Roberto Luongo cracks wise, discusses a certain popular local Twitter account on HNIC After Hours [VIDEO]

Roberto Luongo was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday night, and as you might have guessed, it was must-watch television.

This interview had three things going for it from the start. First, the Canucks won, so Luongo was guaranteed to be in a good mood. Second, Luongo spent the entire night sitting on the bench, so you know he was ready for a little banter. And third, Scott Oake is notorious for awkwardly asking the questions you’re not supposed to ask. Typically, if he’s been told he’s not supposed to ask something, he just asks it like this: “I know I’m not supposed to ask this, but I have to ask.” It’s super subtle.

Sure enough, it all came together, resulted in what one might argue was the best of many great Canuck performance on After Hours. Watch and enjoy.

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Video: Alain Vigneault talks playoff goalies, gigglefest, and the Presidents’ Trophy on After Hours

Alain Vigneault was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday, and you have to think the timing was just right. With the regular season coming to a close, the Canucks having just clinched their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy, and AV’s inevitable transition into his dry, unforthcoming, and short “playoff mode” on the other side of a good night’s sleep , he was in a particularly chipper mood.

Keep that in mind when watching the interview. It isn’t the most compelling of the recent Canuck appearances on After Hours, but it’s AV at his breeziest, and that’s something we likely won’t see again for quite some time. Not long after this segment, the clock struck midnight and the Vancouver head coach turned into a grumpy pumpkin. But for one more night, at least, he was all rosy cheeks and chuckles. Enjoy.

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Cory Schneider chats, does impressions, and stands up for redheads on After Hours

After three consecutive weeks chatting up Canuck skaters, it was Cory Schneider’s turn to take the chair to the right of Scott Oake on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours, and the Red-Headed Stop Child didn’t disappoint. Schneider has earned a reputation around these parts as a well-spoken, likeable and funny guy, and he did nothing during the interview to dissuade us from such characterizations.

Dressed in what appeared to be one of Kevin Weekes’s suits, Schneider handled questions about the Canucks’ goaltending situation with the usual class and tact that we’ve come to expect from him.

But it wasn’t all business as usual. Unlike previous After Hours interviews, this one yielded a lot of new stuff. Over the course of the 22-minute interview, Schneider filled us in on some tweaks to the Canucks’ goaltending, spoke out against a certain slang term for redheads, showed off his bag of impressions, and dropped a preponderance of quality one-liners.

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Video: Chris Higgins talks staph infections, Amex line, abs on After Hours

Chris Higgins was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday, marking the third consecutive week that a Canuck has occupied the chair to Scott Oake’s right. March has already given us interviews with Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa, and Higgins’s turn in Oake’s awkward hot seat falls somewhere between the two, neither as wacky as Bieksa’s mug-and-quip-fest, nor as dry as the Hamhuis interview.

For the most part, the talk covers ground with which the majority of Canuck fans should already be familiar: Higgins’s service family, which includes his police officer brother and his firefighter father, the American Express line being good, and Higgins’s staph infection and subsequent struggles last January. But do not dismay, Canuck fans, because if there’s one thing that sets 10 minutes with Scott Oake apart from your standard hockey interview, it’s that Oake asks the questions you’re typically not supposed to ask. In this case, that means Higgins’s After Hours clip features a solid five minutes on his crazy abs.

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Video: Dan Hamhuis talks fear of hipchecks and stolen Christmas trees on After Hours

Dan Hamhuis was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday night.

The Canucks haven’t been on HNIC a whole lot this season, which, when you think about it, sort of makes sense. Between their surprise Presidents’ Trophy win and the Stanley Cup run, they got a lot of screentime last year. You can understand why the CBC would want to spread the coverage around a bit during the regular season, especially since it seems likely that the Canucks will be the only Canadian team to talk to once the playoffs reach the second round — unless they underachieve or Ottawa, Winnipeg or Calgary overachieves.

(For what it’s worth, this new equity of coverage policy would be a lot easier to stomach if the Leafs didn’t remain exempt from it. But I digress.)

But Hamhuis’s appearance on the postgame chat program made it two weeks in a row for Vancouver players after Kevin Bieksa took to the chair last week. The back-to-back appearances for the two members of the Canucks’ top shutdown pairing made for a stark contrast. Where a fancily-dressed Bieksa mugged, smirked, quipped, and gum-chewed his way through nearly twenty minutes of awkwardly hilarious airtime, a sleepy-eyed Hamhuis respectfully gave mumbled, measured, straightforward answers to questions.

But, while the entertainment value may have dipped, there’s still some pretty good stuff in here.

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PITB is famous: Kevin Bieksa thinks we’re Jan Bulis

Kevin Bieksa and Zack Kassian were Saturday night’s guests on After Hours, the interview segment of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast that, under Scott Oake’s watchful eye, touches briefly on hockey then hastily devolves into shenanigans. In Bieksa’s case, between joining Twitter, the Bieksa family golf tournament, milk hot dogs, “Angry Bieksa”, and the glove-throwing incident, that meant there was a lot of ground to cover. Seriously, Scott Oake could have just prepared for this interview by clicking the “Bieksa” tag on Pass it to Bulis.

Heck, he might have, since we got a whole lot of love during the segment. At 13:50 of the clip, the topic turned to Bieksa’s Twitter account and the controversy over who deserves credit for convincing him to sign up for it. Was it Ryan Kesler, who no doubt has the inside track here, or was PITB’s highly-persuasive and tightly-run “Twitter Needs Juice” campaign? Oake took the opportunity to do some serious investigative journalism on the matter.

Sadly, Bieksa dismissed our influence. “I don’t succumb to peer pressure,” he said. “It wasn’t this Bulis guy. It was Kes that got me.” Of course, then he claims that Kesler “got” him by promising fans the account would tweet once it had 10,000 followers. So, we’re considered peer pressure, but 10,000 expectant fans isn’t? Clearly, we have underestimated our power. Let it be known that Kevin Bieksa finds us threatening.

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Spitballin’ on happy Weise, super Sami, Canuck Halloween costumes

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.

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Here’s Ryan “Astro Boy” Kesler on After Hours. As usual, the segment’s a must-watch, and you have to admire Scott Oake’s skill as an interviewer to make it so. Kesler’s not an easy interview. He’s a surly guy that punches questions, and ends sentences abruptly. There’s simply no avoiding dead air when he’s the guest. [...]

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As though he weren’t already doing enough to make himself eminently desirable to other organizations, here’s Cory Schneider on After Hours, proving he’s a downright fabulous interview to boot. Turns out he’s as great in front of the camera as he is in front of the net. He’s open, he’s honest, and he’s funny. For [...]

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Here’s Kevin Bieksa on After Hours, and it’s definitely a good watch. Bieksa’s a funny guy, and his deadpan delivery never fails to amuse. Things we learn: Bieksa is that guy that never shuts up about his “two young kids at home.” We get it, loser, you love your family. Also, Bieksa claims he was [...]

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