Spitballin’ on the annual Canuck smear campaign, super-vague playoff Vigneault, and pump-up videos

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass ITBulis: 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 quick topics.

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Playoff AV volunteers no information whatsoever

Alain Vigneault has officially gone into his playoff cone of silence, wherein he offers absolutely no useful information. The annual metamorphosis is funny to me, but I primarily write nonsense. You can understand why columnists such as Tony Gallagher might find Playoff AV, the Sasha Fierce to his regular-season Beyonce, more than a little frustrating. Here’s what Gallagher tweeted after Daniel Sedin missed practice on Tuesday:

 

He seems upset.

But you can understand why he might be. Playoff AV plays things absurdly close to the vest. I mean, heck, the Canucks coach is so given to misdirection and vagueness this time of year that, on Monday, he even claimed he’d never heard of Coldplay.

Colpdlay’s upcoming Rogers Arena tour date contributed to the quirks in the first-round schedule, something Vigneault was asked about. He pleaded ignorance. From Elliott Pap at the Vancouver Sun:

Vigneault, by the way, had never heard of multiple Grammy winner Coldplay, the British band led by Gwyneth Paltrow’s husband Chris Martin.

“I don’t even know the group,” Vigneault said (laughing). “I’m French.”

That’s ridiculous. The man practically lives at a stadium. He’s heard of Coldplay.

But hey, you have to understand: in the playoffs you just can’t show any weakness, especially a weakness for British alt-rock.

Another excellent pump-up video

Speaking of weakness, that’s what we have for Canucks’ pump-up videos, and Youtube was basically spammed with them this week. There are about 50 new ones. Here’s a standout from SamJam99:

Here come the grumps

Who’s looking forward to the second annual Canuck smear campaign from columnists? I know I am.

It’s already begun, too. I especially enjoyed the joint effort by Edmonton Sun writer Robert Tychkowski and Ottawa Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch, in which they weighed in on which Canadian team the nation should be pulling for.

Well, gee, I wonder what they said.

Again, that’s an Edmonton writer and an Ottawa writer, so you could probably have safely predicted the Senators to go 2-for-2, which they did. A little context would have strengthened the prediction too, such as a reminder of Tychkowsi saying last June that the thought of Kesler and Lapierre winning a cup made him throw up in his mouth (a claim he repeated here), or any knowledge of the frownyface Garrioch sports whenever he mentions Mike Gillis. (In the article, he calls the Canucks’ GM “Sourpuss former agent Mike Gillis.” Ah, namecalling. The sign of a true grown-up.)

Don’t get too outraged over about what the professionals do this year, especially since a) outrage over childish nonsense = easy hits, and b) we’re more than likely to witness a narrative shift if the Canucks do indeed go far.

Here’s a playoff prediction for you: a Cup run will lead to the Canucks eventually being praised for changing their ways and listening to the criticism from last year, despite the fact that it was slanted and relatively unfounded. If there’s one thing these guys love more than fair reporting (and for what it’s worth, there are clearly several things), it’s telling a good redemption story — especially one that affords them a moment of suspender-snapping, self-satisfaction.

Waste an hour watching the Canucks score 241 goals

And finally: In the summer, we’ll continue our annual tradition of breaking down all 241 regular-season goals the Canucks scored player by player, but if you can’t wait that long, Nic has compiled the entire 2011-12 season’s output into an hour-long video.

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70 comments

  1. DanD
    April 10, 2012

    I hear if you like British Alt-Rock, you never get any calls. Nobody talks about it any more, but Doug Gilmour was a huge Radiohead fan in ’93, and Kerry Fraser was not amused.

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    • DanD
      April 10, 2012

      And don’t even get me started on Burrows’ passion for the Doves!

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      Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
      • sarah
        April 10, 2012

        I bet Jannik Hansen loves Mumford and Sons

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        Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
        • DanD
          April 10, 2012

          Oh yeah, i could see that!

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          • sarah
            April 10, 2012

            and Hamuis is a huge Smiths fan

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            Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
            • DanD
              April 10, 2012

              i could totally see Hamhuis and Bieksa walking down the street one day. Bieksa points out a rather overweight lady, and Hamhuis says, “Well Kevin, ‘Some girls’ mothers are bigger than other girls’ mothers.’”

              Teehee!

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              Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  2. Timmy Wong
    April 10, 2012

    Divers, biters, pansies, goons, sisters, chokers.

    Well, I think I’ve covered the list. Shall we move on to real insults like how the Canucks had a better 82-game record than 29 other teams (again!?)

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  3. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 10, 2012

    Can someone explain to me why our hockey stadium is booking concert dates during playoff season?

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    • Cpt.Obvious
      April 10, 2012

      Because that’s how stadiums work?

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        April 10, 2012

        10 months of the year sure. But concerts booked at the home of the Canucks during the first week of the NHL playoffs? Even on non-game nights, laying down floor is terrible for the ice.

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        Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
        • By-Tor
          April 10, 2012

          Because they get booked far in advance of knowing that the Canucks will even make the playoffs.

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          Rating: -2 (from 4 votes)
  4. C
    April 10, 2012

    Oh, here we go again. That’s right, Canada, don’t root for the Canucks because Vancouver isn’t under a 2 metre cover of snow ten months of the year, which clearly means Vancouver isn’t Canadian. You’d think that, a year later, people would’ve come up with new, less ridiculous reasons to hate us.

    Whatever. I’m going to put on some sunglasses and shorts, throw a stone and buy a latte from whichever three Starbucks locations it hits, setting a couple cars on fire on the way. ‘Cause that’s how we roll here on the west coast.

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    • DanD
      April 10, 2012

      Perhaps you could also stop at one of our local “granola taverns.”

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      Rating: +27 (from 27 votes)
      • Prophet
        April 10, 2012

        and wearing Lululemon yoga pants…

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 10, 2012

      What, no bubble tea?

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      Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  5. Chicky
    April 10, 2012

    We’re rubber, they’re glue. LOL WHY HAVEN’T THE PLAYOFFS STARTED ALREADY? I’m antsy-pantsy here.

    I will say, I’m truly baffled by the hate out there for the Canucks. Other than one team in the NHL, I really truly don’t hate another team. Not even Chitown. That takes a lot of energy to bother hating a team. It feels as if someone has randomly drawn the Canucks to be the ‘bad guy” and passed it along for other people to bandwagon onto.

    Each team has divers, biters, face-washers and dipshits. No one team is squeeky clean, so I’m completely confuzzled by the media hating on the Nucks so forcefully.

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  6. peanutflower
    April 10, 2012

    I don’t get it either, and I vacillate between extreme indignation and not caring. Depending on the day I guess. Check out this severely ill-informed article in the Star, as if one could expect any better from that rag. Sadly, the comment I wrote was not published, even though it contained no swear words or anything. I did slag the author though for not doing her research and falling into the media mud slinging trap, so perhaps she took offence to that. http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/1158299–vancouver-canucks-could-be-nhl-s-most-despised-team#comments

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    • tj
      April 10, 2012

      Yeah, this was clearly a cheap attempt to get hits. I had half a mind to give her a lashing for poor journalism, but then the other half reminded me there’d be more where this comes from and to pace myself re: outrage and indignation. This woman’s name is on the ‘piece’ (of crap), connected to the inter webs forever. An editor worth her or his salt would think twice before hiring someone with such limited ability. Hence, she writes for The Star…

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    • Abby
      April 10, 2012

      The thing that seals the deal on how bad this article is:

      The fact that she cites three camps that are three of the Canucks fiercest current rivals. She uses quotes from Mark Recchi (Bruins), the owner of a Calgary based radio station, and a guy who lives in Ontario and has been ‘a lifelong Chicago Blackhawks fan’.

      Wow. Fantastic job at selective quote choosing. *applause and throws confetti*

      Sheesh. This article is making the rounds on the internet, and it’s driving me nuts though I’m not in the least surprised.

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      • Abby
        April 10, 2012

        …and one other thing I forgot tom mention. I don’t have a problem with her quoting our rivals. What they say is valid. But what bugs me is the particular slant she’s using by choosing those particular people to quote.

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  7. peanutflower
    April 10, 2012

    What is this “your comment is awaiting moderation” stuff? Is that how PITB is rolling now?

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    • Chicky
      April 10, 2012

      *tests to see*

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    • Harrison Mooney
      April 10, 2012

      If your comment has a link in it, it typically has to be moderated.

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  8. Anonymous
    April 10, 2012

    When is the last time Henrik and Daniel Sedin took a snowmobile to the Rogers Centre for Vancouver Canucks practice?

    I know, it’s ridiculous, it never snows on the West Coast of Canada. But just wondering.

    Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has done it. He might hail from Sweden, but the 39-year-old owns a couple of sleds. If there’s snow on the ground, the odd time he’ll put on his helmet and head to practice in style.

    Is there a better snapshot of true Canadiana than that particular moment? No way.

    Seriously, that could never happen in Vancouver. The twins probably have to climb into their SUV, stop at one of the six Starbucks on the way to the rink for a latte, then show up fashionably late to make sure they’re part of the culture.

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in quite sometime. I’m just honestly shaking my head right now, I can’t believe this was published non-satirically.

    Just…what?

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    • Chicky
      April 10, 2012

      Reading that article linked here made ME want to throw up in my mouth, and not just a little bit either.

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      Rating: +17 (from 17 votes)
    • RG
      April 10, 2012

      It’s the Sun (not the Vancouver Sun). They have a swimsuit section once a year to bid winter farewell. You sure you want to read any of that dribble?

      Haters gonna hate.

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      • RG
        April 10, 2012

        Correction: They’re called “Sunshine Girls”. The Sun newspaper chain objectifies women! They’re almost as bad as the LA Kings. But not quite, because no one can be as bad as the LA Kings (at this moment in time…ask me again in 2 weeks).

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    • Kate
      April 10, 2012

      Haha no kidding! Perhaps the Ottawa writer has never been to the west coast? It snows pretty much every winter…

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    • V
      April 10, 2012

      I actually had to go read the article, because I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t pitch-perfect satire. I’ve never understood how “it’s not cold enough” is valid criticism of Vancouver. It’s not like that’s within our control.

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 10, 2012

      Only six Starbucks? has this guy even BEEN to Vancouver?

      Nice to know that they drive morally superior vehicles in the rest of Canada. Apparently, SUVs are bad, or at least mildly ridiculous.

      (Otherwise, the article itself is bad, or at least mildly ridiculous)

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  9. Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
    April 10, 2012

    What gets me is that the “mainstream media” can’t seem to mention the Canucks without sinking to the level of a spoiled fourth-grader. If I were paying their salaries I’d be disgusted. It’s not the fact they hate the Canucks, it’s the general childishness, petulance, and imbecility of the writing.

    I also have issues with the idea that it’s fair and balanced reporting when both sides of any argument have to start the discussion with a pro-forma admission of hatred for the Canucks.

    It’s small-souled and petty and all it does is tarnish both journalism and the sport. I can get more fair and balanced reporting from a partisan blog from a fanbase that hates the Canucks.

    They need to grow up.

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    • Abby
      April 10, 2012

      I agree with that. Because if people want to hate the Canucks, that’s their perogative. But when their reasons for doing so are untrue, biased, or silly and their way of proving how ‘bad’ the Canucks are includes name calling and fallacy errors, I just shake my head.

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  10. LaLou
    April 10, 2012

    I’m going to respond to the Ottawa/Vancouver debate the same way I respond to the Luongo/Schneider debate: Why can’t I like both?

    Seriously, what are the chances the two teams are actually going to play each other? The only time I’ll have to choose is if the Sens and Canucks meet in the Finals and then I’ll just marvel at what a fantastic year for Canadian hockey it is.

    Go Canetors? Senatucks? Go!

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  11. Zach Morris
    April 10, 2012

    There’s a reason the sports desk is known as the the toy store in newspaper vernacular:
    It’s full of kids.

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    • Abby
      April 10, 2012

      Touche.

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  12. Brent
    April 10, 2012

    Hey everyone, these are “Sun” newspapers we are talking about. And these in no way shape or form resemble the Vancouver Sun, who had the Sun name first. These are tabloid newspapers that make for light reading with a picture of a bikini clad girl on page three (well at least they used to when I lived in Edmonton). So they likely do pander to the Canuck haters out there. We all need to get into a zen state and just let the hate and diatribe wash over us. All will be good…..once we get through the first round. Damn you Thomas Drance!

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  13. Canucksgold
    April 10, 2012

    Love the Beyonce/Sasha Fierce comparison to regular season AV/playoff AV.

    You guys are the best way to waste time during a work day.

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  14. Mark Ragnar
    April 10, 2012

    to ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@Sunmedia.ca

    Dear Mr. Tychkowski

    This will probably get lost in the deluge of hate mail your recent column will provoke, but I thought I would enlighten you with the facts of the Thornton-Weise encounter, courtesy of Harrison Mooney.

    ‘Weise gave two different excuses — he was tired from having just fought, he was trying to go with Adam McQuaid instead — and I didn’t buy either. I didn’t think he “hid”, as Edwards shouted, but I did think he willfully misled Thornton, which is just as bad, and I fully endorsed his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

    As it turns out, according to Brad Marchand, who appeared on WEEI radio earlier Wednesday afternoon and discussed the play, Weise, like the rest of us, was had:
    I’m going to clear it up for everyone who’s listening,” Marchand said. “It was actually a really sneaky play by Thorty. Weise was trying to fight McQuaid, who was standing behind Thornton on the point. McQuaid was going to fight him. So, Weise was yelling and saying, ‘Yeah, let’s go, let’s go.’
    “Thorty just figured that at that point he’d drop his gloves and surprise Weise. And the ref just kind of heard Weise yelling ‘Let’s go’ and thought he was talking to Thorty and conning him into a penalty. Thorty kind of surprised him when Thorty dropped his gloves. Weise had no idea Thorty was going to do that.”
    Added Marchand: “Him and Quaider know each other a bit from the minors and I think junior as well. They might have went at [it] there.” ‘

    I don’t expect you to change your mind on the Canucks, nor do I particularly care what your opinion is. However, you can at least stop spreading mis-information.

    Then again, seeing as you work at the FOX news of Canada, things like facts probably don’t interest you.

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    • peanutflower
      April 10, 2012

      You’re sending that, right?

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      • Mark Ragnar
        April 10, 2012

        Yes, I reposted it to PITB after sending.

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    • Gadsby
      April 10, 2012

      A Tychkowski quote from last summer which, in my opinion, sums up his journalism quite well: “I almost never use my turn signals. It forces other drivers to stay alert – and that’s good for everyone”

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    • the real bob
      April 10, 2012

      Dear Mr Garroch,

      Based on your comments, you make it sound that the Canucks are more hated than the Bruins. However, the rest of humanity would like to disagree.

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      • Gadsby
        April 10, 2012

        You think? A sadly anonymous genius of our age left this pearl in the comments on the piece: “[Boston are] a whole lot more Canadian than Vancouver.”
        While this may, at first glance, seem a grievous slur against Vancouver, the following mental image of our anonymous friend attempting to convince the citizens of Boston of his view are worth their weight in silver.

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        • the real bob
          April 10, 2012

          Haters be hating…

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  15. Brandon
    April 10, 2012

    Garrett says “wow” after alot of goals

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    • Jezz
      April 10, 2012

      the dry garrett ‘wow’ is the true sign of a great goal. it’s employed not as a traditional dramatizing interjection, but instead to emotionlessly perforate the growing balloon of stunned silence that some as-yet incomprehensible magic has begun to fill

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  16. Chako Mika
    April 10, 2012

    That video was so well done! Gave me shivers….

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    • obituary mambo
      April 11, 2012

      It did its job– I am super pumped! Let’s go Nucks!

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  17. Neems
    April 10, 2012

    “He might hail from Sweden, but the 39-year-old owns a couple of sleds.”
    As if Sweden is some tropical paradise. The article is ridiculous, but who really cares what people outside the bubble think? Haters gonna hate.

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
    • Julia
      April 10, 2012

      “Haters gonna hate.”
      I think that’s my motto for the season. Time to stop reading Puck Daddy comments (although I have mostly stopped reading them anyways) and no clicking on links like several provided here. My heart just can’t take it!

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    • hs
      April 10, 2012

      I seriously want to hear the interview in which a reporter asked Alfredsson how many sleds he owns.

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      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  18. the real bob
    April 10, 2012

    “It’s hard to hate the Senators?” Who tries to agitate a team after the game is out of reach (looking at you chris neil). I love how he tries to spin that we are the most hated team, clearly he hasn’t looked southeast at boston and pittsburgh.

    So headlines of the spring:

    1) Ontario media makes asinine biased comments
    2) Edmonton completes the hat-trick of suck- gets to draft first again
    3) Scott Howson gets shafted in the draft lottery

    Bruce Garroch should learn to be less biased.

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    • Lenny
      April 10, 2012

      I will like the Sens a lot if they beat the Rangers… but only if the Caps beat the Bruins. If not, well at least Neil can take Del Zotto out.

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      • the real bob
        April 10, 2012

        The sens aren’t a bad team, but seriously sending Neil to try and land a heavy hit on the sedins after the game is out of reach seems kind of sketchy to me.

        I think the sens can pull an upset of the rangers…

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    • Gadsby
      April 10, 2012

      “It’s hard to hate the Senators.”. Garrioche makes it easy.

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    • RG
      April 10, 2012

      I like Neil. He creams Boychuk and then fells Chara in a tussle of very large men. What’s not to like about that?

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  19. Timmmy
    April 10, 2012

    Not sure I agree with your prediction of the Canucks being praised… I’m more prone to predict this year’s would be called a tainted Cup should the lads go all the way.

    Hopefully we get that far.

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  20. Chris the Curmudgeon
    April 10, 2012

    As if I didn’t miss Cody Hodgson enough, watched 23:34 of the all goals video. :(

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    • Daniel Wagner
      April 10, 2012

      We’ll always have that goal. No one can take it away.

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      Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  21. mac n cheese
    April 10, 2012

    The sad, sad hatred of the Canucks by some in the media was starting to make me feel all hatey myself. Then, I watched the video of all Canucks’ goals.

    Watching this video is like a lovely palate cleanser!

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  22. vancitydan from NM
    April 10, 2012

    I am heartened that Canuck fans are starting to get it.

    Embrace that hate. Hard. Like hard enough to make diamonds hard. You have to make it an actual decision sometimes. I first read Garrioch ( I honestly think that hack is either Eklund, or where Eklund gets most his stuff to score his 3.5% accuracy rate ) and Ticky Tacky and hoped it was satire, and then reread it and was just more media trolling.

    But we have to understand. Every other hockey market but the one they discount in Ontario and Quebec as that cute little loser team in the nation’s capital is always going to get the white hat in the narrative setting.

    Last year just taught me that some of the media types just can’t help themselves, and others are just mean spirited or cheerleaders for the opposition. ( Honestly, I’ve been watching the playoffs all my life, and have never seen that much cheerleading as the Haggerty, Fuji whatever his name was, Jack Edwards et al in the Final . Totally swallowed their media integrity they probably built over a life time. Even Kevin Paul Dupont, who at least had the decency to not but the BS from Marchand on the Salo hit…was a sop in the Finals! )

    So, you read the ones you know and respect, make up your own mind with what you are seeing on the ice, and honestly, the rest, like these sad haters with a press pass Harrison points to above, are only worthy of mocking.

    Hateful, negative BS is far too prevalent in politics and daily life to actually go out and take twits like these two seriously, right?

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    • John in Marpole
      April 11, 2012

      Amen, brother.

      The hate is a by-product of envy. Nobody hates the Blue jackets, or the Islanders because there is nothing to envy about either team (the Leafs is the exception that proves this rule).

      If Burrows had been a Bruin, that fanbase – and the insanely biased Boston media – would have lauded him as a hero “That’s whatya get if’n ya stick yer fingers in the face of a Brooin’, ya gets bit!”

      The louder the hate, the more motivated will be the Canucks, and Canuck fans need to get on board with that as well.

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  23. JustSayin'
    April 10, 2012

    Thank you for your humour, much needed at this time of year in particular when the “Haters” bandwagon shows up.

    Good luck Canucks and win or lose, thanks for another great season!

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  24. hockeyispretty
    April 11, 2012

    Spot on. My theory is that this suspender-snapping self-satisfaction redemption theme is also behind the vilification, castigation, (reread that last one if you thought it sounded over the top) and other -ations of Luongo. Because if he does really well in the playoffs, they can do a story of a gutsy comeback from a so-called slump, rather than the relatively boring story of his having been an elite goalie all along.

    PS – all the Canucks goals are actually quite soothing to have on in the background when sorting stuff out etc!

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  25. Ginger
    April 11, 2012

    I love this blog, including the comments section. It’s full of such reasonable and logical arguements. Makes me proud of Canucks fans. Now let us ride the hate wave all the way back to the Final, and this time we’re finishing it. :)

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  26. canucks in europe
    April 11, 2012

    I never bought into this “Canada’s team” nonsense…you cheer for the team you have the closest affinity too and you expect everyone else to cheer for their time. I find no national pride in watching another city that happens to be located in Canada win a series, especially considering most NHL teams have a majority of Canadian players. If I was Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto or Montreal I’d be a bit bitter right now as well…especially if I was Toronto.

    You want to cheer for Canada’s team then watch the World Championships instead of the NHL Playoffs. Lord knows, most Europeans here take it more seriously than we do and I get more trash talk about Canada losing that then I do about being a Canucks fan.

    I do think it’s comical listen to the Puck Daddy podcast and other reporters about how Lu’s going to get pulled in the LA series and Schneider will take over or how going all the way to the cup final last year doesn’t give them an advantage. The funniest one for me was that because Halak had taken Montreal far into the playoffs he could take the Blues all the way to the cup…huh?

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    • the real bob
      April 11, 2012

      clearly they didn’t watch the series against the flyers

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    • obituary mambo
      April 11, 2012

      I’m in Europe too and people constantly make fun of the US for not doing very well in the World Championships (almost abbreviated the tournament name, but it just didn’t sit right with me ~__^). I try to point out that most of our top players are still involved in the NHL playoffs, which takes much higher precedence for us, but to no avail.

      My first year here, the US eliminated the Czech Republic, which didn’t sit too kindly with the locals. The next year, when the US was in turn eliminated by the Czech Republic, everyone I knew went nuts. “Roach sucks!” was a very common taunt, which is an almost unhealthy level of resentment for a journeyman defenceman who’d just happened to score the GWG the previous year. I find it more amusing than anything. Sure, I like seeing our guys win when it matters (sorry, I was on the Kesler side of one particularly important match), but I find it difficult to get too amped about the World Championships when the hockey that really matters is all taking place across the pond.

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  27. Mt
    April 11, 2012

    I’m especially excited for Ron Maclean to imply that part of the ‘Nuck’s success is due to Burrows heading his sage advice from last year and learning to be a better citizen. I feel an anticipatory in-mouth-vomit coming on.

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  28. ktownfan
    April 11, 2012

    Really, it’s pretty simple from a sports beat reporter point of view. Your write sports for Edm,Cal or TO what else are you going to write about right now? Not every guy can write the same review of the sad sack season their teams had. Every Calgary beat reporter can’t pump out another piece on should Iggy be traded or if the team should be blown up.

    Fact is there is a lot of disappointed and bitter fans in these markets. Especially in Alberta, slagging the division rival that has won the division going away for 4 years straight is sure fire hits and papers sold.

    Simple as that really. Don’t focus on why the team in there market is so bad, and they can’t give any credit to the division rival. That won;t sell at all.

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