The Week Ahead: Goodbye, California; hello, Alberta!

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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Tom Sestito a ‘boxing hobo on skates’, according to Keith Olbermann [VIDEO]

In the third Mighty Ducks movie — an unheralded classic, if you ask Daniel, who claims it’s the best of the trilogy because it’s the truest to actual hockey or some garbage — the new coach, Ted Orion, chews out his squad after the Ducks squander a nine-goal lead. (Again: truest to actual hockey, says Daniel.)

“How long does it take to score a goal?” He asks. “LESS THAN A SECOND!” He’s mad about something.

But do you know what else you can do in less than a second? Win someone the PIMs category in a fantasy head-to-head. On Monday night, in his first shift of the evening, Tom Sestito went after LA’s Jordan Nolan off the faceoff, and after Nolan turtled, Sestito was handed a whopping 27 minutes in penalties.

In Vancouver, this eventful second earned praise. After all, Sestito was doing his job, exacting revenge on Nolan for a run the Kings’ enforcer took at Henrik Sedin. But elsewhere, Sestito’s ability to turn one second into a half hour earned some serious mockery. Tuesday night, Keith Olbermann labelled Sestito the world’s worst person in sports.

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Canucks beat themselves versus the Kings, which totally counts as a win

There are two ways to look at last night’s affair between the LA Kings and the Vancouver Canucks.

On the one hand, it was a hockey game, and since hockey games are decided on the basis of goals scored, I guess you could say the Kings won said game by a score of one to zero.

On the other hand, it was a statement game for the Canucks, and since statement games have a different scoring system — less goals scored than goals achieved — you could say the Canucks won said game by a score of one to zero.

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Big Numbers: Canucks’ penalty kill still good, schedule softening up

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 vs. St. Louis Blues, January 10, 2014

The Canucks and Blues headed into the second intermission with the score tied, leaving us wondering which team was going to take over and play their game in the third period. Both teams boasted just one regulation loss in such situations, although it’s safe to say they came by this identical statistic in very different ways. The Blues were 8-1-0 in tie thirds. They tend to win these affairs. The Canucks were 5-1-6, as their third-period game, especially during this current identity crisis, involves taking the lead, and then blowing it late.

So who won out? Neither team, really. The Canucks got the two points, sure, but they didn’t do it their way. Instead, their identity crisis continued, as they forgot who they were and accidentally held on to win the game. And I watched this game.

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The Paper Feature: Other winter sports for the Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks learned Tuesday that they would be sending a grand total of seven players to Sochi’s Olympic hockey tournament. As expected, Roberto Luongo will be tending the crease, much like he did for the 2010 club, and Dan Hamhuis manage to infiltrate the bubble on which he’d been situated since the summer, earning an invitation thanks to his strong play to end 2014 and his left-handedness.

Team Sweden selected Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the former of whom will be wearing an “A” for his country, perhaps in a bid to help their coach tell the two apart from the front, and Alex Edler. Last week, Ryan Kesler was invited to Team USA. And Yannick Weber has been invited to join the Swiss defence, which has as many holes as the nation’s cheese.

If you want to get technical, Canuck prospect Ronalds Kenins, who may or may not be two people, both of whom are named either Ronalds Kenin or Ronald Kenins, is also going to Sochi. He’ll be repping Team Latvia.

So we’ll say eight Canucks are on their way to Russia for the biggest international hockey tournament since the birth of Blue Ivy Carter. But enough about them. What are the rest of the Canucks supposed to do while they’re away?

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I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, January 7, 2014

Vancouver led this game 4-2 with only a few minutes to play. They looked on their way to a comfortable victory. And then Daniel Sedin was hit in the genitals with a slapshot.

Let it be henceforth known that hitting Daniel Sedin in the genitals is painfully unlucky — and not just for Daniel Sedin, and his genitals. The entire team looked shell-shocked by the junk shot, and while Daniel would recover, the team never did. Shortly thereafter, the game was tied.

It was impossible not to feel this one. Never has the phrase “We are all Canucks” seemed more apt. We all took one in the beanbags tonight, Vancouver. I watched this game.

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Stick in Link: Luongo injured by wrecking ball; Canucks ‘a little banged up’

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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Yannick Weber could be Canuck blueline’s only representative in Sochi

Congratulations are in order for Yannick Weber, who cashed in Monday on his childhood decision to be born in Switzerland. Never has there been a better time to be Swiss (save for the period in European history between 1914 and 1945).

Thanks in large part to a much shallower pool of high-end hockey talent, the Canucks’ depth defenceman has been invited to represent his country in the Sochi Olympics, rounding out a contingent of 8 NHLers on the national team.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Los Angeles Kings, January 4, 2014

Roberto Luongo wasn’t overly concerned about being rusty in his return versus the Los Angeles Kings, and now we know why: the Canucks had a plan — a plan to put the proverbial white vinegar to Funny Bob right away: get outplayed. Simply put, be awful. By being ineffective with the puck and sloppy enough defensively for the Kings to register a season-high 49 shots, they allowed Luongo to see enough action that, by the second period, he was basically playing his second game back. Clever, clever.

Of course, once it became clear that Luongo was back in form, the Canucks probably should have joined him. But by then they may have just been enjoying the show. Is it their fault that Luongo was the best Canuck tonight? Wait. Actually, it is. My mistake. Like all the guys wearing white sweaters in the Staples Center this evening, I watched this game.

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Infuriating fan sign: ‘Lacks got our back’

The most infuriating thing about the Canucks’ 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on New Year’s Day? No, it wasn’t their sloppy hockey. It wasn’t the two goals they surrendered in just 20 seconds, allowing Tampa to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead. It wasn’t even the goal the Canucks allowed with just three seconds to go in the second period, which effectively took the chunk out of their peanut butter heading into the third.

It was the fan sign you see above. LACKS GOT OUR BACK, it reads. Get. It. Out of here.

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New Van Fan, season 2: The Plan

New Van Fan is a web-series that follows the adventures of long-time Canucks fan Dan as he attempts to bring novice Canucks fan Andreas up to speed. The whole thing may or may not be an excuse to point out the inherent silliness of this fanbase — we’re not quite sure. Have an idea for [...]

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Stick in Link: Weirdly chill Tortorella; Luongo set to return, Eriksson reassigned

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 Tampa Bay Lightning, January 1, 2014

If your New Year’s Resolution was to try to be more optimistic about the Canucks, well, their first game of 2014 probably didn’t help at all. The Canucks were, to put it gently, a crap factory versus the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night, outplayed in every facet of the game.

John Tortorella called it the club’s worst game of the year. Was it? Yes, because the year is less than a full day old, so they haven’t had time to play any other games. Technically, it was also their best game of the year, and I watched this game.

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Old man gets call for Team USA, because Ryan Kesler changed his number

USA Hockey made a couple of curious calls Wednesday in announcing the men’s roster for Sochi, most notably Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin over Keith Yandle, and the snub of Bobby Ryan. They also made one curious text.

While the rest of the world learned who would be heading to Russia when those adorable kids skated out towards the camera and pivoted, revealing the roster via nameplate, the 2013 Olympians were informed via text message.

Except for Ryan Kesler. As Gord Miller reports, Kesler has recently changed his number. An old Canadian dude has it now. And thus, an old Canadian dude was invited to Sochi.

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2013 in Review: An exhaustive Canucks retrospective

It’s time, once again, for PITB’s annual, exhaustive, retrospective compilation of all the major Canucks stories of the year that was, and in order to get a sense of this year, we turn you over to what we wrote about 2012.

“It was like 2012 didn’t even try,” we said. “Come on, 2012. You embarrassed yourself. (On the bright side, there’s almost no way 2013 can suck this much.)”

So, yeah. About that. 2013 was pretty bad. Was it worse than 2012? That’s debatable. But it’s close, and part of me suspects it might be our fault for saying it couldn’t be.

That in mind, let’s try a different approach this time around. At least 2014 can’t get any better, right? Here’s our year in review.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. Philadelphia Flyers, December 30, 2013

The Canucks finished 2013 the exact same way they started it: locked in. Wait. That’s not right.

Truthfully, the Canucks were locked in for this one. Focused. Formidable. They looked pretty good out there, registering 44 shots, the most the Flyers have surrendered all season. But it wasn’t enough, because outshooting your opponent by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1 is meaningless when you outscore them by a ratio of 1 to 1. That’s a one-way ticket to the shootout, which, in Vancouver’s case, usually means a one-way ticket to just one point. That held true in this game. And I watched this game.

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Big Numbers: Sedins have similarities; Canucks are tough to score on

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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The top 30 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2013 (10 – 01)

You’re not going to believe this, but 8 of the 10 goals that close out this year’s countdown are generated by the Sedins. They are wizards.

We’re spoiled here in Vancouver. Other team blogs could do a countdown like this, but I’m fairly confident that it wouldn’t be anywhere close to as loaded with pretty goals. They’ll have some, no doubt, since the Sedins aren’t the only guys in the league that do pretty things, but I don’t know that anybody does it with the regularity Daniel and Henrik do.

Keep that in mind as you enjoy our final 10. Special players, those two.

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The top 30 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2013 (30 – 21)

It’s been an interesting year to be a Canucks fan. Between the unexpected coaching trade with the New York Rangers, the unexpected playoff sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, and the unexpected draft day trade with the New Jersey Devils, there’s been plenty of drama.

Plenty of goals, too. 226, to be exact. And, as is tradition here at PITB, we close out the year by counting down our favourite 30. As you might expect, it’s a list full of Sedinery. But if dazzling displays of chemistry, passing and vision aren’t your thing, well, you might be a bad person. Improve yourself by remembering the year in Canuck goals with us.

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The 26 best tweets from @Strombone1 in 2013

On Saturday, I curated Puck Daddy’s year-end list of hockey’s top 10 Twitter moments in 2013, and as you might expect, the countdown featured an appearance from the league’s top quipster, Roberto Luongo, known on the Twitters as @Strombone1.

“We could probably just do a top 10 countdown of Roberto Luongo’s Twitter moments,” I wrote, half-jokingly, before almost immediately realizing that I really should.

But you may notice that this isn’t a top 10 countdown. I can explain: once you start going through the tweets on Luongo’s legendary, unverified account, it’s tough to stop at just 10. So instead, we’ve decided to go full Buzzfeed on you guys. (Well, almost full Buzzfeed. We’ll stop at selecting Ryan Kesler to lead The Gay Revolution, unless that’s what Trollbama decides to rename Team USA in his efforts to make a statement with his Sochi delegation.) Here are Roberto Luongo’s 26 best tweets of 2013:

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”Season’s Tweetings: Alex Burrows vs Santa’, an original holiday tale

In what’s become something of an annual Christmas tradition, like watching Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York at the same time (by watching either one of them), we’ve put together a little poem that combines our love of hockey with our fondness of the holidays. Hope you enjoy it.

For past poems, check out Daniel’s Worst Christmas (2011) and Gary Bettman, Commissioner of Christmas (2012), or non-canon CFL tale, An Ode to Marty the Horse).

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks, December 20, 2013

If you only watched the first period of this game, well, that was stupid of you, wasn’t it? That’s like watching Home Alone and shutting it off right around the time Kevin leaves the church after his heart-to-heat with Old Man Marley. I mean, granted, you’ll see the clip from Angels With Filthy Souls, which I guess could be analogous to Chris Higgins’ breakaway chance, but that’s pretty much it for early entertainment in this slow-building holiday classic.

Now, I can see why you might have wanted to turn it off after the first, since the Canucks didn’t turn it on until around then anyway. They were outshot 10-3 by Chicago in the opening twenty, and two of those shots were by Andrew Alberts and Tom Sestito, who are about as threatening a duo as Harry and Marv in Home Alone. But after that, this thing really picked up, with the Canucks turning the tables on the Blackhawks like Kevin turns the table on Harry and Marv in… okay, I’ll stop.

I decided I would be watching Home Alone tonight while I watched this game.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Dallas Stars, December 19, 2013

Hey, remember when the Canucks were dynamite on the road but they couldn’t seem to win at home? That was a frustrating time. Fortunately, their recent successful homestand suggests that they’ve gotten that sorted out, and I’m happy to report that they aren’t suddenly and inexplicably plagued by an inversion of the same issue.

That’s what someone who didn’t watch this game might say. So I won’t say it, because I watched this game.

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Stick in Link: Milan Lucic thinks it over, says smarter things; weird Canuck goals

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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