I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks, April 3, 2012

Tonight, the Canucks hosted the Orange County team formerly known as the Mighty Ducks in a game stuffed with hyperbole. The greatest one of all time and space was in attendance (Mooney was there too), there was a first period penalty shot (only the most exciting play in hockey), eight pucks heroically rippled the mesh, Jonas Hiller made several acrobatic glove saves, and Henrik Sedin and the puck played a masterful sixty minute game of Cat’s Cradle.

Oh. And somewhere along the way, the Rogers Arena’ faithful chose to serenade Roberto Luongo with a loud chorus of Luu’s. After all, it’s his birthday! But he’s been so good for so long that the birthday boy deserved the appreciative support of the fans, who gave it to him even though he had a rocky outing. At least I think it was a compassionate, grateful crowd that was Luuu-ing, because anything else wouldn’t make much sense!

As a staunch proponent of hockey math, I usually miss out on this sort of drama. I trust the numbers, so there’s no real need to tune into the contests. Tonight, for Wagner and Mooney, I made a rare exception: I watched this game.

Canucks 5 – 4 Ducks (SO)

  • If malt-shops still existed in this century, I’d buy Henrik Sedin’s game tonight a banana-split. His assist on Burrows’ first goal came off of a double forehand-backhand deke, and on the second forehand-backhand move, he saucer passed the puck to himself over Koivu’s stick and retrieved it seamlessly on his backhand. That move allowed him to draw a second Ducks defender before he sent a dainty backhand pass to Burrows, who shot the puck top-corner and beat Hiller. It was such a mind-bending sequence that one might even describe it as illogical, and it was so illogical that it roots for the Canucks.
  • While that was the highlight that’ll get most of the attention, Henrik had a shift about four minutes into the first period where he started a rush with a beauty backhand pass, and then on his way back down the ice quick-stopped, completely left Francois Beachemin in the dust and zipped a second backhand pass to Burrows for a scoring chance. The quick-stop was marvelous, I really haven’t seen anything stop that abruptly since
  • Oh boy, it’s the story that just won’t die: the Canucks goaltending controversy! You have to feel for Luongo — he’s been inscrutably good for most of this season, but he gets lit up in a meaningless game on the eve of his birthday and the crowd gives him the Big Boo. It’s especially ridiculous because the Canuck defence was appalling at times tonight. Yes the first goal he allowed was soft enough to wipe with, but Corey Perry’s backhand was clinical, and on the third and fourth goals, the defensive gap control was so bad a Thomas Pynchon novel could have finessed its way through the slot untouched.
  • You know Luongo is a polarizing figure because both sides (Pro-Louie, and Pro-Schneider) obnoxiously overreact to everything. The crowd, obviously, behaved embarrassingly tonight. The Bronx jeers for Luongo were uncalled for, especially considering the low stakes of the game, how strong Luongo’s play has been over the past couple of weeks, and the way the team was playing in their own end through thirty minutes. That said, the pro-Luongo folks are hilarious as well. Sure, only one of the goals was a pure “softy,” but just admit it: Luongo had a really bad game tonight. He got beat five-hole three times, and saved only eleven of fifteen shots. He was swiss-cheese tonight: stinky and full of holes. Look, Luongo is a great goaltender – easily the best in franchise history – but I don’t care who you are, that’s a blow-up (Luongo’s seventh of the season) and an example of a goaltender not giving his team a chance to win – even if the team did ultimately bail him out.
  • Luongo wasn’t alone in the dog-house tonight; he had company in David Booth and Marc-Andre Gragnani. Booth has struggled to produce offence of late, and has been putting in extra time with the team’s skills coach before games. Early in the first period, he was awarded a penalty shot and all of his extra work… well, it didn’t really show. Booth’s not a reliable penalty-shot or shootout option, and he made a predictable move on his attempt that Jonas Hiller rather easily foiled. By the end of the night, Booth was the only Canuck skater who Hiller managed to stop in a shootout situation.
  • Gragnani and Booth teamed up with Alex Edler to compose a symphony of lazy defensive play on Rod Pelley’s go-ahead goal in the second period. Smith-Pelly entered the zone and briefly made contact with Edler, but it was weak contact, like travelling to a planet revolving around Vega and meeting your father. Edler at least succeeded in knocking the puck up the boards to Booth, but Bobby Ryan followed up the play, met David Booth along the wall and, obviously mistaking Booth for Luongo’s five-hole, went right through the Canucks forward. Ryan then skated towards the slot and sent a perfect backhand pass to Pelley, who was being ostensibly covered by an indifferent Gragnani and made no mistake, sending the puck right through Luongo.
  • Moments after the Ducks fourth goal, Alex Burrows collided with Smith-Pelly, fell awkwardly and left the game. Luckily, he returned, and scored a cheeky goal as he quickly poked a loose puck through Jonas Hiller’s five-hole to make it a one goal game. I really enjoyed watching Hiller’s head drop skyward once he realized what had just happened. So dramatic.
  • Booing Luongo is bad, but yelling at Henrik to shoot, or booing the world’s best playmaking centreman for holding the puck for too long on the power-play is probably even worse (even if it won’t get nearly as much attention tomorrow). Henrik with the puck on the power-play is raw, kinetic energy. He has the potential to put the puck on any of his teammates sticks at any moment. He can go over sticks with his passes, or through defenders, and when he’s got the puck every player on the opposition’s short-handed unit stands there transfixed. Henrik is as creative with his passing as any active hockey player, so can we just agree to trust the offensive instincts of a former Art Ross winner?
  • The Canucks have been in fifteen shootouts now this season, which, sucks because shootouts are the worst. The good news, however, is that Alain Vigneault has figured out exactly how the play them: Burrows and Edler go one-two, and then you take your chances with one of Lapierre, Raymond, Ebbett or Kesler. Lapierre’s game-sealer was the perfect end to a gong-show game. It was probably the ugliest shootout move you’ll see this season, but he followed it up with a dirty finish that even knocked Hiller’s water-bottle off of the net. It was the second dirtiest bottle pop I’ve ever seen. The dirtiest is this Pussycat Dolls video.
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101 comments

  1. Shand
    April 4, 2012

    Ending on a Pussycat Dolls video.. Bold move, Mr. Drance

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    • Taco
      April 4, 2012

      Bold, painfully bold. Do you even like us? Was this just some sort of cruel joke? Not funny.

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      Rating: -2 (from 8 votes)
  2. D to the W
    April 4, 2012

    Maybe it’s just that everyone loves a backup, but I always like it when Artem Chubarov himself takes a turn at IWTG.

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    Rating: +19 (from 19 votes)
    • D to the W
      April 4, 2012

      I’m realizing now that that sounded kind of insulting. Seriously, I do enjoy it.

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      Rating: +11 (from 13 votes)
  3. chuggo fizzins
    April 4, 2012

    Never boo the home team, unless you are visiting.

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    Rating: +44 (from 50 votes)
  4. Steven Ray Orr
    April 4, 2012

    +1

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  5. DaNucklhead
    April 4, 2012

    The only problem I have with trusting the NHL’s premiere playmaking centre to make the right offensive decisions is that when he won that Art Ross – he scored 29 goals. In order to open up his passing lanes on the power play he needs to establish himself as a scoring threat, otherwise teams will continue to let him sit on the boards and kill his own power play.

    In other words – when you have a wide open lane to the net and nobody is checking you – shoot the puck!

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    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
    • frankthetank
      April 4, 2012

      Later in the game, I did notice Henrik shooting a bit more (including a couple slapshots!) – maybe he was trying to throw everyone off.

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      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • Phileo99
      April 4, 2012

      Henrik shoots the puck more when Daniel is not playing on his line. So by that logic, we should split up the Sedins. At least try putting other wingers not named Sedin on Henrik’s line more often. I like the play of Lappy/Burr/Henrik. Putting Kassian in there might be a good idea there as well.
      This also frees up Daniel to join Kesler’s line and perhaps jump start Kesler’s offensive production.

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  6. Benner
    April 4, 2012

    I believe that is Potential energy when it’s on Hendrik’s stick not Kinetic energy…

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    • ArtemChubarov
      April 4, 2012

      Doh!

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  7. stathead
    April 4, 2012

    Thanks for the IWTG. Um, why are pro-Luongo folks hilarious exactly? To change the momentum, not because of Luongo’s performance (see post game interview), AV switched to Schneids. Momentum shifted, play tightened up, and after the game, Hank and AV and others said Lu couldn’t be solely blamed for the four goals. Most people agreed it was wobbly play by the D, especially G. If Lu’d been on the top of his game, he could have bailed them out on some of those, and he wasn’t & didn’t.

    I still think he’s a great goalie overall. Go ahead, split your sides laughing at the hilarity. PITB is usually better than this “blow-up”, “stinky”, “Swiss cheese” ranting, which is why I read this blog. (5-4 win in shootout is exciting; I don’t think anyone but a Canucks fan would call it a blow-up.)

    Seriously, edgier IWTG than usual. Baby is keeping you up at night maybe? Please, back to your USP, boys: rational words and indoor voices.

    Great to see Sedinery from Hank; even greater to see Burrows come back onto the ice so my heart could start beating again, then stop again for his goal and shootout success. And Lappy rounding into his playoff beast mode. And Kesler is super-competitive so will be playing up to match that soon. And Higgins has morphed into a nearly-unstoppable and consistent super-zombie. Roll on the playoffs!

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    • canucks in europe
      April 4, 2012

      You gotta give a guest from TO a little grace. Fact that Drance is able to keep the faith while living in the black hole of the hockey universe is remarkable…and unlike other black holes, he can see the light of the Canucks…

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      Rating: +38 (from 38 votes)
    • bergberg
      April 4, 2012

      Yeah you should check who wrote the IWTG. It wasn’t Daniel, as you assume with the baby comment. It was Drance, who doesn’t write many of these (maybe this is even your first?). I, for one, thought it was great.

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      Rating: +34 (from 36 votes)
    • Warpstone
      April 4, 2012

      I’m a big Lou fan, but the rules tend to be simple: if you’re a butterfly goalie, getting beat 5-hole is always on you.

      Yes, there are things which mitigate this but unless you’re being interfered with, the onus is on goalie to shut down the direct route and force shooters to pick corners at least.

      The amusing part for me is that this over-reaction to a bad outing for Luongo was perfectly picked apart by TSN’s panel. One of those weird cases where someone in Toronto can call-out Canucks fans and be right. :D

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      Rating: +20 (from 24 votes)
      • Nick
        April 4, 2012

        Also interesting was the contrast between the TSN panel and the SportsNet panel with regard to Canucks goaltending.

        Crow and Mackenzie stalwartly defended Luongo on TSN, in part, because his past history of excellence.

        And a short time later on the other channel SportsNet’s May and Shannon suggested that Schneider should get the playoff start.

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        Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
    • ArtemChubarov
      April 4, 2012

      Blow-up is a technical term referring to “a game in which a goalie posts a sub .850 save percentage”… Follow the link, perhaps?

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      • Brent
        April 4, 2012

        The link gives me a 404 error. Also end of the second bullet point after the highlights there is text (possibly with a link) missing.

        I like Lou but ya he was off tonight. Can only really blame him for the first one, important since it is something that causes a deflation in the team. However, if he was in Italian wall mode he probably would have stopped 1 or 2 of the other ones. When he is only human Vancouver fans boo him (not that classy Vancouver!), they demand superhuman.

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        • natevk
          April 4, 2012

          I think you missed the joke bud. At the end of the second bullet point, he stops abruptly. See the reference to Henrik stopping abruptly. It was a clever little ploy and made me double-take, but I think it had you fooled. Don’t blame the writer for your miss.

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          Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
          • Brent
            April 4, 2012

            Ya I figured it out after and was hoping no one read my post. Slightly embarrassed.

            So are other people able to get the link to the blow up. I keep getting a 404 error. Mac thing?

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      • stathead
        April 4, 2012

        The different author explains why I didn’t like the IWTG as well as usual- but the fact that I didn’t notice at least shows it’s objective, with no author bias.

        Didn’t quite like the article well enough to follow all the links, frankly. Again, I don’t agree that Luongo supporters are “hilarious” and was a bit surprised to be called that, since on this site you can usually count on more… tolerance is the word, maybe. And while Luongo was not at his absolute best, I don’t think his play in isolation was bad enough to be called stinky/Swiss cheese. Nothing against anyone personally. I simply don’t agree. I guess people downvoting my comment think that Luongo supporters are hilarious and he was stinky Swiss cheese last night; anyone has the right to opinions and commenting/voting accordingly.

        Looking now at the technical definition for “blow-up”, I guess this wasn’t one, since Lu only played half the game? Anyway seems a bit of a dramatic term to use, given the acknowledged defensive lapses and the small sample size.

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        • stathead
          April 4, 2012

          Thing is, I wasn’t just criticizing at random – apparently the pro-Luongo crowd behaved “embarrassingly”, and there are no further details. Were my fellow Luongo supporters stripping? Did they pull out pom-poms? I genuinely don’t know what happened there… so everyone, vote comments up or down as you please, nothing personal, but please also let us know (if anyone does) what the hilarious & embarrassing misbehaviour was.

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          Rating: -4 (from 14 votes)
          • ArtemChubarov
            April 4, 2012

            Stinky and swiss cheese were just a joke bud! Here’s a link explaining what a blow up is: http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2011/10/14/drance-numbers-can-roberto-luongos-mental-toughness-be-quantified/

            The pro-Schneider crowd were the ones who acted embarrassingly (booing Luu, cheering simple Schneider saves), but the pro-Luongo crowd amuses me as well, because they can’t admit when he had a bad game. He had a really, really bad game last night – that doesn’t mean Schneider is better and Luu definitely didn’t deserve the boo-birds, but I was just pointing out that when it comes to Luongo people are irrational on both sides!

            Cheers,

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            • stathead
              April 4, 2012

              Man, I was hoping for stripping. Anyway, thanks for filling in so we had an IWTG.

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              Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
          • John in Marpole
            April 4, 2012

            As I read it, the ‘hilarious’ actions are the contortions that many pro-Luongo’s (what a silly label) do to explain away any poor play on the part of Luongo. There is a fairly common lack of ability to acknowledge that in fact he may not have played well on any particular night.

            If I am reading Drance’s meaning correctly, I completely agree with him. That said, the hook came out last night to get the attention of a team that was collectively playing poorly in their own end. And that strategy worked.

            Here is the thing. Two of the three times that the Canuck franchise has made it to the Cup Final the goaltending was uniformly solid. In 2011 that wasn’t the case. If some of the fans perceive that Luongo is unreliable in playoff situations – as they did Dan Cloutier – then they will hang the responsibility for a loss around his neck, regardless of the totality of the facts. It happened to Cloutier because of 1 goal. It has happened to Luongo because he does indeed have a history of soft goals/bad games in the playoffs, the first of which was the final goal against the Ducks in 2007.

            With that history in mind it is understandable that there is an appreciable number of canuck fans who lack conficence in Luongo’s ability to deliver in the playoffs. That doesn’t, for me, excuse their boorish behavior last night, but it should explain why they feel as they do, and why whenever a ‘pro-Luongo’ fan points at his accomplishments as a reason why he shouldn’t be doubted it could be thought of as hilarious or silly or uninformed because the facts support that lack of confidence more than they don’t.

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            • jer
              April 4, 2012

              With you all the way, with one minor point of contention:

              “It happened to Cloutier because of 1 goal.”

              I would suggest that the effect of that one goal in the fans’ minds was exacerbated considerably by the next year’s playoff series that made the Minnesota Wild look like the 1984 Edmonton Oilers. It takes a special kind of fail to let the 2003 Wild score 7, 5, and 4 goals in consecutive outings and a lot of that was on Clouts. (Note the wild scored ONE GOAL in their next 4 games as the 7th seed Ducks swept them from the conference finals)

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  8. hockeyispretty
    April 4, 2012

    The most newsworthy quote of the night, from the media-savvy and usually diplomatic Cory Schneider, regarding fans cheering when Luongo gets pulled: ‘”It’s getting old,” Schneider said. “I’m glad they like me and support me, but he’s a guy that has done a lot for this team and this city and he deserves a lot better.”‘

    WOW. Thumbs up if you respect Schneider even more now for backing Lu like this, since players have to be pretty careful of upsetting Canucks fans (we can be a twitchy lot).

    “It’s getting old” is absolutely the strongest thing by about ten notches that I’ve ever heard any member of the organization say about any behaviour by fans.

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    Rating: +97 (from 101 votes)
    • Wagman
      April 4, 2012

      I was at the game, and been to enough now to have a feeling for the crowd response, and the j(ch)eering for every save by Schneider was over the top. I was sitting there thinking: “What are you doing, trying to mess with Luongo right before the start of the playoffs?” You know AV is going with Luongo, so fans need to be supportive of their #1 (and if you don’t know who that is…)

      Nice work, TD. Nice to see that both teams have a solid backup.

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      Rating: +25 (from 33 votes)
      • Nee
        April 4, 2012

        I was at the game too, and I felt the same way. The crowd reaction to Lu being pulled was over the top, and frankly, mean spirited. I do agree that Lu had a bad game, but he really shouldn’t be thrown under the bus for it. The treatment he gets is unfair.

        It’s funny…the crowd behaved like a knowledgeable fanbase in most ways. They cheered sustained offensive pressure, good defensive plays, strong forechecking, offensive zone faceoffs. But for some reason, some people just don’t seem to have any sense of perspective when it comes to Luongo. You’d think they’d have some understanding that the D coverage has horrible, but unfortunately, the perception instead is that it is ALL on Lu. I don’t get it.

        Now for some positivity: 7 consecutive wins! Woooooo. And Henrik is playing really well right now. : )

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  9. joseph
    April 4, 2012

    i missed it….

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  10. Zach Morris
    April 4, 2012

    “If malt-shops still existed in this century, I’d buy Henrik Sedin’s game tonight a banana-split.”
    You win, Mr. Drance.

    A much more open game than I had expected, but one in which the Canuck’s offensive talent flourished. Of course, to bring balance to the force, the Canucks were lacklustre defensively.

    Henrik had a really good game. If he’s not King Henrik, then he’s at least the Fresh Prince.

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  11. peanutflower
    April 4, 2012

    Technically isn’t Hank an Art Ross winner, and not a former Art Ross winner? The Art Ross trophy still exists, so it can’t be former. And Hank is still Hank, right? I like the sounds of “Art Ross winner” better. Regardless, Henrik is magic. THe Ducks were just standing there watching. Salo threw a pretty nifty saucer pass too though so maybe they’re all taking saucer pass lessons. Does anyone have the ability to actually stay on the puck better than Henrik while they’re being beat up along the boards? Anyone?

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    • Brent
      April 4, 2012

      Ya that Hendrik guy seems to pretty good at this whole hockey thing.

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    • John in Marpole
      April 4, 2012

      You’re correct, just as there is no such thing as a ‘former Olympic Champion’, there is no such thing as a ‘former (insert the name of any trophy you wish here) winner’. Once you win it, you’ve won it forever.

      That said, I’d not mind at all reading a sports page headline that included the phrase ‘former Stanley Cup Champion Vancouver Canucks’.

      I’d give that error a pass, because I’d still be celebrating the championship that preceded it.

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  12. the olde coote
    April 4, 2012

    concerning the once mighty Ducks
    versus the enigmatic Nucks
    whom i once thought were sure to lose
    and fall again behind the Blues
    who had of course to beat the Wings
    afore one could regret these things
    still their falling to Anaheim
    ‘twould borderline a heinous crime

    Vancouver fans are downright rude
    their booing Lu was crass and crude
    Jenny Wren screamed, “You just shut up!
    He soon will take you to the Cup.
    I hate how you so quickly boo
    someone who’s done so much for you!”

    the olde coot

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  13. cathylu
    April 4, 2012

    Thanks Thomas for filling in for our usual boys. Good write-up. I liked the fact that we didn’t give up in this game. Booing Lu was pretty crappy; you could tell he was having a bad night and the rest of the team didn’t help him much. So I’ll say Happy Birthday Roberto, hope you have a good one. And I know I’m a fairly new fan but I don’t think I’ve ever seen all three of our shoot-out chances make it in the net. Woo!

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    Rating: +19 (from 21 votes)
    • Nee
      April 4, 2012

      I wonder why Edler is so money in the shootout. There is a nice simplicity to the way that he scores his shootout goals…he doesn’t dazzle you with dekes, but the moves he makes seem to work more often than not.

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      • peanutflower
        April 4, 2012

        And he is someone who definitely can be described by Mark Lee as “smooth skating” lol.

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  14. sarah
    April 4, 2012

    I liked watching the game on TSN. Gave a bit of different perspective. And obviously I never tire of hearing the Alex Burrows Origin Story.

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    • frankthetank
      April 4, 2012

      I agree – I really enjoy the Miller/Ferraro tandem.

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      Rating: +7 (from 17 votes)
    • Nick
      April 4, 2012

      Me too … I like Shorthouse and Hughson, but TSN is really good. Ray Ferraro is my favourite colour guy. And Bob McKenzie during the intermission is great too.

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      Rating: +8 (from 12 votes)
      • Snepsts
        April 4, 2012

        Really? Ray Ferraro’s voice drive’s me nuts. It’s like someone honking a horn at low volume. Plus he and Miller go on these silly hockey history tangents and don’t call the game for one or two minutes at a time. Not that Garrett and Shorty don’t have their own quirks, mind you.

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        • Nick
          April 4, 2012

          I didn’t really notice the timbre of his voice, and I like Ferraro for his sense of the game and his insights and his candidness.

          He lives here in Vancouver and seems to be far more knowledgeable about Canuck players and players league-wide than Garrett and also the Toronto-based guys on CBC.

          I also think goalies are overrated as analysts.

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          Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
        • wheres my stick
          April 4, 2012

          Garrett and Shorty are like listening to 14 yr old ,brain addled
          canuck worshipping homers.so lopsided.close you eyes and try
          to figure out what the heck is going on.

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  15. Warpstone
    April 4, 2012

    You know, I give pro athletes in New York a bit of leeway because of how much scrutiny and pressure they face. For example, how Eli Manning has not gone apoplectic and instigated a locker room incident is beyond me.

    The same is the case with Roberto Luongo. I don’t really need to defend him–you either appreciate the strong statistical evidence of his body of work or you don’t.

    But I do think we have to consider the mindset of the people in the rink. Yes you payed several hundred dollars to sit and be entertained… but what are you thinking? How many other starting goalies with Vezina quality seasons get this treatment when they get pulled? It’s embarrassing to witness home fans display such a lack of contextual understanding (i.e. your team is in first place…) in situations like last night. If you really want to hold the players accountable, then why aren’t you also jeering on every Gragnani, Booth or Raymond shift as well? You can’t have it both ways, even if you can afford a ticket in Rogers Arena.

    I give Roberto credit not because he’s blameless for last night, but because he has developed the thick skin and grace to cope with a home crowd that’s as irrationally harsh on its goaltenders as any in the league.

    Kirk Mclean: treated like a bum due to a love-affair with Troy Gamble.
    Dan Cloutier: treated like a bum due to a love-affair with Alex Auld.
    Roberto Luongo: treated like a bum due to a love-affair with Corey Schneider.

    Note: the point is never that Schneider is not good. Rather, it’s just that the fans have become so fickle that they even make Brian Burke’s bluster seem prophetic. Now that’s something worthy of being booed!

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    • tj
      April 4, 2012

      You know, I think you’re onto something here. Is it a BC thing? I’m thinking politics, now, and how we’re as citizens tend to en mass shift from one ‘side’ to the other. When one party/person disappoints us, a slow rumbling occurs until it’s a complete meltdown in rejection. Until that one disappoints, and then the same thing happens. Maybe that’s not so unusual, but it seems like a pattern…

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      • Nee
        April 4, 2012

        It does make you wonder…why do some fans here treat goalies this way? I do think that the collective pessimism and angst that so often infects Canucks fans probably plays a role. When your team has never won the Cup in its existence, and the fanbase is angst prone, it’s a bad combination. Especially since people know that we are in our Cup window right now. They know we have only so many chances to win. So they overreact to Lu’s bad days (“we”ll never win with Lu!” “trade him for Kyle Wellwood!!!1″), and it starts to infect their overall perception of his quality as a goalie.

        That’s my perception anyways.

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        • Warpstone
          April 4, 2012

          You’re probably right. There’s so much pent up angst amongst Vancouver sports fans that it probably leads to over-reactions.

          However, I really think a general lack of hockey sense is at play too. You can count on idiots blaming Luongo for a bang-bang play that the best goalies of all time would not be able to save. The crowd in Rogers arena seems to have a few loud detractors of this ilk and it somehow leads to idiotic groupthink in regards to “who’s to blame!”

          When you’re not willing to think, it’s easy to satisfy a witch-hunt by focusing on the goalie. Figuring out the underlying problems in a bad team performance takes investigation (advanced stats) and open-mindedness (gasp, even Ryan Kesler can make bad plays).

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          • peanutflower
            April 4, 2012

            We are The Crucible of fandom here. Seriously.

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        • canucks in europe
          April 5, 2012

          Don’t pull Wellwood into this…what’s he done to deserve that?

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    • jer
      April 4, 2012

      I’m pretty much with you on this… Lou has some bad games, but this team would be flirting with missing the playoffs without Lou’s play in the last 2 months.

      Just feel like quibbling though… my memory of Captain Kirk is that he was treated like a god in this town. Now, that obviously increased significantly in 94 and beyond, and your reference to Gamble infers you’re talking pre-94. I loved watching Kirk McLean because for some reason I loved the standup style that no one has played since, but he wasn’t much more than a very good goalie in this league – I don’t think he can complain about ill treatment.

      As for Mr. Cloutier – a likable guy, but he had to be the most inconsistent goalie I’ve ever watched. I don’t ever recall much of a love affair with Auld, but if you want to make the argument replacing Auld with Bob Essensa you might be on to something.

      And as for Lou, I don’t know if you can put the focus on Schneider as the reason for the boos entirely. Certainly that’s part of it, but I’d suggest that at least equal part of the lack of outright support for the guy is due to the blowups in the last few playoff years – whether they were Lou’s fault or not.

      My point is that while Vancouver has certainly had a strange love for their backups (remember Corey Hirsch? Steve (not Kevin) Weeks? Kay Whitmore? Garth Snow?) – probably something about loving the underdog – but I don’t know if all the poor treatment of the starters can be attributed directly to that.

      Anyway. All that said, I came in half way through the game last night when Schneis was already in, and was thoroughly disappointed to learn of the earlier proceedings. Lou makes a lot of money, but he deserves a lot better from the fans in this city.

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      • J21
        April 4, 2012

        The loving-the-backup thing is universal (and applies to QBs in football a lot of the time too), it is not a Vancouver thing. Many a color commentator has mentioned this phenomenon when a starter is struggling.

        And the idea that people had a love affair with Troy Gamble over Kirk McLean is pure fiction by Warpstone, sorry. Gamble was the starter for the 1990-91 season (as McLean was battling injuries and inconsistency) so he wasn’t even a backup then, and the following season, 1991-92, not only was McLean dominant and beloved (and robbed of the Vezina trophy because Patrick Roy was a bigger name), but Gamble was dreadful and barely played, before disappearing from the league. There was absolutely no love affair with him.

        Auld vs. Cloutier barely had a chance to happen since Cloutier went down early in the one season where they overlapped, and Auld became the starter. So again, no way was there some sort of fan obsession with the backup (who became Maxime Ouellet, who was rather unfairly villified by the fanbase, and then Miika Noronen, who also was).

        So those accusations were not only false, but actually the opposite of what happened.

        The one time there was a true backup obsession in Vancouver was for Bob Essensa over Félix Potvin in the 2000-01 season. And in that case, as the numbers bear out, it was completely and totally justified. The only reason Essensa wasn’t starting was stubbornness on the part of Burke and Crawford, which would resurface later when Cloutier was hit and miss in the following years.

        In that respect, in 2003-04, people wanted Marc Crawford to play Johan Hedberg more than he did (because he played well, often outplaying Cloutier) but again that was more or less deserved, and I don’t think anyone was calling for him to become the starter outright. It was more that Crawford was completely incapable of assessing the situation objectively (e.g. calling Hedberg “terrible” after a rather average game while coddling Cloutier at every opportunity, then later refusing to let Hedberg play in the playoffs once Cloutier was hurt) and it showed.

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        • jer
          April 4, 2012

          Hit the nail on the head. I believe Vancouver fans aren’t any worse than any other town with respect to their goalies, despite this old “goalie graveyard” line we’ve been sold for years. Between Kirk leaving town and Lou showing up, we went through a long litany of mostly mediocre to very bad goalies.

          It would be really interesting to see a post diving into the history of fan-goalie relations in Vancouver, and the many factors that go into the relationship between Lou and the fans here. It’s a lot more than irrational ‘haters guna hate’. I’d say the preceding 10 or so years of goalie frustration probably plays a big role in things.

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          • Nee
            April 4, 2012

            Well, at least it’s nice to hear that we aren’t alone in having this starter vs. backup drama. I don’t follow football close enough to know this. I kind of thought we were uniquely bad with this sort of thing. It’s interesting to hear that its more common than I realized.

            Still sucks though.

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    • Nick
      April 4, 2012

      Fans in the building are not an accurate indicator of how the rest of us feel.

      Vancouver has a long, embarassing history of having some pretty nasty vocal fans in the building, going back to the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviets, and the famous response by Phil Esposito about what jerks these guys were to boo Team Canada.

      And the same types in the building were quite merciless with their vitrilole for Johnson and the American teenagers when the world juniors were here a few years ago … even though they were just kids.

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      • jer
        April 4, 2012

        I remember folks being upset about the boos in the world jr tournament, but it always struck me as misplaced anger. After all, most of the kids playing for Canada and the US team in a world jr tournament play most of their full time hockey at the WHL/OHL/QMJHL level.

        Ever been to a game in Kelowna, Prince George, Kamloops . . . ? I have. And there’s a hell of a lot of booing in those games … “even though they are just kids.” Jr crowds are among the most vicious around for visiting teams – my guess is the comparably minor booing at the world jr tournament barely registered for the players.

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    • DanD
      April 4, 2012

      I agree with you on everything except for using Dan Cloutier as an example. He was just bad. I don’t think it was a love affair with Alex Auld, it was just that Dan Cloutier was actually not a great goaltender.

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  16. frankthetank
    April 4, 2012

    Burrows had a sweet spin move along the boards about halfway through the first (before the Canucks’ first goal). It was kind of hard to see since it was down by the near boards, but the fans gave a collective gasp when it happened.

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  17. tj
    April 4, 2012

    I missed the second, and I’m glad I did: I am more disappointed in the way the ‘fans’ reacted than in Lu’s play. Ticky-tacky behaviour. It seems to be a meme: fans trying to run out of town the guys they don’t like. Great, so now we’re on the same list as Montreal and Toronto fans. I do wish Vancouver fans weren’t such tools sometimes; it’s getting harder and harder to defend them. Except the Bulies, here. Y’all are sensible folk :)

    Love the opening point, TD. Some great ‘saves’ you made here. A tad too much editorial, but in a game like that, it’d be hard not to do.

    Thanks for being the IWTG backup!

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  18. Andre
    April 4, 2012

    Hank felt he had to cycle the puck by himself before making the winning pass to Burrows goal. Trademark Sedinery, even if it’s only half of the duo.

    Last night, he was impossible to dislodge from the puck along the boards. His stature is less imposing that Kassian’s or Kesler’s, yet what they achieve by pure strength, he achieves by…resilience? Stoicism? Non-linear physics?

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  19. Kate
    April 4, 2012

    This game was definitely exciting, so glad they pulled off the win! I think what irks me the most about the fans treatment of Luo (and of course it wasn’t everyone in the building) is that those fans even get to be at the game. If you are there, you support our team, because there are thousands of fans who can’t afford to go who would love to take your seat and cheer on the boys no matter what. Look, no wonder Toronto lost so many games at home, it became a hostile environment just by way of their fans, well and the fact that they weren’t so good…but regardless, I just don’t believe in booing your team or any individual from that team.

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    • Nick
      April 4, 2012

      Agree about booing. But in the building or not, it’s hard to not scream at these guys sometimes. How often have you yelled at Henrik to just shoot, or Luongo to get back up when he’s wallowing on his stomach, or Edler to stop making those ridiculous back passes at the opposing blue line, or Gragnani to get back in position, or Vigneault to stop putting out a completely gassed line to start the next play, just because they scored on the previous one. Hockey, especially if you’ve spent your life playing it and watching it and reading about it, is so emotionally involving. But booing the boys is classless during a season like this one.

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      • Kate
        April 4, 2012

        Oh yeah totally, I’m guilty of yelling at the tv too because you really do get completely wrapped up, and care so much. Just trying to keep into perspective that although they are professional athletes, they’re still people, and we wouldn’t endlessly boo a friend who performed poorly (or what we perceive to be poorly). I know they say it doesn’t bother them, but, like you said, this season has been good, we only have 4 less wins than last year with 2 games to go, and yet fans still act like it’s not enough.

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  20. Mushmouth
    April 4, 2012

    I yelled at Henrik and all the other PP guys to shoot the puck. Seemed reasonable enough given that NOBODY WAS SHOOTING THE PUCK. As far as I know its the only way to score goals.

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    • Nee
      April 4, 2012

      The thing is, there is a reason that they are down there playing, while we are watching in the stands. Trust their judgement. They know what they’re doing.

      Just sayin’.

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      • Nick
        April 4, 2012

        I’m not sure I want to go that far.

        Fans should not be booing this edition of the Canucks, but definitely fans should give it to their team and coach when incompetence leads to year after year of mediocrity.

        The “always be quiet and just trust them” stance reminds of how Britney Spears once said that people should just back off the criticism and just trust George Bush, and that he knows what he’s doing because he’s the president.

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        • Nee
          April 4, 2012

          I’m not saying “don’t criticize the team”. I think that is absolutely something that can and should be done when warranted.

          I just hate the random “SHOOT!!!!!” calls from the stands….thats what I’m referring to. It makes no sense.

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  21. Sonia
    April 4, 2012

    These are the times where I hate some of our so-called fans more than any rivals. Its come to a point that when we win, its not a luxury anymore, its a necessity and when we lose, all hell breaks lose but not on the entire team, just on Luongo.

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  22. zach
    April 4, 2012

    Its unfortunate what happened tonight with Lu. He didn’t deserve to be booed right out of the net, Gragnani’s play tonight was atrocious. Of course he wasn’t the only bad Canuck tonight, but his defensive play tonight stuck out like a soar thumb. Its sad to see that the fans who attend the games for the most part don’t have the decency to support every player on the team. If we/they are not careful, especially since the team doesn’t get to hear the support from the TV folk, we will begin to build a reputation as a place where players don’t want to come, because the environment is too hostile. Fortunately, at least right now, its still a place where players want to play. Everybody loves Schneids and thats fine, but lets have some decency as fans and at least support the guy who brought this team out of the goalie graveyard and into relevance as a contender. Thanks Lu, know that I appreciate what you have done for this organization, and happy birthday.

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    • zach
      April 4, 2012

      I guess I mean to say last night!

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    • Nick
      April 4, 2012

      Not a fan of Gragnani … and I really wonder if it’s even possible for AV to develop him into a solid defenseman. He’s got some interesting offensive potential, but almost no sense of defensive positioning. Hope I’m proven wrong about him.

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  23. Britt
    April 4, 2012

    While I was a little taken aback to see a name other than Mooney or Wagner as the author of this IWTG, with gems like the malt shop and Pussycat Dolls references I could get on board with Drance.

    As far as this particular game goes, and yes I realize it was essentially meaningless, I think it’s MG who had the roughest night. Some of his aquisitions and signings (Booth, Grangani, Luongo) didn’t exactly shine. It makes me think he will one of the most nervous people in the city come playoff time.

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    • jer
      April 4, 2012

      You remember that Luongo was a Nonis acquisition, right? And you picked up on the fact that a Gillis acquisition scored the tying goal and the shootout winner? And that another Gillis pickup scored the tying goal in the second, by tipping in a shot from another Gillis acquisition?

      I’d say MG should be sleeping just fine at night.

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      • Britt
        April 4, 2012

        Of course I realize MG has done plenty of good for the Canucks and I’m actually a big fan of most of the things he’s done, that’s why I said “some” not all. I was just trying to point out how much he (and everyone for that matter) has riding on these playoffs. In particular I think Lunongo’s future with the Canucks will be dictated by what happens this spring.

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        • jer
          April 4, 2012

          Sure, but what you said was that Gillis had the roughest night, due to the play of Gragnani (who he picked up), Booth (who he picked up), and Luongo (who Nonis picked up). If Gillis ‘performance’ last night is to be judged by the play of his acquisitions, why would you ignore the positive contributions of his other acquisitions? At worst you’d have to admit they at least are a wash and that Gillis’ “performance” last night was +/- 0. Even in this bizzarro world where GM’s are rated on a game by game basis.

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    • Nick
      April 4, 2012

      MG has done ok. He might have some doubts about signing his goalie for another 10 years, but those super long-term contracts are always a gamble. My favourite MG acquisition is Higgins … how could the Panthers just let this guy go for a 3rd rounder and Evan (never gonna make it) Oberg?

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      • Britt
        April 4, 2012

        I agree, Higgins and Lapierre are probably his two best finds overall. Hard to blame Gillis on the Luongo signing given that long term contracts seemed to be the the thing to do at the time. If the Canucks end up having to go to Schneider in the playoffs I think the problem will solve itself and Luongo will ask to be traded. Finding somewhere to trade him to might be the biggest challenge, but I think it could be done.

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        • peanutflower
          April 4, 2012

          Why does the word “blame” even have to be in any sentence that has “Luongo” in it? There’s no blame here. Luongo is a great goalie. He has his bad days, just like Schneider, Thomas, Lundqvist, any other goalie. There’s no “blame” here. This is just poppycock talk.

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  24. Bob
    April 4, 2012

    Luongo just needs to hit the reset button again

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    • Warpstone
      April 4, 2012

      Given that this is Vancouver, it would be more appropriate if “Funny Bob” hit the “Reboot!” button. :D

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      • Nee
        April 4, 2012

        Reboot reference! He-double hockey sticks yes!

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  25. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 4, 2012

    People, seriously, players get booed in almost every building of every sport and league. Next game he’ll be back to getting Luu’ed, and if he’s the least bit mature, he’ll recognize that these are just the comings and goings of being a professional athlete. Unfortunately, Canuck-nation seems to be far too self-conscious and responds to it by wanting to coddle multi-millionaire athletes for a bad performance, and treat any type of fan dissent as embarrassing or shameful.

    While I am very reluctant to ever boo the home team (I don’t believe I ever have), there is one unfortunate parallel that is always easy to draw with Luongo: play well for a string, look unbeatable, and then out of nowhere put up an absolute stinker or two in a row at the worst possible time. Granted, right now isn’t the worst possible time, but fans are going to have in the backs of their heads game 4 of the Chicago series, or game 3-4 of the Boston series, where an apparently confident and high-riding Luongo suddenly comes out flatter than week-old Coke. I think this is why fans can be so quick to turn on Lu: his play can be equally just as quick to turn ugly as the result of a bad goal. So while I think his excellent play of late should have probably earned him a pass here, I also don’t subscribe to this idea of a 2 million strong fanbase having to collectively fret over a veteran player’s psyche. He knew this was a rabid and often fickle fanbase, and could’ve signed his $64 million contract elsewhere if he wasn’t able to cope with both the upsides and downsides of that fact.

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    • Nick
      April 4, 2012

      well said Chris

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  26. jjsmuggler
    April 4, 2012

    TSN was all about making the ‘goalie controversy’ in Van as big as possible. What a joke how much hot air they put into trying to make it seem like there’s issues with the goaltending. I’m tired of all these panels ‘Teaching a controversey’. They do it with borderline hits, trades, goalies.. whatever is on deck.
    It’s painfully obvious in many many cases that the people on TV with the most to say and the biggest soap box are the ones who watch the fewest games out west. The annoying thing is when a handful of pea minded fans in Van take the bait.

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  27. J21
    April 4, 2012

    “The quick-stop was marvelous, I really haven’t seen anything stop that abruptly since”

    Hah, well played sir!

    For sure people overreact to the goaltending situation — and this is a completely universal hockey fan thing, it is by no means particular to Vancouver, no matter what Brian Burke says — but at some point people have to face facts and acknowledge that on the balance, Schneider has been the steadier of the two this season.

    Yes, there was some bad defense. But here’s the thing: you can point to a defensive breakdown on pretty much any goal — this is how scoring chances happen — and what separates good goaltenders from just plain goaltenders is that they manage to make stops in spite of this. Booing Luongo in this game is ridiculous, but it’s perfectly fair to say he had a bad game, did not come up with stops, and/or feel more confident with Schneider in goal.

    They are both good, and any talk of “Luongo can’t win a Cup” is silly considering he basically just won 99% of one last year and in spite of fans’ hyperbolic sports-only reasoning, this is “winning something”.

    That said, Schneider’s positioning and ability to take up net space just looks far superior all around. I’m not saying that this makes him far superior, but rather that it looks better, and (1) makes me more confident as a fan, and arguably (2) makes opposing shooters have to think a little harder. It reminds me of why I preferred Alex Auld’s style to Dan Cloutier’s, the latter of whom was outstandingly skilled at minimizing the body that God gave him to block a net.

    It is fair to have a realistic goaltending discussion without lapsing into “controversies” and overreactions. In a completely reasoned, rational way, I would prefer that Schneider get his fair share of playoff time, perhaps even the greater amount. And for all the talk about a “shorter leash”, with some exceptions, when you’re in a position to pull a starter, it’s already too late. And in a best-of-7, the team can’t necessarily afford this.

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    • Frank
      April 4, 2012

      Nice last paragraph there, that I agree with. A realistic discussion about all the players’ performances should be possible and is preferred at all times. This is a team sport so the best team should play. Even if that would mean the “back-up” goalie should get the start.

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    • jer
      April 4, 2012

      This might be my favorite comment on a blog post ever. J21, I now consider you the Cory Schneider to Harrison Mooney’s Roberto Luongo. Seriously, the next time he makes a typo I’m demanding they put you in.

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  28. Nick
    April 4, 2012

    Nice job with the IWTG Thomas. Don’t let the folks who didn’t like it so much get you down.

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  29. Phileo99
    April 4, 2012

    Schneids is right. The whole goalie controversy is so yesterday. I’ve got Schneider-Luongo controversy fatigue already. We have a Vezina finalist who is the best goaltender that the Canucks ever had, and a backup goalie who would be the clear starting goalie on any other team. Instead of being thankful and appreciative of the richness of our goalie tandem who won the William M. Jennings Trophy, the canuck fan base is instead unwilling to let go, and continues to make a spectacle of this controversy, thereby allowing the media to feed into it.

    Really people, there are better things to whine about, like how Kesler has no goals and 1A in his past 10 games. Why is there no complaint to give him a “maintenance” day?
    If you want controversy, how about CoHo getting 8pts in his past 8Games, and Kassian being a nothin’ burger? ooh ooh, but we also got MAG in that particular deal. Really? Seriously? The only thing MAG is skilled at is fooling the fanbase into making BobbyLu the scapegoat for MAG’s complete and absolute lack of competent defensive play. Sulzer has 5pts in his past 3 games, folks, and you would rather CHOOSE to whine about Luongo? Really?

    Or how about every time that Daniel Sedin is injured, Hank finds a way to not just play better, but make his teammates better, so by that logic, why not split up the SEdins??
    Or how about how MayRay needs another date with the pressbox?

    Seriously folks, the Luongo-Schneider goalie controversy ranks -9999 on my top10 list of Canuck controversies. Move on people.

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    • J21
      April 4, 2012

      Instead of being thankful and appreciative of the richness of our goalie tandem who won the William M. Jennings Trophy, the canuck fan base is instead unwilling to let go, and continues to make a spectacle of this controversy, thereby allowing the media to feed into it.

      I think you’re missing why it’s a divisive issue and seen as an either/or: the Canucks can’t keep both of them next season. When you have Schneider already performing at and possibly eclipsing Luongo’s level — and this is pretty much past the point where it’s arguable, but for lack of playoff experience — while also being younger, cheaper, less worn out, more technically sound and possibly capable of continuing his mind-bogglingly upward trajectory, people are understandably very nervous about the consequences of giving him up. This is a guy who already looks Vezina-calibre. Perhaps a heavier workload will change that, but he’s not a flash-in-the-pan. The Canucks will be giving up potentially the next star goalie in the league.

      It’s a pretty easy calculation for those who want to avoid it if possible. It’s not about disliking Luongo. He is by any stretch the best goalie the Canucks have had. It’s a simple “Moneyball” conclusion that that mark may be approximated or surpassed by Schneider at better value.

      And for this season, if Schneider gives the Canucks the best chance to win (and this is hardly a pie-in-the-sky proposition) fans don’t want to see that squandered because of the contract situation if it means losing a rare and realistic shot at the Cup. Hence why emotions run high if fans don’t feel the best lineup is being played.

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      • Jess
        April 4, 2012

        very nicely put

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      • Phileo99
        April 4, 2012

        I don’t think I’m missing why it’s such a hot button topic. There is a faction support of keeping Schneids over Luongo and the other part of the fan base is in favour of keeping Luongo over Schneids.
        The crux of your pro-Schneids argument is that he is just oozing with potential and demonstrating signs that he could live up to his potential. And, being younger than Lu by 7yrs, the Canucks can get much more years of valuable service out of him. For a minute, I thought you were describing CoHo, and the Canucks traded him away, remember?

        Schneids has performed well enough to deserve the job of being starting goalie. But what everyone forgets is that Lou has not performed poor enough to deserve to lose the job of starting goalie! It’s almost as if everyone forgot about the past 2 months, where the whole team performed poorly, and Luongo was pretty much stealing wins for them. It’s almost as if that body of evidence is thrown out the door in favour of throwing Luongo under the bus for letting in one soft goal. It’s almost as if the pro-Schneids camp selectively forgot Schneid’s poor performance against Nashville.
        Luongo is the best goaltender the Canucks have ever had. period. Therefore, the job of starting goalie should be his to lose.

        A lot can happen between now and July. Luongo could win us the cup. Schneids could win us the cup. Or, both of them could take turns and we win the cup. Or we may not win the cup because of how poor Schneids performed. Or we may not win the cup despite how well Lou performed. Or we may not win the cup and neither goalie was a factor. Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

        Let the results of this cup run speak for themselves. There’s no point in wasting so much time and energy worrying about things and pre-judging before the cup run has even begun. Make the judgement not before, not during, but after the body of evidence has been submitted.

        If you want controversy, a better hot button topic would be to call for the firing of MGGM for trading away a young performer oozing with potential and demonstrating signs of reaching that potential.

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        • J21
          April 5, 2012

          Phileo, not sure if you’re still reading this, but:

          It’s almost as if everyone forgot about the past 2 months, where the whole team performed poorly, and Luongo was pretty much stealing wins for them. It’s almost as if that body of evidence is thrown out the door in favour of throwing Luongo under the bus for letting in one soft goal. It’s almost as if the pro-Schneids camp selectively forgot Schneid’s poor performance against Nashville.

          Luongo absolutely played well for the team over the past 2 months. So has Schneider, though. Where there are literally only one or two examples of Schneider having had a bad game, though (the fact that you can pinpoint the Nashville game by name is telling, I think, as is the fact that so many online keep dissecting Schneider’s FIRST EVER playoff start in which he only played 30 minutes in an attempt to forecast the future, a full year later), Luongo has had enough questionable starts that people get nervous. I’m not saying it’s fully justified, just that it sticks in people’s memories. Schneider hasn’t had as much of a chance for that to happen, but I would argue — as would many better — that he is more technically sound that Luongo and has, on the balance, looked better in his starts than Luongo has. As simple as that. It’s not about love/hate, starter/backup. It’s just about the best chance to win.

          And I think the Nashville game is a pretty poor example anyway. Schneider was not “good enough” by definition, but just like in many of Luongo’s poorer efforts, there were defensive breakdowns on every goal — something that is (rightly) brought up in each case. As I mentioned above, this is the case for most goals, but we can’t decide that sometimes that absolves the goalie of responsibility and sometimes it doesn’t. The real key is how good/bad he looks in the effort, how well he plays the other shots, how often he comes up with a big save in spite of that, etc. You can’t begrudge fans for feeling that Schneider has generally looked more solid, no matter how well Luongo has played recently. I feel there have been more games, proportionately, where almost every scoring chance has gone in against Luongo than against Schneider, simple as that. I am not anti-Luongo nor do I feel he isn’t a top goalie. But I understand the fans who are hesitant about ditching or not playing Schneider.

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          • Phileo99
            April 5, 2012

            So, based on past performance, everyone is building up a pre-conceived notion of Luongo, I get that.
            Yes, he has notoriously built up a reputation for letting in bad goals at the wrong time. I get that.
            But it’s not like Schneider is perfect either. He killed his own chances at a shutout because he decided to go behind the net and play the puck, something he has no business, nor any competence in doing. He has had ample games to demonstrate that he’s learned from the past, but he still goes to the back of the net and screws things up. Remember the Dallas goal?
            And yet, people are so willing to forgive that blatant error, but not willing to forgive Luongo when he commits the same error.
            Luongo performed poorly in the deciding games of the first 2 Chicago series. But on game7 of the Chicago series, I thought he acquitted himself quite well. But of course, the fanbase instead chooses to remember the goal that slayed the dragon, not the breakaways and point blank golden opportunity by Patrick Sharp that was stopped to enable the dragon to be slayed.

            By making a case for Schneids to stick around, the fanbase is effectively asking that MGGM admit that he made a mistake in signing Luongo to a long term contract. That’s quite the long shot if you ask me.
            For me, this year’s cup run is a clean slate.
            I will choose to judge Luongo based on his performance in this year’s cup run, not based on pre-conceived notions I have about him.

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      • peanutflower
        April 4, 2012

        Right, and as far as GMMG laying awake at night wondering why he made the trade for Kassian (which I am pretty sure he is not doing) what he IS doing is lying there wondering how he can keep both goalies…

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  30. Nick
    April 4, 2012

    Last season Tim Thomas had the best SV% in league history at .938

    Cory Schneider has now matched that .938 SV% and is 3rd in GAA at 1.93 … better numbers than Thomas last season, and better than current Vezina favourite, Henrik Lundquist.

    If not for Brian Elliot and passionate loyalty to Lu, the talk would be about how Schneider has put together arguably the best season in league history.

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    • Anonymous
      April 4, 2012

      Yeah but compare Schneid’s shot totals and games played with Thomas’ and Lundqvist’s. Completely different ballpark.

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  31. wheres my stick
    April 4, 2012

    groucho marx never hooked this many contestants
    if you’re a butterfly goalie, getting beat 5-hole is always on you.
    those goal were lous fault,net cam big hole no stick to be seen

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  32. akidd
    April 4, 2012

    gee whiz, drance, people are giving you a hard. enjoyed your iwtg. it was refreshing to hear a differenct voice. but in the inter-denominational battle that is taking place in the church of canucks i guess you may have stepped on some toes. nothing but praise or excuses for luongo in this corner of the church. if he has suffered one line of criticism on this blog since i started reading it this year i can’t recall it.

    so you coming in here and calling it like you see it is going to be a bumpy ride. if some people can’t tell a bad game when they see it well …i’m not surprised.

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  33. Anonymous
    April 4, 2012

    Another voice in the crowd telling you I enjoyed your take on the IWTG! Canucks fans are so lucky to have such great back ups.

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  34. Kavy36
    April 5, 2012

    I really enjoyed this IWTG and hope that we see a few more by Mr. Drance in the future. I’m basing this solely on this line “It was such a mind-bending sequence that one might even describe it as illogical, and it was so illogical that it roots for the Canucks.” AWESOME. And the rest was pretty good too. :D

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