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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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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