Guest Post: Canucks 2013-14 season preview, by Battle of California

There have been some big changes for the Canucks this offseason, but the one that could have the most impact is realignment, which brought an unfortunate end to the crack den that was the Northwest Division and threw the Canucks into the far more functional and together Pacific Division. Bummer.

But let’s not dwell on what’s lost. Let’s look to the future and meet some of our new divisional buddies! We’ve invited a stable of Pacific Division bloggers to preview the Canucks season, the new division, or their own teams for us here at Pass it to Bulis, and over the next week, we’ll be sharing the results with you. First up: Megalodon of the hilarious Battle of California.

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by Megalodon

Boned by realignment

A strong case can be made that no team in the NHL lost more in the realignment than the Vancouver Canucks.

Sure, some teams might have to deal with an increase in travel, or a loss of a traditional division opponent, or maybe even some tough new competition, but the Canucks lost the worst-in-the-west Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild, who barely made the playoffs despite playing in the pathetic Northwest division.

And what do the Canucks gain in place of those two loser teams? The Anaheim Ducks, who finished third overall in the NHL last season, the San Jose Sharks, who swept the Canucks out of the playoffs in the first round last season, and the Los Angeles Kings, who knocked them out in five games the season before that.

Man, the Canucks are so boned it isn’t even funny.

Oh wait…wait, I was just thinking about it the wrong way. It turns out it IS funny.

In fact, it’s hilarious!

A dismal past

Despite playing in the worst division in the West, the Canucks entered last year’s playoffs with the worst shot differential among all the Western playoff teams. On the superstar front, the Sedins continued their steady decline in points per game from their peak in 09-10.

That’s something of a trend for the Canucks, actually. The vast majority of the decent players on the team are on the wrong sides of their career peaks and are aging like somebody stabbed their Dorian Gray paintings. Injuries are a reality that all teams have to deal with, but they can be especially troublesome for a team like the Canucks with so many important players closer to the grave than they are to their rookie seasons.

“BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR YOUNG TALENT?!” Canucks fans are probably screaming at the computer while contemplating a leap out of their windows. Well don’t worry, I’m getting to that.

The Vancouver Canucks have the fourth-worst prospect pool in the league. The only halfway-decent forward the team has under the age of 25 is Zack Kassian, who was recently revealed to be a bit of a psychopathic thug, so good luck with that. Also, I’m not sure if YOU remember the stats from the Canucks – Sharks playoff series this past post-season, but since I haven’t stopped looking at those stats since the series ended (except for during my brief refractory periods) I’ll be happy to refresh your memory:

Zack Kassian in the 2012-2013 NHL Playoffs:

Games played: 4

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Points: 0

+/-: -1

PIMs: 4(!!!)

Good stuff, huh? Clearly he’s ready to lead the team into a bright future.

At least their brilliant GM got rid of that punk Cory Schneider though, right? Obviously HE was the problem.

A dismal future

Things are only going to get worse for the Canucks from here, folks.

Now that they’ve officially joined the California is the Best Division, the Canucks are in for a world of hurt. With so many more games per year against the quality teams of California, Vancouver will be lucky to even make the playoffs. And, honestly, that might be for the best. This team has been propped up for several seasons now by too many easy regular season points from lousy division opponents, and this has allowed them to ignore the glaring issues with their roster long past the point when they should have started making changes.

Now, with California pounding their faces into the mud over and over and over again, maybe the Canucks will finally have to face reality.

Welcome to California

Finally, in my capacity representing the glorious Golden State, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this time to offer the Canucks a cordial welcome to California’s division.

Why the city of Vancouver is worse than…

Los Angeles

So many movies and TV shows film in Vancouver that it has given itself the pathetic nickname “Hollywood North.” Production companies love to film in Vancouver because it’s cheap and unremarkable. It’s a city where things are FILMED but never ever SET. Vancouver’s most marketable trait is its ability to resemble other places. The city’s most distinguishing characteristic is a total lack of character.

San Jose

San Jose was named after Saint Joseph, who, I’m told, was kind of a big deal.

Vancouver was named after a big fat failure of an explorer whose most notable accomplishment was being beaten up in the street by a political opponent.

Advantage: San Jose.

Anaheim

How many Disneylands does Vancouver have again? Is it less than 1?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Enjoy California on those long road trips, Canucks players! I know it might be tempting to ditch your lousy team while in California and go start a new life in the best place in the world, but please don’t. We already have Dave Foley. We don’t need any more Canadians.

In summary

The Canucks are totally and absolutely doomed this season, as well as for the foreseeable future.

But at least they can be happy that they aren’t the Flames, right?

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66 comments

  1. steveB
    September 26, 2013

    Megalodon = tom1040? :-\

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    • Harrison Mooney
      September 26, 2013

      Megalodon is funny.

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      • Tom1040
        September 26, 2013

        Megalodon,

        I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        So, Harrison, what about his message? Lunacy?

        Well, we’ll see what happens this year. If am wrong, rub it in my face – I’m sure you’d love to.

        While I wish each Canuck player success (except for Luongo, Booth and Kesler), they are in for a rough ride to be sure.

        Let’s get them white towels out and start waving. This time we’ll likely be waving them for real.

        Have a nice day, Harry.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          September 26, 2013

          “Well, we’ll see what happens this year. If am wrong, rub it in my face – I’m sure you’d love to.”

          Nah. I couldn’t care less.

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          • Tom1040
            September 26, 2013

            Of course you do.

            You always have.

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        • John in Marpole
          September 26, 2013

          Tom, you need to beg, borrow or steal a sense of ha ha.

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          • Tom1040
            September 26, 2013

            I always love getting direction in life from my very own personal troll.

            Thanks, John…indeed, you are ‘a sense of ha ha’…embodied.

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  2. Peachy
    September 26, 2013

    Rock on!

    More posts like this and you’ll be giving our Chicago-based trolls a run for their money. Dunno if you can beat their feat in the song contest earlier this year though. Something to aspire to?

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  3. Fraser
    September 26, 2013

    This seems likely to be a fun feature.

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  4. EllynBleu
    September 26, 2013

    Please, don’t hesitate to hold back any of your thoughts and feelings.

    ….

    (And at the end of the season, how do you like your crow?)

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    • Fraser
      September 26, 2013

      No, no, we fired Crow years ago. I believe he’s in Switzerland now.

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  5. Mark Ragnar
    September 26, 2013

    I thought St Joseph was the patron St of having your wife get pregnant with no help from you?

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  6. Collin
    September 26, 2013

    Funny post. I liked it.

    Especially the reference to your refractory period, or more specifically the implied cause of said period. I like reviewing game stats too, but not that much. hehe.

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  7. Handy Hands
    September 26, 2013

    Vancouver is always in the top five best cities in the World in which to live. I don’t see San Jose, Anaheim or L.A. on they list!

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  8. peanutflower
    September 26, 2013

    it’s sarcasm, right? Right?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      September 26, 2013

      Oh yeah. They’re all gonna be like this. FWIW, though, the Flames writer actually previews the Flames, and it’s far, far crueler.

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    • Iceman
      September 26, 2013

      Hmmmm… I dunno. To me this Californian blogger is working too hard to sound funny while also trying to rub it in. If this is his best at sarcasm, I’d say he has a long way to go to reach our beloved HM & DW’s status (which is legendary already).

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      • peanutflower
        September 26, 2013

        that’s what I was thinking. In my mind there is a pretty visible line between sarcasm and insults. I will reread it again without my homer glasses on and with my grad student glasses on, but the first couple of readings place it into the latter category. It’s not well written enough to be sarcastic, ironic, or any of the high falutin’ -ics.

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      • peanutflower
        September 26, 2013

        WTF — i can’t get my posts to get posted.

        I get what your goal is, so to speak, Harrison, but at least you guys try and be two-sided or double-sided, or fair, or whatever most of the time, and rarely resort to insults, PLUS you are funny. This isn’t funny. It’s not even sarcastic. It’s just like the other poster said, trying too hard to sound funny when what he (or she) really wants to do is just get his or her licks in while the door is open. If there is an opportunity to vote, I’m voting no to more of this.

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        • peanutflower
          September 26, 2013

          whoops lol. nothing like being impatient. damn this server anyway.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          September 26, 2013

          I found it funny. It’s a roast. I laughed at the “how many Disneylands” line, for instance.

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          • Chris the Curmudgeon
            September 26, 2013

            Did you laugh anywhere else? You don’t have to be defensive Harrison, just because this guy isn’t particularly funny doesn’t mean we think less of you just because you picked him.

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        • John in Marpole
          September 26, 2013

          Take a few minutes and read the California blog, you’ll see that the tone is consistent. The humor is sharp, wicked and sarcastic. That isn’t to everyone’s taste, perhaps, but for those who are in tune, it’s comedy gold.

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  9. Steveston
    September 26, 2013

    So nice to have a “guest” stay over for a while, and find him crapping on your carpet.

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  10. Chris the Curmudgeon
    September 26, 2013

    A little bit rehashed, don’t you think? Did you actually change anything from your Puck Daddy eulogy from last year?

    The Sedins aren’t in decline, their points per game has been remarkably consistent over the last 8 years, with the exception of 2 years playing with Christian Ehrhoff. Their even strength points were the same, but their power play points spiked dramatically accounting for almost all of the increase. Moral of the story? A power play QB is really really important (ahem*Gillis are you reading?)

    Harrison, by any chance are they allowing you to do the same on their blogs? Hmm, didn’t think so being that the Sharks fanbase is even more full of oversensitive losers after the “dismal” playoff history their team’s experienced, and the dismal realization that for every young Logan Couture, there’s an old horse with one foot in the glue factory (see Thornton, Marleau, Havlat, Boyle, Stuart…)

    Oh and PS, San Jose is the most mind-numbingly boring city this side of New Jersey. I will wholeheartedly endorse the entertainment value of the Bay Area, but in that department the South Bay is one giant vacuum of nothingness.

    PPS: Since when is a blogger from Norcal sticking up for LA?

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  11. Nee
    September 26, 2013

    You cut me deep, Meg. Right in the feels.

    And while I know this post is sarcasm, we really do have a dismal past.

    /whispers ’43 years’
    /sobs

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  12. Megalodon
    September 26, 2013

    I didn’t have to change anything from my eulogy because your team hasn’t done anything to get any better.

    The Sedins have declined each season since 2010. Make excuses if you want, but it’s the truth.

    And you think I can’t handle criticism from opposing fans? I write for Battle of California, buddy.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      September 26, 2013

      I interpret trends on graphs for a living. Yours can be interpreted several ways. Say whatever you like about the Sedin twins, I would LOVE for the team you follow to underestimate them as you have.

      Usually, quality writers come up with original material every time they’re asked to submit a piece. Not trying to tell you how to do your job or anything.

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      • Megalodon
        September 26, 2013

        Okay Professor Graphington. Just let me know how often it happens that hockey players entering their mid-30s suddenly start getting BETTER every season, rather than worse.

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        • Chris the Curmudgeon
          September 26, 2013

          The Sedins are in their early 30′s, not their mid-30′s, but that’s a semantic point. I’ll answer your question when you tell me how old last year’s NHL leading scorer was. The Sedins have each consistently put up between 0.85 and 1.0 points per game every season since the first lockout. The exception is the two years they played with Christian Ehrhoff (who scored 94 points over 2 years with the team, almost exclusively with the twins), when those numbers spiked considerably. Since Ehrhoff has left, they are back along the same line as they were before. In other words, where you want to draw a downward sloping line through 3 or 4 data points, I want to draw a flat line through 8 data points with two outliers caused by a easily identifiable confounding variable. I’ve never tried to suggest the Sedins are still going to improve, just that the reports of their decline are somewhat overstated. Catch my drift?

          As long as Dr. Curmudgeon is wearing his statistician’s cap, perhaps he will also point out that Daniel Sedin’s shooting percentage, a stat that seldom declines with age but that does tend to regress towards its mean, was his worst since his sophomore season. Considering that Daniel’s goal-scoring accounts for a significant fraction of Sedin points, a regression to the mean would likely lead to an uptick in twin production. If you’re worth your salt as a so-called hockey connoisseur, you’ll at least acknowledge that.

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          • John in Marpole
            September 26, 2013

            Chris, I enjoy your contributions to the PITB discussions, but I think you’re taking this bit too serious. It’s hockey. It’s a sport. It’s a diversion from life.

            I say that from the perspective of someone who watched his first Canuck game in 1966, when the WHL Canucks were playing in the PNE Forum. I have lived and breathed every season of the NHL Canucks. I was in my 30′s and cried when the stinkin’ Rangers won game 7. I’m in my mid 50′s now and wondering if I will ever see a Cup parade on Georgia Street.

            It’s hockey. Enjoy.

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            • Chris the Curmudgeon
              September 26, 2013

              The defensive tone of Megalodon’s replies makes it clear that he’s totally serious. This was not a roast, it was a license to insult, or as peanutflower puts it “to get his or her licks in while the door is open”. I have a sense of humor, I do. But really, the point seems to be, “your team sucks and so do all of you”. I mean, sure it’s not a serious subject, but does it have the desired intent of making me laugh at myself? Not really. I’ve read other bloggers roasting the Canucks that I thought were hilarious, even Bruins etc where I really hate their teams. This comes across as vitriolic.

              As to the “sisters are in decline” thing, I just think it’s painfully old…kinda…like…the Sedin twins. (Bazing)

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              • bezzerkker
                September 27, 2013

                “As to the ‘sisters are in decline’ thing…”

                There is no mention of the Sedins as sisters until this post. It’s good you bring this up, though, because it’s obviously a comedic approach to your true opinion on the inferiority of women. Bravo! You show those women who is boss by re-using the rhetoric of sexist insults that you’ve internalized! Bravo, indeed, sir!

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              • Chris the Curmudgeon
                September 27, 2013

                Wait, I mention a common line parroted by Canuck-haters in order to deride its stupidity, and you’re accusing me of being sexist for saying it? Thanks Freud, that’s some high class psychoanalysis there.

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          • Pukeko
            September 27, 2013

            Mega,

            Thanks for having a go at the canucks and forcing us to laugh at ourselves.

            That said, if your unabashedly short sighted look at scoring statistics is going to be so comprehensively dismantled, better to go down with a better swing than “professor graphington”.

            I think we all expected better

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      • shampeon
        September 26, 2013

        Most of the professional graph interpreters I know don’t have a lot of trouble reading graphs with lines that descend over time.

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        • Chris the Curmudgeon
          September 26, 2013

          I guess they will probably also acknowledge that you can make statistics say almost anything you want them to.

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          • akidd
            September 26, 2013

            nice posts, chris! nice to know we’ve got a pro holding the fort here. i’m surprised you’ve been able to hold your tongue for as long as you have what with so many subjective interpreters in the house.

            seems like more evidence that mg should’ve met erhoff’s asking price.

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            • laplander
              September 27, 2013

              Problem is, if we beat Baffalo’s offer to get Erhoff we would be short another 2 major players. Buffalo even regrets paying the amount they did for Erhoff; it was just too much money. In a no salary cap world I completely agree…

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  13. RobG
    September 26, 2013

    Just when I start feeling better about the Canucks this year, I read something like this and my faith in the team gets shaken. I really hope that the Canucks play well in the new division and prove some of the haters wrong but part of me actually feels like this season is going to be a disaster. I am one conflicted fan right now…..

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      September 26, 2013

      Come on Rob, he was brought here to troll us. I mean, I sort of feel like there are enough of those that show up voluntarily to go around, but I guess Mooney has started thinking that his pal Greg Wyshynski and co (one of the biggest hacks on the web, writing for Yahoo Sports) actually runs a good blog over there rather than a semi-literate gong show and wants to invite some of the same for this site. I think inviting a bunch of puerile and asinine trashtalkers onto our turf is a great way to ruin what is (was?) one of the most intelligent hockey blogs around, but hey, I’m not in charge.

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      • Cal
        September 26, 2013

        I guess since my name is Cal that makes me 70% more likely to be a redneck? So if that’s true then BO Horvat is my main man. Bo and a few other bright spots aside, I can’t see our 3rd or 4th line plugs being good at plugging all the holes they create by existing.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        September 26, 2013

        Before you get too much on Harrison’s case about this and suggest that Mooney has been mind-warped by Wyshynski (who is a damn good writer running the best general hockey blog available, by the way), this whole thing was my idea.

        Honestly, Canucks fans need to grow some thicker skin and learn to deal with what other fans have to say. Take it with a grain of salt, recognize that some of it is true, some of it’s not, and all of it’s exaggerated, and have some fun with it.

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        • Chris the Curmudgeon
          September 26, 2013

          Re second point: see nickname. And I’d like to think I can laugh at myself, but were there any jokes here or just 100 different ways of saying that he thinks the Canucks suck? Were there any jokes at all apart from the “Disneyland quip”? Pretty weak first effort is my take.

          I’m not trying to sound overly effusive in my praise here, but the two of you guys run Wyshynski into the ground.

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        • nick
          September 27, 2013

          Now you’re logging in as Daniel to throw him under the bus? When will it stop, Harrisenberg? When Uncle Hank dies?

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          • Harrison Mooney
            September 27, 2013

            I am the one who blogs.

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    • Cal
      September 26, 2013

      Rob I’m feeling the exact same. Doesn’t help that I have to suffer alone, in Laffs land watching replays of Kessel’s baseball swings.

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    • Aaron
      September 30, 2013

      Feel good about the Canucks Rob. Megladon if focusing on what are not concrete stats by any means. First Kesler has not been fully healthy to start either of the last two seasons so his production is lower than it should be this year. There was serious juggling of the lines last year and that I believe also had a negative effect on our production. The biggest impact of this may have been the PP. As far as the Playoffs go. The addition of Kassian with the twins should mean that messing with the twins as seen in the past should diminish and If Kassian can play up to his potential he will be a force on his own and should help open up Ice for the twins which will allow them to do more Sedinery. Our D is solid and will be again this year it might even be better. Lou is a top Goalie and Lack looks solid. Burrows is probably going to play with Kesler and they were great together before. Last but not least, Torts will not let the Canucks sit back on a 1-0 lead.The canucks are so underrated this year. Go Canucks GO!!!!!

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  14. clutch fan
    September 26, 2013

    Come on Harrison, you just brought this blogger on to make your own posts appear even better (kind of how Eddie Lack makes Luongo look).

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    • Harrison Mooney
      September 26, 2013

      It’s a sweet plan, no?

      Nah, I brought him here because he’s funny. Taking shots at other teams is what we do, and will continue to do. Only seems fair to let the new divisional rivals take a crack at us.

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        September 26, 2013

        Isn’t that what their own sites are for?

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        • Harrison Mooney
          September 26, 2013

          For the most part. But I think we can handle a little bit of light-hearted chirping over here, especially since the tongue-in-cheek snark thing is pretty well in keeping with what we normally do.

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          • Amor de Cosmos
            September 26, 2013

            Well yeah, but if you’re going to invite divisional rivals over you’d maybe expect them to mention their own team once or twice, otherwise what’s the point. I mean this guy could be from Duluth or Tierra del Feugo.

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            • Megalodon
              September 26, 2013

              Did you somehow miss all the times I talked about California? That’s my team.

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              • Amor de Cosmos
                September 26, 2013

                Really? What a bizarre concept. Generally teams that are close to each other are the bitterest rivals, not best buddies. I can’t imagine Manchester City and United sharing a blog, nor the NY Rangers and Islanders for that matter. Is that because hockey blogs for individual California teams would each generate as much interest as a softball game on local cable?

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            • Harrison Mooney
              September 26, 2013

              Battle of California is a blog that pretty much just reps all three California teams, which is why they took shots on behalf of each city. Don’t worry, though, the next one will be specific to one team. And again, the Flames one rips the Flames, so there’s that to look forward to as well.

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              • Chris the Curmudgeon
                September 26, 2013

                California hockey teams supporting each other? I guess that’s better than seeing their baseball teams stab each other after a game. Too soon?

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              • Chris the Curmudgeon
                September 26, 2013

                (that should read “baseball teams’ fans” stab each other)

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              • John in Marpole
                September 26, 2013

                How sad that you have to explain humor to so many PITB readers, Harrison.

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          • Cal
            September 26, 2013

            I loved everything except for:

            “Vancouver’s most marketable trait is its ability to resemble other places. The city’s most distinguishing characteristic is a total lack of character.”

            Van City resembles other places because it has so much to offer between scenery and community; also being why it has so much character.

            Let’s just get that out in the open. Slag anything else you want. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful, charming, unique cities in the world. The hockey team? Well we have to see.

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            • Harrison Mooney
              September 26, 2013

              Well yeah, obviously it’s not true. Vancouver is gorgeous and whatnot. But as a burn, it was pretty okay.

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  15. Smokey
    September 26, 2013

    Everybody is writing off the Canucks this season…I think they are gonna surprise a lot of people. Last time the NHL gifted Chicago the Cup, the Canucks got the excellent pleasure of knocking them out of the playoffs. I’d dearly love to see that trend repeat itself this season, and I have a feeling that it will.

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  16. JDM
    September 26, 2013

    I would like to point out that the roast was typical of California hockey fans who don’t actually know anything about hockey, in that, in support of its position that the Canucks’ prospect pool is bad, cited a list that’s over a year old.

    I mean, citing hockey’s future is at the best of times a dubious idea, but in this case, it’s crossed the line into ironic.

    For your information, the Canucks only have the TENTH worst prospect pool in the league (per C Pronman). So THERE. Yeah, showed him… it’s mediocre, not abysmal!

    Go Canucks! Mediocre but not abysmal!

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    • laplander
      September 26, 2013

      WOOO! I like that slogan -
      Go Canucks! Mediocre but not abysmal!

      I wonder if I can get that sewn onto my car “Johnny Canuck” flag…

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  17. akidd
    September 26, 2013

    megalodon makes good points but isn’t that funny. not much at all, really. it’s like making jokes to parisians about the eiffel tower.

    yup, the canucks are in tough. yup, they haven’t done much to improve the team. and likely weakened it considerably by getting rid of schneider. sure torts could inject some new energy but to the detriment of entertainment. (1-3-1 in the neutral zone, collapse in front of the net to block shots. yum, yum.)

    but it’s a long winter and what else are going to do but wish upon a star.

    basically, when harrison ties the teams hopes to booth(who’s done absolutely nothing good in a canuck uniform) there’s nothing more you need to know.

    still pulling for them though and hoping for a pleasant surprise like all the other true believers.

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  18. pug
    September 27, 2013

    I’ve been reading pitb for a few months now. This is the first time that the comments after the article were more of a Interesting read than the article itself. There were some funny parts, but it was meh at best. The one thing I dont understand is why the blogger (im not going to take the 3 seconds to find out your name) went after vancouver the city. If its about hockey keep it about hockey. Besides we might riot occasionsly over lost hockey games but atleast no ones been murdered at the pne. Disneyland and knots berry farm cant say that.

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