It would have been really easy for the Canucks to overlook this game. They’ve got the Boston Bruins in town gearing up for Saturday night’s big showdown, for one thing, and that’s a pretty big circle on the calendar — the sort of circle that strikes through the dates on either side of it. Plus Beyoncé released an album last night completely out of the blue. How can you think about anything else?
Fortunately, the Canucks didn’t overlook this one at all. Heck, if anyone did, it was the Oilers. At first I thought they, like many of the Rogers Arena faithful, had just been a little confused by the 6pm start. But they never showed up. Like Patrick Bateman, they were simply not there. They were far less menacing and murdery, however. Honestly, I think I posed a greater threat to the Canucks than the Oilers did tonight, and I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks’ annual Dice and Ice event is always a source of mirth and blog fodder, and this year’s event, held Wednesday night, was no exception. If you haven’t seen the video of the team’s quartet of rookies providing backing vocals for Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You”, for instance, you should probably go ahead and do that.
But the highlight of the evening, in this guy’s opinion, were the ugly Christmas sweaters the Canucks donned for the occasion. A few of the photos made the rounds late last night, thanks to Roberto Luongo and underrated Smylosophere contributor Bure’s Triple Deke.
There were many ugly Christmas sweaters, however — not to mention ugly Christmas vests. The Canucks debuted the whole winter collection in a fashion show and, because there is a God, many photos were taken. On Thursday, the team shared a gallery of promenade. Here are our 10 favourites.Continue Reading —›
Mike Gillis has been somewhat justifiably criticized for his drafting record as the Canucks’ GM, with not a single one of his draft picks currently in the lineup. Sure Jordan Schroeder is on the Injured Reserve list, Zack Kassian was acquired for a Gillis pick, and there are numerous promising prospects or more recent mintage on the way, but the fact remains: there are no Gillis draft picks in the current lineup.
Where Gillis has done well, however, is filling in gaps in the prospect pool with free agent signings and two of them made Gillis look good in this game, as Chris Tanev scored early in the first period and Eddie Lack made it stand up as the gamewinner by pitching his first career shutout. I saw a youth movement, of sorts, when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks haven’t had much luck this season holding on to 1-0 leads in the third period. They’ve been in that situation twice, and they’ve lost both times, surrendering two quick goals to the San Jose Sharks, then surrendering two quicker goals to the Chicago Blackhawks a week later. “I wonder who’s going to score for Colorado”, I found myself thinking when the third period began, “And I wonder who’s going to score for Colorado 10 seconds after that.”
Sure enough, there were two goals scored in the first 10 minutes of the third. But here’s the wacky part: the Canucks scored them both. With the trauma of the worst homestand ever still fresh in my mind, I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks and the NHL spent most of this week making a big promotional push for the upcoming Heritage Classic. That in mind, we probably should have expected the first game after tickets became available to continue the promotional push. Back at Rogers Arena after a successful road trip, the Canucks did everything short of giving away the win to make fans rue their homecoming. They played a snoozefest of a game in the building, then reminded fans of the last brutal homestand by squandering a two-goal lead late before gutting out the win in overtime.
It was yet another reminder that, for whatever reason, this team isn’t very good at Rogers Arena. If only there was another building… Say! There is! And on March 3, the Canucks will be there. It’ll be like an away game, but at home! Tickets are still available. I watched this [Heritage Classic commercial] game.Continue Reading —›
It’s amazing how first impressions work. The first period of this game was as dull as a pencil at a poorly maintained mini-golf course. It was just plain unexciting hockey, with little energy, few scoring chances, and just 13 shots on goal between the two teams. That lacklustre start coloured the rest of the game in my eyes, perhaps unfairly.
After all, both teams mustered 30+ shots, there were some fine saves, and the Canucks put together some offence and earned the win, so the game couldn’t have been all bad. But that first period convinced me that I was in for a tedious time and confirmation bias set in: I expected tedium and I received it.
As Harvey Danger reminded us in the late 90′s, if you’re bored, then you’re boring. Well then, I was really, really boring when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
From how the season has gone so far, it would seem that the Canucks have angered the hockey gods, who appear to be an ill-tempered and vengeful pantheon. They also appear to be old-school gods, who require sacrifice in order to be appeased.
Fortunately, the Canucks seemed to finally figure this out against the Hurricanes. They sacrificed their bodies on the altars of the hockey gods and were rewarded with three goals and a win. Even more fortunately, the hockey gods didn’t require anyone actually die and every injured Canuck returned to and finished the game. I also finished the game, when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
In the classic Simpsons episode, “Cape Feare”, there is a sequence wherein Sideshow Bob steps on a series of rakes that repeatedly whack him in the face. Just rake after rake after rake, met with shuddering and a despairing groan.
I think you can see where I’m going with this. Against the Rangers, the Canucks just kept stepping on rakes, long after it had stopped being funny. Some gags get funnier with repetition, but the Canucks’ tendency to give up the first goal and inability to score goals of their own is getting old and tired. Time for some new material, guys. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
This game featured 5 fewer goals than the previous night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets and was simultaneously 5 times more exciting to watch. The game had an insane tempo, like John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”, with both teams flying, particularly in the first period. It was fast-paced fun, like Contra, but with an even less satisfying ending.
Once again, the Canucks played well, out-shooting the Blackhawks 36-29, but just couldn’t score more than one goal. That said, the “played well, didn’t win” narrative isn’t a particularly fun one to reiterate again and again. I could go for a few “played terribly, got lucky” games any day now. I was entertained, but disappointed, when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Well, that game was lousier than a kid with pediculosis capitis. The Canucks started poorly, were mediocre in the middle, then just plain awful at the end. They were bad and they should feel bad. They sucked harder than someone trying to drink a Slurpee through an 11 kilometre long straw.
The Canucks came out flatter than Wayne Knight’s character in Space Jam. Or Michael Jordan’s acting in Space Jam, for that matter. Regrettably, unlike in Space Jam, Bill Murray didn’t show up out of nowhere to save the day. I wish I had watched Space Jam, but, instead, I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Some losses hurt just a little: a tiny pinch that lasts a split second, then is gone. Other losses, the blowouts, are more of a dull ache that can be pushed aside with a little effort. But then there are the truly painful losses: the ones that never should have happened. That was this one, as the Canucks were the better team for the vast majority of the game, but uncaring fate snatched the game out of their hands.
This game was more painful than a window factory. It was more painful than that pun. Trips to the dentist hurt less, because they at least give you a sticker, a toothbrush, and your pick from the treasure chest at the end of your visit. Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” hurt more — because, dude, it’s the man in black — but this game came close. I put on “Someone Like You” by Adele and cried after I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks’ California road trip started out strong, not unlike Kevin McAllister’s trip to New York in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Like Kevin, who made quick work of the bumbling staff of that upscale hotel using his handy-dandy recorder and visited a pretty sweet toy store, they had some fun early on. But then, just like Kevin, they ran into two familiar foes halfway through the trip and suddenly the whole thing went to crap.
But unlike Kevin McAllister in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the Canucks’ foes were not bumbling, and they weren’t played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern; the Canucks were unable to bait these foes into a house of horrors, where they were free to pelt them with bricks and make them fall several stories through unexplained holes in the floor; and neither were they able to get any help from the creepy pigeon lady in the park. As you can tell, I have watched that movie several times. I also watched this game.Continue Reading —›
If you’ve been wondering what it would take for John Tortorella to refrain from giving the Sedins 20+ minutes a night, we found out the answer in this game. All it took was for the Canucks to be down 4 goals heading into the third period with no hope whatsoever of coming back to win on the first night of back-to-back games against divisional rivals. So, maybe don’t expect it to happen too often.
This was the first time this season that Daniel Sedin has played fewer than 20 minutes and only the second time for Henrik. The Sedins played just two shifts in the third period, with only one of those shifts played together. Essentially, a few minutes into the third period, Tortorella quite understandably gave up on this game and began looking ahead to Sunday’s meeting with the Anaheim Ducks. I wish I could have done the same, but then I wouldn’t be able to truthfully say, “I watched this game.”Continue Reading —›
The Vancouver Canucks went into San Jose eager to halt their nine-game losing streak to the Sharks. At the same time, Henrik Sedin was looking to keep his 12-game point streak rolling. With the Canucks loading up their top line, it seemed likely that they wouldn’t be able to break the former streak without continuing the latter.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case. The secondary and tertiary scoring came through for the Canucks, with two goals each from the second and third lines, while the primary scoring took a break. Henrik failed to register a point for only the second time this season, but the Canucks still beat the Sharks handily, ending both streaks.
My streak of watching games, however, remains unbroken, mainly because I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Pavel Bure scored 27 goals in 35 career games against the Toronto Maple Leafs, so the highlight video played prior to his number getting retired was littered with goals against the Buds. The Canucks were inspired, taking it to the Leafs right from puck drop with one of their most complete efforts of the season. It was a fitting tribute to the Russian Rocket, making for a memorable evening for Canucks fans.
Leafs fans, on the other hand, will be doing their best to forget, particularly the ones that spent hard-earned cash on tickets to see the game in-person. You may know such a fan: they were likely talking a lot of smack heading into the weekend about how the Leafs were first in the Eastern Division and were going to destroy the Canucks. They’re the ones who will be sneaking into work quietly on monday, eating lunch in their cubicle, and waiting until everyone else leaves before heading home.
Make sure you to ask these people pointed questions about their experience at the game and e-mail them YouTube links to every Canucks goal, asking if they can point out where in the crowd they are. I saw some sad Leafs fans when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Here’s what some idiot had to say about this game when he was previewing it in last Wednesday’s Vancouver Sun: “If you skip just one game this year, I’d make it this one. Teams tend to be at their absolute worst right after they return from lengthy road trips, and with the Canucks facing the high-flying, Alex Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals, this is probably your most likely candidate for an embarrassing, early-season blowout.”
Well then. That is most definitely not what happened in this one. Instead, we got a dominant performance from the Canucks and one of the most entertaining games of the year. I sincerely hope you didn’t listen to this idiot, and what an idiot he is. Does he even watch the games? The answer is yes, because that idiot was me a week ago, and boy did I feel like an idiot when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Even before this game started, the Canucks had already had the most successful 7-game road trip in franchise history, with a 4-1-1 record. Sure, two of those games came after regulation, but it’s still an impressive record, considering the 7 games of the trip came in the space of just 11 days.
As a result, a loss against the Blues wouldn’t just be unsurprising, it would be borderline acceptable. This was the second game of a back-to-back, with significant travel in-between those two games, while facing several injuries, with the backup goaltender in net, and multiple AHL-level players in the lineup. To top it off, the Blues are a very good team, off to a 5-1-1 start, and were well-rested to boot, as it had been a week since their last game.
Even getting a point out of this game would have been an accomplishment. Somehow, the Canucks managed to extract two. I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
You had to know that at some point on this road trip, the Vancouver Canucks were going to hit a serious wall, and the quality of their play would suffer. After all, you can only play so many bad teams before you forget how to be good.
Sure enough, that’s what happened Thursday night versus the New Jersey Devils. For two periods, the Canucks hung in there, clinging to the memory of a decent hockey club. But in the third period, visits to Buffalo, Columbus, Philadelphia, and now New Jersey finally caught up with them, and they just forgot how to do hockey. It was bad. Fortunately, Roberto Luongo was there to bail them out, shutting the door the rest of the way to salvage the two points this type of hockey normally fails to yield. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
After an incredibly entertaining game in Pittsburgh, Sunday’s game in Columbus was a bit of a snooze fest. Fortunately, the Canucks and Islanders apparently got together before Tuesday’s game in Long Island and decided that sanity is overrated, because this game was crazy in the coconut.
This game was more cray-cray than a pair of Cray supercomputers. If this game had membranes, they would be locked up in an insane asylum. It was more screwball than Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Even Bonkers D. Bobcat thought this game was a little much. I lost 1d4 Sanity Points when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks have looked quite good at times this season. The only problem is those times have generally been at the same time they’ve been facing some of their weakest competition. Their wins have come against weaker teams — the Oilers, Flames, Devils, Flyers, and Sabres — while they’ve lost twice to the powerhouse Sharks and couldn’t stick with the Canadiens after an embarrassing own goal.
The Canucks have faced legitimate questions about whether they can keep up with the stronger teams in the league, but this game against the Penguins, despite the end result, proved that they can. This was, by far, the most entertaining game of the season, even though it was obscenely early in the morning for a Saturday. Yes, 10 am is early for me. I’m a night owl.
Thankfully, the Canucks and Penguins kept me awake and alert when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks have come from behind in every single one of their victories this season, which is simultaneously encouraging and frightening. After all, it’s great to see that the Canucks aren’t down and out whenever they go down by a goal or two, but it’s disconcerting to see them down by a goal or two so often.
This game was true to form, as the Canucks only had the lead for two-and-a-half minutes. Fortunately, those two-and-a-half minutes were at the end of the game, which are the most important two-and-a-half minutes. I watched those minutes, along with all the other ones, when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Saturday night’s affair between the Canucks and the Canadiens is all the evidence we needed that Vancouver is superior to Montreal. Not the hockey teams, mind you — not after this debacle. The cities. How else to explain all the Habs fans in Vancouver? How else to explain why the lower-bowl was more red than blue for this one? If the city of Montreal was so great, their fans would have stayed there.
That’s about the only positive I could mine from this game, which was about as painful to watch as the Flaman Fitness commercials that aired during it. Trust me. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
So the Sharks are apparently going to be pretty decent this season. One game removed from destroying Alain Vigneault’s New York Rangers, 9-2, it’s understandable that they would be a little cocky coming into Vancouver. Turns out they had every right to be.
With their 4-1 victory at Rogers Arena, they have now out-scored their opponents 21-5. The Canucks, unfortunately, have been that opponent twice already, leading to some consternation among Canucks fans, particularly since that makes 9 straight losses to the Sharks, 11 if you include the pre-season. In my opinion, though, it’s time to stop worrying about that. Why worry about something inevitable. It’s clear to me that the Sharks are going to go 82-0 this season and will never lose to the Canucks again.
No point fretting about it. Just learn to stop worrying and love the bomb. After all, the Canucks will lose 5 games to the Sharks, but so will the rest of the Pacific Division. No big deal. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
This may come as a surprise, but Tuesday’s game at Rogers Arena was not a actually a battle between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. Unexpectedly, the two goaltenders brought teams with them. Given the hype heading into the game, I was expecting Luongo and Schneider to engage in some sort of 1-on-1 competition. Basketball, maybe?
Instead, they played hockey. And I watched them do so when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
With the Canucks playing their first of 17 (!!!) back-to-backs Sunday night in Calgary, John Tortorella turned, as many coaches do in such situations, to his backup netminder. That meant a couple of firsts for Eddie Lack. His start was the first of any rookie netminder this season, and more importantly, it was also his first ever NHL start. Granted, after hearing Calgary’s in-arena announcer introduce the Scotiabank Saddledome to their 2013-14 Calgary Flames (Ben Street! Lance Bouma! Joe Colborne!), you can understand why it might not have felt like an NHL start.
Fortunately, the Canucks are a tight-knit group. Sensing Lack’s skepticism over the NHL-ness of the Flames’ roster, Henrik, Daniel and the gang committed themselves to making the Flames seem like a truly formidable foe, even placing the outcome of the game entirely in Lack’s hands, and all for his benefit. After two periods of well-meaning listlessness, once they certain Lack would cherish his first start forever, they stormed back and won it for him. It was sweet to see, and I did see, because I watched this game.Continue Reading —›