Dave Bolland calls the Sedins ‘sisters’; please let this be the end

Dave Bolland is no stranger to these parts. For three straight postseasons, the Chicago Blackhawks’ centre has played the role of archnemesis to the Sedins perfectly, hacking, slashing, and chirping with seeming impunity. Needless to say, the Sedins find him distractingly easy to hate and, as a result, so do Canuck fans.

Tuesday, Bolland made it even easier, drawing the ire of Canuck nation during an appearance on WGN Radio 720′s Blackhawks Live.

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The defensive pairings for Wednesday night’s preseason tilt with the Anaheim Ducks have been released, and they are as follows: Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler and Sami Salo, and Chris Tanev with Andrew Alberts. Needless to say, this group bears a strong resemblance to what we can expect to see on opening night. Hamhuis and Bieksa, last season’s standout pair, are back together, and Alex Edler and Sami Salo, the presumed second unit, are paired as well.

But, bearing the implications in mind, there is one suspicious absence from the six-man unit: Keith Ballard, for whom a fresh start was promised. Is this evidence that the promise was somewhat exaggerated?

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On Stanley Cup Final coverage and the problem of bias

In the field of sports journalism, objectivity seems held in higher regard than anywhere else, perhaps because, without it, it’s easy to brand sportswriters as glorified fans, a label that would severely diminish the value of their work. As a result, claiming there’s a bias in sports journalism has become a little like accusing the government of a conspiracy: in an effort to protect the credibility of the institution, we turn a blind eye to obvious instances of duplicity and discredit the individual speaking out

The moment someone suggests a conspiracy in government, he or she is branded a nutcase; the moment someone suggests a bias in sports journalism, he or she is branded a homer, the scarlet letter of sports writing.

But make no mistake: at the cost of sounding like a homer (which I can handle, as a Canucks blogger) there is a bias, and we’ve seen it in the laughably anti-Canucks national coverage of this year’s Stanley Cup Final.

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Dan Hamhuis is listed as questionable for game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final after tweaking something in his middle to lower body (eff you, postseason injury nondisclosure policy) while executing the picture-perfect hipcheck on Milan Lucic you see here. It’s an awesome hit, but the collateral damage may be too great for Canuck fans to stomach. It’s hard to respect the the technical expertise and highlight-reel quality of a play that injures a defenseman on your team’s top defensive pairing.

Most are wishing it never happened. Some are even blaming Hamhuis for attempting it.

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Yesterday, we went down to the Vancouver Sun offices to get some photos taken. While we were there, we took the opportunity to use their camera equipment to film an impromptu segment about the Sedins.

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It takes 12 wins to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Bearing this in mind, after exactly 12 games, why aren’t the Canucks there yet? Why, I ask you, are they still toiling away in the second round, a round they could have completed as many as four games ago? The answer is simple: because Daniel and Henrik Sedin are a combined minus-14.

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It’s fair to say that Daniel and Henrik Sedin have struggled so far in these playoffs. It’s fair to say that the Canucks need more from their two Art Ross winners. It’s fair to say that the Canucks will need the Sedins to be better if they have any chance of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup.

It’s not fair to combine their plus/minus ratings as evidence for these fair claims.

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By now, you’ve probably heard the news that the Canucks have won the Presidents’ Trophy. You’ve probably also heard some of the subsequent chatter surrounding the merit of the accomplishment. You may have heard, for instance, that this trophy doesn’t matter, that only playoff success matters. That is patently false, and you likely heard it from fools.

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Most Canuck fans are good people. They just want to see their team win, and they’re pretty used to that not happening. As a result, they’re resigned, they’re relaxed, and they have a tendency to keep their heads. Unfortunately, they are only the majority of Canucks fans, which means that, somewhere, there is a minority [...]

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From the I-Can’t-Believe-This-Has-to-Be-Said Files: Michael Grabner is having a fabulous rookie season for the New York Islanders. The former Canuck is now leading the New York Islanders in goalscoring, but that’s not quite eye-opening enough. How’s this: with his hattrick last night, Michael Grabner now has more goals than Alex Ovechkin, Jarome Iginla, and Patrick [...]

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