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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Willie Desjardins stars in this ‘real good’ supercut [VIDEO]

Willie Desjardins has been an upgrade on John Tortorella in all manner of ways: the Canucks speed in transition, how the Sedins are utilized, the handling and integration of young players, the suppression of needless goaltender controversy — but he’s not a perfect replacement.

Tortorella still has Desjardins beat in all the audio categories. The short-lived Canucks coach may have been more of a loose cannon than equally short-lived Blue Jackets mascot Boomer, but when it comes time to records coaches saying things, and put together a newspaper section focused on the team he’s saying things about, that’s sort of what you want. Tortorella practically spoke in headlines and decks.

Not so with Willie Desjardins, who may have coaching innovations by the bowlful, but he only has two descriptors: good and real good. Here’s a supercut of Desjardins describing things as “good” and “real good”.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Sharks 2

Let’s start things off with a little real talk here: the Canucks had next to no business winning this game. But that’s okay. They also had no business losing to the Arizona Coyotes two nights ago. Or the Buffalo Sabres a few weeks before that. That’s just the nature of hockey, man.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter who’s better, or who plays better. If the right team, the deserving team, won every night, then there’d be little in watching the game. But occasionally, praise be to the hockey gods, the wrong team wins. Which is why I watch these games, and what happened when I watched this game.

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Canucks of the week, starring a bad poll question and an even worse team performance

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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Real Good Tweets, starring @petbugs13′s ideal trade

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

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Breakdowning a little bit of wizardous Sedinery versus the Sharks

Canucks fans have long indicated that, in lieu of a winning team, they’ll take a team that loses excitingly, which is likely why no one was too torn up over the Canucks’ 6-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. Granted, a win would have been vastly preferable, but the game was full if wizardous Sedinery, which is another kind of win in its own right.

The twins’ finest moment was undoubtedly their second goal, a piece of twinning so mind-bending it briefly brought us back to 2010-11, when they were doing stuff like this on what seemed like a nightly basis. Sure, two minutes later, the Sharks would restore their two-goal lead and all but end the game, but nobody much minded. We were still basking in the glow of this high-level Sedin magic.

Let us continue to bask as we break it down.

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Big Numbers: Sedins in elite company; the future is friendly

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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Jacob Markstrom needs to start versus the Coyotes

Tuesday night, as the Canucks played host to the San Jose Sharks, we finally got a chance to see the new-and-improved Jacob Markstrom. Not the one the Canucks sneaked through waivers back in the fall. No, no. To hear the Canucks tell it, that guy is gone. They have rebuilt him. They have the technology.

Jacob Markstrom: The Redux was nigh unbeatable, we were told. He’d been lighting up the AHL all season, and now, with Ryan Miller sidelined and Eddie Lack in dire need of a breather, we were all to bear witness to Markstrom’s triumphant return.

But alas, in his seven minutes and change of NHL action, Markstrom looked less like Jacob Markstrom 2.0 and more like Leeroy Jenkins, charging headlong into battle only to be instantly slaughtered as his teammates muttered, “Leeroy, you are just dumb as Hell.”

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Vancouver city council approves proposal to rename stretch of Abbott Street ‘Pat Quinn Way’

Hockey icon Pat Quinn died on November 24 of last year and, as you might expect after the passing of a man that gave so much to this game, both in Vancouver and beyond, the tributes began pouring in right away.

Over three months later, they’re still coming. On Wednesday, Vancouver’s city council unanimously approved a proposal to rename the 700 block of Abbott Street, which runs along the east side of Rogers Arena, “Pat Quinn Way”.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 2, Sharks 6

The Canucks had a chance to win this game. And then it began.

You’ve got to feel for Jacob Markstrom, who battled valiantly to get back to the NHL after the Canucks placed him on waivers at the beginning of the season and saw him pass through to the minors without incident. He played excellently for the Utica Comets, and absolutely deserved the opportunity to show off his revamped game. But alas, he didn’t get the chance. After three goals on his first four shots, Markstrom was on the bench, Lack was in the crease, and the game was, for all intents and purposes, in the books.

Like Jacob Markstrom in his first start of 2015, I watched this game.

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Reaction to Baertschi move shows Jim Benning still has trust of Canucks faithful

Jim Benning is never going to have an 100% approval rating, and sure enough, there are some that feel he missed the boat on Monday’s trade deadline. The trade for Sven Baertschi? That was fine, although it stood in opposition to Benning’s professed love of draft picks.

But there was a chance for him to accrue several more in the deadline frenzy, especially with Shawn Matthias scoring non-stop as he approaches unrestricted free agency, and Chris Higgins and Kevin Bieksa being exactly the sort of veteran glue guys playoff teams love

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Stick in Link: Baertschi overhyped in Calgary; Eddie Lack loves ‘corn boats’

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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Canucks play it safe on deadline day, buy a couple lotto tickets in Cory Conacher, Sven Baertschi

In the days leading up to the 2015 NHL trade deadline, most speculated that the Canucks were going to remain somewhat neutral. It was the right approach. While the team is in a playoff position, they’re hardly running away with it — heck, if not for the mediocrity of their division this season, they’d be just barely hanging on to the second Wild Card spot. Instead, they’re five points clear of third place in the Pacific.

Thus, it’s hardly worth “going for it”, as they say. Elite teams go for it. But it’s also not worth throwing in the towel. After all, if the hockey gods are going to hand the Canucks a playoff spot, well, you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and neither do you trade it for prospects and picks.

Hence, the team decided to let this team do whatever it’s capable of as assembled, and remained mostly neutral on trade deadline day. And nothing speaks to a team’s commitment to neutrality like adding yet another Swiss player.

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The Paper Feature: I went on vacation and now everything about the Canucks is different

My Iron Fan streak came to an end this week.

Prior to the Canucks’ visit to New Jersey on the 20th of February, I hadn’t missed a game in nearly two years, putting together an Iron Fan streak of 164 contests. Now, admittedly, it’s not exactly Henrik Sedin going 679 games strong, especially since it’s tough to pick up an injury on the couch in one’s pyjamas, but still — 164 games is a pretty decent little run. If you’ve got me beat, I applaud you.

But on the 20th, I missed my first of four in a row, as the Canucks went on a road trip out east, and I did the same down the California coast, choosing to keep my phone and computer shut down for the duration of my vacation. Good idea, right?

Terrible idea.

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Canucks of the week, starring the immovable Jake Virtanen

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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I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Sabres 6

That headline isn’t a joke. Nor is it a typo or a bad dream. The Canucks actually surrendered six goals to the Buffalo Sabres. It’s just the first time since November — and only the second time this season — the Sabres have scored five. And it gives Buffalo their first consecutive wins since mid-December. In other words, this shouldn’t have happened. The Canucks just lost to the 2001 Atlanta Thrashers.

But we should have seen it coming, and not just because the Canucks are consistently finding ways to surprise us this season, but because this road trip was never really a road trip. It was a tour of vengeance, like the events of Kill Bill. The Canucks’ only focus was in defeating the teams that had defeated them in a Stanley Cup Final. The Rangers? Done. The Bruins? Done. Even the Islanders’ 1982 win was avenged. But Buffalo, like New Jersey, has no real beef with Vancouver. And so they were spared. I, however, was not when I watched this game.

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Game of the Week: Canucks vs Islanders, February 22

The Canucks have three stops remaining in their five-game swing through the Northeast: Long Island, Boston, and Buffalo. All three have the potential to be a lot of fun, albeit for very different reasons.

The important thing to keep in mind with the Sabres is that you’re not just watching a bad team. You’re watching a historically bad team. It’s like watching any M. Night Shyamalan movie after Unbreakable. It’s not just bad. It’s so bad, it’s a cultural moment. You shouldn’t watch it as a film buff, but you should watch it as a member of the culture. You want to be able to say you saw it. Same goes for these Sabres. Tune in.

But they’re not the team I’m most excited to see.

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Real Good Tweets, starring classic @DarrylDyck photo, ‘Canucks in Chaos’

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

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Big Numbers: Canucks could make playoffs with .500 hockey; more loser points, please

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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