The Vancouver Canucks handed out their team awards on Thursday night prior to their lacklustre effort against the Anaheim Ducks. Henrik Sedin took home the Cyrus H. McLean award as the Canucks’ leading scorer and will keep it unless Daniel manages to score 6 points on Saturday against the Oilers without Henrik getting any.
Dan Hamhuis deservedly won the Babe Pratt award for best defenceman, Cory Schneider understandably won the Cyclone Taylor award as the team’s MVP, and Jannik Hansen simultaneously had his praises sung as the team’s Most Exciting Player and was named the team’s unsung hero with the Fred J. Hume award.
That just doesn’t seem like enough awards, so we put together seven more:Continue Reading —›
In a sense, it’s been a long season. But in another sense (the literal sense), it’s been a short season, a whirlwind. It’s possible that you missed it all. But now the playoffs are here and we’d hate for you to be so far behind you can’t enjoy them. Here’s a quick review of the 2013 season.Continue Reading —›
Ryan Kesler and Derek Roy will be back on the same line again Monday versus the Chicago Blackhawks, but there are a few changes to the Canucks’ second line nonetheless. First of all, Chris Higgins returns to the lineup, and he’ll replace Jannik Hansen on the other wing. Second, Ryan Kesler and Derek Roy will trade spots, meaning that, unless Alain Vigneault has an eleventh hour change of heart (like he did last time), Roy will be the centre. Kesler will be reprising his long dormant role as a right-winger.
But now he has to try to remember what it’s like to play the wing, a position he hasn’t played since 2009. That’s a long time. He might need a refresher course.Continue Reading —›
Alex Burrows has a lot to be happy about these days. He’s about to get a $2.5 million raise, his team is heading into the playoffs with, if all goes well, home-ice advantage, and there are tentative plans for a charity tennis match between him and Milos Raonic in August, which is pretty dang cool.
Yes, life is good for Burrows and you would think that he wouldn’t have much to be sad about. Oh how wrong you would be, hypothetical person. As this picture from Jeff Vinnick’s Behind the Lens series at Canucks.com reveals, Burrows is super sad right now.
Here are 20 reasons why.Continue Reading —›
You can blame our fingers for our obsession with big, round numbers. Our limited digits gave rise to the base-10 numeral system, leading humans to see special significance to numbers divisible by 10. We see this particularly in hockey: we describe forwards as 20-goal scorers or 30-goal scorers, attach particular import to scoring 50 goals in a season (particularly if they’re tallied within 50 games), and award players that reach 1000 games played with a silver stick.
If only we were born with 6 fingers on each hand, we could have had the far more mathematically satisfying base-12 and have the far more exclusive group of players that reached a dozen-dozen-dozen (1728) games played: Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, and Ron Francis. Actually, never mind: any numbering system that would accord Mark Messier special honour is fundamentally flawed.
In the last two games, two Canucks have reached significant milestones: against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, Kevin Bieksa recorded his 200th career point when he opened the scoring on the powerplay. It was, incidentally, also his 10th career game-winning goal. Then, against the Calgary Flames on Saturday, Henrik Sedin recorded his 600th career assist on Alex Burrow’s gamewinner.
Personally, I had no idea these milestones were coming up for either player; the media guide will often mention them when they’re coming close, but for those of us not in the press box, we tend to only find out after the fact when the play-by-play crew fills us in.
With that in mind, here are 16 upcoming Canucks milestones, both those that come divisible by 10 and those that are franchise specific, that might come in the final 10 games of the season. Yes, 16. It’s not divisible by 10. Deal with it.Continue Reading —›
The Vancouver Canucks’ powerplay is in a state of disarray. It’s been 9 games now since they scored with the man advantage.
Yes, the unit did create a goal Tuesday versus the Blue Jackets, but the goal came after the Columbus player exited the box, meaning Vancouver’s worst powerplay drought in 10 years continues.
We simply can’t allow it to. It’s time for some bold thinking to get off the schneid. It’s time for some new ideas. That in mind, we here at PITB have done some serious brainstorming and put together a list of brash, innovative suggestions that could kickstart the Canucks’ flagging man advantage. We offer them freely to Newell Brown and the rest of the Canucks’ coaching staff. Gentlemen, brace yourselves for genius:Continue Reading —›
Some called the Canucks’ visit to Minnesota the biggest game of the season. I guess it was, although it seems silly to call a game where the worst-case scenario was a tie for first place with 24 games remaining all that big. But you can understand how Vancouver fans, who aren’t used to the Canucks even being in a game for first place in the division, might make it out to be a bigger deal than it was. At the halfway point in the season, a dogfight for first in the Northwest is like seeing a shooting star. You want to make a wish on it.
For many, that wish was for the Canucks to put in a dominating performance, which they haven’t done in a while now, and really re-assert their superiority over the Wild. But instead, they hardly showed up.
Who is to blame for this no-show? Alain Vigneault, says the chorus that’s been calling for Vigneault’s head ever since he lost the Stanley Cup Final he coached the team to in 2011 like a sap. He’s bad at his job, they say, which is why he’s yet to win one of those championships he always has his team contending for.
So is it time for a breakup? On Monday, Thomas Drance tackled this question the same way Ross tried to decide between Julie and Rachel in Friends episode “The one with the list”: he made a list, examining Alain Vigneault’s pros and cons. The problem, unfortunately, is that Drance’s list was woefully incomplete. So we’ve decided to make our own:Continue Reading —›
This epigram sits at the beginning of two pop culture landmarks: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the discography of Coldplay. In the former’s case, it’s a perfect introduction to one of the great works of science fiction. In the latter’s case, it’s an imperfect introduction, in that it’s the best song Coldplay has ever done. It’s never ideal to peak with the first song on your first album. Do that, and it’s really only a matter of time before you’re the creepiest, singing, dancing, CGI rabbit in music video history.
But “don’t panic” is more than just a great phrase to put on the cover of a book or a great song by a mediocre band — its also good advice. Arthur C. Clarke once said it’s the best advice.
That is, unless it really is time to panic, and for many Canucks fans, it is. Vancouver has lost 8 of their last 11, including 3 straight, and if that wasn’t enough, their most recent loss came at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, hockey’s punching bag. The way most people see it, losing to the Blue Jackets is like locking your keys in the car. You have no one to blame but yourself.
After the game, Canucks fans started asking if it was time to flip the pool. Perhaps. But perhaps not. Let’s take a moment and weigh the pros and cons of full-blown panic.Continue Reading —›
If you’re a regular reader of Puck Daddy, that other blog I occasionally write for, you’re probably aware of “Jersey Fouls”, the popular feature in which Greg Wyshynski highlights some of the most egregious alterations, customizations, and other atrocities people commit when they don their hockey apparel.
People like to talk about hockey’s “code”, the unwritten set of rules that governs who fights, when they fight, and how they fight. But there’s another code in hockey, and it governs what it and isn’t acceptable to wear to the arena. A normal hockey jersey? Acceptable. A customized jersey with the number 69 and the nameplate “YOURMOM”? Yeah, no.
There are a lot of different fouls. Many are listed in this Jersey Foul Bingo card we made a while back, which remains a great thing to print out and take on your hockey road trip. But if you want to see a lot of different fouls in heinous, heinous practice, you’re in luck. Canuck fans commit a lot of them. What follows are the 20 most egregious ones we’ve seen, from spelling mistakes to frankenjerseys to general crudity and everything in between.Continue Reading —›
It went unnoticed by almost everybody, what with actual hockey being played all weekend, but for a brief moment, all was quiet on the Luongo trade front. It began the moment Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri scored a goal each in the Leafs’ opener and Canuck fans did the math, realized both were on pace for 48-goal seasons, and deduced that Toronto would never trade them now.
Suddenly, all that Funny Bob-to-Toronto chatter went silent. And then the Canucks crapped the bed, so there were more pressing things to speculate about, like whether Roberto Luongo should start the game he was always scheduled to start.
But on Monday night, the Luongo trade frenzy picked right back up when, in an interview with Cam Cole of Pass it to Bulis (and sometimes the Vancouver Sun), Mike Gillis suggested that the team was making some progress in bringing this saga to a close.
“We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have — and it’s not who anybody thinks it is — and so we have to wait,” Gillis said.Continue Reading —›
On Monday, we mourned the absence of 10 answers that we’d already have.
See, if Stupidface McGee and that other jerk weren’t so hell-bent on getting their way, we’d be two months into the 2012-13 season by now. We wouldn’t be sitting around wondering whether and where Roberto Luongo was going to get traded. We’d likely be sitting around wondering if he should have, as well as embroiled in other silly new controversies. Alas, we’re still where we were.
However, the can of what-ifs is a bottomless pit of despair, and once I started rattling off a few, I couldn’t stop. Thus, here are 5 more things we would probably know by now if it weren’t for this flipping lockout.Continue Reading —›
PITB is a family blog (the “P” stands for “PG”), which is why the title of this post features the adjective “flipping” instead of something saltier. But rest assured this lockout has us on the verge of some high-level swears. It’s an infuriating slog during this gosh darn labour stoppage, both because we are full-blown Canucks addicts in dire need of a fix and because we’re left tending the grounds around here without any grass seed.
(If only we could just sit smugly back like a certain appropriately named Canucks blog and wait for this whole thing to blow over!)
But that’s not to say we’re out of ideas. (We would never admit to that, even if it were true!) It’s just that the lockout has left us in hockey blog purgatory, a place utterly devoid of motivation and stakes, where the topics of debate and the areas of concern for the team we write about never seem to change. Had the season started on time, we’d be nearly two months into it by now, and we’d be able to start forming new answers to some of the questions surrounding Vancouver’s 2012-13 group.
Instead, we’re left answering questions to which we would already know the answer, if we lived in the parallel universe where the league and the union aren’t strangling the life out of the game in an attempt to get more out of it. Questions like:Continue Reading —›
There is no better hockey-related Tumblr account in the entire world than NHL Players as Kids. Seeing pictures of big and tough hockey players as adorable, cherub-faced children is inherently hilarious. Making it even better is how many of them haven’t changed in the slightest and look almost exactly the same as they did when they were kids.
There are several Canucks represented on NHL Players as Kids and many of their pictures are awesome and need to be shared. So here I am, sharing them with you. That’s just how we roll here at PITB.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best pictures of current and former Canucks as kids:Continue Reading —›
If you’re like us — and we assume, since you read the blog we write, that you are, at least a little — this lockout is beginning to tear at your insides like you’ve swallowed a jagged metal Krusty-O.
We’ve reached the dead zone, where there’s nothing to talk about and there appears to be no hope of something to talk about in the near future. Heck, not only is the future looking bleak, but even the past is beginning to fade, like that picture of the McFly children standing in front of that well. Stop for a moment: can you remember who scored the last Canucks goal or what it even looked like?
It was actually a pretty little goal from Henrik Sedin in the Canucks’ overtime elimination loss to the LA Kings on April 22nd, seven months ago to the day. 214 sleeps in the past. See, that’s just too long ago, so we thought you might enjoy a refresher course in Canuck goal-scoring.
For that, we turn to Youtube user Nevlach, who has put together a countdown of the 10 best Canuck goals of the last 10 years. It is, like any list, highly subjective and wholly divisive, so feel free to have strong opinions in the comments. But before you do, why not just take the next 11 minutes to enjoy a trip down memory lane with some of the greatest Canuck goals of the recent past?Continue Reading —›
Originally published on October 31, 2011, this list of last-minute Canucks Halloween costumes holds up remarkably well a year later. It’s also just as useful. Let’s face it: not everyone is as well-prepared for Halloween as Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis, whose adorable Winnie the Pooh costume from several years ago is simply too much cute for most people to handle.
The rest of us, who are half the man Hamhuis is or, in the case of the women, none of the man Hamhuis is, have likely left our Halloween costume ideas to the last minute. While most of the last-minute NHL-themed costumes out there this Halloween will simply involve a team jersey with a picture of a lock over the logo, Pass it to Bulis is here to provide you with some more creative options.
It is a little alarming how many of those options involve shaving your head, however.Continue Reading —›
It’s official: the NHL owners have locked out the players. While there’s still time to get a new CBA worked out before the start of the regular season, it’s extremely unlikely that this will happen, meaning that loyal readers of PITB are bound to miss out on a few I Watched This Games.
As a result, numerous NHLers have signed contracts or made commitments with teams overseas. Many Russian players are already signed to temporary contracts in the KHL, while many Europeans are committing to their respective country’s leagues. Even a few North American players are heading across the Atlantic, with Joe Thornton and Logan Couture both signing in Switzerland.
No Canucks have signed in Europe yet, so I looked into it. It turns out that each member of the Canucks already has plans in place during the lockout. In this PITB exclusive, we look at what each of them is planning to do.Continue Reading —›
Despite flirting all summer like Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko in Grease, Shane Doan and the Vancouver Canucks simply weren’t meant to be. The Phoenix Coyotes captain opted for an 18th year in Arizona instead, re-signing with the embattled and permanently ownerless Phoenix Coyotes for $21.2 million over four years.
I’ll admit I don’t understand it. I’ve been to Phoenix. It’s a nice place, and the fact that it has a freeway through the downtown core is a marked improvement on Vancouver’s gridlocked, nigh unnavigable streets. But I can’t imagine loving the city so much that I would put up with what Doan has put up with, let alone make the concessions Doan has made to stay there. Come on, no one loves Phoenix that much.
That in mind, it must be something else. Here are 25 alternate explanations for why Doan chose Phoenix over Vancouver.Continue Reading —›
For a brief, fleeting moment, centre was a position of strength for the Canucks. With the acquisition of Maxim Lapierre at the 2011 trade deadline, the Canucks were perfectly structured down the middle of the ice: Henrik Sedin, the super-skilled all-star Art Ross winner, on the top line; Ryan Kesler, the two-way power forward coming into his own as a sniper, on the second line; Manny Malhotra, the defence-first enabler, on the third line; Lapierre, the defensively-responsible agitator, on the fourth.
The Canucks even had Cody Hodgson, full of promise, waiting in the wings. Life was good in Centresville.
That’s when a malfeasant puck made a beeline for Malhotra’s eye, ruined everything, then went on to a starring role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When Malhotra returned in the playoffs, he wasn’t the same player and that continued in the 2011-12 season. While he still played a vital defensive role, Malhotra’s ice time was much-diminished and it was apparent that he simply wasn’t as effective as he had been prior to the injury.
Hodgson, for his part, made good on several elements of his promise, but left Alain Vigneault and Mike Gillis wanting on the defensive side of the puck (and the patriarchal side of Hodgson’s family), leading to a trade out of town. In his place came Samme Pahlsson, who came with defensive acclaim, but didn’t live up it. Now he’s gone back to Sweden, leaving the position unoccupied.
When you add the fact that Ryan Kesler is definitely, totally injured and absolutely still recovering, no question about it, to the mix, the middle of the ice looks positively capacious for the Canucks. Utility forward Andrew Ebbett might be a stopgap, but what are the Canucks’ options for a season-long solution? Here are 5 of them:Continue Reading —›
The optimist says that hockey still might start on time. After all, the soft deadline for hammering out a CBA before the owners lock the players out is September 15th, and that’s still 11 days away. Now, in the grand scheme of things, 11 days is such an inconsequential amount of time the British government didn’t bat an eyelash when they stole that many days from their citizens in switching from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar exactly 260 years ago. But hey, a lot can happen in 11 days. You can watch soccer until you die, for instance.
Of course, hockey fans don’t want to watch soccer until they die. They want hockey, and putting aside the optimism for a moment, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing it for quite awhile. That sucks.
Still, returning to optimism, there are some positives. For instance, yesterday I pointed out that the odds of Shane Doan becoming a Vancouver Canuck become a little shorter the closer we loom to a lockout. And that’s just one. Here are several more.Continue Reading —›
The Smylosphere is all agog right now over Henri Hurskainen, the Swedish badminton player who bears a striking, perhaps even creepy, resemblance to the Sedin twins, particularly Daniel Sedin. Their shared country of origin and athletic inclinations make the resemblance even more startling. Hurskainen was even born in the same month as the Sedins, though it was admittedly 6 years later.
It got us thinking about what other things and people look like Daniel Sedin. And when we get to thinking, we get to sharing/inflicting those thoughts on you, our loyal readers. Here are 15 things/people that look like Daniel Sedin:Continue Reading —›
The Vancouver Canucks’ 2012-13 schedule was released Thursday, and you know what? It’s not half-bad. Mike Gillis even went so far as to call the entire thing “travel-friendly” on the radio Wednesday, and he’s right, at least compared to previous years. The longest road trips are only five games and they’re both out of the way by the end of November. The Canucks only makes 3 trips out East the entire year, they don’t visit Florida, and the trips don’t have them darting all over the globe, willy-nilly, like they’re tracking Carmen Sandiego.
As for the games of note, well, there’s a Saturday night tilt with Boston on the 29th of December that will probably be a lot of fun, although the Canucks conspicuously omitted this one on their list of dates to remember. (This is easy to explain. When Mike Gillis blamed some of the Canucks’ struggles in the back half of the season on emotional exhaustion from last season’s Boston game, the marketing department effectively forfeited the right to make a big deal of this year’s at all. They’d be defenestrated for that.) We’ll probably all enjoy the visit from the Maple Leafs two Saturdays prior, especially if acquire Roberto Luongo some time between them and now, and tilts with the Blackhawks and Red Wings will be as enjoyable as ever.
But let’s not talk about the games we know will be good. Someone else will do that. Instead, let’s take a look at the games I’m pretty sure are going to suck. Here are five that project to be exceedingly lame.Continue Reading —›
On Wednesday, Alain Vigneault signed a two-year contract extension with the Canucks, which means that he is slated to be with the team for the next three years. Or, as some fans might put it, the Canucks are stuck with him for three years. Harrison basically summed up my opinion on the contract yesterday, but here it is again: Vigneault good. Winning good. Fire bad.
But the contract extension brought up a few other thoughts on the most successful coach in Canucks history.Continue Reading —›
Some hockey games yield great stories, heroes, big goals, and clutch plays. This post is not about those games. This post celebrates weirdness, a quality of which the 87 games of the Vancouver Canucks’ 2011-12 season (and playoffs) had in spades. In fact, there were enough odd little moments this year for us to create a list of our favourite 10 bloopers of the 2011-12 season. What follows is a countdown of the funniest, oddest, and most unexpected stuff that happened on the ice during those 87 games.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks’ 2012 Stanley Cup run may have ended after only 5 games, but the Ryan Kesler tumbleweed meme is still going strong. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s what you need to know: in Game 1 of the Canucks’ series with the Los Angeles Kings, Kesler perpetrated perhaps the greatest dive of the post-lockout era. He fell to the ice, he flailed, he lost his stick, and he bounced lightly like a tumbleweed. It was amazing.
The photoshop wizards over at the HF Boards latched onto Kesler’s ever-so-slightly embellished tumble in a big way, splicing him into all sorts of scenes. We featured our six favourites about a week ago, but the guys have clearly yet to run out of ideas. With that in mind, we thought it only right to put together a second gallery. Enjoy.Continue Reading —›
It’s no surprise to fans that the Canucks powerplay is struggling. After an incredible start to the season that saw the team once again lead the league in powerplay percentage, it crashed and burned in the second half of the season. The powerplay was 4-for-42 in their last 10 games, and that’s just an arbitrary round number of games to select. Other than a 4-for-11 outburst against the Boston Bruins, the Canucks powerplay hasn’t truly been good since December.
On Friday night against the Los Angeles Kings, however, the team’s pwowerplay woes went from troubling to truly disastrous. On two Willie Mitchell holding penalties, the Canucks not only couldn’t score, but also gave up two shorthanded goals to Dustin Brown. It’s gotten to the point that fans everywhere wish the team could just decline the penalty and continue to play 5-on-5, where the Canucks have actually outscored the Kings 4-3 in the first two games.
Considering most people still think of the Canucks as a team that tries to draw penalties and beat you on the powerplay, including the Canucks themselves, it’s not surprising that this power outage has led to an identity crisis in Vancouver. Something needs to change and the Canucks can’t count on the return of Daniel Sedin. According to Kristin Reid, not only will Daniel not be travelling to Los Angeles with the team, he won’t be back for the rest of the series.
The Canucks may need to do something drastic. Here are 10 crazy ideas to fix the powerplay:Continue Reading —›