This game was like the spaces favoured by The Dixie Chicks: wide open. There were 77 shots on net between the two teams, with another 43 shots blocked, and 21 missed shots. That’s a grand total of 141 attempted shots or, as the stats nerds would say, 141 Corsi events.
It’s a lot easier to understand now how the Jets were involved in a 9-8 slugfest with the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this season. The only reason this game didn’t devolve into similar silliness was the seriousness of Cory Schneider and Ondrej Pavelec, who combined for 72 saves. That’s still less than 77, which explains why goals were scored. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks were bad Tuesday night, and not the Michael Jackson kind of Bad, which is good. Rather, they were the Colour Me Badd kind of bad, which is so bad it transcends regular badness and bleeds over into “baddness.” (My wife: do they really spell it with two Ds? Oh, that’s bad. No, honey. It’s badd.)
Versus the Stars, the Canucks were badd. They flubbed passes, left massive defensive gaps, squandered powerplays, and generated next to nothing at even-strength. To make matters worse, they were rewarded zero points for their efforts, which, while an appropriate reward for zero effort, marks the second consecutive game they’ve walked away with nothing. It was the first time they’ve suffered back-to-back regulation losses since November 4th. I remember that game. I watched it. Also, I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
There were a number of storylines heading into Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada match-up versus the Buffalo Sabres. There was the obvious one, as Cody Hodgson returned to Vancouver less than one week after being traded to Buffalo, but there was also the undercard of the Olympic re-match between Roberto Luongo and Ryan Miller in the same building where Team Canada won the gold medal two years ago.
Oh yeah, and Christian Ehrhoff returning to Vancouver for the first time since leaving for a bigger contract in the summer. And Alex Sulzer was there.
But it turned out the real storyline was a desperate team battling for a playoff spot coming out firing on all cylinders against a complacent team sitting comfortably in first place. The game was essentially over after 5 minutes, but my job wasn’t. I didn’t just watch the first period, I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Canucks fans who were sad to see Cody Hodgson leave on Monday at the trade deadline didn’t have long to wait for him to return to Vancouver. He’s back in town tonight, albeit with the Buffalo Sabres. Also back is Christian Ehrhoff, who left town in the offseason, signing a 10-year, $40 million deal with the Sabres. Both Hodgson and Ehrhoff make me think about how our perceptions of players are formed. In particular, they make me think of David Booth.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks were in playoff form Thursday. How do I know? Because this game bore an eerie resemblance to a playoff game from last June. Let me break it down for you:
After two tough losses on the road, the Canucks came home looking to bounce back. The game was tight, with very little room for error, and the NHL’s top two teams entered the third period locked in a 0-0 tie. The contest appeared headed for overtime until, midway through the third, one of the Canucks’ point men put a shot just wide of the net. It popped off the boards and right onto the stick of a French winger that nobody likes, and he was able to jam the puck inside the post just before the goaltender could get across. Immediately after doing so, he scrambled to the boards to celebrate the game-winner with his linemates while Rogers Arena went nuts.
Yeah. Tonight’s game was effectively a shot-for-shot remake of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. I remember it clear as day, because I, like many of you, watched that game. And then I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Longtime Bulies have no doubt noticed our affinity for adorable Canucks’ fan art, highlighted by our continuing collaboration with cute-Canuck connoisseur Chloe Ezra on our Pass it to Comics series. So when we find a new source of Canuck-related adorableness, we are thoroughly thrilled.
Tumblr user eeames has combined squares, Canucks, and cuteness in a magical way.Continue Reading —›
Last year, as the dust from the trade deadline settled, we noted that, the big winner for the Canucks had to be Tanner Glass, who had spent most of the 2010-11 season playing with a revolving cast of linemates. Before injuries necessitated some line juggling, the acquisitions of Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre were supposed to round out the lineup, complement Glass, and give the Canucks a fourth line that could play. It would have been nice.
So who is this year’s Tanner Glass? We submit to you the following three candidates: Chris Tanev, Laurence Gilman, and Ryan Kesler.Continue Reading —›
For the second time in as many weeks, the Canucks faced a fellow Western Conference division leader, though this meeting was a little less hyped than the previous one. Last week, the Canucks visited the leaders of the Central Division, the Detroit Red Wings, in a game that was everything a fan could ask for in terms of entertainment. This week, they faced the Pacific Division leading Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes are like a magic trick with just a pledge and a turn: no prestige.
That said, the Coyotes entered the game as the hottest team in the league, with a 10-0-1 record in their last 11, making them a tough test for the road-weary Canucks. There was also the intrigue of seeing the newly acquired Sami Pahlsson and Zack Kassian wear the Scowling Orca for the first time. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Heading into the trade deadline, Mike Gillis was expected to be active. It looked like the Canucks, who are currently first place in the NHL, just needed to make a minor move or two to address issues of depth. Instead, Mike Gillis made arguably the biggest trade of the deadline, sending Calder candidate Cody Hodgson to the Buffalo Sabres for burgeoning power forward Zack Kassian.
The move was shocking: there had been little indication that Hodgson was the block and Zack Kassian wasn’t on anyone’s radar in Vancouver. But it wasn’t the only trade that the Canucks made and, when taken as a whole, they do make sense. Let’s take a look.Continue Reading —›
Right off the hop: that graphic is terrifying. Absolutely spine-chilling. We didn’t make it.
NHL trade deadline day is reaching national holiday status here in Canada. Though very little actually happens, the entire afternoon is filled with talk of what might happen, and that’s good enough for most. For Canucks fans, the place to stage such Vladimir and Estragon-esque chatter is right here. PITB is livechatting the whole freaking day.
If we know Gillis, he’ll give us absolutely nothing to talk about until the final hour, which the rest of the chat will be taken up with nonsense: speculation, grumbling about sore legs, caffeine-fueled ranting, and debates about the merits of the final two-thirds of the Back to the Future trilogy. We’ll be joined by special guests from the Vancouver Sun and Canucks Army, and we’ll waste the entire day talking about nothing, much like the suits on TSN.
Deadline coverage begins at Monday, February 27 at 8am ET and ends at 3pm ET, with a great many deals trickling in after the official deadline has passed (there’s usually a backlog of paperwork). That means this Hellish chat goes live at the disgusting hour of 5am PT, and carries on until 1pm PT. Join us, won’t you?Continue Reading —›
On Thursday, the Canucks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, scoring the game-tying goal in the final minute and winning the game in extra time. On Sunday, Dallas turned the tables on the Canucks, as if the tables were stacked on top of an over-sized Lazy Susan that was resting atop of another, even larger table.
Since it’s the Canucks, there had to be a healthy dose of controversy, as the Stars’ last-minute, game-tying goal came after a blown icing call brought the faceoff all the way down into the Canucks end of the ice. I guess there has to be something to complain about when you get to game 63 of the schedule. I watched this game.
Since it’s the Canucks, there had to be a healthy dose of controversy, as the Stars’ last-minute, game-tying goal came after a blown icing call brought the faceoff all the way down into the Canucks end of the ice. I guess there has to be something to complain about when you get to game 63 of the schedule. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
One night after accomplishing the nigh-impossible in Detroit, defeating the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, Vancouver set out to unlock an even more elusive achievement: winning a game with offence exclusively by Aaron Rome and Mason Raymond. It wasn’t easy, but after becoming the first road team in 24 tries to leave Michigan with two points, the Canucks were clearly feeling capable of anything.
Granted, it wasn’t exactly an exciting accomplishment to witness, especially after the high standard of entertainment set in the game prior. As sequels go, this was the Staying Alive to Thursday’s night’s Saturday Night Fever. Yes, I have seen both films. I have also seen this game, because I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Detroit Red Wings had won 23 consecutive games at Joe Louis Arena, their advantage at home reaching Kevin McAllister-levels of unbelievability. Visitors to the building were bombarded with a dizzying array of booby traps — flamethrowers inside doorways, tar on the steps, paint cans thrown over balconies, Micro Machines on the floor, and, of course, Pavel Datsyuk lying in front of the doggy door, firing his air soft rifle into the unsuspecting groins of those that dare oppose him. It was a nightmarish place for unwanted visitors.
However, despite the Red Wings’ best efforts to break the Canucks’ spirits like the Wet/Sticky Bandits, they forgot to account for the flooded basement next door (played in this metaphor by Alex Burrows). And sadly, like the pigeon lady in the sequel, Jimmy Howard was unable to be the creepy bearded neighbour with the snow shovel. Yes, I’ve watched Home Alone many times. But tonight, I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Nashville Predators don’t seem like an offensively-gifted hockey team. Built from the net out with an emphasis on defence and one of the lowest payrolls in the league, they simply haven’t sunk a lot of money into big offensive talent. You would think this lack of high-end scoring punch would be especially apparent on the powerplay.
Nope. The Predators have the second best powerplay in the NHL, behind only the Vancouver Canucks. And, given the way the Canuck powerplay has performed recently, the Predators might actually be the best team in the league with the man advantage these days. On Tuesday, they showed exactly why that might be the case, making one of the best penalty kill units on one the best penalty-killing teams look completely foolish.Continue Reading —›
This game was meant to be all about Alex Burrows, as it was the 500th game of his career. For someone who started his professional career scoring just 32 points in 66 games in the ECHL, it’s a tremendous achievement. He worked his way into the Canucks lineup by being an agitating checker, but has become a sparkplug, top-line forward alongside the Sedins.
The Predators ruined everything, however, by not letting Burrows score 5 goals so someone could win Safeway’s Million Dollar Score and Win. So Burrows instead celebrated by getting under an All-Star’s skin, just like old times, taking Shea Weber off the ice with a coincidental roughing minor when the Canucks were down by one. It was a savvy move, but his teammates couldn’t take advantage. His 500th game was ruined, but I still watched it. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Leafs came into Vancouver having lost 9 straight games to the Canucks and were hoping to prove that they’d made the changes necessary to be successful in the West, like the American Office. Instead, they just wound up being awkward and cringe-inducing, like the British office. It was initially exciting to watch the Canucks absolutely dominate an opponent, but by the end of the game I just wanted to look away. This game was executive-produced by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Boba Fett’s Mandalorian helmet is legend. According to a Star Wars-obsessed, nutjob friend that owns a replica, it gives him a panoramic view of everything, it records videos and plays them back on command, it dispenses water, and it helps to make the assassin clone a crazy badass. It’s also a massive part of his identity: According to Wookiepedia, once, in Boba Fett: Twin Engines of Destruction, Corellian mercenary Dengar asked him to take off the helmet and reveal his face, and Fett responded, “This is my face.” Did I mention Boba Fett was a crazy badass? Because he totally is.
Fett’s helmet is one of the great collectible accessories of the Star Wars mythology. But you know what would make it an even greater collectible accessory? If someone re-painted it in 1980s Canuck colours and got Kirk McLean and Dana Murzyn to sign it. And what do you know, someone did.Continue Reading —›
When I talk about the Vancouver Canucks and rivalries, different team names will emerge. Younger fans will talk about the Chicago Blackhawks and their recent playoff clashes with the Canucks, while some fans caught up in the exuberance of last year’s Stanley Cup Final and the heated regular season re-match will talk about the Boston Bruins.
Fans with slightly longer memories will point to the Calgary Flames, and for good reason. There is the geographical proximity to consider, but more importantly, the Canucks and Flames have met up in the playoffs a half-dozen times, including three straight seasons in the early 80′s. Their first-round match-ups in 1989, 1994, and 2004 were particularly important, as the winner in those 7-game series went on to the Stanley Cup Final each time.
But here’s a name that you might not have considered: the Seattle Totems. One of the Canucks earliest rivals may be on their way to being revived in the Emerald City.Continue Reading —›
It’s been a month since the Canucks lost a game in regulation but, going into Wednesday night, it had also been 3 weeks since the Canucks won a game in regulation at home. The Canucks had gone to overtime in 4 straight home games, seemingly intent on giving their home fans more than their money’s worth.
Not in this game. Against the Avalanche, the Canucks stiffed their home crowd by only giving a 60-minute effort. Even worse, one of those minutes came after the Canucks extended their lead to two with an empty net goal, meaning Canucks fans only got to watch 59 minutes of meaningful hockey. Really, we should complain.
I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
It’s been said that the first game back from a road trip is really better considered the last game of the road trip, that it’s not a true home game if you still spend time on a plane the day prior. There was certainly evidence to this theory Monday night, as the Canucks’ first contest in Rogers Arena since the second of February bore an eerie resemblance to the games they played abroad during the 10 days between.
Sure, they were in their home blues, they went home to their own beds, and they were the team surrendering the late, game-tying goal, but everything else about the song remained the same — tight game, sloppy defensive zone breakouts, the absence of Sedinery and, for the fifth time in six outings, a shootout. By now, we’re beginning to wonder if the Canucks are addicted to shootouts. Do they get irritable after regulation victories? Is there a patch or a gum to help ease the cravings? These are the questions I was left with after I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Going into this game, the Canucks hadn’t lost in regulation in 8 games and had gone to overtime in 5 of their last 6 games. According to their record over their last 10 games, the Canucks were the hottest team in the NHL. According to anyone who actually watched those games, the Canucks were playing some of their worst hockey of the season.
Hey, I watched those games. Then I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Leave it to the Minnesota Wild to put everything into perspective. The Canucks were 7-1-2 in their last 10 games heading into Thursday’s contest — the league’s hottest team — but most Canuck fans would admit that their record was incredibly misleading. Anyone who had actually watched those 10 games could have told you Vancouver had been playing some nigh-unwatchable hockey over that stretch.
Of course, then the Canucks touched town in Minnesota and played some actual unwatchable hockey. My goodness, Canuck nation, are we ever spoiled. For the past 5 games, we’ve griped about the Canucks needing overtime to solve their games, but at least it’s been exciting. Tonight, we were treated to a 60-minute regulation win, and when I say “treated to” I mean “stabbed in the brain with”. Somehow it felt like it lasted twice as long. Seemingly forever, I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
Byron Bitz came one element short of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick against the Predators. Surprisingly, that missing element was a fight. Who saw that coming? Other than Alain Vigneault, of course, who started Bitz on a line with Henrik Sedin.
The leading theory was that Vigneault was sending Henrik a message by putting him on a line with the 6’5″ winger; turned out he was just trying to get Henrik going. It worked. Henrik had his first multi-point game since January 10th thanks to a couple nice plays by Bitz. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks’ win in Colorado Saturday was nothing short of ridiculous. They were thoroughly outplayed by the Avalanche for the entire game and outshot 46 to 29. The Avs even missed two shots at the empty net in the game’s final minute. Then, fortunes changed in an instant when the puck took a weird bounce off a stanchion in the Colorado end and landed right on Kevin Bieksa’s stick. He buried it, tying the game, and the Canucks would go on to steal the two points in a shootout.
It was a shameless miracle.
Frankly, the Canucks have been getting by on shameless miracles for awhile now. They’re 4-0-1 in their last five games, all of which have required last-minute heroics, the most recent four of which have gone to overtime — three of which have gone to a shootout. The Canucks of the last 5 games look nothing like the team Vancouver fans are used to, a team that defeats opponents with strong puck possession, hard forechecking, and a lethal powerplay. Rather, this recent team is getting by on nothing but “clutch” performances, where “clutch” means “heroic albeit unnecessary if they had played better.”
So what happened prior to this five-game stretch to turn the Canucks from the team Vancouverites know into a hapless group relying on cheap miracles to eke out wins?
Ryan Kesler Tebowed.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks have been absolutely dreadful since the All-Star Break. Sure, they’re riding a 3-game regulation unbeaten streak since reassembling, but they’ve hardly reassembled. This team has been a disorganized mess for all three games, playing ugly hockey at both ends of the ice and allowing their opponents to dominate them consistently. They’ve been outshot 128 to 87 — yes, they’re allowing more than 40 shots per game — over these contests.
So how are they winning? Because life isn’t fair. When Kevin Bieksa scored the game-tying goal with the net empty and only thirty-five seconds remaining in regulation Saturday, all I could think was, if the Canucks manage to win and come away from this 3-game stretch with 5 of 6 points, there is absolutely no justice in the world.
As it would happen, there is no justice in the world. I know this for a fact because I watched this game.Continue Reading —›