10 things we would probably know by now if it weren’t for this flipping lockout

PITB is a family blog (the “P” stands for “PG”), which is why the title of this post features the adjective “flipping” instead of something saltier. But rest assured this lockout has us on the verge of some high-level swears. It’s an infuriating slog during this gosh darn labour stoppage, both because we are full-blown Canucks addicts in dire need of a fix and because we’re left tending the grounds around here without any grass seed.

(If only we could just sit smugly back like a certain appropriately named Canucks blog and wait for this whole thing to blow over!)

But that’s not to say we’re out of ideas. (We would never admit to that, even if it were true!) It’s just that the lockout has left us in hockey blog purgatory, a place utterly devoid of motivation and stakes, where the topics of debate and the areas of concern for the team we write about never seem to change. Had the season started on time, we’d be nearly two months into it by now, and we’d be able to start forming new answers to some of the questions surrounding Vancouver’s 2012-13 group.

Instead, we’re left answering questions to which we would already know the answer, if we lived in the parallel universe where the league and the union aren’t strangling the life out of the game in an attempt to get more out of it. Questions like:

Whatever happened with Roberto Luongo?

Remember him? Spent the final game of last season on the bench? Asked for a trade? Kind of wants to go back to Florida, is there now, trying to make the deal himself with his mind? Speaking of purgatory, that’s effectively where Luongo is right now, not really a Canuck, but not really not one either. There’s a pretty good chance that he’ll be traded before the Canucks play next, and if their season had started in October that means he would have been traded a month ago. Not that I particularly want to see Funny Bob go, but I definitely want to know how this saga ends. Where does he end up? Who comes back? When will we see him again? I hate you, lockout.

How early did Ryan Kesler come back?

Because you know full well he would have. Kesler was originally slated for a November 8 return to the lineup before wisely opting to undergo another surgery that will sideline him until January, but something tells me that, if the Canucks were playing right now, he would be too. The man is the Amy Winehouse of hockey — he just hates rehab. Unfortunately, thanks to the lockout, he could very well heal completely. Well, that’s no fun.

Did Chris Tanev get a shot?

I don’t mean a chance. I mean a shot, like, say, of the “slap” variety. Last season, Tanev’s shot was such a muffin it came with a cup of coffee and a newspaper. But he’s been working on it in the offseason, and it appears to have paid some dividends in the AHL, where he recently scored a goal like a big boy! With a shot, Tanev would have a shot at the top-four this season, and this time I mean a chance. We’d probably know by now if that were the case.

Did Steven Pinizzotto play an NHL game?

Pinizzotto is hockey’s Bad Luck Brian, getting great opportunities only to see them go sideways in the most ridiculous of ways. There was his first call-up to the bigs as a Washington Capital, which led to him taking the ice in warmup only to hit the press box for the game when Mike Knuble decided to play. His second shot was with the Canucks, and he effectively made the team in training camp before injuring his shoulder in the final preseason game and missing the whole year. Then, the team signed him again, this time with an even thinner fourth line that he likely would have made — and lockout. It could be worse, I guess. He could have gone to prison for downloading one song.

Were the Canucks really planning to play a more uptempo style?

Nolan Baumgartner said they would be. Not only would we have observed it by now if they had, but Thomas Drance would have proved it with charts. Charts! Instead, because the NHL is heartless and artless, we’re chartless.

When did Tony Gallagher debut his first column of the season calling for Alain Vigneault’s firing?

It’s like the groundhog seeing his shadow, except Gallagher is casting one instead. The columnist was bound to disagree with several of Alain Vigneault’s moves early in the year. Someone would have been treated like dirt. Someone else wouldn’t have gotten enough playing time. In the end, it would have been incontrovertible evidence that Vigneault should never have been extended, unless it was into a house fire. Some would have agreed with him, some would have disagreed, and the whole thing would have ended in a pie fight. Alas, no pie fight.

Did the Canucks write off Keith Ballard?

Keith Ballard is a defenceman for the Vancouver Canucks. You might have forgotten. Would it surprise you if it turned out Luongo wasn’t the only Canuck whose trade was embargoed by the expired CBA? It might explain why we’ve hardly heard a word from Ballard since last season ended. Granted, the team may be comfortable with him anchoring the third pairing with Chris Tanev, but it’s also possible that he’s not back with the team when things start up again. Either way, we’ll know not long after this blasted lockout ends.

Was Aaron Rome’s absence noticeable?

Speaking of depth defenceman, Aaron Rome is a member of the Dallas Stars now. Not much was made of it when he signed in Dallas last summer, but two months of season would probably have been enough time to know whether we were fools to wave away his departure so quickly. As depth blueliners go, Rome was as valuable a six as the one on Blossom, and his versatility was the blueline’s saving grace on more than a few occasions. Would Rick Bowness have been able to patch over the patcher? And what’s more, why couldn’t I come up with the nickname “The Patcher” before now?

Did anyone show early signs of being able to compete with the Canucks for the Northwest Division title?

Granted, late November is still early enough that even a severely mediocre team might still be hovering around the top of the standings. It happened last year. But the other four teams in the Northwest all beefed up in some way or another, and by now we’d have a good handle on who was showing real early promise. A tight divisional race is a lot of fun. It’s way more fun than, say, a post about all the things the lockout is keeping from you.

 

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15 comments

  1. natevk
    November 26, 2012

    Just curious: was there a separate lockout on the Anti-Fantasy Hockey Pool and the Salo is your Pal-O contest?

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    • Rituro
      November 26, 2012

      The prize is knowing you entered. Feel that feeling of warmth!

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    • emeris
      November 26, 2012

      The Salo is your Pal-O prize transferred to a Tampa Bay Lightning blog. Pass it to Bulis was compensated with a late-round pair of maternity yoga pants. It’s the only explanation I can think of, not for the prize, for the pants.

      Sorry, still stuck on Call The Union, its consuming me

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    • Harrison Mooney
      November 27, 2012

      Bet we close those loose ends before this lockout is finished.

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      • natevk
        November 27, 2012

        How much is that bet?

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  2. Brian Beitz
    November 26, 2012

    The laziest among us thank you for continuing your perseverance in finding things to write about. We thank you; we just don’t aspire to be you.

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    • Tyler Rowe
      November 26, 2012

      It took all I had just to look at what Brian said. I’m gonna take a nap.

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  3. rome
    November 26, 2012

    mmmmmmmmmm the patcher

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  4. Nee
    November 26, 2012

    I miss IWTG so badly.

    It used to be part of my morning routine. Now I read the news instead. Pfffft. : /

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  5. Fuzzysheep
    November 26, 2012

    I read that to the tune of the pusher by Steppenwolf… don’t know if you intended that

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    • Fuzzysheep
      November 26, 2012

      That comment was meant to be replying to rome’s comment

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  6. akidd
    November 27, 2012

    ya, it’s a tough gig…and then some. i imagine this newhartesque conversation(spoken in a 1940′s accent):

    //old- fashioned phone rings

    “pitb, home of the brave, what can i do ya for?

    …what? kesler has changed his facial hair?!? the handlebars are now a goatee!?! for charity!?! thanks bub. we’re on it.//click.”

    ” Danny, put down that, ‘Weise Scores Pretty Gouda, and other Dutch Shopping Highlights’ article and stop the presses. this is gonna blow the lid off.”

    //pitb grabs ‘press hats’ and slides down firepole to batcave…or something like that.

    yup, a tough gig.

    it could be worse though. there’s been this guy across the street shovelling broken concrete from the back of a pickup for about the last hour. he’s been really givin’ er like he’s been trying to impress the boss. he’s a big guy but still….and now he’s limping a bit. that’s a tough gig too.

    why don’t you just take that ancient sculpture back the native burial ground and be done with it. we’ve all been pretty patient.:)

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    • Harrison Mooney
      November 27, 2012

      I feel like you’re making fun of us… but I can’t quite put my finger on how

      Yes, akidd, it could be a whole lot worse. We are aware of this.

      Granted, broken concrete guy goes home at the end of the day proud of what he’s done, so he’s got that over us.

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      • akidd
        November 27, 2012

        cheers, harrison. but it’s not your fault. you’re not the one who wrote this kafka novel.

        ” your job is to write about the vancouver canucks.”

        “but they don’t exist.”

        “yes, your job is to write about the vancouver canucks.”

        but seriously, if there’s no hockey this season, are you gonna keep this up?

        why don’t you just write about about whatever you like? i think people, myself included, just wanna read your writing and laugh at your jokes. obviously there’ are some extenuating circumstances here. talk to your editor. carte blanche, i say. it could be fun.

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        • akidd
          November 27, 2012

          call the series, “not about the canucks.” (and don’t try to acrynomize that one, it doesn’t turn out well.)

          have a disclaimer,”warning: the vancouver canucks will not be mentioned in the following article. the hockey team the vancouver canucks will not be the subject matter of the following musings. no canucks will, not even hank and dan sedin nor alex burrows and certainly not their controversial goaltender roberto luongo. ryan kesler, who btw has gone back to the handlebars, will especially not been mentioned. you have been warned.”

          covers all your bases, i think.

          (remember to updating the disclaimer.)

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