Watch every goal Shawn Matthias scored last season

This isn’t actually every goal Shawn Matthias scored last season. The title is a lie, as Matthias arrived in Vancouver a few days before the trade deadline having already scored nine goals.

But we don’t concern ourselves with the goals he scored elsewhere — just the ones he scored in Vancouver, and Matthias had three of those, bouncing around the bottom three lines as the Canucks played out the string on a season that was already pretty well gone by the time he arrived.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of his first full year in Vancouver. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s got some skill — but where he slots in, and whether or not he even plays at centre — remains to be seen. What doesn’t remain to be seen, however, are the goals he scored last season. Well. At least I’ve seen them. You haven’t yet. Get on that, you.

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Watch every goal Nicklas Jensen scored last season

Nicklas Jensen had one really good week in Vancouver. After finally earning his call-up, he made his presence felt, scoring three lovely goals in four games and leading fans to wonder if perhaps he was the real deal. Sadly, after that, he fell off, although it wasn’t entirely his fault. He was beginning to look good with Alex Burrows and Henrik Sedin, but then both of them got hurt. Heck, Burrows breaks his thumb on Jensen’s third goal.

But even now, knowing that he only scores three before the well dries up, it’s tough to look at these three goals and not get a little excited about the Danish winger’s goal-scoring ability. He’s got a great shot. Here are the first three goals of Nicklas Jensen’s career.

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Watch every goal Jordan Schroeder scored last season

One of Jim Benning’s first moves as General Manager wasn’t a move at all, but rather his decision not to move on Jordan Schroeder’s qualifying option. With a shrug, he sent the centre to unrestricted free agency instead, thus ending Schroeder’s relationship with the Canucks. Like Keith Ballard, he seized the opportunity to go home to Minnesota.

Cutting Schroeder loose is a defensible choice. While Benning said goodbye to an asset, and the practical cats over at Canucks Army would argue that this is foolish, the Canucks aren’t hoarders — they’re a hockey team, and one that determined the former first round pick had no value to them. For a small guy, he didn’t appear to have the speed or sizzle necessary to play on the top two lines, and his checking wasn’t particularly conducive to, y’know, a checking role. Worse, he’d probably built up some negative P.R. value as a Gillis draft pick, and the Canucks have spent much of the summer trying to get that “Gillis era” smell out of the franchise, for better or for worse. So they said goodbye to Jordan Schroeder.

And now, so do we. But before we do, we look back on his last three goals as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.

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Watch every goal Dale Weise scored last season

Dale Weise never really fit with the Canucks. As we’ve discussed previously, he arrived about a season too late for his vision of himself to line up with what the Canucks wanted from him.

Weise fancied himself a goal-scoring grinder; the Canucks wanted him to be a facepuncher who could play. That disconnect was never really resolved, and when John Tortorella arrived and discovered that Weise was unwilling to punch dudes with the frequency of Tom Sestito, he no longer had any use for him. Mike Gillis shopped him unabashedly, sending out a mass e-mail, and soon, Weise was in Montreal, where he’d eventually make quite the mark in the postseason and earn a contract extension.

But before he left, he did manage to pot three goals for the Canucks, which means he gets a post in our annual every goal series, where we look at the Canucks’ goal output, player by player, and observe their tendencies. In Weise’s case, his tendency is simple: he goes to the net, hopes the puck will follow, and then whacks at it until it goes where he wants it to. Simple and effective.

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Stick in Link: Canucks fan optimism; Alex Edler on trade rumours

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Wednesday during the summer. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Watch every goal Jason Garrison scored last season

Jason Garrison is gone now, moved to the Tampa Bay Lightning not long after Jim Benning arrived, look at the number of no-trade clauses he had to deal with and said, “Ugh.” Garrison was reportedly disappointed to have to go — he didn’t want to — but then he got the call from Stevie Yzerman, and everything changed.

There’s nothing quite like that call. When you answer the phone and Stephen Gregory Yzerman says, “I want you”, it’s life-changing. And when you’re expecting the call and you don’t get it, well, Marty St. Louis showed us how people react to that. It’s a very special call.

Anyway. Garrison’s gone. But not forgotten, and since he scored seven goals for the Canucks last year, that means he has to be accounted for in the annual every goal series. I hope you like one-timers!

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Watch every goal Alex Burrows scored last season

As scandalous as it was for John Tortorella to suggest the Canucks buy out Alex Burrows, it’s easy to understand why he might think that way. If this was the first year you’d ever really watched Alex Burrows play, I’m sure you’d be at a loss for why he was a fan favourite, let alone how he could possibly have cracked 25 goals in each of his last 4 full seasons in the NHL.

2013-14 was a horrible year for the Canuck winger. At some point, he was less a top-line winger than simply a metaphor for the entire team’s awful season: snake-bitten, beset by injuries, lacking confidence, bewildered as to what the heck was going on, excruciating to watch.

For much of the year, Burrows looked destined to be the best player to ever have a goalless season in the NHL. But eventually he managed to find his way, and with it, the back of the net. For about a week he knew how again, pouring in five in six days before returning to his carousel of injuries and bad bounces. So let’s take a moment to watch the five goals he did score, as we begin our annual, player-by-player look at every goal the Canucks scored last season with the man that closed last year’s series: Alex Burrows.

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Stick in Link: Survival tips for Miller; Ryan Kesler tribute

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Canucks add Ryan Miller, who sort of looks like Roberto Luongo, so there’s that

Shortly after arriving in Vancouver, Jim Benning and Trevor Linden took stock, and decided they had 99 problems, but a trustworthy starting goaltender wasn’t one. It’s a defensible conclusion: Eddie Lack probably has what it takes, but as the wheels fell off the Canucks’ bus last season and he was dropped into a situation where there was no one behind him and, really, no one in front of him either, he didn’t look good. Hence, Benning and Linden decided to target a goaltender at the draft, and again in free agency.

In both instances, they got the biggest name available. At the draft, it was Boston College alumnus Thatcher Demko. In free agency, it was former St. Louis Blue nee Buffalo Sabre Ryan Miller.

The Canucks have signed the netminder for 3 years at $18 million dollars. It’s important to note that he vaguely resembles Roberto Luongo, so this should be an easy transition.

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Kesler trade shows Benning isn’t afraid to win a deal by losing it

Shortly after the Canucks announced the Ryan Kesler trade, I received a text from an NHL employee.

“Three quarters for a dollar,” it said.

That’s a fair assessment of a trade that saw the Canucks receive Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, and the Anaheim Ducks’ other first-round pick for former Selke winner Ryan Kesler. Even admitting that Kesler’s not the guy who destroyed everyone and everything in the 2011 playoffs — first the Nashville Predators, then the San Jose Sharks, then, finally, himself — he’s still worth more than the sum of those spare parts. No offence to Nick Bonino, who is likely to replace Kesler as the Canucks’ second line pivot, but he’s no Ryan Kesler replacement. (Say what you will about Bonino’s points, but he was playing for a team committed to scoring goals, not a team allergic to it. And he’s not the same shutdown corner.)

But the Canucks don’t care. This wasn’t about who they got. It was about who they got rid of. This wasn’t a hockey trade. It was a Tylenol trade.

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Guest Post: In Praise of Gino Odjick

As you may already know, Gino Odjick is in a fight for his life right now, battling a terminal illness. As he told fans in a letter posted on the Canucks website, he may only have weeks to live. Suffice it to say, this touched a lot of people, because Gino touched a lot of people — something that was abundantly clear as fans rallied outside Vancouver General Hospital this weekend, chanting “Gino! Gino!”

One fan who wanted to say a few words about Odjick on the blog. Gerald Morton is a part-time Zamboni operator, PhD Candidate, occasional lecturer at Vancouver Island University, former hockey target and sporadic blogger at

If you want to write a guest post for PITB, by all means, reach out to us at We’re always happy to showcase other writers.

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The newest Canuck insider: this guy eavesdropping on a phone call at JJ Bean

It was a big Friday for the new Vancouver Canucks regime, with three trades in very short order, just hours before the draft. And it was also a big day for Michael Falcon, who went from undersized customer experience blogger to hockey insider in the span of an afternoon.

Falcon knew about Jason Garrison before it happened. He was on Derek Dorsett a half hour before that surprise deal. He even knew that the Canucks would draft Jake Virtanen. But how? How does a guy go from zero to legitimate NHL source, with connections deep in the know, as they say, in the span of an afternoon?

Simply, he walked into the JJ Bean in Yaletown and happened to overhear a telephone conversation.

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Jason Garrison traded to Lightning, as Canucks part with fifth-best defenceman

Jason Garrison came to the Canucks after spending the first four years of his professional career in Florida. And now, after two seasons in the blue and green, he’ll be going back whence he came, like those boots Cletus found on the telephone wire.

Well. Not precisely whence. Garrison came from Sunrise, Florida. He’ll be returning a little northwest of there, as the Canucks have traded him to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 5oth pick in Friday’s NHL draft.

It’s not an unexpected move. Garrison had four years remaining on a deal that paid him $4.6 million annually, and it was pretty clear from his play last year that he’s descending into the “not worth that kind of money” zone.

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Five can-miss Canucks games in 2014-15

Suppose you’re in a committed relationship, and you have but one television. That’s a recipe for conflict. If you made the grave mistake of falling in love with a non-Canucks fan, for instance, your need to monopolize the TV during primetime three nights a week probably isn’t going to sit well with your partner — or you, for that matter, since, as much as it pains me to say it, occasionally, as a show of good faith, you’re going to have to skip a game. Sorry.

But don’t fret! Some games are more skippable than others. We marked the can’t-miss games on Tuesday, and today, just as we did last year, we’re going to take you through the can-miss games, so that your two loves — hockey, and that dude or lady who sleeps in your bed — can live in harmony. Here are five games you can probably do without:

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Stick in Link: Canucks could make biggest trade and second-biggest trade at The Draft

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Five can’t-miss Canucks games in 2014-15 (plus a bonus sixth)

There’s a lot to like about the Canucks’ 2014-15 NHL schedule. Their total miles traveled is the lowest it’s been in seven years. They get a bunch of teams on back-to-backs, which means tired visitors. Plus, they don’t play a single California team in October. Considering how badly visits to and from the California three went last year, it was nice of the league to spare us those guresome sights for at least the first month. Gives us time to get our hopes up.

But enough about the overall schedule. Let’s talk individual games. Which one should you most be looking forward to? Granted, if you’re a true fan or whatever, you’re looking forward to all of them, we know, but let’s not be silly. We’re sure you’re going to try to catch them all, like Pokemon, but in a pinch, we all know some games rise to the top while others sink to the bottom.

Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me the 11am road game versus the Detroit Red Wings slated to air on CityTV has you excited? Yeah. I didn’t think so. Here are five standouts.

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Make Way for Willie: Desjardins in as coach, rounding out Canucks’ Three Greenhorns

It seems weird to feature John Tortorella and “succeed” in the same sentence, but alas, time (and John Tortorella) makes fools of us all. The Canucks announced Monday that Willie Desjardins, formerly of the Texas Stars, would be the man to succeed Tortorella behind the bench.

Who’s to say the Canucks don’t have any prospects? Their front-office is all prospects now. That makes it a clean sweep in terms of NHL front-office rookies, as Desjardins shares Benning and Linden’s inexperience in his new role. All hail the second coming of The Three Greenhorns, who built this city, and will now be tasked with rebuilding its hockey team.

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Seven reasons for Willie Desjardins to choose the Canucks over the Penguins

After spending much of the offseason courting the season ticketholders, the Vancouver Canucks finally did something this week for another important section of their fanbase, the puerile Internet commenters, by reportedly landing Willie Desjardins.

Think about it: they just hired a guy named Willie, who comes from an organization based in “The Big D” and was raised in the small-town of Climax, Saskatchewan. Climax! That sound you hear is hundreds of childish Canuck fans tittering while they Twitter (and then Twitter-tittering again upon hearing the word “titter”). I mean, come on. A Willie from Climax? That’s almost too good to be true. (Granted, the other way around, it’s usually too good to be true, too.)

This is also a dream come true for those of us that cater to the puerile Internet commenters. While coachspeak already tends to lend itself to double entendres, having a guy named Willie behind the bench — hopefully coaxing a bigger PP out of his team and helping his scorers rediscover their stroke — provides a whole new tool, as it were.

But the Canucks almost failed to get their hands on Willie. Reports as recently as Thursday night had him going to Pittsburgh before something changed. What was it? Did the Penguins pull a boner? Or did Willie simply feel Vancouver was a better city in which to show his stuff? Here are seven potential explanations for why he might have chosen Vancouver over Pittsburgh:

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Willie Desjardins joins Canucks, as Penguins resume coach hunt

We’ll likely have to wait for the Canucks to spend a few days whispering it to the season ticket-holders before it’s announced, since that’s what they do now, but it would appear the club has found their new head coach in Willie Desjardins.

This is according to reports from Kevin Weekes, and the always-trustworthy Bob McKenzie.

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Why the Canucks will move heaven and earth (and their 1st) to get Sam Reinhart

It’s hardly breaking news that the Vancouver Canucks covet local boy Sam Reinhart something fierce, since every team covets Reinhart, who currently captains the WHL’s Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook. This in mind, he’s sure to be off the board well before the sixth pick in next week’s NHL Draft, which currently belongs to Vancouver.

But I’m of the mind that no team in the league is more motivated to move up than the Canucks are, and not just because they’d hate to see Reinhart have to leave the province unnecessarily: the centre fits with their offseason plan perfectly.

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Stick in Link: Canucks have Fin, so they don’t need Thornton; coach hunt continues

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Canucks’ wedding gift to David Booth: cash (in the form of a buyout)

David Booth is set to get married later this month at the field in Montana where he bagged his biggest deer. (He’s a weird dude. This has been established.)

So what do you get as a wedding present for a dude this wacky? Coonskin cap? Bearskin rug? A something-skin something, most definitely, unless you want to go the route the Canucks have reportedly opted to go, and just give him cash.

It’s a pretty impersonal gift, granted, but the Canucks probably don’t mind, since this one doubles as compliance buyout. Late Monday evening, new Canucks GM Jim Benning called Booth’s agent Mike Liut to inform him that the left winger would be bought out.

The David Booth era in Vancouver is, sadly, over.

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Did Alain Vigneault really say the 2014 Rangers were closer than the 2011 Canucks?

After watching his opponent hoist the Stanley Cup right in front of him for the second time in his pro career, Alain Vigneault returned to Madison Square Garden with his Rangers not to play a Game 6, as hoped, but to clean out their lockers for the summer.

Naturally, with two Final losses now weighing heavily on his mind, the head coach couldn’t help but conflate both experiences, and in trying to explain a Stanley Cup Final series that felt a great deal more competitive than most that end in five, he took the approach of contrasting it with the Canucks’ loss.

Then, according to Rangers beat writer Andrew Gross, he said a truly wacko thing: that the 2014 Rangers were closer.

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Why Ryan Kesler’s trade demand could be a blessing for the Canucks

The above photo was snapped by Jeff Vinnick for Getty Images, and here’s what you’re looking at, according to the caption: “Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks steps off the ice for the last time in the season during their NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena April 13, 2014.”

Be assured that Vinnick arrived at Rogers Arena that night intending to get this exact photo. Why? Because he knew, just as many of us knew, that it was possible Kesler wasn’t just heading off for the last time in the season. If the Selke-winning centre gets his wish, this will soon be a photo of him stepping off the ice for the last time as a Canuck.

The regime change in Vancouver didn’t lead to a mind change for Kesler, as TSN’s Darren Dreger said last week. “He wants a fresh start and to move on from Vancouver; he met with Benning earlier this week to talk about that. It’s believed that Kesler still has six teams on his list that he’s willing to be traded to.”

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Hear the Canucks’ lost 1975 theme song, “We’re With You” [VIDEO]

When it became clear that the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks weren’t playoff-bound, the team launched a concerted effort to focus on the past. 1994, to be specific. But let’s overshoot 1994 by a couple of decades, and go a little further back, to the halcyon days of 1975.

Back then, the Canucks’ goaltender was a guy by the name of Gary “Suitcase” Smith, so named, during this era when hockey players were better at nicknames, because he was an NHL journeyman. It was the year of the Canucks’ playoff debut, as the team won the Smythe Division in its first season after realignment. And it was the only year in Canucks’ history in which they played without a team captain.

They didn’t need a captain, you see, because they got all the inspiration and motivation necessary to win the big games from their new theme song, “We’re With You”. Yes, the Canucks have a theme song, and to my mind, it rivals “Here come the Hawks”. But I’m biased.

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