Stick in Link: Nicklas Jensen will save us, and other reasons to be optimistic

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 vs. Nashville Predators, March 19, 2014

The Canucks’ chances of making the NHL playoffs are slim. Fatboy slim. They’re not mathematically eliminated, but the fans in this city have never put their faith in math, and dammit, they aren’t about to start now. Glimmer of hope or no, I think we all know the Canucks are playing out the string.

That in mind, the games we’re watching now aren’t really games anymore. They’re game-length commercials for next year’s club. And as advertisements go, this one was pretty effective, showcasing two of next year’s stars in Eddie Lack, who busted out of his funk like Rick James busting out on the funk, and Nicklas Jensen, who continues to score like Hans Zimmer. I was effectively marketed to when I watched this game.

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The Week Ahead: Canucks visited by other lowly teams, the Predators and Sabres

Every Wednesday we take a look at The Week Ahead to see what storylines we’ll be following, because Wednesday is a day meant for looking ahead to the future. Around here we call Wednesday “Future Day” and we all wear silver jumpsuits and big bubble space helmets. Doesn’t everybody do that?

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Stick in Link: Bo Horvat is Canucks’ top prospect; Burrows snarks on hot streak

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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Watch ‘Someone Like Lu’, the last (and best) Luongo tribute, we promise [VIDEO]

The Roberto Luongo trade caught everyone off guard. Heck, would it really have surprised anyone if Mike Gillis had been called for comment, only to respond with, “WE DID WHAT?!” It was pretty sudden.

There really wasn’t much time to get our bearings, either. We wrote our songs as we tried to come to terms with the new order, but before we could even be close to over the guy, suddenly, the Canucks were down in Florida watching Luongo tend net for the Panthers.

There’s really one way to tackle a situation that emotionally complex, and it’s with more music. And so, at the suggestion of several readers, I took it upon myself to repurpose Adele’s “Someone Like You”, which is a sad song about seeing a former flame and feeling weird, as a song about our curious situation.

Then I rounded up a couple friends. In the long-awaited first (and hopefully far from last) collaboration with the insanely talented Marie Hui and Clay Imoo, may I present, “Someone Like Lu”.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Tampa Bay Lightning, March 17, 2014

The Tampa Bay Lightning pulled off an incredible trick just prior to Monday night’s game versus the Canucks. In a pregame ceremony, they purported to honour the Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning, who hoisted the Cup on June 7, 2004. But when their video tribute began, the date on the JumboTron read June 7, 2014, which isn’t ten years ago — it’s three months from now.

One might say that this is a mistake. But that would be the mistake. In fact, this was a deliberate act of cunning: the Lightning left the Canucks completely confused as to whether they were in the past or the future. By the time the Canucks realized the answer was neither, as they were in the present, playing a hockey game, they were losing the hockey game, and they kept losing the hockey game until they had lost the hockey game. And I watched this game.

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Could Markus Naslund return to the Canucks?

The last time Steven Stamkos was in town with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the superstar forward was overshadowed by Markus Naslund, who saw his number retired by the Canucks in a ceremony before the Lightning’s 5-4 shootout victory.

With the Canucks visiting Stamkos’s Lightning on Monday, the people of Vancouver once again have Markus Naslund on the brain, as rumours swirl that Naslund could be joining the Canucks’ front-office.

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Big Numbers: Canucks’ playoff chances; Tom Sestito’s chase for 20 fights

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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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Florida Panthers, March 16, 2014

If we had been paying better attention, I think we would have been able to predict that Roberto Luongo would be a Florida Panther by mid-March, and I mean before Eddie Lack started the Heritage Classic. Are we honestly supposed to believe the NHL schedule just conveniently had Luongo facing Cory Schneider and Eddie Lack in back-to-back games, so soon after the deal?

That’s weird. It’s even weirder when you consider that the Panthers’ next four games are against the Chicago Blackhawks, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the Graz 99ers, and IF Björklöven. Those are the respective teams of Jason LaBarbera, Curtis Sanford, Dany Sabourin, and Andrew Raycroft. Three of those teams aren’t even in the NHL! It’s as Ann as the nose on plain’s face! We should have seen it. But it became all too clear when I watched this game.

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Canucks’ team bus breaks down, as cursed season continues

It is widely accepted now that this Canucks season has been cursed from the outset. Where this curse came from, we cannot know, although considering Alex Burrows got it the worst (with his linesmates, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, getting it the second-worst), we can probably assume that he was the prime target. Did he deny a witch a bank loan? Find an evil book in an old cabin and read a Latin passage aloud? Spend the offseason tending a secluded hotel in the Colorado mountains? It could be anything.

Whatever it was, however, Burrows managed to shake loose from it Wednesday night in Winnipeg through sheer force of will, playing his heart out and scoring his first goal of the season, just three shots before he matched Craig Adams’ modern-day NHL record for the forward with the most shots on goal in a goalless year. The curse appeared to have been broken.

But if we learned anything from Mickey Mouse’s battle with the broomsticks in Fantasia, or Scratchy the Cat’s similar battle, it’s that breaking a curse doesn’t end it — it just turns it into a bunch of smaller curses determined to keep on cursing, because curses gonna curse.

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Stick in Link: Henrik’s milestone game; thoughts on Kesler

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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The Paper Feature: Several reasons to keep following the Canucks

With the events of last Monday’s historic collapse still weighing heavily on all of our minds, it might be tempting for you to consider joining the Canuck players and tuning this team out for the rest of the year. After all, if what we saw versus the Islanders is an indication of the sort of team we have now, one might say, there’s really no point in tracking this team to their logical end, which is the last game of the regular season, and no further.

No one would blame you for that. Watching the Canucks come out of the tunnel after the second intermission leading by a field goal, only to give up a touchdown? That’s tough to take. (Although I’d argue surrendering a third-period three-goal lead would be tougher to take if it happened in the playoffs, in a game 7, against the hated Boston Bruins. So it could be worse.)

But don’t do it. At the risk of sounding like a shill for the Aquilinis, there are so many reasons to keep watching this team this season, and we’re here to give you just a few. Here’s why you should stick with these Canucks.

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Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider star in amazing GIF that pretty much says it all

Things can change in a hurry in the NHL. Last March, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider were locked in a battle for the starting job in Vancouver. This March, they’ll face off twice — on the 14th, and again on the 31st — as the starting netminders for the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils, respectively.

They, like us, probably have their issues with how they exited Vancouver. But unlike us, looking back at the exploding house they just escaped, they’re probably happy to be elsewhere. That is, if they even look back. Two cool customers like that might not even bother. After all, that’s not what cool guys do.

All of this leads us to what has to be considered the GIF of the year in Canuckland. Look at this masterpiece:

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Because someone had to pay, Canucks fire entire concession staff

It’s chaos in Vancouver, and with the club delaying their season ticket renewal letter until they can pair it with some kind of optimism, it’s clear, and it became clearer after Monday night’s historic collapse, that someone needs to pay.

On Tuesday morning, the hammer came down. After 18 years working with the concession pros at Aramark Canada, the Canucks have fired their entire concession staff.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. New York Islanders, March 10, 2014

When the second period came to a close, the Canucks led 3-0, having outshot the Islanders 19-13, and looking far and away to be the superior club. It was then that I made a grave mistake. Believing the result of this game to be all be assured, I started writing.

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Pass it to Comics: Luongo and Thomas, friends for a season

Pass it to Comics is a collaboration between PITB and cartoonist Chloe Ezra, whose Tumblr page, Blue Soup, is a must-follow for any Canuck fan with an appreciation for quirk. Today, we remember a great moment in hockey history.

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Here are some other cool beards Mike Gillis should try

Mike Gillis is going through some things right now. He has a weird new beard.

The Canucks’ GM claims he grew it for “solidarity”, but if so, one can only assume he means solidarity between his chin and his neck. His new beard is something else. It has the look of a goatee, sure, but a goatee that’s grown sentient and then opted to grow a sub-beard all on its own. One wonders if he even has control of the hair. Did he grow it with peanut butter solution?

Gillis’s beard has drawn mockery from the Vancouver fanbase, and at this point, it seems clear that he needs help — which is where we come in. “The Gillis” may not catch on as a beard style, but there are plenty of other styles Gillis might be wise to try on next. Here’s a taste of what he’d look like with each

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Watch Roberto Luongo tributes with us and laugh, and cry [VIDEO]

This week saw the end of an era. After an incredible run in Vancouver, creating memories that would last a lifetime, and staking a claim to the ring of honour, at the very least; after a big-time trade that saw the Canucks bid farewell to a power forward in the prime of his career to bring in an player that signalled the beginning of a new era, the Canucks officially closed the book on that era Wednesday when they parted with Raphael Diaz.

It’s tough to fully comprehend.

Also Roberto Luongo was traded. People are feeling pretty emotional about it.

It’s amazing to think that, not that long ago, the fanbase wanted him gone. (Remember this sign? Remember this window display?) But things have changed since then. Luongo got good at Twitter, the Canucks got bad at hockey, and suddenly, the paradigm shifted. Now he’s in Florida, and he’ll be missed.

We paid our tribute to Luongo with the Elton John-inspired “Goalie in the Wind”, but we were hardly the only ones. Let’s take a look at a few of the other fan tributes that hit Youtube in the wake of the Roberto Luongo trade.

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Stick in Link: Reactions on a quiet day; Eddie Lack, trade deadline winner

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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The Week Ahead: Big showdown with Stars, and some very winnable games

Every Wednesday we take a look at The Week Ahead to see what storylines we’ll be following, because Wednesday is a day meant for looking ahead to the future. Around here we call Wednesday “Future Day” and we all wear silver jumpsuits and big bubble space helmets. Doesn’t everybody do that?

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No confidence in Canucks’ front-office, ownership after idle trade deadline

Coming into Wednesday’s trade deadline, the Canucks could have done just about anything and it wouldn’t have surprised us. They were “aggressively listening” to offers for both Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler, a process we imagine involves an ear trumpet, at the very least. Roberto Luongo had been moved the day before, proving, as the philosopher Kevin Garnett once shouted, anything is possible.

With the team plummeting out of contention, it seemed as though Mike Gillis and co. were on the cusp of blowing it up in the traditional sense — an oft-talked about course of action in hockey, but one that rarely ever happens.

It didn’t happen Wednesday either. The team’s lone move on Wednesday: closing the book on Raphael Diaz’s short tour of duty in Vancouver by shipping him to Alain Vigneault’s Rangers for a fifth-round pick.

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New Van Fan, season 2: Trade Deadline 2014

It’s trade deadline 2014, and this one’s a little different than we’re used to. In recent years, the Canucks have been looking to add at the deadline, to pad an already dangerous roster and hopefully patch any holes and leave the team prepared for a lengthy playoff run.

This time around, that’s not on the table. Instead, after a disastrous season the Canucks are looking to “re-tool”, in the words of Mike Gillis, with Roberto Luongo already gone, and the likes of Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler on the block.

But considering the events of this season, or the fact that Gillis was the architect of them, fans aren’t all that confident that he’s the guy to make these moves and chart the Canucks’ course for the future. Among those fans: Dan and Andreas, the stars of our favourite webseries, “New Van Fan”. But rather than sit around and fret, the two fans have a drafted a letter to Gillis, just to make sure their best interests are kept in mind. It is, as with everyone else they do, quite funny:

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Phoenix Coyotes, March 4, 2014

Let’s be honest: nothing the Canucks did tonight was going to overshadow the events of this afternoon. John Tortorella could have charged into the visiting team’s dressing room, the press box, and two concession booths during this game and it still wouldn’t have done a damn thing to change the front page of tomorrow’s papers. Tuesday was all about the Roberto Luongo trade.

Knowing this, the Canucks didn’t even try to compete with the main story. They played this game like they knew it was going to be a sidebar. Like Frank MacKey waiting out an interview, they sat patiently, counting down the minutes. Occasionally, someone had to hop on the ice, of course, but for the most part, this was as perfunctory as an Adam Sandler movie script. Like the Canucks who played in it, I watched this game.

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Join us in saying goodbye to Roberto Luongo with ‘Goalie in the wind’ [VIDEO]

Welp. Roberto Luongo is gone. It’s a pretty big shock. Granted, I’ve been speculating on this for a little while now. And that god I published that post earlier today, instead of scheduling it for 2pm like I had originally planned. But it’s still weird to think that the Roberto Luongo era in Vancouver is over.

Why, just last summer, we wrote “Big Old Goal”, singing Roberto Luongo back to Vancouver after the shocking events of the 2013 trade deadline forced him to stay. And now we’re saying goodbye to him.

Seems to me that deserves a song as well. So I made one. Here’s “Goalie in the Wind”.

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Trade Ryan Kesler right now, if you really care about us

If Mike Gillis’s plan for this season was to mentally prepare the local fanbase for Ryan Kesler to get flipped for a big package at the trade deadline, he’s a flipping genius.

(It probably wasn’t his plan. Just saying, it’s really worked out that way.)

If you had floated the idea of Kesler exiting Vancouver back in early October, you’d have been asked to leave instead. Kesler was, and still is, the heart of the Canucks, the player arguably most important to their pursuit of another Stanley Cup Final berth.

But that dream is dead now, and if the Canucks want to win, they’ll tear their heart out immediately.

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