Some hockey games yield great stories, heroes, big goals, and clutch plays. This post is not about those games. This post celebrates weirdness, a quality the 87 games of the Vancouver Canucks’ 2011-12 regular season and playoffs had in spades. In fact, there were enough odd little moments this year for us to create a list of our favourite 10 bloopers of the 2011-12 season. What follows is a countdown of the funniest, oddest, and most unexpected stuff that happened on the ice this year.
Appropriately, Kevin Bieksa’s snicker-worthy encounter with linesman Mark Wheler took place the day before Valentine’s Day. Just after a whistle, Bieksa tried to flick the puck off the glass and catch it behind his back. He almost pulled it off, but instead the puck rolled down his backside. Wheler attempted to grab it before it hit the ground, but he just wound up grabbing Bieksa’s ass, to the amusement of notorious five-year-olds, John and John.
The 2012 All-Star Game may have featured the unlikely hockey hug of the year, as Henrik Sedin, playing for Team Alfredsson, went crashing into Team Chara’s Tim Thomas just after brother Daniel scored. Henrik managed to stop in time to avoid bowling Thomas over, but not in time to avoid making some contact: The two wound up in an awkward and adorable embrace at the side of the goal.
It probably wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but not long after being laid out by Mike Richards in the dying seconds of Game 1 between the Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings, Burrows dragged his finger underneath his nose twice in reference to Richards’s alleged “party lifestyle”. According to Jason Botchford, cameras failed to catch the follow-up routine, where the Canuck pest scooped some ice chips onto the blade of his stick and offered them to Richards. That puts the “awful” in “awfully creative.”
This curious incident happened in the second period of the Canucks’ 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs just before Christmas. As Clarke Macarthur attempted to find a Tim Connolly pass in his skates, he lifted Sami Salo’s stick with such force that it took off into the air, twirling end over end. As the whistle blew for an offside, Henrik Sedin casually skated underneath the stick and sntached it out of the air like a wizard.
Not to be outdone when it comes to dealing innovatively with mid-air projectiles, Daniel Sedin one-upped his brother in the following game with one of the most unique zone entries you’re going to see. Just after Alex Burrows lobbed a puck into the neutral zone, Daniel avoided Pavel Datsyuk’s backcheck pressure by refusing to let the puck hit the ice. Instead, he played it into the Detroit end off his head. It was weird.
With 20 seconds to go in a 5-2 blowout of the Minnesota Wild, Cal Clutterbuck got it in his head that he wanted a piece of Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis. As a scrum developed, the officials stepped in front of Kevin Bieksa, who wanted to step in and defend his defence partner. Undeterred, however, Bieksa made Clutterbuck fully aware of his disapproval by throwing a glove at him. Said Bieksa afterwards, “During my release I wondered if it was a good thing, then after my release I knew it was a good thing.”
In a November game versus the Los Angeles Kings, Kevin Bieksa got tangled up with Roberto Luongo during a hectic penalty kill shift in the Canucks’ end. Luongo wound up sitting on Bieksa and flailing his arms in an attempt to keep the puck out. He looked like a big fat hen. Appropriately, when the pressure subsided, Luongo stood up and suddenly Bieksa emerged from the net like he’d just been hatched..
Canuck fans noticed something in Higgins’s first full season with the team: he doesn’t wear an undershirt. This led to a second observation: the man has incredible abs. On more than one occasion, this was captured on film, such as during this Hockey Night in Canada replay in which he adjusts his hockey pants and inadvertently flashes his abs to the world.
In a game versus the Nashville Predators, Ryan Kesler took the puck to the net with authority. As he did so, Mike Fisher pushed him forward, and in an attempt to avoid Nashville goalie Anders Lindback, Kesler leapt into the air. He wound up landing on the top of the goal, and when the puck dropped in behind the net, Kesler decided the fastest way back there was a straight line. It was the first time in recent memory a player had gone over the net rather than around it. It won’t catch on: it looked awkward and inefficient.
The blooper of the year comes courtesy of Alain Vigneault, who couldn’t help but laugh at Vernon Fiddler’s “Angry Bieksa” face. And it wasn’t just a little laughther. Vigneault broke down completely, eventually attempting to hide his teary-eyed face with his lineup card while he composed himself. It didn’t help. According to Vigneault, it was the team’s 6th game in 8 nights and he was very, very tired.
What did we miss? To the comments!Tags: bieksa throws a glove, Blogs are for lists, bloopers, Kesler, Luongo, silliness, Vigneault