Stick in Link: Henrik Sedin a Masterton nominee; Canucks in Nashville

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 passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Stars 4 (OT)

Okay, so there are two ways to look at this one: optimists will celebrate the point the Canucks salvaged when they tied the game late, postponing their loss until overtime. Pessimists, on the other hand, will lament the point the Canucks blew when they allowed Tyler Seguin a third-period breakaway. That’s pretty much the only thing you can’t do versus the Stars.

So where do I stand? I’m pretty happy with how things turned out. The outcome is unfortunate, sure, but how can you complain about a game that gave us this awesome GIF of Trevor Linden and Jim Benning high-fiving like they just became best friends.

Next up: karate in the garage. Anyway. Like a high-fiving Lindenning, except without the high fives and no friends to speak of, I watched this game.

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The Paper Feature: John Tortorella still stealing Willie Desjardins’ thunder

The Jack Adams award is purportedly given to the NHL’s best coach, but I think we can all agree that’s hardly the case, and the counterargument need only be one line: Mike Babcock has never won it. If the coach widely-held to be the league’s best has never taken home the hardware, the award probably isn’t what it claims to be.

Fact is, winning a Jack Adams has next to nothing to do with being the best coach. Rather, it’s an award for the best turnaround narrative starring a coach. Call it The Mighty Ducks award. The way to take one home isn’t to coach well — it’s to be at the helm of a team that so exceeds expectations, it’s hardly explainable any other way besides: award-winning coaching.

If that’s the case, though, one wonders why Willie Desjardins appears to be getting no love for the award.

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Canucks of the Week, now with five more years of Chris Tanev

Canucks of the Week, written by Kevin Vanstone, examines who and what is keeping hockey in Vancouver interesting these days. That’s right: who and what. It need not only be players. After all, we are all Canucks. All people, places, things, abstract concepts, ideas, emotions — if it’s a noun, proper or common, it’s a Canuck, and it’s eligible to be a Canuck of the week.

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Will Canucks look like bums dressed as Millionaires again?

Let’s be honest: the 1915 Vancouver Millionaires are about as valid a Stanley Cup champion as the 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes. Sure, they hoisted the grail, but it was only happening once, as the rest of the eligible teams got their bearings after a slough of rule changes that threw the whole league into disarray.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the Millionaires’ Cup win, however, it’s still a Cup win, and the only one Vancouver’s ever seen. Which is why, on the hundredth anniversary of it, the Canucks will once again be donning their Millionaires jerseys versus the Colorado Avalanche. Reasonable idea.

But also a terrible idea. It’s been 100 years since the last time Vancouver looked good in those jerseys, and I’m not just talking about maroon being so last century as a colour.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 5, Jets 2

The Winnipeg Jets jumped out to a two-goal lead in Tuesday night’s game, which, as we all know by now, is like reading from the Book of the Dead. It can only end badly. And somebody is definitely getting possessed.

In this case, it was the Canucks, who played like a team possessed from that point forward, snatching the win not just out of Winnipeg’s hands, but also their city name. They’re now known as ipeg, which is hardly a place at all. It sounds more like a wooden leg that plays MP3s. No doubt the Canucks will be loading up the victory playlist on their ipegs after this game. And I will be writing about how I watched this game.

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Stick in Link: Kerry Fraser defends Alex Burrows; Chris Tanev uses a pen

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 passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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I Find This Photo Odd: Alex Burrows gets DDT’d

Tyler Toffoli and Alex Burrows were both extremely lucky to escape Saturday’s nasty incident — in which Toffoli shoved Burrows into the side boards dangerously from behind — relatively unaffected. Burrows left the ice briefly, but returned unconcussed. Toffoli was ejected, but returned the next game unsuspended, because the Kings were quick to send a basket of muffins to the Department of Player Safety.

But it wasn’t the only incident between Toffoli and Burrows in the game. There was also that moment when the two got tangled up behind the net and Burrows took down Toffoli at the legs. Although that’s not what the photo suggests. Just based on this picture by Aaron Poole, it looks to me like Toffoli won that exchange too:

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Canucks sign Chris Tanev to five-year extension, the weary world rejoices

Elliott Friedman kicked off his latest edition of 30 Thoughts Tuesday with a little bit of news regarding the Canucks and a prominent RFA: “Hearing there’s progress in contract talks between the Vancouver Canucks and Chris Tanev,” he said. “It’s hard to say if it’s imminent, but it’s moving in a positive direction.”

Turns out Elliotte should have gone with his gut. It was totally imminent. Less than two hours later, the Canucks announced a five-year contract extension for Tanev that carries a cap hit of $4.45 million.

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Eddie Lack chooses the wrong equipment design again

Never one to shy away from an opportunity to connect with the fans, Eddie Lack has staged yet another equipment design contest. Last year, fans were asked to submit designs for his mask. This year, it was his pads.

And, for the second consecutive year, Lack has chosen the wrong design.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Coyotes 1

After finally standing up to the Los Angeles Kings; after looking at the tyrannosaurus rex gaining in their rearview mirror, fast approaching, and realizing they had no chance of outrunning it, that they had to beat it back, and then somehow, indeed, subduing the charging apex predator, the Canucks faced an even stiffer challenge: a truly crap team.

Sure, this shouldn’t follow. On its face, “beat the Kings, beat the Coyotes” is about as modus ponens as “save the cheerleader, save the world”. But not for these Canucks, who have been standing up to good and playing down to bad of late. Fortunately, they were able to put that aside for one night and actually win a game they were supposed to. And I watched this game.

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Canucks of the Week, where Eddie Lack gets a pass

Canucks of the Week, written by Kevin Vanstone, examines who and what is keeping hockey in Vancouver interesting these days. That’s right: who and what. It need not only be players. After all, we are all Canucks. All people, places, things, abstract concepts, ideas, emotions — if it’s a noun, proper or common, it’s a Canuck, and it’s eligible to be a Canuck of the week.

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Can the schedule help the Canucks hold off the Kings?

You’re likely going to hear a lot of people calling Saturday afternoon’s game between the Canucks and Kings a “must-win” for the Canucks. And it sure is — at least based on the NHL dictionary, where must-win is synonymous with “big”. It’s not so much a literal term. There are no literal terms in hockey.

It’s a massive game, as it comes with one of those four-point swings, where you gain two points and also cause your rival to not get two points, although you still don’t actually get four more points than them. Again, there are no literal terms in hockey. Anyway.

The worst-case scenario for the Canucks here is that, when the buzzer sounds, the Kings are tied with them at 84 points and 11 games to go. Granted, that’s enough for most Vancouver fans to be concerned, as most agree that the Kings are simply a better team than the Canucks. They’re sure to get more points in their final 11 games, no?

Maybe not. All things being equal, they probably should. But all things are not equal. The Kings’ schedule in the final 11 games is far more point-resistant.

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Real Good Tweets, starring Ryan Miller’s corn boat pads

You folks made some good tweets last week. Some real good tweets.

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Big Numbers: Just a dozen games remaining; Kings are in trouble

Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Big Numbers is a weekly feature on Pass it to Bulis in which we identify the numbers and statistics that really matter or, frequently, the ones that don’t matter at all but are still pretty interesting.

Statistics are gathered from NHL.com, War-on-Ice.com, Puckalytics.com, HockeyAnalysis.com, BehindtheNet.ca, and elsewhere.

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Stick in Link: Corrado back to Utica; Canucks a little too healthy, honestly

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 passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 4, Flyers 1

Another day, another game the Canucks absolutely had to win. Not so much for the points, mind you. Not this time. This game was about the late Pat Quinn, who definitely would have appreciated the grand coincidence of the Canucks and Flyers, the team he coached to the Stanley Cup Final and the team that gave him his first coaching job, going head-to-head on St. Patrick’s Day. (You might have heard that Quinn was Irish.)

If Quinn was watching, he probably did so with a smile. Mind you, he probably wasn’t watching, since heaven has wicked fast Go-Karts, according to the Bible, and you don’t have to buy tokens or wait in line or anything. But while Pat Quinn was Go-Karting, I watched this game.

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Kirk McLean’s former spouse talks hockey wife life, and a certain rumour

Kirk McLean had 10 glorious years of stability as an NHL goaltender. He was the Canucks’ starting netminder from 1987 to 1997, at which point he was dealt by Mike Keenan to the Carolina Hurricanes.

That kicked off a tumultuous period in which he played for four teams in about a year — the Canucks, the Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers, and the New York Rangers, and there’s little doubt that this took a toll. It’s a kind of homelessness, that movement from place to place. It has to be hard to feel grounded or settled.

Which is about what his wife at the time, Jane Macdougall, has to say about it in a piece published on Monday by the National Post.

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Here’s a guy who fell asleep at the Canucks game, so fans stacked beer cans on his head

Ah, sleep. Sometimes it just happens. It doesn’t matter where you are. At the beach. While waiting for the metro. During a robbery. If your body decides it needs sleep, good luck fighting it off. You need a well-rested body to fight, and this one is tired.

That in mind, I find it hard to cast aspersions on this Canucks fan, who fell asleep during Saturday night’s contest between the home town team and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. Casting aspersions? No. Stacking beer cans? Yeah man. I am there.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 4, Leafs 1

The Canucks have been accused, at times, of playing down to their opponents this season, so a win over the Leafs on Saturday night was never a foregone conclusion. But thankfully, there is a limit to how low Vancouver can go. They are a hockey team, after all, not Hermes Conrad.

It probably helps that they’d just come off a trio of games versus the California teams. Playing host to the Leafs after going up against those three is like robbing a casino and then taking candy from a baby. No laser sensors. No armed guards. No decoys. You don’t even need a blueprint of the safe. You just walk up to the baby and seize the desired sweets with your superior gripping power. The Canucks had superior gripping power when I watched this game.

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Canucks of the week, where Jacob Markstrom deserved better

Canucks of the Week, written by Kevin Vanstone, examines who and what is keeping hockey in Vancouver interesting these days. That’s right: who and what. It need not only be players. After all, we are all Canucks. All people, places, things, abstract concepts, ideas, emotions — if it’s a noun, proper or common, it’s a Canuck, and it’s eligible to be a Canuck of the week.

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The Paper Feature: Welcome back, prodigal Canucks fan

Perhaps you’ve heard the one about the prodigal son, who opted out of his family, demanding his father’s inheritance early, then blowing it all on the road without making a single investment before realizing he had things pretty good back home, especially compared to the literal pigsty he was forced to live in while broke, then swallowing his pride and returning, ready to be treated as the help instead of the family.

Or perhaps you are the prodigal son, sick and tired of waiting for the payoff after 40-plus years of cheering on the Canucks, and you opted out this offseason. It was you who left an empty seat, ending the sellout streak. It was you who wrote off the Sedins as finished, looked at the youngsters coming up behind them and said “nah”, and turned your back on the team. You left.

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Stick in Link: Best Canucks forward lines; earmuffs kid changes teams

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 passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Stick in Link: Bieksa nearing a return; Canucks holding their own versus California trio

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 passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Why you should be glad the Canucks lost to the Coyotes and Sabres

With just one month to go in the NHL season and the Canucks holding onto a playoff spot — at the expense, as it stands, of talented, imposing teams like the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings — every point seems to count a little more now.

Which is why you’ve likely heard (and are sure to keep hearing) about how the club squandered two points versus the Buffalo Sabres, then another one against the Arizona Coyotes.

The Sabres and Coyotes are, of course, in tank mode. They’re trying to lose. Maybe not the players on the ice, but the management is definitely running this ship aground. So it looks especially embarrassing when a team that needs to win can’t beat a team that doesn’t even want to. And if the Canucks miss the playoffs by a point or two, people are going to point to these two games as the moment where it all went wrong.

But they shouldn’t.

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