Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: 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.
Henrik Sedin wants to be five times better
The best post-game quote came from the Canucks captain: “We weren’t that far off, but everything needs to be five times better.”
If everything needs to be five times better, that sounds pretty far off to me. But let’s take a moment and see what it would mean for the Canucks to be five times better, start with the Sedin line:
Daniel Sedin had 3 shots, Henrik Sedin had just 1, and Alex Burrows finished with no shots on net. So, in game two, we should expect 15 shots from Daniel, 5 from Henrik, and, well, none from Burrows. Five times zero is still zero.
The Canucks as a whole had 30 shots on net, so if they don’t get 150 shots in game two, Henrik will see it as a disappointment.
Kevin Bieksa? Expect him to score five goals. All unassisted.
The Canucks were 30-for-70 in the faceoff circle Wednesday night. If they intend to do five times better, they will have to win a whole bunch of secret mystery faceoffs in order to go 150-for-70.
Finally, if the Canucks are five times as disciplined in game two, they’ll take just one minor penalty instead of five. Actually, that one sounds reasonable. Let’s try for that one.
A reminder: the Sedins are good at hockey
In case you had forgotten, the Sedin twins are actually quite good at this whole hockey thing. Their inability to break down the Sharks’ defence on Wednesday night might have convinced you otherwise, however, so here is a playoff pump-up video to set you straight:
Oh man, that pass through Antti Niemi’s legs at the 1:19 mark is a thing of beauty that I had completely forgotten about. More of that in this playoff series, please.
Can we please have Jordan Schroeder back?
I have nothing against Andrew Ebbett. He works hard, doesn’t complain, and is the prototypical 13th forward. I get frustrated, however, when he’s used as the 10th, 11th, or 12th forward.
At practice on Thursday, Ryan Kesler and Derek Roy skated on the second line together, leaving the third line to be centred by Maxim Lapierre and the fourth by Andrew Ebbett. With Jordan Schroeder already called up as one of the Canucks’ Black Aces, that seems like poor resource management by Alain Vigneault. I’m not saying that Schroeder will solve the Canucks’ offensive woes, by any means, but he can be better than Ebbett at the very least.
After getting sent down to the Chicago Wolves in the wake of the Roy trade, Schroeder did everything the Canucks could possibly want from him, scoring 10 points in 9 games. That kind of production would earn any player a call-up, but Vigneault seems insistent on sticking with the seeming safety and reliability of Ebbett, though he’s done little of late to earn it.
As it is, Lapierre is centring Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen, presumably to form a capable checking line to free up the top two lines for scoring duties. That’s fine. Sure, I’d like to see an all-speed line of Schroeder with Raymond and Hansen, but I understand wanting a more defensively capable third line. In that case, why not have Schroeder centre the fourth line? It’s not as if Ebbett plays any bigger or more physical than Schroeder.
Sedins and Alain Vigneault in the creepiest gif ever
As Samuel L. Jackson would say, hold on to your butts, because you are not prepared for this:
Stick-tap to @zerotenacity for passing this gif on to us.
Canucks struggling to sell playoff tickets
There were still tickets available for game one against the Sharks an hour before puck drop and media on Twitter were quick to note the empty seats in the arena.
On Tuesday, an e-mail sent out to Canucks staff and corporate partners offering 50% off playoff tickets was conveniently leaked, allowing any fan to use the online promotion code to get discounted tickets. It seemed clear that tickets weren’t selling as quickly as anticipated, putting the Canucks’ already questionable sellout streak in jeopardy.
It was a problem during the regular season as well, as this news report from CTV News Victoria explains:
“These are the moments Vancouver Canucks fans live for and pay big money to experience,” says CTV’s Louise Hartland, as Dale Weise cuts to the net and scores. Wait, is that true? Is everyone paying premium prices in hopes of seeing Weise light the lamp? Oh man, no wonder Rogers Arena sounds so quiet all the time.
It seems that round one of the playoffs isn’t a big draw in Vancouver any more, with fans holding high expectations for the Canucks. Making the playoffs is the bare minimum expected out of the Canucks at this point, with many fans withholding their excitement until they make it out of the first round.
Compare that to Toronto, where the Leafs made the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Fans in Toronto are thrilled to see playoff hockey, even as the Bruins laid a 4-1 drubbing on them in game one.
Or perhaps there is still some residual anger among Canucks fans over the lockout. Either way, the playoffs won’t quite be the cash cow that the Aquilinis might have expected unless the Canucks can get out of the first round.Tags: spitballin