watching the East because the West finished last night, there were two game 7's on tonight. You might have missed a few things:

The Caps WON over the Rangers. That's right, Fedorov gets his first goal in the playoffs with less than 5 minutes left in the 3rd period to break the 1-1 tie that held through much of the game. They were trailing 3-1 in the series, and game back and won game 7. For Caps fans, you gotta be happy this game didn't turn out like last year. It was pointed out that Varlamov now wants his name to be pronounced "Var-LOM-ov" instead of how the commentators have been pronouncing it.

Tucked away on TSN2:

New Jersey fans can't believe it. What a collapse of the Devils in those last 2 minutes....Brodeur well...tomorrow he will wake up thinking that Bettman engineered this marketing genius:

NBC presents:
Washington Caps vs. Pittsburgh Penguins!

With the upset of the cardiac Canes over the Devils, the Pens will now play the Caps. I cannot wait for the photoshops and the jobbing to come out of The Pensblog (the original, not the pansy version). The first game starts on Thursday Saturday on NBC at 1pm ET (10am PT).

Bettman is I'm sure very please with how this turned out, hello casual fans! Have you heard of Ovechkin or Crosby?

Round 2: Canucks v. Blackhawks Schedule

Game 1 will be Thursday. 6pm start time.

I don't have the full schedule yet, I will update once I see the dates.

UPDATED: It appears broadcasters wanted earlier start times, say 4pm for people Toronto. The Canucks told them to shove it.

Full Schedule:
Game 1: Thurs April 30 - in Vancouver – 6pm PT
Game 2: Sat May 2 - in Vancouver - 6pm PT
Game 3: Tues May 5 - @ Chicago - 5pm PT
Game 4: Thurs May 7 - @ Chicago - 5pm PT
*Game 5: Sat May 9 - in Vancouver - 7:30pm PT
*Game 6: Mon May 11 - @ Chicago - 6pm PT
*Game 7: Thurs May 14 - in Vancouver - TBD
*if necessary

All games are broadcast on CBC and Versus.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sharks lose, Chicago wins....and the Canucks have an opponent

After a 4-1 win over the Flames, the Blackhawks win the series. The Sharks can't beat the Ducks and lose 4-1.

Round 2: Canucks vs. Blackhawks

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Too long of a break?

You know this is going to be a tough week for the Vancouver sports media and fans. The earliest game for the Canucks vs. X opponent will be Friday or Saturday. These past few days have been pretty hard, it's like being in Canuck withdrawl. As we have never swept a 7 game series, we've never had to feel this waiting before. We could ask Detroit fans how it feels like, but I have never met many of them that I actually like.

The Canucks media will have another few days to write stories about nothing. Don't you find they have been doing that over the past few days? Want some examples?

-Gallagher has starting talking about the salary cap and the Sedins' contract. Hate to break it to Mr. Negativity, but he'll have plenty of time to talk about salary caps and contracts in June.

-Botchford wrote about Luongo's puck handling. In the article Kevin Bieksa says: "He's good at playing the puck." Luongo isn't awful at handling the puck, but he ain't great. Turco or Brodeur is good at playing the puck, if given the choice, I would prefer Luongo to stay in the crease, not become the extra D man.

-Sundin doesn't know if he will be ready to play game 1. Hopefully he can decide if he is ready in the next 5 days, this time he has a time limit rather than taking say....6 months?

-Ed Willes posts THIS article about media and Luongo. With excerpts of:

"That's a good question. But before I answer it, I want to talk about something that's been bothering me; something you guys have missed. First off, let me say Roberto Luongo is not an embellisher. I'm not going to name names, like Miikka Kiprusoff, but Roberto would never put on an act. That's why I think what's been going on is a disgrace. The league has said it will protect the goalies but they're treating Roberto like a human piƱata out there. He won't say anything, of course. That's why I'm bringing it up."
*may not have been actually said

Ed, the Vancouver fans can't figure out when you media type are joking. They couldn't figure it out when the Kurtenblog posted THIS in the Province either.

So as you can see from the above examples, this week will be a hard one on the media for coming up with new stories.

They will have some opponent analysis depending on how the San Jose/Anaheim game goes tomorrow, if Anaheim and Calgary wins, the poll questions can switch to, who do you want to play more Chicago or Calgary? If both Anaheim and Chicago wins tomorrow everything in the West will be wrapped up and we can move onto the pre-series analysis.

Random hockey related stories:
-A Flyers draft pick is charged with killing referee and burying body. Of all the NHL teams this guy was drafted through, it had to be the Flyers.
-Want to see what a broken finger looks like? Matt Walker blocked a shot during the game on Saturday night, check out the reaction from the fans behind the bench when he took off his gloves.

Ranger letter to Gary Bettman

So now that the Canucks are on a ridiculously long break, I have had the chance to catch up on things, like, um life. This morning I watched the Caps win and push the Caps/Rangers series to 7 games. Can they come back from being down 3-1 in the series? Or will they lose like they did last year to the Flyers in overtime?

Regardless, Tuesday night's game will be a watcher. In case you missed it, Tortorella was suspended for squirting a fan with water, then throwing the bottle at the fan. If you want a video of it, click here or here (the second one doesn't have sound, just a replay of the bottle going over the glass). So Tortorella got suspended for game 6, and the Caps won but ESPN posted a letter than the Glen Sather from Rangers organization sent to Gary Bettman, it's worth a read.

Dear Gary:
In addition to your suspension of Coach Tortorella for his actions during last night's game, we respectfully request that you consider appropriate discipline in light of Washington's gross negligence in ensuring the safety of the personnel on the Rangers' bench, including Coach Tortorella, in the face of the Rangers' repeated requests for intervention against egregious fan misconduct during Game 5. As importantly, we would like the League's intervention to ensure that there are adequate security measures in place to protect our personnel in the event there is a Game 7 in Washington.

Neither the NHL nor either team has had the opportunity to conduct a full investigation or to interview all witnesses but the television coverage and the statements made by Rangers bench personnel make clear that Washington utterly failed in its security obligations to the Rangers, not to mention its own fans. The tension was evident from before the opening face-off. Throughout the game, several people seated immediately behind the visitors' bench took advantage of the looseness of the glass panels and the unusually wide gaps between the panels to assault the Rangers with some of the most obscene language imaginable.

Because of the way the glass is installed, the patron sitting behind Coach Tortorella (the gray-haired, bearded man in the white T-Shirt) could literally scream into the coach's ear. According to Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay, one patron was screaming at the team, in graphic language, about whether Dan Girardi and Marc Staal have a sexual relationship. This was within earshot of several children seated nearby. Several other fans also made repeated homophobic remarks. Moreover, Mr. Ramsay reported that he and other bench personnel were spit on by one or more "fans" as they yelled through the gaps in the glass.

Your statement tonight referred to alerting security. In the first period, Mr. Ramsay warned the security guard stationed on the nearest stairwell (a large African-American man) that the situation was unacceptable and was likely to get ugly. No action was taken. The misconduct continued. In the second period, Mr. Ramsay warned a female security supervisor that some fans were out of control and that he was concerned that something unfortunate was going to happen. Although this supervisor was equipped with a radio, she apparently took no action, because the same fans were in their seats when the team returned to the bench for the third period. According to press accounts, no fans were ever ejected or permanently removed from their seats.

Washington's failure to respond to what its personnel knew -- and were specifically warned -- was a potentially dangerous situation contributed significantly to this unfortunate incident. Accordingly, we respectfully request that you consider imposing appropriate discipline on Washington for its knowing failure to protect the Rangers and prevent the situation from deteriorating into an incident that reflects badly on all of us. In addition, we must immediately discuss how Washington is going to handle security for any Game 7. Neither the Rangers nor the well-behaved Capitals fans should be forced to endure the extraordinary level of fan misconduct that Washington failed to prevent in Game 5.

Thank you for your consideration.


Great goals...

These videos came up in conversation last night and Rdizzle hasn't seen them yet. The first one is Ovechkin's goal from game 5. The second one is Kyle Wellwood's goal.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Around the NHL and World Hockey

1. The Ducks can win the series tonight! They are up 3-1 over the Sharks, and the last game of the Sharks Fear the Fin thinks a win would be peachy. So does the friend I gave a Black Armour jersey to....but as a Canucks fan, an Anaheim win tonight means two things:
1a. Canucks will have home ice advantage
1b. Canucks DON'T have to play detroit, yet
So, for tonight, go Ducks!

2. Pittsburgh can end the series against the Flyers this afternoon. They just need Fleury be better than Biron, the Pens lead series 3-2. Watch the game and play the drinking game.

3. Stamkos got two goals against Belarus at the IIHF World Championships. Canada won 6-1 in their first game. The Belarusian head coach, Glen Hanlon is from Vancouver and used to play in goal for the Canucks. Notably, Hanlon allowed Gretzky's first NHL goal.

4. Canada will play Hungary next in the IIHF Worlds tomorrow, it's on TSN at 1:30pm PT. Watch it (it's tape delayed so don't check the score before). The Hungarians are a huge underdog, haven't play at the World level since 1939, they have now gotten back to the top 16 in the world. This game will be something like 12-0, clearly for the Canadians. I've facebooked all of my hungarian relatives of that prediction.

Interesting note: The hungarian team has only 2 drafted players, goalie Levente Szuper and forward Janos Vas. They have a lawyer and a phys ed teacher playing for them like it's drop in hockey.

"This is like their Stanley Cup,'' explained Hungarian coach Pat Cortina, who was born and raised in Montreal. "This is the hockey Mecca for them. Just the type of building and the way the players are treated in the `A' pool is so important. They don't have conditions like this too often.''

"This is like their Stanley Cup,'' explained Hungarian coach Pat Cortina, who was born and raised in Montreal. "This is the hockey Mecca for them. Just the type of building and the way the players are treated in the `A' pool is so important. They don't have conditions like this too often.''
-from CTV Olympics

5. Chris Mason will be in goal for Canada when they play Hungary tomorrow. "Mason didn't even have time to do an exit interview with Blues coach Andy Murray before he was on a plane to Switzerland to answer the call of his country. He simply loves putting on the Maple Leaf" -CTV Olympics.

Statement from Pyatt

Yesterday Pyatt returned to the team and issued this statement:

“I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and the entire Canucks organization for their tremendous compassion and support during this very difficult time for myself, my family and the entire Bragnalo family. I would also like to thank the passionate fans of the Canucks for their support and the media who have given us the respect and time to grieve in private. I loved Carly very much. My family and I will forever miss her. At this difficult time for our families it is my wish to not speak about our loss publically. Thank you.”

More from the Brad Zeimer of the Vancouver Sun or Jim Jameison of The Province.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Google Similar Images

Check out Down Goes Brown's google similar images post. It will be one of the funniest things you'll read today.

If you like hockey violence, and we all do, check out the KB's poll for the Best Hits from the 2009 Playoffs (thus far)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Post series links and stuff..

“Overtime, boys. This is where legends are born.”That's what Burrows said to the team in the dressing room before overtime, where he scored the game winner.

-He also dedicated the game winner to Luc Bourdon with Bourdon's bow and arrow celebration.

-Alex Burrows has a 'facebook page'. Freakin hilarious. Best line:
He recently became friends with a Kelly Backes, prompting a hostile reaction from the Blues' David Backes. His latest status update, sometime last night, simply says, "WOOOOOOOOO!!"

-Gallagher is already fearful of too much rest for Luongo. Seriously? It's been the first day and we are already worrying about too much rest?

-Vigneault expects with the break that Salo and Sundin will ready to play the next series. AV is also talking with Pyatt, but no time frame for the return yet.

-The Vancouver Sun is asking you to grade the Canucks. But really, skip the trouble and just read the Kurtenblog's grade of the game instead. It mentions Shane O'Brien's Lady Gaga dance. Please, somebody find me a video of that dance. If this requires me to go to the Roxy, so be it.

-For some shameless self promotion, please click to check out the Cycle Like the Sedins page which is about your Vancity Canuck.

Canucks-Blues Series Wrap Up

*As posted on Cycle Like the Sedins: St. Louis-Vancouver*

At the end of the series comes the handshake, so from a Canuck fan to St. Louis fans, here is mine.

Until Easter Sunday I had no idea who the Canucks were going to play. For the longest time, the newspapers were debating if it was better to play Columbus or Chicago. St. Louis was a surprise. The surge in the second half of the season was impressive. The threat of playing a team with quick young skaters and a killer PP was not something I looked forward to.

Even though we won, I am still impressed by the young Blues team. Your team, much like LA, will soon be teams in the West that I think, will be a force to reckon with. Your team played game 4 so aggressively that it had me digging my nails into my palms throughout the 3rd period and overtime. The number of times I cursed McDonald throughout this series shows how good of a player he was.

It was awesome to see the crowd back at games cheering on the Blues, the fans really brought a great atmosphere to game 3 and 4. I have enjoyed writing with Laura from Wazzupwitchu and admit that she really had better graphics than I did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Canucks SWEEP Series!

Canucks win! Woooo! 1st 7 game sweep in Canucks history!


4 wins down. 12 to go.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Canucks silence the Scottrade Center....Canucks WIN!

*As posted on Cycle Like the Sedins: St. Louis-Vancouver*

St. Louis Blues fans haven't had a playoff game in their stadium in 5 years. They were pumped, great crowd, I expected nothing less out of the fans. Whoever was singing 'O Canada' tried to be fancy, but instead his attempt at being fancy was a FAIL.

Mats Sundin was injured with a lower body injury, and Kariya may have drawn in to the lineup. That would have meant two things:
1. The RPM line/powerplay of the Canucks was going to suffer missing the big body and faceoff wins from Sundin.
2. With Kariya in, the Blues might actually score on a powerplay
None of this happened. Vancouver still won faceoffs and were able to score. Kariya didn't play, and the Blues didn't capitalize on their numerous powerplays.

In the opening few minutes it was a little nerve wracking watching the game. The Blues looked good. Three minutes in, Backes gets a goal and it's the first time the Blues have led a game so far in the series. Ohlund takes an unnecessary penalty that the Canucks kill off. A few minutes later Daniel takes a penalty, then Mitchell gets a double minor. The Blues are on a 5 on 3 but the Canucks look good and also kill that off. It was penalty city for the Canucks with a few more handed out to them in the 1st period. The team escapes down only 1-0.

In the second, Vancouver starts fresh and look like they've adjusted to the St. Louis crowd. The refs during their little pow wow between periods must have decided to call nothing but Blues penalties in the 2nd period. McClement takes a slashing call and just like that Ohlund puts one in. McClement takes another, and Daniel puts it in, 2-1! McDonald finally figures out Luongo and gets a goal to tie up the game 2-2. Crombeen is a bit of a loose cannon tonight and takes three stupid penalties, the last one at the end of the period will start off the Canucks on the powerplay in the 3rd.

The unsung hero of the Canucks, gets his first goal of the series on the powerplay right at the beginning of the period. That's 3 freaking goals on the powerplay! But the refs decide to start calling the Canucks, and the Blues get their second 5 on 3. The Canucks and Luongo would have none of it and just SHUT THEM DOWN. Scottrade Center is relatively quiet for the rest of the period.
Backes takes a cross checking call late in the 3rd and to make it worth his while to go to the box, Backes decides to also get a roughing call. Game Over.

The Blues, who were very good on the powerplay in the regular season (ranked 8th), were not able to capitalize once in the game tonight. They had two 5 on 3's and still no dice. They are now 1 for 17 in the series, which is a little worrisome if you are a Blues fan. Kariya may have helped on the PP, so as a Vancouver fan, I was quite glad he didn't play tonight. Maybe he would ruin the chemistry on the team but if he's healthy for game 4 they may as well give him a shot, because whatever they have right now, isn't working.

Last thought: Ryan Johnson was a beast in the faceoff circle tonight. 11 out of 14.

3 wins down. 13 to go.

Game three...bring it on St. Louis...

*As posted on Cycle Like the Sedins: St. Louis-Vancouver*

37 - 254. Teams that have lost the opening two games in the NHL have gone 37-254. Teams that are up 2-0 on the series have an 87% chance of taking the series. How does that make you feel St. Louis?

I hate to break it to St. Louis fans, but it's time to stop wishing for the Luongo of the Phoenix game. The Luongo that's here now is a whole different beast. He tracks pucks, he fights off guys in his crease and pucks have been sticking to him like velcro. And he's been having a great time doing it.

While doing some reading this morning, Bernie Miklasz is saying:
"The Canucks just happen to employ the world's hottest goaltender at the moment. And they're riding him. Basking in his glory.

Yeah, you only write that stuff when your team can't score and is losing the series. There have been games in the regular season when Luongo wasn't playing like a god, and don't worry the rest of the team knows how to step it up. The Canucks have things to improve on, like tightening up their defence, and cutting down on taking stupid penalties, *cough*, Ohlund. That's what game 3 and 4 will be for.

On the topic of St. Louis writers, I would like to point out to Dan O'Neill (a GOLF columnist) that he should perhaps do a little research before submitting an article. In Vancouver we do not speak french, but if you so feel you want to include a french quote, perhaps you should make sure you are actually writing in french, maybe not say ITALIAN. It's 'Vive le difference' but I guess your mind is already on when the Blues will begin their golf season.

After the bruhaha that ensued at the end of game 2, game 3 should be a fighting affair. No instigator penalty was handed out against Crombeen, so you know Colin Campbell will be watching this game closely. Hopefully the refs will not revert back to their whistle calling ways from game 1.

So to the St. Louis Blues and their fans, bring it on!

Guest Post at Cycle Like the Sedins

Hello everyone. I have made a guest post on Cycle Like the Sedins's playoff coverage site for the St. Louis-Vancouver series. To check out the site click here. Laura is writing for the St. Louis side, and your Vancity Canuck is writing about your home team. I admit, Laura has better graphics than I, but I'm working on that.

Please do check it out. I'll also upload the post on here later today.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shane O'Brien and his sometimes yappy visage...

I missed this until today, but Tony Gallagher, who doesn't often praise people, instead doing a great job criticizing them, wrote this column about Shane O'Brien.

O'Brien has the edge Gillis wanted to see on show with a vengeance in the stunning first period of Game two, the 235-pounder throwing his body around like it was made of iron. In what was probably the finest period he’s ever played, O'Brien made hit after hit on every shift, punishing Blues forwards in what is going to turn into a war of attrition if the Blues can ever get anything past Luongo.

“Other than the two penalties, yeah, it probably was,” said O'Brien when asked if he’d just played the best game of his life despite the fact it was just over 10 minutes of action, only Rick Rypien getting less time. “That first period, that game was the best game I've ever been involved in really. I mean this is my first year here but that really something. The atmosphere was awesome. I mean you have to give it to the fans for that. All year the fans have been good but people have been telling me ‘wait until playoffs, wait until playoffs.’ Well they were right. The noise, just awesome.”

I have been a big fan of O'Brien since his trade from the Tampa to Vancouver. Even with being in AV's doghouse for the penalties and his beaking to the media, I like him on the team. When Gillis didn't trade/have AV bench him after he acquired Vaananen, it showed the management's confidence in him. He's still young and could use some time to mature, but he will be effective in this year's run for the cup.

Trash Talkin'

Maybe like me, you wondered what Kes and Burrows was saying to the Blues during the scrum in Game 1? Well I have the answer. (you may need to turn up the sound a little)

Note: Kelly is Hinote's wife, Amy McCarthy, a playboy model and sister to Jenny McCarthy.

*Correction: Kelly is Backes' wife. H/t to L for pointing out my mistake.

During the morning skate in yesterday, Burrows was asked about the chirping by Jeremy Rutherford of St. Louis Today. His response that it's on youtube:
“It is?” Burrows said. “Oh, that’s not good.”

Other stuff from Rutherford:
Vancouver scribes say that Burrows does his homework on opposing players and tries to get as detailed as possible with his chirping. He once made fun of former Blue Aaron Downey for being a potato farmer growing up. -St. Louis Today

Some Sedin Love

Mirtle has posted a great read about the Sedin's and how they compare to other top forwards. Interesting things of note:
-Daniel and Henrik both finished with 82 points, good enough to be tied for 13th in the NHL during the season.
-Putting aside the limitations of plus-minus for the moment, they also finished 14th and 17th among forwards in that category as well.
-The only players Daniel had fewer even-strength points than this season were Malkin, Ovechkin, Crosby, Parise, Datsyuk and Havlat. Add Iginla to the list for those ahead of Henrik.

He's makes a case for them to be worth the 6.5 each they've been "rumoured" to have asked for. For the full article, click here.

I still think that they have to prove their worth by a long run in this playoffs. So this is your chance Sedins, prove it to me!

Great Save Luongo! Canucks WIN!

The Canucks that Canuck fans have been seeing glimpses of all year showed up again tonight. A team who has been criticized to "playing down" to the level of teams and being streaky, well last night there was none of that.

The first period started much like the game 1. The boys came out throwing their bodies around. It's nice to see both teams make an effort to finish every check. Both teams had a combined 22 hits in the first 10 minutes. The Canucks have adjusted their playing style to the Blues, playing with a bit of a more defensive style to keep speedy young Blues off the scoresheet.

Last game I said that Sundin needs to do more, all season, I've said he needs to do more. Yes he bring leadership to the team, but frankly, I wanted more than just leadership. Tonight he delivered with the huge goal from a centering pass from Demitra in the second period putting the Canucks up by 1. He looked like terminator with that bloody eye.

Burrows' goal showed the hard work that him the Sedins made for that goal. They just never gave up on it, battling for the puck around the crease. Burrows gets a quick pass behind the net, and gets it in off of Mason, and paid a penalty for the goal with a hit from the Blues. Henrik Sedin gets the last goal into an empty net to seal the game.

The Blues' biggest chances came from Andy McDonald, hitting iron three times. By the end of the game I was cursing McDonald, just cursing him, he could have made the game a tie if those went in. But sometimes when you are winning the bounces just go your way.

The story of the night really was Luongo. Man has this guy been on fire. He made 30 saves last night for his first NHL shutout making huge saves. The way he tracked the puck, he looked possessed. AV calls it "Probably one of his best games of the year, " - via Luongo has only let in 5 goals in the last 2 games.

The trip from Bieksa at the end of the game was cheap, but I guess he was trying to set up Game 3 in St. Louis. Crombeen dropped his gloves and came at Bieksa, clearly a scrum would ensue.

-Who would have though that both Wellwood and Mason Raymond would have back to back nights with hits?
-The Blues played better last night than in Game 1, but still no dice
-Andy Murray was, could you say, pissed at the end of the game? What was he going to do? Jump over the glass and fight AV? You could see Tkachuk rolling his eyes and telling him to calm down.
-For all those getting the CBC broadcast, man it's nice to hear Jim Hughson say "Great Save Luongo!"

2 wins down. 14 to go. Bring it on Blues!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Is there too many cheesy/awful Bud Light commercials?

Oh dear god. You know which commercial I'm talking about. There's two versions floating around there. One on the cheesy graphics and one about replays. I can only imagine the anger that commercial will summon by the time the Stanley Cup final series rolls around. I've seen it 12 times now, only 326 more to go.

I'm a little late with a recap, so there will be none. I'm trying to get caught up with life, but there's just SO MANY GAMES! 5 hours a day...glorious.

First of all, please enjoy this rather, well, I'm a little at loss for words to describe this photo of Shane O'Brien and Darcy Hordichuk. Davison and Vaananen also find this moment a little funny.

Few thoughts on the Canucks game
-Kesler was ridiculous - 6 hits, 4 blocked shots, 3 shots on net and lots of hustle
-Clearly too many penalties. There was no flow to the game because of it. Henrik Sedin's offensive-zone hooking know that was gonna be a killer
-Roberto Luongo - great game, best save of the night came on the 5 on 3 PK on McDonald
-Refs calling too many penalties
-Bernier had a great game
-Wellwood made hits! Wooo
-Rick Rypien
-Sundin needs to do more
-the 5 on 3 PK known on as "The Kill" was huge. The Blues had 5 forwards on the PP. If you notice on the PP later, the coach switched to 3 forwards and 2 defencemen, guess he didn't like what he saw from the first period.

Some Links
-KB - Tell's you about the Blues' mascot...and his blue b....
-Nucks Misconduct snipes this prank on Vaananen:
"Ossi Vaananen’s name plate in his locker stall had been replaced with former Canuck Esa Tikkanen. - via Canucks Report"
-PD has a story on how some fans were trying to write in TJ Oshie for mayor. And one actually wrote it on their ballot. And then took a photo of it. And is not in some legal trouble. For real.

Around the NHL
-The Calgary/Chicago game looked a like a regular season game. Did not have the same hustle that the Vancouver or San Jose/Anaheim game has
-the NHL suspended Carcillo for a game for the butt-ended hit on Talbot at the end of the game

1 win down. 15 to go.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Meet the St. Louis Blues

Both teams will bleed blue, but let's meet the young (average age 28.1) Blues team.

The St. Louis Blues were dismantled after the NHL lockout year. Chris Pronger, Mike Sillinger and Doug Weight were all moved. They then only won 21 games that year, finished last in the NHL and missed the playoffs for the first time in 26 years.

The fans reacted. Season ticket holders didn't renew.

The Blues hired HC Andy Murray in 2006 replacing Mike Kitchen. During the span of the 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 season, the Blue only had 3 sold out games.

Now the faces of the franchise are young. TJ Oshie, David Perron, Patrick Berglund and #1 draft pick Erik Johnson (injured). They are taking the same road as the Coyotes and Kings, getting younger and faster.

Meet the D:
Eric Brewer (injured, recovering from reconstructive surgery) and Erik Johnson (injured - due to his right foot getting caught between the accelerator and brake pedal of a golf cart on a team golfing trip in September...) are both out due to injuries. That leaves the following D pairings:
Roman Polak-Barret Jackman
Carlo Colaiacovo-Mike Weaver
Jay McKee-Jeff Woywitka

-If you Canuck fans remember, Mike Weaver used to be a Canuck last year. Not a great one, but he ate up some minutes. Due to all the injuries on their blue line, Weaver has been playing more minutes than expected.
-Carlo Colaiacovo would like for you to buy vowel from his last name. He really does. He got good/non injured once he was traded to the Blues from the Leafs.
-Jeff Woywitka has an awesome name. Just say it. And you spell it just like the way you hear it.
-Roman Polak. Think about it. Have you ever seen an Italian polak? I think not. Someone should tell him he's actually Czech.

Next up, the offence and goaltending.

2 Sleeps to the Playoffs

Only 2 more sleeps until the Canucks face the Blues. On home ice. You and I will learn more about TJ Oshie and Co. than we ever wanted to. It's gonna be 2 days of non-stop playoff predictions. The towels will be back in GM Place. Round 1 Home Game 1. Wednesday.

I found 3 video's that were made by fans. I love videos. Great way to waste time. Especially video's with huge hits and fights to music from requiem for a dream.

Canucks vs. Blues Playoff Schedule

The Playoff Schedule has been released by the NHL:

Game 1: Wed April 15 - @ Vancouver – 7pm PT

Game 2: Fri April 17 - @ Vancouver – 7pm PT
Game 3: Sun April 19- @ St. Louis – 4pm PT
Game 4: Tue April 21- @ St. Louis – 5pm PT
Game 5: Fri April 24- @ Vancouver – 7pm PT
Game 6: Sun April 26- @ St. Louis – 5pm PT
Game 7: Tue April 28- @ Vancouver – 7pm PT

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Is it the Blue Jackets or the Blues (no jackets)?

Good morning Vancouver. It is Easter and your team are the NW division champions. The way they got it against Colorado wasn't the most pretty, and reminded me how much I love to see goals scored instead of those one goal games. But what did winning the title mean? It means that we will have home ice advantage in the first round (and maybe the 2nd if there is an upset for Detroit or San Jose).

This Easter Sunday, the Canucks will be scoreboard watching to see who they will play in the 1st round match-up. With the Anaheim's loss of last night against Phoenix, the Ducks won't be able to jump up to the 6th spot. A collective sigh was made by Canuck fans, because I don't know of anyone who actually wanted to play them.

Who the Canucks will play will be determined on the St. Louis/Colorado game tonight. CBJ lost to Minnesota so it leaves them with 92 points. If the Blues win today, they will tie the Blue Jackets for points. The number of wins they each have is equal at 41 wins each. So the deciding factor comes down to their season series between CBJ and the Blues this year, which the Blues won.

Neither team will be an easy win. The St. Louis Blues have been on a tear coming down the stretch. They will be excited to just be in the playoffs and may play hockey with reckless abandon. The Blue Jackets on the other hand have been a team that has given the Canucks trouble this year.

Either way, it's out of our hands who we will play. Good teams will have to play hard teams in the playoffs, that's what determines who is the better team. Obviously, if the Canucks could just a bye to the cup finals and then play a beat up East tearm that would be awesome. But that's not the case, so bring on the Blue Jackets's or the jacket-less Blues and let the playoffs begin.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Did you ever think you would root for the Oilers?

As a Canuck fan I don’t really have a huge problem with Edmonton, I don’t feel that there’s much of a rivalry. The heated games always comes from the rivalry with Calgary and their vocal fans at GM Place. But as we close out the season, with a win last night, and hopefully a win tomorrow, it’s time now to throw our support behind the Oilers. They play a home at home game with Calgary tonight and tomorrow, and we need Calgary to lose once for the Canucks to take the Northwest Division and have home ice advantage.

Although the Canucks did not fare well in their last afternoon game (Luongo got injured against the Pens), the Canucks have a chance to at least give themselves a shot against the NW division title. So I never though I’d say this, but:


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Video to get you excited for the playoffs

I found a great video that I think will get you excited for the playoffs. Enjoy.

I have also been trying to find a vid of Burrows giving the high fives at the end of the Minny game, but no such luck yet. Instead I give you, Burrows on After Hours. The best part is at 1:10 sec.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Alex Burrows named Masterton nominee

Burrow's got named part of the NW Division nominee's for the 2009 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded each year to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." It's presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association during the NHL awards.

In an interview with Kuzma of The Province, Burrows was throwing credit for his success to Trevor Linden, Roberto Luongo, Willie Mitchell, Ryan Kesler.

He also said "how dedicating the season to his late best friend Luc Bourdon — and being of great support to Bourdon's girlfriend Charlene Ward — has been a driving force."

"He tried to say how thinking of Bourdon before every game and twice having significant two-goal games meant a higher power is at play in all this." - The Province

Congratulations to Burrow's on the nomination.

Taylor Pyatt's fiancee dies in car accident

Though Pyatt should have been celebrating clinching a playoff berth, instead he's flying home to Thunder Bay. His fiancee, Carly Bragnalo, died yesterday in a car accident in Jamaica where she was on holiday. Both 27, they were supposed to be married this summer. The team learned about the news when they arrived at practice today at GM Place.

This is truly a tragic even for the Pyatt and Bragnalo family. Canuck and hockey fans, take a moment to grieve for this tragic loss.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Canucks clinch playoff berth, lose to Ducks

Depending on who you believe, Mirtle said it was official on March 27 and his day job, the Globe and Mail said it was as of tonight, the Canucks have clinched a playoff berth.

After being down 2-nothing in the 1st period, the boys battled back, led the game, then eventually went to a shootout. This game had so many goals it almost made me forget about how much of a yawn the Minnesota game was. That was truly just a terrible game, if this is what the new NHL is all about, I'm all for it. During the summer when Gillis said that Vigneault would coach a more aggressive style of hockey I didn't think it would happen, but it did.

Notes about the game
-Bieksa gets a new career high in points

Bring on the playoffs!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Top of the Northwest Division

Who would have thought, that after that dismal January, our Canucks would be on top of the NW division. After having to watch that awful game against the Minnesota Wild, y'know the one with boring hockey, no shots on net during the 3rd by the Canucks, causing me to think that Rob Faulds was actually funny, we would be here. From here on in, the decision is all in the hands of the Canucks.

I love the buzz in the city. The warm day on Sunday made me feel that playoff fever is about to start (I could not say the same for today. C'mon, snow in April?? Where is global warming??). I wish we could just skip the next couple of games and just start now, but one more huge game, against the Flamers on April 7th...

What is one of the best parts? Oh that the Calgary media is tearing apart the Flames.