It’s time for another round of Ask it to Bulis, wherein two guys who are incredibly smart, handsome, and humble answer your questions about life, the universe, and everything. Unfortunately, no one asked us about those things, so we’re mostly just talking about hockey.
Define losing in game 7: was it more of a gut punch, knee to the lower back, sidekick to the skull, or salo testicle shot? — @damnitjason
HM: None of the above. The options you’ve described are sharp and sudden in the induction of their pain, but none quite captures the long-standing effects of such a disappointment. For me, losing in game 7 is more of a late-night stubbing of one’s little toe: unforeseen, painful as all Hell, and yet . It’s two weeks later and the little toe of my heart continues to throb and my soul-foot is still limping.
DW: I agree that all of the options provided are just too sudden and sharp, but so is Harrison’s alternative. The game 7 experience was much more drawn out: picture the scene in Black Swan where Natalie Portman’s character picks at a hangnail and begins pulling at it, but it won’t rip off, it just keeps pulling more and more skin back, and it hurts like hell, but it won’t break and there’s blood everywhere…then she snaps out of it and it was all just in her head. Except, I can’t snap out of it. There’s just a painful, bloody mess that won’t go away.
Is suffering a SCF defeat like breaking up with a GF? If so, is there a formula for how long we get to mourn? — @The_Old_Firm
HM: Yes, especially in the sense that, the moment it’s over, you immediately look back at how much time you wasted under the delusion that this was the one. The trick to getting over it, too, is a lot like a breakup. In the short term: a Back to the Future marathon and a tub of Neapolitan ice cream. Longer term: tons and tons of sports on the rebound. Convince yourself you could get with the Toronto Blue Jays. Go out with an Edmonton/Winnipeg CFL game. Insist that there’s a subtle poetry to darts.
DW: Then, a few months later, you convince yourself to give her another chance. You had some good times together, right? And you’ve been hearing some good things from your friends: she’s different now, she’s changed. She has better second-line wingers. She promises she’ll never break your heart again. And, like a sucker, you believe her.
Lots of rumours starting to fly re: Bieksa’s status. Do you think he’ll be staying in Vancouver or finding a new home? — @kirkeyj
HM: My gut tells me he’s staying. I tend to follow my gut, especially when it says, Wait to answer this question until after Bieksa is re-signed. Attaboy, gut.
DW: I completely disagree. Wait, what? He’s already re-signed? Man, I’m slow.
Not asking should they or would they, just wanna know: COULD the Canucks move Luongo? Any seriously interested teams? — @RandomWhiteMale
HM: Sure they could, if they lost confidence in him. Every contract is movable. Furthermore, there are plenty of teams that would take Luongo. It’s not like they’re taking a flyer on a guy; he ‘s a two-time Vezina nominee.
But, if they did, it’s going to be a mutual movement and it’s not going to be this year. Truth is, I’m sure the Canucks were just as annoyed with Luongo’s late-postseason flameout as the fans were, but they’re simply not as reactive, and thank God for that. Schneider is still unproven, and Luongo is still a top-flight goaltender with a pretty decent cap hit — an established, Vezina-quality #1. What happens if you ship Funny Bob somewhere else and Schneider can’t handle the load? Then you’re back in the goalie graveyard, a place Luongo so effectively destroyed that the fans in this city now think anybody can be their #1. Ask Philadelphia — who was so desperate for a stud that they paid Ilya Bryzgalov all their money — how difficult finding a trusted starter can be, and how much a sturdy #1 goalie is worth to a team. When you have one, and it’s unclear you have another, you don’t just throw caution to the wind.
More likely is that Schneider gets traded for that winger they need to compliment Ryan Kesler. But, that said, if the Canucks come through this offseason with Cory Schneider still on the roster, expect to see a genuine competition. And if Luongo has another postseason where he succumbs to the emotional drain of the playoffs and bombs out, expect this question to get a lot more play when Schneider needs a new contract.
DW: Luongo’s contract is a far cry from unmovable. With the cap floor being greatly increased, there are plenty of teams that will take on his contract, especially given the fact that he’s one of the best goalies in the league. Should they move him? Hell no. But they could.
Why do people want Ehrhoff to stay in Vancouver? Quite possibly the worst skater in playoffs — @mattthemascot
DW: People want Ehrhoff to stay in Vancouver because their memories last longer than two months. Ehrhoff scored 50 points during the regular season, finishing 7th in the NHL for points from a defenseman. While the playoffs exposed some of his defensive liabilities, it is damnably difficult to replace that kind of scoring from the back end.
HM: I’m with Daniel on this one. I agree that Ehrhoff is an amazingly poor skater… for a 50-point defenseman. But that’s it. On the whole, he’s a fine skater. On the other hand, I’m still on the fence about re-signing him. Here’s why: my problem with Ehrhoff is that I don’t think he compliments Alex Edler all that well. His propensity for roaming forces Edler into a stay-at-home role that underserves him. Worse, they’re both left side guys, so one of them is also playing on his off-side. In short, Ehrhoff can’t be the Bieksa to Edler’s Hamhuis (or vice versa), so a new contract for the German blueliner means a very pricey mismatched pairing.
But, if you let Ehrhoff go, there’s no guarantee that you can find another top-four guy. That’s a lot of scoring to lose, and a partnerless Alex Edler is a much worse potential scenario.
DW: If Ehrhoff leaves, it’s not the end of the world, of course. Sami Salo is more than capable of playing with Edler in the top four and Keith Ballard is still around. Salo and Ballard, together, are capable of scoring 50 points. Still, I think that Gillis does his best to re-sign Ehrhoff for Dan Hamhuis money: somewhere around $4.5 million. With the dearth of quality defensemen on the free agent market, however, Ehrhoff could likely get $5.5 or even $6 million from a team looking for a powerplay quarterback. He’s too one-dimensional to actually be worth that much, which is why you might see Gillis let him go.
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