It wasn’t a terrible NHL trade deadline for the Canucks. After all, they acquired Derek Roy, a skilled player that adds a very important element to their attack: a centre. They really haven’t had one of those all season.
Still, the 2013 trade deadline won’t be remembered in this city for what Mike Gillis did — it will be remembered for what he didn’t do. A big part of that is because he acquired Roy the day before the deadline, which is like giving a child a present on Christmas Eve. It’s exciting, but there had damn well better be something else under the tree on Christmas. But a bigger part is because Roberto Luongo wasn’t traded, leading to the the most indelible moment of the deadline, when Luongo told the world he had a sucky contract. That’ll stay with us, just like Luongo will.
All of this in mind, let’s take a look at the winners and losers of the deadline from a Vancouver perspective.Continue Reading —›
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. Here are some odd and interesting numbers and statistics from the Canucks season so far.Continue Reading —›
Henrik Sedin has two goals this season, and neither are a result of the Canucks’ Captain making the choice to shoot. In both instances, Alex Burrows has made the choice for him with late, unexpected return passes that leave Henrik with no room and no choice but to do anything other than put the puck towards the goal.
This is the rub when it comes to the Sedins, and Henrik especially: sometimes you have to force the issue. Henrik Sedin has led the NHL in assists for three years in a row. He’s a pure passer; passing is his jam. If he were on the Price is Right Showcase Showdown, he’d pass twice.
We saw yet another example of Henrik’s pass-first mentality Thursday night when he spearheaded a full, two-minute session of keepaway in Dallas. When the Stars went down a man one second before the two-minute mark, it became apparent to Henrik that, in order to nurse the Canucks’ one-goal lead home, all he and his teammates had to do was maintain possession for 120 seconds. No shooting. All passing. Here’s Henrik living the dream, as the Canucks’ powerplay trolls the Dallas Stars.Continue Reading —›
Henrik Sedin became the Vancouver Canucks’ all-time leading point-getter Friday night, collecting his 757th career point when he threaded a filthy pass to Alex Burrows for a second period one-timer. It was an incredible moment, one marred only by two small hiccups: first, the Dallas Stars would storm back with three unanswered goals to ensure that the feat occurred in a loss. Second, the aftermath of the historic point saw no stoppage in play for a good three minutes. The fans responded with a standing ovation in the meantime, which was cool, but when that stoppage finally came, Sportsnet went to commercial, which was less so.
As a viewer at home, it was frustrating to have to leave the party.
But if you’re still ruing that moment, we’ve got two things to help you. The first is an incredible, uninterrupted video of the entire sequence following Henrik’s record-breaking point, filmed at nearly ice level. The second is an explanation of why you were watching ads while the Rogers Arena crowd was watching Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund salute the man that had bested them.Continue Reading —›
Everybody knows: Henrik is the passer, Daniel is the shooter. Henrik racks up the assists, while Daniel racks up the goals. This has been true throughout their careers, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when Henrik goes through a long stretch of games without putting the puck in the net. And yet, with Henrik just one point back from surpassing Markus Naslund’s franchise record of 756 points, there are still rumblings of concern throughout the media and fanbase.
Henrik has yet to score a goal this season, going 11 games without scoring. At this point, he’s one of only five Canucks skaters without a goal this year.Continue Reading —›
Not long ago, the Canucks’ acquisition of a big power forward with a right-handed shot would have resulted in one reaction from fans: finally, someone to play with the Sedins.
It’s a testament to how well Alex Burrows has played with the Sedins that Canucks fans did not have that reaction when the Canucks traded for Zack Kassian. Instead, Kassian was projected as, at best, a second-line winger on the Canucks, someone to play alongside Ryan Kesler and David Booth. At worst, he could be a physical presence on the fourth line.
But now Kassian has been promoted to play on the top line and the early returns are impressive. Kassian leads the Canucks in goals with 5 in 7 games and is, in fact, tied for second in the NHL in goal-scoring. The thing is, most of that goal-scoring hasn’t exactly come as a result of playing with the Sedins, but there’s reason to believe that he will have success with them in the future.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks clearly miss Ryan Kesler right now in every facet of the game. Kesler wins faceoffs, kills penalties, scores on the powerplay, and wins battles against tough opposition, areas where the Canucks are struggling to start the season. But there’s a very specific area where his absence is causing some major problems: the first shift of the game.
A rough start has been the common theme through the first 6 games of the 2013 season for the Canucks, as they frequently seem to get outplayed during the first few minutes and depend on their goaltending to staunch the bleeding until they can turn things around. That first shift of the game is where it all starts.
Some call it “setting the tone,” while I call it “not getting hemmed in your own zone.” Ryan Kesler is excellent at both.Continue Reading —›
I don’t gamble for multiple reasons, first and foremost because I don’t have any money. I do find gambling interesting, however, mainly because it involves legions of people who think they know better than the experts who design the games and set the table odds to ensure that the house always wins.
Sports betting is especially fascinating, as fans always think they have some special insight into the game from the many hours they spend watching it. There’s a lot of money to be made in sports betting, most of it on the side of the casinos and websites, but the knowledgeable bettor can occasionally carve out a small hunk of money for themselves.
So, out of curiosity, I checked Bodog.ca to see what the oddsmakers had to say about the Canucks for this season. And some of their odds don’t make any sense in reality, but make perfect sense when it comes to gambling.Continue Reading —›
NHL.com recently ran a feature listing the 10 best playmakers in NHL history. As is the case with most of these lists, there’s plenty of room for debate. John Kreiser put together a pretty decent list, though it’s missing such luminaries as Ron Francis (second all time in assists) and Marcel Dionne (ninth all time). In place of these historically great playmakers, Kreiser put more recent stars, like Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton.
And Henrik Sedin.
Kreiser has Henrik ranked as the 10th best playmaker in the NHL all time, ahead of Francis, Dionne, and other great playmakers throughout NHL history, like Joe Sakic, Doug Gilmour, and Paul Coffey.
So here’s a question: would you trade Henrik Sedin for Ryan Getzlaf, straight up? Or Loui Eriksson? Or John Carlson?Continue Reading —›
You didn’t think we could end the Every Goal series on such a positive note with Chris Higgins, right? You should know by now that things can never end well for Canucks fans. That is why the last post in our annual off-season Every Goal series will end with all 8 goals the Canucks managed to score during the 2012 playoffs versus the Los Angeles Kings.
On the plus side, we’re only looking back at the good parts, when the puck was going into the Kings’ net. If you squint and ignore the scoreboard, you can imagine that the Canucks won the series. While you’re at it, imagine that the NHL and NHLPA have concluded their CBA negotiations and that there won’t be a lockout to start next season.
In any case, the Canucks scored some pretty goals during the playoffs and they deserve to be remembered and highlighted. Seeing them outside of their disappointing context makes them a lot more enjoyable.Continue Reading —›
On Wednesday, we looked at the first seven goals of Henrik’s 2011-12 season and noted that they weren’t particularly wizardous. Well, don’t worry folks. Henrik just saved all the magic for part two. There are some absolute beauties in this batch of seven, including arguably the best goal of the season. Even the ugly rebound goals are beatified in some way.
Henrik gets a lot of flack for not scoring more often, most of it undeserved considering his role as a playmaker, but these goals makes me wish that he did score more often: they’re just so dang pretty. I want him to score like this all the time.Continue Reading —›
The wonderful thing about looking at all the goals scored by a single player over the course of the season is that the tendencies that emerge will sometimes surprise you. Last year, I was surprised to see that Henrik’s goals were far more aesthetically pleasing than Daniel’s goals. While Daniel had the quantity, Henrik had the quality, which legitimately caught me off guard.
This last season, both the quality and the quantity dropped off for Henrik. He scored 14 goals during the 2011-12 campaign, his lowest total in five seasons, with many of them being ugly rebounds and deflections where he was just in the right spot at the right time. That’s not to say that there was no wizardry to any of his goals this season, just that there was often a gap in between the wizardry and the goal that was filled with ugly.
There’s definitely something to be said for ugly goals, of course, which is why I’m about to say something about the first 7 goals of Henrik Sedin’s 2011-12 season.Continue Reading —›
The return of Daniel Sedin on Wednesday was expected to have a trickle-down effect on the Canucks lineup, but Alain Vigneault wasn’t content to just put things back the way they were. He put David Booth, who had just one goal in his last 14 games, with the twins and put Dan Hamhuis on the point of the powerplay instead of returning Sami Salo to his usual spot.
Both turned out to be good decisions: Booth picked up the primary assist on Kevin Bieksa’s gamewinning goal by using his speed to back off the defence, giving Bieksa plenty of room to shoot, while Hamhuis set up Alex Edler on the opening goal on the powerplay.
Both Booth and Hamhuis played a major role in Henrik Sedin’s insurance marker in the third period as well. I had an insurance marker once. It was a felt pen from where my parents bought insurance. It wasn’t as nice as Henrik’s goal.Continue Reading —›
With the New York Rangers’ loss in Pittsburgh, the Canucks found themselves in a position to take a stranglehold on the Presidents’ Trophy race with a single point. And, after the second period ended with the boys in blue up one, it looked like they had it in the bag. The last time this team failed to collect at least one point when leading after two periods was in October of 2009.
But the Canucks let the cat out of the bag, allowing three third-period goals and watching their stranglehold evaporate. On the bright side, what were the Canucks doing trying to strangle a cat in a bag? How incredibly inhumane. Gosh, thank goodness the Canucks blew this lead. I’d hate for them to be responsible for the death of a cat. I love cats. I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
It’s been about ten days since Daniel Sedin was sidelined with a concussion. The bad news is that concussions are extremely unpredictable, and while Mike Gillis has hinted that Daniel should be ready to play in time for the postseason, it’s nigh impossible to set a “recovery timeline” for a player dealing with concussion symptoms. The good news, however, is that the Canucks have rallied, winning four in a row while playing a suffocating, defensive style of hockey.
You could eat a thousand KFC double-downs in one sitting, and your arteries would still be significantly less clogged up than the Canucks have left the neutral-zone for their opponents over the past four games. Players and teams adjust, and the Canucks have dealt with the loss of their best goal scorer by playing more conservatively. It may not be the most entertaining brand of hockey (personally, I love hard-fought, tightly contested defensive games), but it has certainly been effective.
Speaking of adjustments, with Daniel on the shelf for the immediate future, I figured I’d look into how his brother has performed without him going back three seasons. An immediate qualifier: we’ll be dealing with a pretty miniscule sample size here (24 games), so much of this analysis is shrouded in relative uncertainty. Nonetheless, the topic of “how Henrik’s game changes without Daniel in the lineup” is fascinating to me, and pertinent to the club at the moment, so let’s proceed.Continue Reading —›
Ever since Henrik Sedin was named Captain of the Vancouver Canucks, we’ve referred to him as Captain Hook. This isn’t because Henrik is a one-handed pirate who fights children and has a fear of crocodiles, but because he has a strong penchant for taking hooking penalties.
Turns out he has a stronger penchant for hooking penalties than even I thought. Henrik currently leads the entire NHL in hooking minors with 11.Continue Reading —›
The NHL’s new playoff commercials have fallen a little flat. The theme is “Because it’s the Cup,” and the initial offering is designed to court the casual fan, portraying the NHL playoffs as a great excuse for gathering together socially. The line “Because in hockey, there are two halftimes” definitely made me cringe. What’s worse, “Two Halftimes” is the official title of the commercial.
Now the NHL has begun trotting out their team specific commercials, and they’re a bit more on the mark. The Canucks get a Sedin-centric commercial that is all about togetherness.Continue Reading —›
The Sedins had a pretty eventful offseason. It started with a riot. Then, a week later, they flew to Las Vegas, where Daniel Sedin was awarded both the Ted Lindsay and Art Ross trophies. In Sweden, they did some serious inline skating. And in July, they flew to the Swedish island of Öland, where they were awarded the Victoriastipendiet — effectively, the Swedish athlete of the Year award. Daniel and Henrik were the first hockey players to win the award since Peter Forsberg in 1994, and only the third since the award debuted in 1979. Elite company.
While the Sedins were in Öland, the identical twins were asked by Östran, a local newspaper, to take part in a strange experiment: draw self-portraits, in order to see if those would be identical too. I can’t believe I only found this now, but here are the results.Continue Reading —›
Pass it to Comics is a regular collaboration between PITB and cartoonist Chloe Ezra, whose Tumblr page, Blue Soup, is a must-follow for any Canuck fan with an appreciation for quirk. Today, we examine Alain Vigneault’s most successful motivating tactic.Continue Reading —›
We have reached Day 4 of PITB’s countdown of the top 50 Canuck goals of 2011, and things are starting to get good. Today’s entries are downright crowded with Sedinery, as the twins combine to score beautiful goals, often incorporating some unexpected guests (such as Victor Oreskovich — for real).
The 2011 playoffs are well-represented as well, with some big goals from the Western Conference final. And if it’s controversy you crave, there may be a goal from 2010. Depends on who you ask. If this inclusion offends your delicate sensibilities, by all means, express your outrage in the comments.Continue Reading —›
We get a lot of mileage out of Chloe Ezra here at Pass it to Bulis (such as the Pass it to Comics series, which will return in the new year, we promise). But our defense is a simple one: Chloe rules. She has a great style and great ideas, and when the two come together, well, the results tend to be pretty great.
As yet another example, we present Chloe’s completely original and completely adorable “Hanging Canuck tree things,” original creations that feature members of the Vancouver Canucks drawn hanging by their sweaters, to be strung up anywhere your heart should so choose.Continue Reading —›
Normally, we at PITB are pretty good at catching the odd little moments that happen during Canuck games. That in mind, we’re ashamed to admit that we missed this one. Granted, with everything else that was happening in Vancouver’s 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s somewhat understandable something might slip past us, but this is awesome. I can’t believe I didn’t see it until now.
Late in the first period, Tim Connolly puts a pass off Clarke MacArthur’s skate and, as MacArthur turns back to recover the puck, he chops Sami Salo’s stick right out of his hands. The stick goes flying.
And then Henrik Sedin casually snatches it out of mid-air.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks initially showed this awesome video on Rogers Sportsnet during one of the intermissions of their game against the LA Kings and now it’s available online. And I love it. It’s absolutely hilarious to watch two of the best players in the NHL inline skating in the summer time, mainly because of the memories it evokes.Continue Reading —›
Popular wisdom is that the easiest way to shut down the Sedins is to play a tough, physical game. The theory goes that the Sedins wilt under physical pressure, with the Stanley Cup Final submitted as proof. The takeaway from that series for a lot of people is that the Sedins are too soft and that all that is required to shut them down is to hit them. Is this view true? How do the Sedins perform in more physical games? Are the Sedins soft?Continue Reading —›
The biggest story of the Canucks win over the Blue Jackets last night wasn’t Cody Hodgson’s first goal of the season, the come from behind victory in the third period, or Cory Schneider’s crucial save on a penalty shot. Instead, most fans and the media focused in on a two-minute minor for boarding in the second period and the subsequent response from the Canucks.Continue Reading —›