Winnipeg Jets and the blockbustery day: Canucks were never really in the running for Kane

For the second time in the last 45 years (it’s becoming an alarming pattern!), the Buffalo Sabres have taken that which is rightfully ours.

Not unlike when they stole the 1st overall pick from the Canucks in the 1970 draft by means of witchcraft, the Sabres made a massive trade splash on Tuesday, snatching up disgruntled hometown boy Evander Kane right from under the Canucks’ nose in a blockbuster deal.

Heading to Buffalo: Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian and goalie Jason Kasdorf. Headed to Winnipeg: Tyler Myers, winger Drew Stafford, prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux and one of the innumerable 2015 first-round picks the Sabres turned up as they continue to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

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Sedins get apology from Stars’ Jamie Benn, the end

Let’s be honest: nobody wanted to talk about that awful Minnesota Wild game. So it was an infuriating blessing when Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin’s comments on a jocky Dallas radio station, in which the duo played along with a riff on the Sedins that suggested some pretty offensive and crude things, came to light. The city of Vancouver talked mostly about that yesterday instead. Wild game? What Wild game?

But with the Canucks playing the Blackhawks on Wednesday evening, it’s time to retire this story, and wouldn’t you know it, right on cue, it received the ending it deserves, with Jamie Benn doing his captainly duty and reaching out to the Sedins to apologize.

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Stars’ Seguin, Benn disrespect, insult Sedins on Bad Radio [AUDIO]

There was a time when one could argue that Daniel and Henrik Sedin were the most dynamic and dominant duo in the Western Conference. That time is probably over, mind you, what with the Sedins aging, and their speed of attack and point totals dropping in what one suspects is a correlative relationship.

Meanwhile, as they get older, the young stars of the game stay the same age. These days, one could probably point to, say, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars as the most dangerous one-two punch in the West. They’re faster, more dynamic, and younger.

Of course, with age comes maturity, so while you might take Benn and Seguin on the ice right now, in a broadcast studio, I’ll take the veteran, intelligent Sedins and their ability to know when a conversation is veering into dumb and offensive territory and either steer it back towards reason or shut it down. This is a skill that Benn and Seguin have yet to master, as evidenced by a recent appearance on The Bob and Dan Show (which is also aptly called BaD Radio).

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Wild 5

What’s worse? Watching this game, or watching this game two nights after watching the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins — a win so convincing you wondered if embarrassing evenings like this loss were in the past? It’s sort of amazing. If this loss to the Minnesota Wild had followed the loss to the Sharks, it might have been met with a collective shrug, as everybody acknowledged that this is just who the Canucks are right now. We were already on our way to accepting that, after all.

the Penguins’ game left us wondering if, perhaps, that’s who the Canucks were, and maybe it was the Sharks game that was an aberration. It turned us around. And then — and maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’m alone here — the frustration that followed this loss was exacerbated by a sense of naivete, like it was silly to think the Canucks would be able to pick up where they left off versus Pittsburgh. The joke was on me when I watched this game.

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Game of the Week: Canucks vs Bruins, February 13, 2015

Is there really any other way to go this week than the visit from the Boston Bruins?

It’s sure not going to be the trip to Minnesota. Watching the Canucks play the Wild, even now, long after the end of the Jacques Lemaire era, is like popping a couple melatonin and sitting down to watch an episode of “Criminal Minds”. Instant slumber. Plus they played the Wild last week. And they play the Wild again next week.

You could pick the Blackhawks, I guess, but speaking of sleep, that rivalry sort of feels like it’s gone dormant. The Blackhawks remain one of the league’s best teams. The Canucks do not. So it’s hardly a meeting of rivals anymore. It’s more of a measure-up game. Can the Canucks still hang with the Blackhawks?

The Bruins, on the other hand…

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Big Numbers: Canucks in danger of being caught; Vrbata hits 20 goals

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.

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Real Good Tweets, starring free iTunes help from @50_MissionCap

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

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 1, Sharks 5

Chris Tanev is going to make so much money this offseason.

Tanev was already due for a pretty substantial raise in his next contract, just based on the way he’s played this year, and what he’s doing on the top pairing with Alex Edler. But one suspects that Tanev’s agent will probably want the tape from this one, as Canucks played the Sharks without Tanev (who missed the game with concussion symptoms) and looked like a group of guys trying hockey after learning about the game secondhand from an old man that didn’t quite explain it properly.

And I watched this game.

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Breakdowning Luca Sbisa’s surprising overtime winner versus Winnipeg

Just as everyone predicted, Luca Sbisa was the hero Tuesday night when the Canucks played host to the Winnipeg Jets. Less than a minute into overtime, the Swiss blueliner executed a 200-foot give-and-go with Radim Vrbata, starting the breakout, then following Vrbata into the zone for the centring pass and the goal.

It’s not unreasonable to ask how a thing like this could happen. Sbisa has all of three goals this season and, again, he was at his own goal line when this play started. How does he wind up in front of the Jets’ goal with enough time and space to put the puck into it? The answer is simple: because the Jets screwed up. Like, a bunch. Let’s break it down.

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Quotes Taken Out of Context: Ronalds Kenins edition

Today in Quotes Taken Out of Context: Ronalds Kenins has a curious fetish.

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Stick in Link: Zack Kassian seems frustrated for some reason; best Canucks plays of January

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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What’s the Canucks equivalent to what happened to the Seahawks?

All things considered, Seattle fans did a pretty good job of keeping their emotions in check after Sunday’s shocking Super Bowl conclusion. Especially if you juxtapose it with the reaction to another championship loss a few clicks north in 2011.

I’ll admit up front that I’m not a Seahawks fan. I mean, I cheered for them like everybody else in this town, but at the end of the day, their loss didn’t crush me. After all, I’d only been paying attention for a month or so. It wasn’t too difficult to brush it off. But I know from being a Canucks fan that you can’t do that as a diehard. I know some people had a hard time waking up this morning and going to work, and not because they drank too much — they were just too crushed by the end of this game. But I don’t know that, as a Canucks fan, even amidst all the disappointed I’ve ever felt with this frustrating team, I’ve ever felt what serious Seahawks fans are feeling right now.

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Spitballin’ on aging in reverse, moving Miller, and a Comets-themed wedding

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.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 2, Wild 4

Oftentimes on television shows, you’ll find characters making references to “the game”. The particulars of this game — what sport, who’s playing, what’s on the line — are rarely filled in, but it seems as though everybody on the program already knows. That’s because this game is so big, you don’t even need specifics. It’s just “The Game”.

Suffice it to say, this Sunday features one such game: Vancouver Canucks versus Minnesota Wild at noon. This game is why we got up this morning. This game is the one everybody’s been anticipating for weeks. And I watched this game.

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The Paper Feature: Very bold thoughts on the Canucks

Quick note to the editors before I start this piece: this week is a tricky one. As you know, even though these articles run on Saturday, they have to be filed by Thursday. That’s usually fine, but on Friday, the Canucks play the Buffalo Sabres, and I think it’s safe to say that the mood in Vancouver will be drastically different if they lose. After all, it was one thing to lose to the Anaheim Ducks — hockey’s best team. It’s something else entirely to lose to hockey’s worst team — a team that’s all but trying to lose most nights.

With that in mind, I’ve had to write this week’s article with both a win and a loss in mind. Here’s what you’ll have to do Friday night: if the Canucks win, simply remove all the words in bold. But if they lose, leave the article as-is. DON’T FORGET TO DO THIS OR I’LL LOOK FOOLISH.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 5, Sabres 2

The Canucks’ home life has been troubling of late. It’s been showing in their work, and there have been outbursts in class and on the playground. Their last goal in front of the home fans came on January the 8th, and while that tidbit looks a little more damning thanks to the five-game road trip that followed it, it still meant they’d gone two straight home games without a goal. That’s bad.

But not as bad as the Buffalo Sabres, whose city name, if you add the results of every game in the month of January, is Buffalollllllllllll. It’s also an apt description of the team at the moment, approaching the NHL record for most losses in a row as they march towards the NHL basement, where Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are currently being held prisoner. This is a historically bad team, one that seems to have forgotten how to even do hockey in the basic sense. At times in this game they seemed to think this was a Boggle tournament. But it was indeed a hockey game, however laughable, and I watched this game.

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Canucks of the Week, starring an expecting Ryan Miller

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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Luca Sbisa thinks the Canucks’ mascot is named ‘Whale’

Luca Sbisa has played 40 games as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Admittedly, that hardly makes him a lifer, but there are a few things you’d think he would know by now, like, say, the name of the Canucks’ mascot.

Among the discoveries from Wednesday night’s Dice and Ice charity event, however: Sbisa has no earthly idea.

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Stick in Link: Canucks are too small, have no answers, must make a trade, obviously lost a game recently

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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Chris Higgins just cares about defence too much

Chris Higgins is a genius.

The Canuck winger hasn’t scored since December 22nd, and you have to go all the way back to November to find another goal after that. Higgins is on pace for just 11 goals, and for a guy that’s supposed to be a mainstay on the second line, not to mention one who finished second in goals for this team a year ago with 17, that isn’t nearly good enough.

But, as mentioned, Higgins is a genius. Which is why, when asked to explain the massive dip in his production, he’s got this brilliant answer in his back pocket. From The Province:

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Game of the Week: Canucks vs Ducks, January 27, 2015

Just two games to choose from this week, unless you count the All-Star Game, and I don’t. While Daniel Wagner may have dedicated this week’s main feature space to defending a glorified game of shinny — because he likes shinny, so of course he’s going to love glorified shinny, all transfigured on the mountaintop — I won’t be doing that here.

The All-Star Game is dumb. The bad kind of dumb. It could be the fun kind, but when you leave P.K. Subban and the Sedins at home, you’ve intentionally made things hard on yourself. It’s like going camping. Why leave all the good things about life at home? Where’s the fun in struggling to survive? There is none. The fun is in making it easier. Give me a beach and drinks with tiny umbrellas. Give me a life so easy we care about protecting our beverages from heatstroke.

Anyway. As for the two actual games this week, we have our choice of the Anaheim Ducks and the Buffalo Sabres, hockey’s best and worst teams, respectively. Yeah. This bit right here is about the only time you’re going to see these two teams discussed in the same breath. So which to choose?

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Big Numbers: Promising playoff odds and too many too many men penalties

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.

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Stick in Link: Bieksa out indefinitely; don’t call it a comeback for Edler

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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Spitballin’ on breakaways, breakouts, and All-Star breaks

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.

Continue Reading —›
I Watched This Game: Canucks 2, Panthers 1

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States, or, as it’s known in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi, and this is no joke, Martin Luther King Jr. AND Robert E. Lee Day (since it definitely makes sense to celebrate the guy who led Team Slavery and the guy who gave the “I Have a Dream” speech on the same day). But anyway, I suspect the Canucks had the laughable alternate holiday in mind during this game, since Robert E. Lee day would be an appropriate evening to stage an event where a group from the North defeats a group from South.

Much like the Panthers’ visit to Vancouver two weeks ago, the story of this one was goaltending, but just as the victor was flipped, so too was the standout netminder. Ryan Miller led the way here, very nearly stretching his shutout streak to three straight games. Mercifully, however, the Panthers managed to end it, just in time for the Canucks to start Eddie Lack Tuesday in Tampa Bay as they should, rather than riding the hot hand for the second straight back-to-back, wearing Miller out, then wondering why he stopped playing well. Much like Eddie Lack tonight, but thankfully, not tomorrow, I watched this game.

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