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.
Mason Raymond is totally misunderstood
Tuesday night’s Canucks-Predators game featured the quintessential Mason Raymond performance, simultaneously one of his best and worst games of the season. Nashville can stifle even the best breakout teams, but Raymond shucked and jived his way through their neutral zone pressure with seeming ease, arguably gaining the zone more efficiently than anyone else on the Canucks.
However, Raymond was also one of the worst Canucks at maintaining possession once the team got into the Nashville end. He bobbled, overskated, and held onto pucks for far too long, destroying more cycles than a neglected lint trap. And then he’d be the first one back to the neutral one to regain it. It was infuriating.
In effect, Raymond is like a ladies man with no bedroom experience. He can take it back to his place no problem, but once he gets there, he has no idea how to seal the deal. Dude needs to take a course.
John Garrett is a Burger
The John Garrett era of colour commentating in Vancouver reached dizzying new heights (or lows, depending on whom you ask) on Tuesday when he and play-by-play partner John Shorthouse began discussing Lent. As the Canucks controlled the puck in the offensive zone — yes, pertinent things were happening at the time — the two bantered about what they’d be giving up, which led to John Garrett reminding us, for the umpteenth time, of his affinity for junk food. While his intent was to say “I’m a burger aficionado”, the final word stumped him, and he wound up paused on “I’m a burger” for far too long. “You’re a burger?” Shorthouse asked, glibly.
This exchange led to the following, by our own Chloe Ezra:
Afterward, Chloe was asked why she did this, but she was asking herself so the answer is implied by the question.
Hey, remember Martin Brochu? He was a goaltender the Canucks claimed in 2001 to serve as the backup to Dan Cloutier. Cloutier was, at the time, unproven as a starter (and so he remains), and Canuck fans were left scratching their heads at why Burke would go with such a raw goaltending tandem. What was the deal?
Jonathan Willis recently produced an excerpt from a book in which Burke explains that he had a deal with Mike Milbury to acquire Garth Snow from the New York Islanders. Unfortunately, well after Burke entered the fall confident he didn’t need a plan B, Milbury backed out.
Why? Isles’ owner Charles Wang vetoed the deal.
This explains why the Canucks ended up with Brochu, but I think it also explains how Garth Snow ended up as the surprise General Manager of the New York Islanders five years later. Even back in 2001, Charles Wang and he were tight enough for the Islanders’ owner to veto what would have been a fairly shruggable trade. Considering the other egregious trades Milbury made during his reign of terror, the fact that Wang blocked this one is very telling.
Toss a Salmon for the Lost
Last Saturday versus the Leafs, someone threw a salmon on the ice for the third time in the last 12 months, and if you saw it, you weren’t alone in asking why.
The answer is actually pretty cool. The fish was thrown by a guy named Joey Smith, whose friend Garrett Paquette was the son of Roger Paquette, the man who threw the first salmon last March. Garrett, 30, had planned to follow in his father’s footsteps versus the Leafs, but he died in an ATV accident last November. In tribute to him, Smith and a few other friends decided to carry out his wishes.
We’ve been opposed to salmon-throwing for the past year, but this story elevates it from inexplicable nonsense to touching nonsense. And as a fan of the nonsense done the right way, PITB is now officially behind salmon-throwing as a tribute for the fallen — it’s like the Canuck fan version of pouring out a forty.
Activate: Beast Mode. Function: Kick in Nads.
Finally, speaking of nonsense done the right way, here’s a photo of Ryan Kesler kicking Hal Gill in the stun button.
Now seems like a good time to share with you my theory on why we are the products of some kind of intelligent design: it hurts like crazy to get kicked in the groin. See, the average man is stronger and taller than the average woman, but the fact that there’s a “stun” button within striking distance of even the severely outsized seems much less like an evolutionary quirk and much more like the generous equalizer of a creative deity.Tags: spitballin