Your Canucks bandwagon fan cheat sheet, 2011-12: Defencemen and goalies

This guy would have more to say if he had read the cheat sheet.

Two years ago, we introduced the inaugural Canucks Bandwagon cheat sheet to give aid to the less informed, less involved fan who wanted to feel a part of the Canucks’ success. Last year, we did the same, allowing a number of fair-weather fans to get into the team just in time for the Stanley Cup run. (Unfortunately, those fair-weather fans went on to riot. We can’t help but feel partly responsible for that.)

The Canucks are once again the talk of the town. They’re back on top of the Northwest division, they’re contending for the Western Conference title and the Presidents’ trophy, and they’re a Stanley Cup favourite. Safe to say, as more and more Vancouverites realize they’re still good, we’re going to have a fresh batch of bandwagoners.

If you’re one of those bandwagoners, we want to help you fit in. This year’s Bandwagon Canucks Fan Cheat Sheet–a geyser of valuable information–will tell you everything you need to know about the Vancouver Canucks roster. Today we introduce you to the defencemen and goalies. Tomorrow: forwards and coaches.

DEFENCEMEN

ANDREW ALBERTS
About: Alberts wears no. 41. He’s 6’5″ and, like the aliens in The Invasion, he loves to take the body. He’s especially strong on the penalty kill, where he blocks shots, clears pucks and makes up for penalties he took earlier. Unfortunately, he’s not as effective at even-strength. When the play isn’t limited to just one zone, his lumbering stride is a little more noticeable.
Nickname(s): AHLBerts, Andy Alby, A Minor, Barabbas
My wife thinks he looks like: Ben Affleck.
If he touches the puck, it was incidental contact during a bodycheck. He’ll get rid of it.
Expect to hear: “Big hit by Alberts in the corner.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Noted speedster Alberts stickhandles through the neutral zone…”

KEITH BALLARD
About: Ballard wears no. 4. He’s deployed primarily as a bottom pairing blueliner, although he’s paid like a top-four guy. He recently won fastest skater at Canucks Super Skills and he occasionally rushes the puck into the offensive zone all by himself. He makes remarkable hipchecks, although he can get a bit low. Unfortunately, despite his high skillset, he can’t seem to find his way out of AV’s dog house, which may have a hedge maze in it.
Nickname(s): Mallard, Howard the Duck, Wolf, Hips, Power Ballard, Pranky the Prankster
My wife thinks he looks like he could use a hug.
If he touches the puck, he could make a brutal turnover or he could orchestrate a dazzling end-to-end rush. Alain Vigneault is impressed by neither of these things.
Expect to hear: “What a hipcheck. Give Ballard more icetime!”
Don’t expect to hear: “What a turnover. Give Rome more icetime!”

KEVIN BIEKSA
About: Bieksa wears no. 3. He plays on the Canucks’ top shutdown pairing with Dan Hamhuis. He’s the team’s best quote. He is beloved in Vancouver these days, which is impressive since, at the beginning of last season, Canuck fans wanted to run him out of town.
Nickname(s): Juice, The Stanchion Whisperer, Francesco, Wolverine
My wife thinks he looks like: Marty Bieksa. Other than that, no one.
If he touches the puck: Hope it just deflected off a stanchion. He’s got crazy chemistry with stanchions.
Expect to hear: “Hahaha, Bieksa said milk hot dogs. What?”
Don’t expect to hear: “Bieksa should try being a little more forthcoming with the media.”

ALEXANDER EDLER
About: Edler wears no. 23. He is either the Canucks’ number one defenceman or their number three defenceman, depending on whom you ask. He’s certainly the most well-rounded, capable starting the rush, jumping into the rush, or finishing off the rush. He’s a Swede, but he’s always rushin’. (Heyo!) Speaking of being a Swede, Edler has a reputation for being quiet, unassuming, and relatively unemotional. Among Swedes.
Nickname(s): Eagle, Steady Eddy, Breadler, The Walking Deadler
My wife thinks he looks like: Daniel Stern.
If he touches the puck, his stick will shatter into a thousand tiny pieces. It may do that even if he doesn’t touch the puck.
Expect to hear: Nothing. No one has ever heard Edler speak.
Don’t expect to hear: “That Edler is one wild and crazy guy.”

DAN HAMHUIS
About: Hamhuis wears no. 2 and is one half of the Canucks’ shutdown defensive pairing with Kevin Bieksa. He’s a stay-at-home type who makes smart, positional plays, and moves the puck out of the zone quickly. He’s noted for his faith and his charity work, not to mention his general niceness.
Nickname(s): Hammy, The Hammer, Community Man,
My wife thinks he looks like: a youth pastor.
If he touches the puck: no one will notice. If Hamhuis were a politician, he’d be in a constant state of scandal because his contributions are gravely under-reported.
Expect to hear: “Hamhuis pokes the puck away from his man, apologizes, and moves the puck up ice.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Selfish play by Hamhuis. Typical Hamhuis.”

AARON ROME
About: Rome wears no. 29. He’s a depth defenceman for the Canucks, especially serviceable in that he can play on either side on any pairing with only a slight dropoff in efficiency. He plays primarily on the bottom pairing with or in place of Keith Ballard. His game, like Chutes n’ Ladders, is very simple. It involves little more than dumping the puck one zone ahead from whatever zone he’s in.
Nickname(s): Romer
My wife thinks he looks like: Rocko from Undergrads.
If he touches the puck, it’s going off the glass and out into the neutral zone.
Expect to hear: “Aaron Rome clears the puck to centre.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Aaron Rome is in the lineup precisely for thrilling end-to-end rushes like that .”

SAMI SALO
About: Salo wears no. 6. He is the longest-serving member of the Canucks’ blueline corps. He plays primarily on a pairing with Alex Edler. Some say he’s the Canucks’ best defenceman when healthy, but this is a guy who has torn an Achilles tendon playing backgammon and once missed time after being bitten by a poisonous sparrow. He’s rarely healthy.
Nickname(s): Owl, The Fragile Finn, the Finnish MacInnis, Casper, Salpa, Hurtie McOuchie, Salo is your Pal-O
My wife thinks he looks like: Death (as conceptualized by Ingmar Bergman). Also Boo Radley.
If he touches the puck, he’s probably stepping into a massive slapper.
Expect to hear: “Salo gets hit by the shot and he’s hurt, which is remarkable, because he shot that puck.”
Don’t expect to hear: “I agree with Brad Marchand — there’s nothing more terrifying than the sight of Sami Salo coming down the boards. It’s like The Exorcist on ice.”

ALEXANDER SULZER
About: Sulzer wears no. 52. He’s a depth defenceman that was signed by the Canucks in the offseason, or at least that’s what he tells everyone. No one in the Canucks’ organization has any recollection of ever calling him. They say he just showed up one day with his luggage and said “I’m here!” He doesn’t get into a whole lot of games, but he’s there in case he’s needed.
Nickname(s): Who’s that guy?
My wife thinks he looks like: Henrik Sedin. Also, Josh Dallas from Once Upon a Time.
If he touches the puck, expect someone in the room to turn to you and ask, “Who’s that guy?”
Expect to hear: “No seriously, who’s that guy?”
Don’t expect to hear: “Sulzer is my favourite Canuck.”

CHRIS TANEV
About: Tanev wears no. 8. He made his Canuck debut last season and earned praise for his calm, cool, and collected play. He’s spent much of this season in the AHL, playing on a top pairing for the Canucks’ affiliate Chicago Wolves, but it’s only a matter of time before he’s back with the big club, especially since he’s a right-handed blueliner on a team that doesn’t have enough of those. His outlet passes are crisper than baked chips.
Nickname(s): Crisp Tanev, The Cucumber
My wife thinks he looks like: A very young Robert De Niro. Actually, this one’s uncanny.
If he touches the puck: he’s about to get nailed with a massive bodycheck, which won’t faze him in the slightest.
Expect to hear: “Tanev is so cool and calm with the puck. He’s like a young Paul Martin.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Tanev looks primed and ready for a political career. He’s like a young Paul Martin.”

GOALTENDERS

ROBERTO LUONGO
About: Luongo is the Canucks’ number one goaltender, a fact of which he wears no. 1 to remind us. He was, at one time, the captain of the team, but it didn’t work out. When he’s amazing, fans tolerate him. When he’s inconsistent, the local Costco moves a lot of tar and feathers.
Nickname(s): Luuuuuuuu, Bobby Lu, Funny Bob
My wife thinks he looks like: Sacha Baron Cohen. And Lady Gaga.
If he touches the puck, hope it didn’t come from behind the net, or it’s banking off him and in.
Expect to hear: “Luongo is the best goaltender the Canucks have ever had.” Also, “Luongo is the worst goaltender in the NHL.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Tough to blame Luongo on that goal.”

CORY SCHNEIDER
About: Schneider wears no. 35. He’s the Canucks’ backup netminder. He has red hair. Many fans want him to be the starter.
Nickname(s): Gingerbricks, The C-Wall, Frecklesnoot, Schnoo
My wife thinks he looks like: Patrick Renna, of children’s sports movie classics The Sandlot and The Big Green.
If he touches the puck: he just ignited a goaltending controversy.
Expect to hear: “Tough to blame Schneider for that goal.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Personally, I find Luongo to be far less divisive and much more likable.”

FORWARDS & MANAGEMENT

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50 comments

  1. jimbob
    February 8, 2012

    i’m usually not the spelling nazi but, i believe all bandwagoners should know that bieksa wears #3 not #2, and that he looks a lot like his little brother. he looks just as grumpy as juice.
    also rome is 29 not 28.
    otherwise great post!

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 8, 2012

      Well, those aren’t spelling errors. They’re just errors. Fixed. And yes, I forgot about Marty. So I’ve updated that as well. Look at the impact you’ve had!

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      • madwag
        February 8, 2012

        “Depending on who you talk to” isn’t a spelling error either. It’s a case error. Please use the objective case when warranted. And it is certainly more rhythmical to read “on whom you talk to” than the way it is. I won’t comment on the fact it should be “”on to whom you talk” because you’ll just dismiss me as an anachronism, which is not at all a bad thing to be., especially when one is correct in one’s analysis. And as far as rhythm goes, “on to whom you talk” doesn’t miss a beat.

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        • madwag
          February 8, 2012

          ., error.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          February 8, 2012

          I agree with you in this case, but frankly, they all sound clunky to me. So I went with “depending on whom you ask.”

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          • madwag
            February 8, 2012

            EVEN BETTER! however did i miss the obvious? cheers.

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        • Qris Johnson
          February 9, 2012

          Bad madwag. Terminal prepositions aren’t wrong.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_English_usage_misconceptions

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        • JS Topher
          February 10, 2012

          You know, Madwag, I’m not always your biggest fan but today, I have to say, I appreciate your comment. I too prefer “depending on to whom you talk”.

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          • JS Topher
            February 10, 2012

            Disregard the above. Harrison for the win.

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            • Harrison Mooney
              February 10, 2012

              Yeah buddy

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  2. Alison
    February 8, 2012

    I laughed throughout this post. A day without your tweets is like a day without sunshine. The Salo one was the best and also sadly true which made it funnier in an odd way.

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  3. peanutflower
    February 8, 2012

    ” The Walking Deadler” hahaha. Also, Salo Palo contest winners?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 8, 2012

      We’re trying to catch up on all our lapsed post ideas, so Palo contest winners will be announced later this week.

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  4. SteveB
    February 8, 2012

    “KEVIN BIEKSA
    About: Bieksa wears no. 2″

    Typo alert.
    BXA wears #3

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    • SteveB
      February 8, 2012

      D’oh, should have refreshed the page before commenting. :(

      Anyone else get this error message on the very young Robert De Niro link?

      “Referral Denied
      You don’t have permission to access “http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robert-de-niro.jpg” on this server.

      Reference #24.1512f418.1328730189.7a5b1682 “

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      • peanutflower
        February 8, 2012

        I too got that error.

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      • JS Topher
        February 10, 2012

        yep. :(

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  5. sarah
    February 8, 2012

    Andrew Alberts looks like a skinny King of Queens!

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  6. BedBeats
    February 8, 2012

    For you Harrison, my girlfriends Canuck namecheck. Bear in mind…she is not a fan, but bless her burlesque dancing heart for trying:

    “Manny MarsVolta”.
    “Roberto Longoal”.
    “The Sedan Twins”.
    “Ryan Kevlar (or the “hot underwear guy”)”.
    HotDog (duhhh, Cory Schnieder).
    “Kevin Beealzabub”.
    “Jannik Handsoff”.
    “Sammy Swallos”
    “Alex Antler”.

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  7. jimbob
    February 8, 2012

    i dont think we want sami ‘swallo’ ing anything. he might rip his larynx or something.

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  8. Rory
    February 8, 2012

    ALEXANDER SULZER – Who? Cracked me up. I really did that the first time his name was mentioned during a game.

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  9. PeeSeeGee
    February 8, 2012

    One of my favourite posts of the year. This year I will be printing out and putting on my refrigerator as a reference tool for my wife.

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  10. George Stevens
    February 8, 2012

    I got that same “Denied you dont have permission to view this image” message for a couple of the images.

    Great post though!

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  11. Cody
    February 8, 2012

    My friends and I always used to call Salo the glass-man just so people around us would say “You talking about Tanner Glass?” providing us with the opportunity to say “No” look at them funny and continue talking. Sadly this no longer works.

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  12. Gabrielle
    February 8, 2012

    What about “Schneiderman?” I think that should be listed as one of his nicknames.

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  13. iLovePITB
    February 8, 2012

    But.. Sulzer is my favourite Canuck..

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 8, 2012

      NO HE ISN’T

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  14. Abby
    February 8, 2012

    It’s here! Now, to forward it to all the bandwagoners that I know…

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  15. Cathylu
    February 8, 2012

    LOL. So many laughs from the post and the comments! Thanks! :)

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  16. Emily
    February 8, 2012

    All of your posts make me laugh, but this one cracked me up way, way too hard.

    Though my favourite Schneider nickname is Ginger Jesus. Because he is.

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    • Miriam M
      February 8, 2012

      I like both “Ginger Jesus” and “Luongod.” It just furthers the idea that the Canucks have a religious following or something.

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  17. erik
    February 8, 2012

    so glad someone else noticed the ingmar bergman thing. i’ve been preaching that for years.

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  18. sarah
    February 8, 2012

    I don’t know if this would be too much work, but I think it would be awesome to have a “getting to know the prospects” type blog post, where some of the Canuck prospects are featured. I’ve been following some of them on twitter and they seem pretty adorable and it would be nice to know more about some of the players we might be cheering for in a couple of years.

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  19. Square Ball
    February 8, 2012

    I’ve always thought Luongo looks like Sasha Baron Cohen! Also, somewhat like Kramer from Seinfeld.
    (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cosmo_Kramer.jpg)
    http://www.squidoo.com/cosmo-kramer?utm_source=google&utm_medium=imgres&utm_campaign=framebuster
    http://postmediaprovince.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/roberto-luongo-112408.jpg)

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    • Square Ball
      February 8, 2012

      Also, Lady Gaga looks like she has a little bit of a fuzzy teenage-beginning-of-a-moustache.

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  20. JanBanan
    February 8, 2012

    I’ve been waiting years for someone to make a clever ‘Paul Martin’ joke. Well worth the wait.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 8, 2012

      I’ve been waiting years to make a clever “Paul Martin” joke, so I’m glad someone appreciated it.

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  21. Tom
    February 8, 2012

    I’ve been WAITING months for you guys to do another one of these!!

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    • Tom
      February 8, 2012

      …I’ll read it later tonight.

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  22. Karen
    February 8, 2012

    Personally, I think Alexander Sulzer looks like the Quarterback for the BC Lions, Travis Lulay. (http://cfl.uploads.mrx.ca/league/images/en/inside/2011/11/Travis_Lulay_2011_211654.jpg) and (http://www.darpanmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/5763990.bin_.jpeg)

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  23. Brigitte
    February 9, 2012

    Hansen is not impressed by that guys sign.

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  24. J21
    February 9, 2012

    Edler looks like he was getting some serious sun in that photo… he even has a hairline tan.

    And I mention this every time, but how can so many people miss Bieksa’s obvious resemblance to Matt Damon? Not in that picture per se, but there are some real uncanny ones.

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  25. May
    February 9, 2012

    Does anyone think Schneider looks like Emma Stone or is it just me?! Also, Rome looks like the dental assistant guy in Horrible Bosses who gets sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston.

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  26. Chicky
    February 9, 2012

    OMG, the Salo reference.. so funny. Is it bad that I refer to him as a broken down golf cart?

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  27. LIv
    February 9, 2012

    I love it – esp the #1 reference for Lu! Looking forward to the next edition.

    And Eddie…uncanny resemblance to another Alexander…Skarsgaard that is. And he does speak – he encouraged me the whole time we were playing table hockey and even told me “great game” after I beat him in OT ;) .

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    • obituary mambo
      February 11, 2012

      No offense to Edler (who I think is beyond awesome), but that comparison is doing Skarsgaard a serious disservice.

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  28. Chris
    February 10, 2012

    Silly Mrs. Mooney, Sami Silo looks like Powder.

    And Alex Sulzer IS my favourite Canuck.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 10, 2012

      Gross. Mrs. Mooney is my mom. My wife’s name is “Harrison’s wife”.

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  29. Treetree
    February 10, 2012

    Thank you PITB, you are such a lifesaver. Your cheat sheet is informative and hilarious as always. However, I’m still going to ask “Who’s that guy?” when I see Sulzer.

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  30. Matt
    February 11, 2012

    Who says Edler isn’t wild and crazy? Bieksa broke the code of silence by confirming that Edler has been known to order cheesecake from room service at midnight:

    http://forum.canucks.com/topic/292989-alex-edler-a-norris-candidate-in-the-next-7-years/

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