I Watched This Game: Canucks at Dallas Stars, February 21, 2013

The last time the Canucks saw the Dallas Stars was seven days ago, on the night Henrik Sedin passed Markus Naslund to become the Canucks’ all-time leading scorer. The Stars ruined everything that night, however, storming back from down 3-1 to ensure that Henrik’s big moment came in a big, embarrassing loss.

Safe to say the Canucks didn’t forget. They had revenge on the mind, and they weren’t satisfied simply to stick Dallas with a loss. They were staging a full on do-over. Thus, they gave the Stars an early goal to ensure the victory would come from behind. Then, after they were safely in the lead, they gave Dallas a late one to ensure the game finished 4-3, just as last time (but this time around, in their favour). This game was an elaborate revenge plot. I watched this game.

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On Jason Garrison, AV’s dog mansion, and why the defence pairs saw the blender

When I asked how long the current Canucks’ defence pairings would last on Tuesday, I didn’t expect the answer to be “less than a day.” But I did suggest that at the first sign of trouble, Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa would be immediately reunited, and Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks was trouble (with a capital T, which rhymes with D and that stands for Defence).

The sheer number of breakaways and odd-man rushes given up by the Canucks ensured that something would change on the backend and, sure enough, word came out of practice Wednesday morning that all three defence pairings had been switched up.

As expected, Hamhuis and Bieksa were reunited — tearfully, probably — but the Canucks didn’t just reset everything back to the way it was at the start of the season. Jason Garrison, the Canucks’ biggest free agent acquisition, was moved down to the third pairing with Keith Ballard, while Chris Tanev was promoted to the second pairing with Alex Edler.

Since Garrison is being paid a lot of money, seeing him on the third pairing is causing some consternation in Canucks nation. Has he joined Keith Ballard in a lavish, $8 million doghouse, a dog mansion, if you will? Not exactly. His demotion isn’t just about how he’s been playing, but how the entire defence corps has been playing.

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Watch ‘New Van Fan’ episodes two and three, featuring Keslurking and despair

Nine days ago, we introduced you to “New Van Fan”, a web series in which Canuck booster “Dan” attempted to teach his buddy “Andreas” the ins and outs of cheering for Vancouver’s local hockey team.

But secretly, this show isn’t just for the noob. The first episode featured valuable advice even for the long-time Canucks booster. “Don’t panic,” Dan told Andreas. “You’re going to want to panic. Don’t panic.” It’s true. Keeping an even keel is difficult for anybody rooting for the boys in blue and green. Canucks fandom throws keels askew. It’s an irregular keel you’re looking for, cheer for this team.

Anyway. Since then, we watched episode one, Dan and Andreas have already starred in episodes two and three. This show is being burned through like the last episodes of an NBC sitcom the network no longer likes. So let’s catch up.

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