Canucks waive goodbye to Tom Sestito

After discovering an incredible loophole in the collective bargaining agreement that allowed them to “waive” a player they didn’t particularly “want”, the Canucks have done exactly that, putting Tom Sestito in the FREE PLAYER bin in an attempt to send him to the Utica Comets.

One suspects he’ll clear, unless the Calgary Flames, who are avid enforcer collectors, don’t mind that he’s got a few dents and scratches. And once he clears (and provided he reports), he may soon realize this is actually probably the best thing for his career.

Here are the facts: The Canucks of the Three Greenhorns era have no use for Tom Sestito. Trevor Linden, Jim Benning, and Willie Desjardins have their hearts set on four lines that can play, which means twelve players that can play, and when you’re icing guy that’s working against the efforts of the other eleven (Judasing, I believe this is called), that’s a problem.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 2, Kings 3

2014 was an ugly year for the Vancouver Canucks franchise — especially that first half. After a strong opening to the 2013-14 season, the Canucks greeted the New Year by falling flat on their faces, winning just 13 of their final 41 games. Chief amongst their issues this time last year: an inability to hold leads, especially against the California trio that ruled the top of their treacherous division. So naturally, the Canucks came into 2015 eager to prove there would be no repeat of last season, and what better way than a New Year’s Day test against the difficult Los Angeles Kings.

And prove it they did! After jumping out to an early lead, the Kings pressed, and pressed, and pressed, but the Canucks’ team defence was unwavering, and Ryan Miller stood tall, holding Los Angeles at bay. There are still five minutes to go as I write this, granted, but the outcome has never been… more… damn it. Tie game. Crud. Looks like I’ll be scrapping this intro.

So the Canucks and Kings went to overtime, I assume, since they can’t possibly… YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

I watched this game.

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The top 20 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2014 (10 – 1)

If you read yesterday’s opening half of this year’s fancy Canuck goal countdown, you may have noticed that there wasn’t much Sedinery. The same can be said for much of 2014, unfortunately. But not for the back half of this list. The Sedins are all over it. Watching these goals, you’d think we’d turned back the clock three years or something. They’ve still got it. They may not show it quite as often, but when they do, my word is it pretty.

And they aren’t the only ones. The top 10 Canuck goals of the year also feature appearances from Zack Kassian, Radim Vrbata, and the Calgary Flames. As the year that is becomes the year that was, here are the 10 best Canuck goals of 2014.

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The top 20 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2014 (20 – 11)

2014 will hardly go down as a year to remember for the Vancouver Canucks franchise, except maybe as a cautionary tale. (Don’t overwork the Sedins. Don’t believe Ryan Kesler. Don’t entrust the fate of your veteran room to John Tortorella. And so on.) There wasn’t much to celebrate. But every now and then, albeit not that often, especially in the last days of Torts, the Canucks scored a goal. And sometimes — again, infrequently — they scored a beauty. Not with the regularity of previous years, perhaps, which is why this list will only go to 20 instead of the usual 30, but still. Sometimes.

Today we celebrate those times. The hard times will come later, probably in our annual point-by-point retrospective. But for now, pretty goals. A bunch of them. We give you the top 20 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2014.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 1, Ducks 2 (OT)

I got a Wii U for Christmas, so let’s make this quick: the Canucks played a game tonight. They weren’t very good, and when you’re going up against one of the NHL’s best teams, being very good is pretty important. So they lost.

But all is not lost. Just the game. There were still some positive signs: for instance, Ryan Miller was excellent, and arguably the sole reason the Canucks left Anaheim with a point. Plus now the game is over, so I can get back to playing Nintendo, as soon as I finish sharing my insights from when I watched this game.

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Game of the Week: Canucks vs Ducks, December 28

Every now and then, we get little reminders that Canuck players are just like us. Most of the time, I appreciate these reminders. They help us to humanize these guys, to realize that, despite their superhuman strength, skill, agility, and so on, they’re just dudes.

But so help me if we get one of these reminders in the Canucks’ first game back. I don’t want to see a Vancouver team that looks like they did what I did this holiday season, which is eat and drink until I could not move. If they look for even a second like they gorged on ham, mashed potatoes and garlic bread, or drank pancake batter spiked with spiced rum until it was seeping out of their pores — if they look like a team with a hangover and a food baby — I’m going to flip.

Not literally, mind you. I’m still pretty full. I can barely walk right now.

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Real Good Tweets, starring @vrbatrows, the master mathematician

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

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From the Archives: ‘Season’s Tweetings: Alex Burrows vs Santa’, an original holiday tale

We broke from tradition this year in that there’s no new holiday hockey poem. But as we take a few days off, we invite you to return to last year’s offering, in which Alex Burrows goes toe to toe with Santa. Looking at Burrows’ goals totals this season, I think this poems final lines have proven to be quite accurate.

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Big Numbers: Canucks the highest-scoring team in the West at the break

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: Canucks Christmas carols; home for the holidays

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 7, Coyotes 1

Twas the game before Christmas, and all through the ‘Couv,
It was typically quiet, not unlike The Louvre.
(That’s standard for Rogers, the ice mausoleum,
With all of the noise of a Paris museum.)
Canucks versus Yotes! With Vancouver at home.
… On second thought, nuts to this holiday poem.
There’s lots of clichés that I see in this business;
The worst one’s a riff on The Night Before Christmas.
I’ll start again. Down at the ol’ hockey rink…
Oh God. I’m still speaking in couplets, I think.
My word. This is just what a writer’s stuff does,
When he’s stupid enough to start writing with “Twas”.
I’m so sorry, you guys. I’m embarrassed, but I’m
Gonna have to keep writing this damn thing in rhyme.
I don’t know how to stop doing it. Just the same,
I’ve a recap to give you, so… I watched this game.

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Why the Canucks’ final game before Christmas is a must-win

There are few sports concepts as silly as the must win-game. It’s up there with “having one’s bell rung”, a phrase I’ve always enjoyed unpacking. He had his bell rung. Oh? What’s his bell? His brain? And what’s rung? Traumatized? You’re employing a cutesy phrase for suffering a concussion there, sir. Although I understand why you might, since it’s probably pretty tough to be dismissive of the phrase he had his brain traumatized, which is a great deal less quaint.

The notion of the must-win is nonsense. This game is a must-win. Oh? What will happen if they don’t win? Well, then they will have lost. I see. And then what? They’ll play another game. Maybe not immediately, but soon enough. And future games will also be labelled must-wins.

And from a cosmic standpoint, this game doesn’t matter at all. Very little does. Imagine explaining the must-win game to a higher power. I used to think about that when I’d pray for my team to win. I imagine God’s up there like, “He’s asking me for his sports team to win at sports again. Jesus, you’re my man on the ground. What the heck are sports?” And then Jesus is like, “I’m not even all that sure. Last time I was down there, I mostly just walked around.” And then God’s like, “And then hung around.” And then Jesus is like, “Not cool, dad.”

But if we’re willing to operate under the premise that sports matter, and hockey matters, and the Canucks matter, and how they do this season matters… then Monday night’s visit from the Phoenix Coyotes is pretty important, and dare I say, in the hyperbolic world of sports, where this phrase doesn’t mean anything close to what it means, a must-win.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Flames 2 (OT)

The Vancouver Canucks entered this game on a five-game losing skid. The Calgary Flames, meanwhile, arrived in Rogers Arena having lost seven straight. Somebody was going to end a spiral tonight. Something had to give.

In the end, it was the Flames who gave, embracing the season of giving, and going big by gifting the Canucks the opening goal, which turned out to be pretty important. It was a pretty generous gift, and it left the Canucks feeling embarrassed, because they only got Calgary a loser point and a Hudson’s Bay gift card. I watched this game.

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Canucks of the Week, starring an honest, critical 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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The Paper Feature: Seven surefire ways to fix what ails the Canucks

It goes without saying that the Vancouver Canucks have been crummy for a while now, but since it’s my job, I’ll say it anyway: crummy, crummy, crummy. Wednesday night’s loss to the Dallas Stars pushed the club’s losing streak to five games, and left the club scrambling for answers.

And we have them. With two games remaining before the Christmas break and the swing through California that will immediately follow, it’s imperative the Canucks gets things turned around immediately, and we have a few suggestions that should help them to do just that. Admittedly, we’re hardly experts here, but I think even the most experienced hockey mind will be able to see that our ideas will lead this team back to the path they were on to start the season.

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Hidden Easter eggs and unexpected cameos in the Canucks holiday fireplace video

If you’re such a diehard Canucks fan that you can’t even light the fireplace without ruminating on your devotion to the home team, we at PITB sincerely hope you’ve stumbled across the Vancouver Canucks 2014 holiday fireplace, an hour of crackling fire, surrounded by Canucks paraphernalia such as a Fin plushie, four Orca stockings, and even the leg lamp from A Christmas Story done up in a Canucks sock and a skate.

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Stick in Link: Bad luck Lack; Canucks looking to move forward(s)?

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 [...]

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Eddie Lack starts versus Dallas, as the Canucks gift us something to argue about

After a gruelling, seven-game Eastern road swing that, predictably, saw the Canucks regress into a knockoff version of themselves, with their legs turning to rice noodles and their blood turning to beef broth — in other words, they became the pho-Canucks — the team has a pretty soft schedule this week.

Between appearances on Hockey Night in Canada, the Canucks play just once — Wednesday night versus Dallas. It’s great for them. Their system needs a tweak. They need a rest. And the whole team could stand to regain their composure a little.

But it’s terrible for those of us who write about them. We need games to fuel us, especially after a four-game losing streak. We’ve already blamed the Sedins and criticized Willie Desjardins for playing Jannik Hansen on their line; Kevin Bieksa and Luca Sbisa are already broken up; we’ve scathed the defence, we’ve cast aspersions on the offence. We’re parched over here. For the love of all that is holy, throw us a bone, Canucks!

“Eddie lack confirms he is starting tonight.”

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Here’s a video of the Canucks holding kittens and talking about Christmas

In the grand scheme of things, the Canucks didn’t deliver last season. (Unless you like that sort of thing. If you’re into frustration and horror, they delivered. They were like The Torsk, the stork’s obsidian-feathered, mythological evil twin that doesn’t serve up babies, but rather a small black bindle that bursts with carpenter ants the moment he alights at your home and places it menacingly in your lap.)

But at Christmas, the Canucks came correct, gifting their fans with an interactive holiday card that included the results of an ugly Christmas sweater photo shoot, and a behind-the-scenes video. It was the best gift we could have asked for, and it helped us through some difficult times. A little under a month later, when John Tortorella was going batcrap in the halls of Rogers Arena, and we went to our happy place, this photo of Alex Burrows was pinned on the wall.

Twelve months later, the season arrived once again, and the Canucks were faced with the Herculean task of topping last year’s goodies. But how?

With kittens. This year’s holiday card is pretty excellent.

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What’s wrong with the Canucks?

The Canucks played one-tenth of a hockey game on Saturday, falling to the New York Rangers in about six minutes, or the time it takes to microwave a Hungry Man Turkey Pot Pie, and I think I speak for all Canucks fans when I say: ridiculous. Pot pies are not meant to be microwaved — unless you like your pie crust soggy instead of flaky and your meaty, saucy, filling tongue-searingly molten hot.

Also the Canucks were terrible.

They’ve been terrible for a few games now, actually. The loss was their fourth in a row, and if that performance was any indication, there are more coming.

But not until Wednesday at the earliest, leaving Canucks fans with several days to wrestle with the question: What’s Wrong With the Canucks? We have some theories.

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Canucks of the Week, starring the Canucks minus hockey

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 and things people favourite

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

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Big Numbers: Pacific Division is struggling; Chris Tanev, secret goalie

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 1, Canadiens 3

The Canucks did not play well tonight. Unlike the defensive pairing of Kevin Bieksa and Luca Sbisa, there’s no getting around it. They tested Carey Price just 16 times, which isn’t nearly enough, and they were out-attempted by a staggering margin of 68 to 29.

And yet, with five minutes remaining, they were still in the game, because hockey is funny. Then, with four minutes remaining, right when we began to wonder if they might steal a point, the Canadiens scored, because hockey is the cruel kind of funny. On the bright side, this is the first time I’ve ever felt like I could have been out there on the ice and fit right in. I felt like a real, honest-to-goodness Vancouver Canuck when I watched this game.

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Stick in Link: Burrows on Beliveau; are the Canucks collapse-proof?

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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