Spitballin’ on Luongo scouting, Barker shooting, and Raymond twirling

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 topics that deserve mention.


At 28, Steve Pinizzotto may finally make his NHL debut

The Canucks may have two alums from the Rochester Institute of Technology tonight against the Nashville Predators, as Steve Pinizzotto has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves now that his conditioning stint is done. It’s been a long time coming for Pinizzotto, who has played well enough to make the NHL for years.

You may recall our in-depth review of his terrible luck, but if not, here’s a brief summary: despite performing well in the AHL, Pinizzotto got called up to the Washington Capitals just once in his time with them, even participating in the pre-game skate before the injured Matt Bradley decided he could play through pain. Then, when he was signed by the Canucks, he was all set to make the team out of training camp until he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in a pre-season game against the Sharks. The Canucks re-signed him and he was playing well for the Wolves during the lockout, only to suffer a groin injury that took him out of the lineup for months and caused him to miss the Canucks training camp.

Fortunately, Pinizzotto survived his conditioning stint with Chicago and is on his way to Vancouver. Since he’s flying in on a game day, he might not make his debut until Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings, in which case he won’t even be wearing an NHL jersey since it’s Vancouver Millionaires night.

Seriously, he really needs to stop hanging out with Jinx Malloy.

Roberto Luongo successfully scouts

It was neat to hear Robeto Luongo talking about the successful scouting mission that allowed him to stop Mark Letestu in the shootout Tuesday and solidify the two points for the Canucks. From the Province: 

“I was happy to see Letestu and I was especially happy he made his move,” Luongo said. “I had scouted and for once, it worked. I was able to get right on top of him when he went to the forehand.”

Luongo poke-checked the puck away from Letestu, who had scored the Jackets only goal earlier in the game.

“He scored on me actually last year or two years ago high glove with the same move,” Luongo said. “In his last shootout against Edmonton he did the same thing so I was waiting for it this time.

“Lucky he didn’t go backhand or I would have looked pretty silly.”

This is true. Funny Bob got burned somewhat hilariously by his own scouting earlier this season when T.J. Oshie went five hole on him instead of attempting to deke. Luongo admitted to being caught completely off guard because, according to his footage, Oshie never shoots. Thankfully, this time around, the guy did what he was supposed to, allowing Luongo to do the same.

Mason Raymond has perfect form

You can understand why Columbus coach Todd Richards was upset about Mason Raymond whirling towards freedom in the shootout Tuesday night: it won the Canucks the game and ended the Jackets’ hopes of matching their longest win streak in franchise history.

But any reason for disliking the spin-o-rama beyond that is suspect. Richards wondered if Raymond or the puck had gone backwards, but that doesn’t even matter anymore. Now you just can’t bring the puck to a complete stop, and seriously, if Alex Burrows’ super weird, borderline embarrassing spin-o-rama passes, with its weird stutter-steps and that moment where the puck was just barely inching along, then Raymond’s spin-o-rama passes with flying colours. It was textbook.

Actually, it might have been coffee table book, because it was really pretty to look at. Just take a look at this action shot, taken by Jamie Sabau of Getty Images:

The form on that is spectacular. The spray of snow in one direction, Raymond’s eyes glued to the puck, the way he’s tucked into a controlled spin. Seriously, unless you’re burdened by sore loserdom, this was a thing of beauty.

Cam Barker making the most of his shot with shots

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Cam Barker, whose signing was roundly mocked, including by us, has been pretty all right as a Canuck. He’s never going to be a shutdown defenceman, but he has good vision and he’s shown a surprising penchant for getting the puck on net. At the time of this writing (it’s Tuesday night), Barker has 9 shots on goal in 4 games.

That may not seem like much, especially since it’s an infinitesimal sample size, but the Canucks only have one other defenceman that averages over two shots per game: Alex Edler. In fact, only four forwards average more than two shots per game: Alex Burrows, Daniel Sedin, David Booth and Jannik Hansen.

In other words, as much as we all laughed at the prospect of Barker on the powerplay when he was added to the second unit on Tuesday, the issue with that unit in Ryan Kesler’s absence is shots, and Barker has shown in his smattering of starts that he can put the puck on net. As much as it pains me to say this, he’s found a way to make himself valuable.

Canucks say and do funny things

There doesn’t appear to be any real theme to this video beyond “the Canucks say and do funny things”, but as it turns out, that’s enough for a successful and enjoyable five minutes on the Internet. This compilation features Kevin Bieksa one-liners, Keslurking, and pies to the face, among other shenanigans and quips. Chances are you’ve seen most of the stuff here, but I doubt you’ve seen all of it, and most of it’s worth seeing again. So enjoy:

Eddie Lack needs to stop tweeting fluids

Finally, has anyone else noticed that Eddie Lack appears to be slowly tweeting a CSI episode?

Back on March 2nd, he tweeted a photo of semen on a bike seat. The week before that, it was white sheets stained by a nosebleed. People get mad at David Booth for the stuff he tweets, but at least he’s not sharing photos of bodily fluids outside their bodily home. Gross.

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  1. DubiousRhino
    March 14, 2013

    Awh, I never noticed but Raymond and Bieksa have a nice bromance.

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  2. Josh
    March 14, 2013

    I noted the excellence of that pic earlier. The teams jerseys in the upper corners. Raymonds name fully displayed. Puck dead center in the shot with both players eyes on it and the growing gap on the right side as the goalie slides over. Cant believe he actually caught such a great moment in a photo.

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    • J21 (@Jyrki21)
      March 14, 2013

      That is an incredible photo. I hadn’t even noticed the two jerseys in the corner, but you’re right, that only adds to it. The whole thing looks like the contrived cover of an EA Sports game or something.

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      • chinook
        March 14, 2013

        Ditto Josh and J21 words, and good on you Harrison for acknowledging the photographer by name.

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  3. Warpstone
    March 14, 2013

    Barker’s 4 games are a small sample size? That’s at least double the sample size of poor performances required before the knives are out for Luongo or AV.

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  4. Nee
    March 14, 2013

    Those clips are pretty great, except that I can tell that most of them are from the 2010-2011 season.

    Which makes me wish I could relive that season… (minus Game 7)

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  5. Travis
    March 14, 2013

    Barker might just play himself into a new contract with the Canucks at this rate. He’s been looking solid. Even a TOP 4 at times. Too bad the media in this town demonized before he even played his first shift, good to see the kid refocused.

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  6. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 14, 2013

    Photographic evidence of Mason Raymond changing direction on skates without falling down. That IS something to behold.

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  7. jrc
    March 15, 2013

    “Lucky he didn’t go backhand or I would have looked pretty silly.” Lu baiting Letestu much for a backhand next time? Jedi mind trick?

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