Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.
This looks like it’s gonna hurt
Here’s a photo from Sunday night’s tilt with the New York Islanders in which Roberto Luongo appears to be moments away from taking a puck to the groin, despite repeated pleas for mercy. It makes me laugh.
Nick Mangold loses, Ryan Kesler wins, Canucks For Kids Fund wins as well, presumably
Some of you may remember the minor Twitter feud that sprung up between Ryan Kesler and Nick Mangold back in August, when the New York Jets’ centre expressed an interest in photo bombing and the Canucks’ centre jokingly told him to get his own material. You may also recall that, after a quick round of “Who the Hell are you”, the two men realized they were both rich, powerful athletes and OSU alums, became fast friends, then declared a race to 100,000 followers, with Kesler saying the following:
Meanwhile, Nick Mangold boasts a pathetic 93,416. What a nobody.
Kesler needs to adjust
Speaking of Kesler’s passing, he makes a sick feed here. It’s a shame that Henrik Sedin was unable to bury this shot, because it would have been a highlight reel goal.
I think the problem here is that Henrik thinks shot, which is unnatural for him as a passer. If he’s thinking pass when he shoots this, it goes right in.
Kesler isn’t a natural passer, but I’d like to see more passing out of him going forward, especially since it’s clear that opponents aren’t letting him streak into the zone and get that big wrist shot off this season. Teams have adjusted to him the way they adjusted to the similarly trigger-happy Alex Ovechkin a few years ago, stepping up at the blue line to take away the shooting option. Now Kesler needs to adjust back. If he wants teams to back off of him, he’ll need to start using his linemates a little more.
No suspension for Lucic is right call for wrong reasons
I don’t mind the NHL’s decision not to suspend Milan Lucic for his hit on Ryan Miller. Granted, I didn’t like the hit, and I would have preferred it were a major, especially since it was patently obvious that he knew exactly what he was doing and the rule book specifically states you can’t do that, but while it was a punishable offense, it wasn’t a suspendable one.
That said, I groaned aloud upon hearing Brendan Shanahan cite a lack of intent in explaining why no supplemental discipline was coming. According to Shanahan, Lucic claimed the contact was incidental; more laughable than this was the fact that Shanahan believed him.
Seriously? This despite Lucic standing over Miller like Ali on Liston afterwards?
Now, I’m not espousing a conspiracy, but after Zdeno Chara on Max Pacioretty, Andrew Ference on Jeff Halpern, and Johnny Boychuk on Mason Raymond, this is the fourth nasty and injurious collision involving Boston that’s been presumed incidental simply because the Bruin said so.
Considering the way Aaron Rome was vilified in the playoffs and saw a punishment suited to that characterization, the way that Boston consistently sees the benefit of the doubt is very frustrating.
The Canucks love each other
Brad Zeimer’s latest investigates the remarkable team chemistry this year’s group has, because in case you weren’t aware, the 2011-12 edition of the Vancouver Canucks are really into one another. Unsurprisingly, Chris “Kiss Huggins” Higgins was more than willing to talk team togetherness.
“It is night and day compared to some other teams I have been on,” Higgins said Monday. “I have been on a couple of teams where it was just very cliquey. Outside the rink certain guys just don’t hang out with other guys.”
The Canucks, Higgins says, are different.
“On this team it seems like you are never in the same group of guys if you are hanging out away from the rink,” he says. “And I think that is pretty refreshing to see.”
David Booth’s hockey hair
And finally, here’s a gif, courtesy ballards.tumblr.com, of David Booth pulling his sweater over the head, causing his golden curls of envied hair to spring forth like Jeff Hardin’s Black Sheep Boy. The man is an Adonis, I say.Tags: booth's hair, featured, mangold, mangold vs kesler, spitballin, Twitter