I Watched This Game: Canucks at Colorado Avalanche, February 4, 2012

The Canucks have been absolutely dreadful since the All-Star Break. Sure, they’re riding a 3-game regulation unbeaten streak since reassembling, but they’ve hardly reassembled. This team has been a disorganized mess for all three games, playing ugly hockey at both ends of the ice and allowing their opponents to dominate them consistently. They’ve been outshot 128 to 87 — yes, they’re allowing more than 40 shots per game — over these contests.

So how are they winning? Because life isn’t fair. When Kevin Bieksa scored the game-tying goal with the net empty and only thirty-five seconds remaining in regulation Saturday, all I could think was, if the Canucks manage to win and come away from this 3-game stretch with 5 of 6 points, there is absolutely no justice in the world.

As it would happen, there is no justice in the world. I know this for a fact because I watched this game.

Canucks 3 – 2 Avalanche (SO)

  • David Booth played this game with a sore neck, the rumoured result of him catching a sudden glimpse of himself in a mirror as he walked past. (Hey handsome.) Apparently, it was so sore he didn’t sleep last night, but he hardly seemed tired in the first, driving the play early and picking up an assist on Ryan Kesler’s opening goal after he beat a man to a puck along the wall to feed Alex Edler. Edler made a nice pass to Kesler, who one-timed the puck past J.S. Giguere then pointed skyward in tribute to his grandmother, who passed away yesterday.
  • Say what you will about the Canucks (suggestion: they’ve been suckiful since January), but give them credit for regularly scoring the first goal. Jeff Paterson pointed out that they’ve opened the scoring in 10 straight road games, and in 9 of those 10 games, the goal came within the first five minutes. Sure, there are far better strategies than jumping out an early lead and abandoning your goaltender to uphold it alone, but on the bright side, no one can accuse the Canucks of coddling Roberto Luongo.
  • Speaking of, Luongo was fantastic, making some gargantuan saves to keep the Canucks in a game they had no business being in. I was especially taken with a post-to-post save he made to rob Milan Hejduk on the shift immediately following Ryan Kesler’s goal. The best part? The media tweets that followed, all of which talked about how snake-bitten Hejduk has been lately. (He’s got 1 goal in 13 games). Seriously, if Cory Schneider makes that save, the tweets credit the goalie, they don’t blame the shooter.
  • Clearly, Luongo has noticed, which is likely why he’s now attempting to copy Schneider. After making a glove save in the first period, he laid the puck down right in front of Ryan O’Reilly. Unfortunately, O’Reilly bobbled the puck, so Luongo’s diving cross-crease stick save looked really awkward with no shot.
  • Here’s another example of how good Luongo was. He was the best member of the Canucks’ powerplay. (Oh wait. That’s bad.) The Canucks went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, proving that the referees have been withholding Canuck powerplays for the same reason Brett Ratner should never have been given the X-Men franchise: they wouldn’t know what to do with them.
  • I found it interesting that Byron Bitz started this game on the third line. Was this because Vigneault didn’t want to break up that fourth line trio of Lapierre, Malhotra and Weise or because the Canucks want to see Bitz has any upward mobility in terms of deployment? A little of both. Granted, it was hard to get a read on Bitz’s ability to play above the fourth line when all the lines played like fourth lines. I chose to read Alain Vigneault’s line juggling in the third as a clever commentary on this. So, Henrik, you want to play like Dale Weise? Then you’ll play with Dale Weise.
  • A lot of people were complaining about Bitz leading into this game, but he won some fans during his fight with Cody Mcleod. I’m sure he impressed several people by busting McLeod open with an early right, but I was more impressed by the fact that he won a fight. When was the last time a Canuck has done that? Seriously, Maxim Lapierre is second on the Canucks in major penalties, and he only drops the gloves so he can flick guys in the ear.
  • Speaking of Lapierre, he was the subject of another of Alain Vigneault’s creative lessons. After Vigneault was roundly criticized for using Alex Edler in the shootout on Thursday, many brought up the fact that player with the best shootout record on the Canucks was Maxim Lapierre, who was 3-for-6 in his career. Sure enough, he got tapped first, largely so AV could rub it in Canucks fans’ noses when he failed. See? They’re all terrible at this. Ironically, then the Canucks won the shootout. Against a Colorado Avalanche team that was undefeated in shootouts, no less. Like I said earlier: no justice.
  • Vigneault also gave our own Thom Drance a shot across the bow when he sent Manny Malhotra out for an offensive zone faceoff. Deal with it, Drance.
  • The trade Mason Raymond club was briefly silenced after Raymond was the hero Thursday, but they likely got a big morale boost from his 2-on-1 with Henrik Sedin in the third period. As the two gained the zone, rather than shoot or pass, Raymond double-clutched and lost the puck into the corner. (I surmise that he looked over, realized it was Henrik, and lost the puck anticipating the return pass.) Unfortunately, the club suffered another blow when Raymond scored the shootout winner. Friggin’ Raymond is so friggin’ inconsistent.
  • Kevin Bieksa had a pretty ugly game Saturday, finishing a minus-4 in Corsi and tied with Dan Hamhuis for a team worst minus-8 in Fenwick (which is basically just Corsi for nerdier nerds). He was also responsible for the Avalanche’s second goal, a brutal drop pass that led to a turnover and a lit lamp in the span of about two seconds. But holy cow, talk about redemption: not only did Bieksa tie the game for the Canucks late on yet another lucky stanchion bounce — dude is some kind of stanchion whisperer — but he prevented the Avalanche from scoring the empty-netter on the same sequence. Ironically, it was the highlight-reel, cross-crease, diving stick save Luongo so desperately craved. Poor Luongo.
  • Most hilarious moment of the game: After a stoppage, Shane O’Brien horse-collared Alex Burrows, and while he was on his back, Burrows looked up, realized who it was, and went batcrap flippin’ cray-cray. Frenemies.
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63 comments

  1. peanutflower
    February 4, 2012

    I completely forgot about this game. Good thing too, I guess. That has to be a record for getting IWTG up, no? Was it that bad a game?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 4, 2012

      It was ugly. But it’s up in record time because I’m going to a play tonight and needed it finished beforehand.

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      • obituary mambo
        February 5, 2012

        Record time and record form. That was seriously hilarious.

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    • John Andress
      February 4, 2012

      Yes. But we won again. And Boston lost it’s third in a row. Do you think that the Boston blogosphere is alive with people wondering what is wrong with the big bad Bruins? One goal in three games?

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      • madwag
        February 4, 2012

        I’d say so:

        Game was a disappointment, but the one positive was that they didn’t look as bad in this one as they have in other recent games and they didn’t give up more than 2 goals. They were kind of on a roll there giving up 3 or more per game.

        They need to start finishing their chances and they need to learn how to capitalize on the PP-no reason they shouldn’t have scored with 4 minutes straight of PP time.

        Really interested in seeing how they play in the first 5-10 min of today’s
        game. Based on the last few games, I think those first few min will show if they’re “getting it” or not.

        I would be excited at the prospect of trading Thomas and:
        1. Promoting Rask and Khudobin
2. Making a run for either Suter or at least Parise.
        We should be able to get good picks and prospects for Thomas in the offseason, but try to dump him in the West just in case he ever returns to last year’s form.

        oof. that was a slow eight minutes. this has all the early marks of a Bruins afternoon stinker.

        F-you refs. What an embarrassment.

        if this team’s going to contend again, they can’t count on 5 on 5 alone two years running. this PP’s gotta be fixed

        Pathetic. Score a damn goal.

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        • peanutflower
          February 5, 2012

          I have to admit it took me a bit to figure out what out what you did there — a compilation of postings from Boston boards, right?

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          • madwag
            February 5, 2012

            quotation marks would have helped, but “right.”

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        • John Andress
          February 5, 2012

          Very good. Thank you very much. I was pretty sure it would be like that but the point I was striving for was that what we are experiencing is not “another typical Canuck screw-up” but the standard ebb and flow of a long, 82 game season. All teams go through it including the Stanley Cup champs who are repeatedly held up to us as the paragon of all hockey virtues.. There is no denying that the team, with the notable exceptions of the goaltenders, is not playing up to their capabilities. The “but we are still winning” mantra starts to wear thin after a while and at times like this we really need to see the effort level being maintained, if not raised. The long and the short of it is that provided they come out of their swoon before the playoffs start there will be some frayed nerves and nibbled fingernails but it is what happens in April, May and June that really matters.

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          • chicken chick
            February 5, 2012

            They just don’t want to peak too soon:
            They’re waiting now for May and June.
            If playing now just hard enough
            Means come this Spring they won’t cream puff,
            Then with this crap I will put up
            So they can hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup!

            Chicken Chick

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  2. whisky jack
    February 4, 2012

    What I’ve to note is nothing new.
    I’ll even state it’s not quite true,
    But I observe that never yet
    Have pucks unshot gone in the net:
    Seventeen shots through the first two,
    With thirty stops by Bobby Lu!

    Into the third we’re down two-one,
    Luongo’s out, the game is done.
    The Avalanche have got the win …
    Until Bieksa’s shot goes in!
    Outshot five-one in the OT,
    We should have lost it seems to me.

    But we did not as you well know,
    As Raymond scored in the SO!

    Whisky Jack

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  3. madwag
    February 4, 2012

    Great post, Mr. Mooney. Much better than the game, though it too had its moments, especially Bieksa’s point saving heroics; however, you’ve a couple of glitches to correct: “David Booth …after he beating….” and “A lot…but he have won….” Otherwise a delightful read. Thanks and cheers!

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  4. sarah
    February 4, 2012

    Have the Canucks ever gotten two more undeserved points for a game? As the game went into overtime, the camera showed Bieksa on the bench and even he had a “what is going on here” smile on his face. Somehow I doubt anyone [other than maybe Lu] will be feeling good over that win.

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    • obituary mambo
      February 5, 2012

      Here’s hoping it will serve as a wake-up call.

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  5. ArtemChubarov
    February 4, 2012

    Malhotra started twice in the offensive zone in the game, but both times it was on a power-play. As a result, neither start will be recorded as an even-strength Ozone start, and won’t have any impact on his O-zone Usage rate. Drance wins again!

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  6. Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
    February 4, 2012

    I don’t know what’s been ailing the Canucks – and yes, while I will happily take the two points, I don’t think they deserved even one – but one symptom that’s been really standing out for me lately has been passing.

    I don’t know why, but it’s like the whole team has lost the ability to make a clean pass. Even the Sedins are bobbling more often than they’re connecting. Maybe it’s just me, but I think once they get the passing woes sorted out, things will start coming back together.

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  7. annie
    February 4, 2012

    Absolutely the most frustrating thing about this hockey game was that halfway through the second, during a phonecall, I said “they’re not going to score again unless it’s with 35 seconds left in the third,” and I have ZERO PROOF. Cry cry cry.

    No, okay, that’s a lie: there were more frustrating things. How many times did someone (Hank and Kes seemed particularly guilty) totally fail to notice a puck passing within his stick range, only to have it go to an Av? It was like a bloody British panto: I spent half the game going “it’s behind you!”

    This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I’ve reached a point of frustration with the call-up fight. So often it’s selfishly ill-timed and causes more problems than it solves. I know the players and teams probably don’t see it that way, but – why did Bitz fight today, really? Because he wanted to fire up the team? Because he wanted to make an impact? Maybe, but I suspect it had more to do with showcasing his skill set. This sort of thing bothers me more than goon-on-goon violence after a clean hit.

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  8. Scout
    February 4, 2012

    The “stanchion whisperer” — nice. When will that be a reality show on the NHL network?

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  9. Cody
    February 4, 2012

    I liked X3… Marvel reboots story lines all the time in the comics, so who says they can’t create slightly different characters for the big screen, or change the reason things happen. Oh the Canucks need to work on finding team defense again too.

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  10. Phileo
    February 4, 2012

    Couple of thoughts:
    It’s no secret, Sedins have struggled during the past few games, and without an effective 1st line, the Canucks are unable to outscore their problems. If AV is going to split up the Twins, why not re-unite Kesler and Burrows? They had good chemistry last year against the Hawks, it would be interesting to see them together with Booth.

    Last time the Canucks scored on the PP was in the LA Kings game – it seem so long ago now.
    There were 5 of the past 10 games where the Canucks registered 4 or less shots in a period.
    Here’s another stat which puts an exclamation point on their 2nd period woes: out of all 3 periods, Canucks scored the least number of goals in the 2nd period (48) , and allowed the most number of goals in the 2nd period (56). It is also the only period where they allow more goals in than they score.

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  11. akidd
    February 4, 2012

    you watched this game, harrison, so i didn’t have to. i’m surprised you could see the screen with all the sun pouring in. did you have to pull the curtains? well, that’s what being a pro is all about. you watch this game because people rely on you to watch this game, it’s your job to watch this game. i need to come home from a nice day golfing and find out what kind of a game it really was(and sportscentre certainly isn’t going to tell me.) you’re not going to go out side on a beautiful day in february and soak up that vitamin d in some pleasant surroundings and, hopefully, with pleasant company. no, it’s all discipline and dilligence with you isn’t it.

    and it’s been a good month now. when are the canucks going to stop sucking already? do elite healthy teams take a full month off mid-season? i’m such a damn insecure canuck fan and i hate it but i can feel that doubt starting to stir . the beginnings of it anyways. yuck.

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  12. Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
    February 4, 2012

    I watched this game and was surprised to see that NHL.com gave Giguere the first star and Luongo the second even though Luongo made more saves, had a better save percentage, and stopped all three Avs in the shootout. He pretty much won the game and definitely won the goalie duel – so why give Giguere 1st star?

    I’m honestly curious because it seems odd.

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    • stathead
      February 5, 2012

      Agreed – I can’t see the rationale there. But also, on the Mike’s Hard Lemonade three stars voting on the Canucks home page, Luongo was given only second star. Bieksa got the first star as voted by fans. Considering the little mistakes/turnovers/cruelly abandoning goaltender for the first 59 min, it seems unfair… poor goalies!

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    • stathead
      February 5, 2012

      Maybe the people who voted this down have got an insight? It could be that Giguere’s saves were technically harder overall, but – and I don’t mean this against him, but rather against the shooters the goalies faced – I thought if anything Luongo had less defensive coverage, more breakaway & odd man rushes, and overall harder saves.

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  13. Steveston Mark
    February 4, 2012

    “The Game” (Canucks v. Boston) seems to have taken a lot out of both teams. Since that game, the Canucks are 6-2-2, but only one of those Ws came in regulation. The Bruins are 6-4-1, with two of their wins coming via the shootout. Both teams have been “out of sorts”, with uncharacteristic defensive lapses, scoring challenges, and generally lethargic play.

    Could it be that both teams expended a significant amount of their mojo during that battle royal?

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  14. Cathylu
    February 4, 2012

    I know the Canucks are struggling and didn’t deserve to win this one but I’m selfishly glad they did since my husband and I flew to Denver this morning (from L.A.) to see the game and we flew home this evening. It’s probably one of the crazier things we’ve ever done. Hopefully I can watch a replay of the game ’cause there’s always stuff you miss when you’re in the arena. Hats off to Francesco and Bobby Lu for getting us 2 points.

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  15. Canuck in Oz
    February 4, 2012

    At least none of you got up at 730am on a Sunday to watch this game (since I live in Australia and have an insatiable need to watch games as often as I can).

    I actually had the thought, as I was swearing my way through the second period that, the way things have gone lately, someone would probably score in the last minute of the game and we’d be all right. I mean, Luongo was doing his bit, so, who knew. Whether that was unbridled optimism from being a Canuck fan since 1974 or whether the caffeine just hadn’t hit my bloodstream, I wasn’t sure.

    Anyway, as lousy as they’re playing, I’m just glad it’s the start of February, and 11 points ahead of Minnesota, instead of being at the start of April, and getting ready to face LA or Chicago in the first round of the play offs. Like I said…unbridled optimism…

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    • obituary mambo
      February 5, 2012

      As a Canucks fan living in Central Europe who regularly gets up at 4 am to watch games (or stays up till that time for those annoying east coast road trips), I feel your pain. I’ve had to miss a handful that just wouldn’t have left me enough time to juggle sleep around my work schedule, but I’ve seen the vast majority. There are few things more annoying than waking up at an ungodly hour to see your beloved team lose to an inferior one (I’m looking at you Anaheim) followed by having to suffer through a day at work feeling not only tired due to lack of sleep but disheartened as well. I already know I’ll have to pass on that Minnesota game. With my luck, that’s probably about the time the team will choose to get its game together.

      On a positive note, yesterday afternoon’s game provided me with a decidedly decent 9 pm starting time. I’m always happy to see those “afternoon” games.

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      • By-Tor
        February 5, 2012

        You sir, are a hero with the true Heart of a Canuck.

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        • obituary mambo
          February 5, 2012

          Madam would probably be more appropriate, but I thank you kindly. ^__^

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      • Canuck in Oz
        February 5, 2012

        I feel shame for looking for sympathy for my 730am starts now. Especially when my 9 yr old is usually up anyway. I salute your dedication! I appreciate the games on Team 1040 that I can listen to at work, although I’m fairly certain that my next job review will involve my boss telling me not to tell her to wait while Keslers’ line is buzzing in the o-zone, like I might have done during the Chicago game. Missed his goal, and frankly, her query could have waited til the first intermission.

        Personally, I’d like to lobby Bettman for some games during the year that start at noon in either your time or mine or something. More chance of Marchand realizing the error of his ways and retiring to work for the Salvation Army or something.

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        • obituary mambo
          February 5, 2012

          It’s not shameful in the least. In fact, I was starting to think I had it easier because at least I have the chance to watch the vast majority of games (I don’t have children, so I there’s no need to worry about their sleep schedule), whereas you’d probably be at work when games start. It seems as if that last guess was correct. Luckily, you get to listen to games at work. There’s no way I could get away with that even if they aired at an appropriate hour. And it’s hilarious that you asked your boss to wait; hopefully s/he is a sports fan and it won’t reflect negatively in your review. ~__^

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          • shoes
            February 5, 2012

            life is tough being an overseas Canuck fan….I have to watch home games between 11 pm and 2AM, which would be swell, if I didn’t have to work at 6:00 AM

            About this game, though….I am having trouble getting worried. I see oodles of upside from everybody. The goaltenders are both awesome and still you have some fans beakin’ about Lou losing SO’s .. I wonder if this Avs game will shut them up.

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  16. stathead
    February 5, 2012

    Hey PITB, why keep hating on Lapierre’s performance in fights? He’s trying to learn to fight & stick up for teammates. It isn’t something you’re automatically an expert at when you decide to do it. It’s hard.

    I think if Burrows had horse collared Obi and thrown them to the ice like that, you’d go into serious mode and state for the record how unacceptable it was, like for Jannik Hansen’s penalty last IWTG. But the other guy did it, so it’s time for a lighthearted moment- see everyone, what a great sense of humour Canucks fans have! For any given event, you seem harder on the Canucks than on opponents. Kinda reminds me of those parents who hold up their own kids to higher standards than anyone else, but only because they really want them to go to med school and do well for themselves.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 5, 2012

      We’re not hating on Lapierre’s performance so much as making fun of it because it’s funny. I love that he’s sticking up for teammates now; but, like, it’s still funny to watch him fight, and he doesn’t intimidate anybody.

      As for Hansen and O’Brien, we ripped on the Hansen thing because it’s a seriously dangerous play and when a Canuck pulls something like that we’re gonna say something. I was similarly disgusted with Chuck Kobasew pulling the same stunt on Dan Hamhuis yesterday. Daniel and I both feel very strongly about pushing a guy’s skates out on icing calls.

      As for O’Brien, tackling a guy like that isn’t nearly as dangerous. It’s stupid, but O’Brien’s pretty thick. So whatever.

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      • stathead
        February 5, 2012

        Aw, we know you love them & want them to succeed. But it seems like they will always be made fun of no matter what they do in terms of sticking up for themselves. Seems harsh.

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      • Nee
        February 5, 2012

        Lapierre is great. He’s doing his job well on the 4th line.

        But he’s not a very good fighter. He just ends up looking like a flail snail out there.

        “He only drops the gloves so he can flick guys in the ear”. I thought it was pretty funny : )

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        • stathead
          February 5, 2012

          The thing is, everyone looks silly their first few fights, as I remember from the schoolyard etc., and in fact the first few times they try anything. But instead of only doing things that he knows will make him look good because he’s already good at them, he’s putting himself out there, trying to step up and very publicly learn a totally different skill from absolute beginner level to fill a Canuck team need.

          The PITB comments about turtling and ear flicking etc. are quite funny – but I also think they’re cheap shots, which are often funny, & we’ve had a fair few about Lappy here now.

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  17. obituary mambo
    February 5, 2012

    Late to the dance, as usual. Heck, a girl’s gotta sleep sometime. ~__^

    I watched this game — on the Denver affiliated station that was piped through ESPN America (during the Finals, we got the CBC feed, but otherwise they seem to go exclusively with the American carrier) and heard some interesting-ish tidbits between my bouts of profound ennui. For one thing, they refused to acknowledge how horribly the Canucks were playing and instead heaped endless amounts of praise on the Avs for playing so well against a team as elite as the ‘Nucks are — er, well, most of the time, anyway.* I understand the elation that seeing your team beat one of their betters can bring (apparently the Avs had been riding a fairly sizable losing streak), but surely some admission of the fact that it’s not just your team’s supreme awesomeness that brought about this turn of events would seem warranted. Maybe that’s just me. Heck, they probably just wanted to give the fans watching at home something to feel good about. By the by, that *ed bit was my voice, not theirs.

    Another thing that caught my ear was their repeated pronunciation on Community Man’s name as Ha-moose. That’s not right, is it? The Canadian broadcasters seem to say Ham-use (that would be use as a noun, not a verb — or maybe the sound in the adjective useful, which he is). I definitely heard the G in Silent G’s name, but I’ve grown accustomed to that.

    Anyway, the Avs earned a well-deserved point, if only because the Canucks again coasted through this game as if they could not care less what the outcome might be — or at least that seemed to be their approach until the very end. Now, if only we could get that team to turn up for the whole game (the one that plays so awesomely in OT), we’d have it made. Perhaps the ‘Nucks are suffering through their own bout of ennui. I’m in full agreement with Harrison: if there were any justice in this world, the Canucks would have lost this game in regulation. Still, I’m glad they aren’t falling in the standings.

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    • obituary mambo
      February 5, 2012

      BTW, I wonder how much of his time Ryan O’Reilly spends working out elaborate machinations to be played out in the Avs dressing room — all the while keeping his hands spotless, natch.

      **I hope that hyperlink works. Fingers crossed.

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    • obituary mambo
      February 5, 2012

      Success! I should have included this link as well.

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    • MelT
      February 5, 2012

      I kind of like Ha-Moose, it sounds very Canadian. But I think the name is Dutch in origin, so if you’re in Central Europe, maybe someone could tell you what the actual correct pronunciation would be rather than having to rely on North American manglings.

      I am quite enjoying the fact that so many Canucks fans here are revealing themselves to be far from Vancouver, and also many are women as well. Maybe it’s the nature of PITB that they attract so many non-stereotypical hockey fans.

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      • stathead
        February 5, 2012

        Well, other hockey forums are not great for revealing yourself to be a woman as you lose respect. Of course, when I don’t reveal it, someone occasionally comments on my comment with an insult to my wife, which is oddly disturbing all things considered.

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      • Nee
        February 5, 2012

        We should do a role call sometime on PITB. People revealing location and gender. Twould be cool to see where people are at.

        And it wouldn’t be invasive anyways, since we’re all posting under fake names.

        FYI, another female fan here. In Vancouver though, not somewhere far flung.

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      • MelT
        February 5, 2012

        Yeah, especially when having “girl parts” is the biggest insult that a lot of hockey commenters can throw at players.
        I’m female and in Vancouver. Probably the easiest way to see who else is female is to troll the comments when Higgin’s abs or Kesler’s everythings are revealed.

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  18. peanutflower
    February 5, 2012

    So out of interest, what is the demographic of PITB followers? And I totally agree with you, stathead, I would never say what my gender is on any other board. I’ve mostly stopped reading any other board anyway, except by a link from PITB, but I bet there’s more girls on here than elsewhere. I’m a mom of two 20-somethings, I watched the first ever Canucks game live at Pacific Coliseum with tickets kindly provided by my godfather Jim Robson, and then never saw another game live until the first playoff game last season. I watch every game and only missed the mid-80s ones when I lived in Los Angeles and they just weren’t available. My 1973 Volkswagen Beetle was totalled on the side of Ocean Boulevard by a car driven by two drunk Edmonton transplants who went to watch the first Edmonton/Kings game following Gretzky’s trade. I found the tickets on the sidewalk as I watched the two Gretzky jerseys run away down the street. That’s my story.

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    • Nee
      February 5, 2012

      That’s cool. I haven’t been watching for nearly as long, only since about 2002 (West Coast Express, represent!). But that’s mostly because I was 13 then…before that time I was just too young to care.

      There’s a great group of posters on PITB…may I suggest to Mooney and Wagner, that it might be cool every once in awhile to have posts that are specifically to facilitate a discussion? So instead of an opinion/article type post, the post poses a question or something to get the ball rolling?

      Just spitballin’ here, but I think we could have some neat discussions.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        February 5, 2012

        It’s a possibility, but I’ll admit we’re resistant to posts that just ask questions because they’re lazy. That said, we’re not opposed to well-written and provocative posts, and we have a few planned for the future.

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        • Nee
          February 5, 2012

          That’s a good point. Provocative, thought provoking posts would also encourage discussion.

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    • obituary mambo
      February 5, 2012

      Just out of curiosity, did you snatch those tickets up, give them to the police or leave them where they were? Inquiring minds want to know…

      I’m afraid my story isn’t as interesting. I’m a Californian who lived on a small island in Washington state when I was a teenager. Half our programming came out of Seattle and the other half was from Vancouver. That’s when I became interested in hockey and why I cheer for the Canucks and not the Sharks, which would make more sense, geographically speaking. In fact, every time I’ve seen the Canucks play live I’ve been at HP Pavilion. My ties to that area of California make it impossible for me to ever truly hate the Sharks, regardless of what happens between the teams. Needless to say, I desperately hope to see a game in Rogers Arena before too terribly long.

      I moved to the Czech Republic about 7 years ago and (apart from the freezing winters) I really like it here. The Czech are very knowledgeable hockey fans who don’t give two licks about the Canucks because there are no Czechs on the team, although they do like the type of game the Canucks play. The lack of Czech players is, in all honesty, the source of their disinterest in the team. I don’t plan on staying here too much longer. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be back in North America by next season.

      I suppose the reason I didn’t hesitate to mention my status as a lady fan is that I haven’t had any negative experience in doing so. I’ve only ever used one other forum (I think it was called Cancuksworld.com) and the posters there were very welcoming; I never felt disrespected. Having said that, the puck bunnies would get smacked down hard. After moving to Prague I lost contact with it and by the time I went back it had closed down. :( In truth, I do sometimes post at NHL.com, but that’s very impersonal. Obviously, I was thrilled to stumble upon this little blog.

      OK, I’ve rambled on far too long. I’d love to hear other people’s stories, though. ^__^

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      • peanutflower
        February 5, 2012

        I still have them. And until two years ago I had the nice new car that the money the court made them give me purchased lol.

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    • stathead
      February 5, 2012

      What an amazing story! Glad you got the tickets at least…

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    • kezzi
      February 7, 2012

      Your godfather is Jim Robson? Oh that’s so awesome. He will always be the Voice of the Canucks to me. Such a classy guy too. :)

      FTR, I’m also female and a ‘Nucks fan since 1969, when yes they were a championship team! :D I live close enough to Van still to see the lights tinting the night sky. :)

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  19. peanutflower
    February 5, 2012

    Sorry for that digression there. I get carried away sometimes.

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  20. kelowna1777
    February 5, 2012

    I’m suggesting that Claude Julien is right “the Canucks are smarter than us…..”

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  21. Norman
    February 5, 2012

    I am a little surprised that this quote didn’t make it into this IWTG!

    “I am nice to the stanchion,” Bieksa said. “I go over every game in the warmup and give it a little love tap with my right shoulder and left shoulder, honest to God. . .I am getting some good bounces off them so I will keep doing what I am doing.”

    This quote is so winning that maybe it should have it’s own “Quotes taken out of context” post!

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    • kezzi
      February 7, 2012

      I loved Bieksa as soon as he came up (like many female fans) but he just keeps getting better, like a fine wine. He cracks me up. Great attitude and entertainment value. I hope he stays a ‘Nuck forever! :)

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  22. cathylu
    February 5, 2012

    I think I’ve already revealed most everything about myself. Since I pretty much use my real name it’s obvious I’m a women. I’m also the mom of two twenty somethings. Since I’m a fairly new Canuck (and hockey) fan I can’t always make knowledgeable comments about the game itself but I’m trying to learn more and that’s why I appreciate PITB. My husband and I live in Ventura County just north of Los Angeles. And we really love the city of Vancouver and hope we can spend more time there in the future.

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    • peanutflower
      February 5, 2012

      That’s just such a nice comment! Why are you a Canucks fan rather than a Kings or Ducks fan? Make sure you come to Victoria when you visit. It’s much nicer here ;)

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      • cathylu
        February 5, 2012

        I’ve probably told the story before but here goes. My husband and I have come to Vancouver many times over the past 5 years or so (usually on a repositioning cruise from LA). So in September 2010 we were in town and saw that the Canucks were playing a pre-season game against the Ducks. We decided to go on a whim (bought scalped tickets outside of Rogers Arena) and somehow ended up loving the Canucks. So we were never any kind of hockey fan (Kings or Ducks) but just started out as Canuck fans. And we were pretty amazed that we made it all the way to the seventh game of the Cup final in our first year being fans! It’s like a disease with us now – thank goodness we can watch all the games on NHL Center Ice.
        We do love Victoria – we’ve been there several times. My husband is always showing me the webcam from Victoria on his computer.

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  23. joh
    February 6, 2012

    wuts with u canuckle heads
    this team will never win the SC
    twins are week
    luongo cant find his stick
    nobody can fight
    D is lame

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 6, 2012

      Freeverse poetry?

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    • Canuck in Oz
      February 6, 2012

      I thought your mom told you to stay off the computer,Marchand!

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  24. kezzi
    February 7, 2012

    “David Booth played this game with a sore neck, the rumoured result of him catching a sudden glimpse of himself in a mirror as he walked past. (Hey handsome.)”
    HAHAHAHA! I just can totally see that!
    Awesome post as usual.
    Wicked sense of humour + great hockey and human insight = WIN! :D

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