The first period of Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes passed mostly without incident. While there were a few good scoring chances and two posts, no goals were scored and a lot of time was spent in the Canucks’ zone, so Canucks fans on Twitter started to get a little restless.
Fortunately, there was a great distraction from the game itself in the form of a hilarious moment before the game when one of the Canucks (assuredly Kevin Bieksa) decided to have a little fun with Sportsnet reporter Dan Murphy. Whoever it was (it was definitely Kevin Bieksa) stood just off camera and used his stick to poke behind Murphy’s head, making it appear as if he was attacking his ear.
This unknown rapscallion (who is absolutely Kevin Bieksa) caused a kerfuffle on Twitter because the culprit was unclear (and certainly named Kevin Bieksa).Continue Reading —›
The Canucks have a problem on defence. They’re currently giving up 2.89 goals per game, tied for 12th worst in the NHL. Part of the problem has been their goaltending, which has been outstanding one game, disastrous the next, and mediocre otherwise, with Ryan Miller and Eddie Lack combining for an atrocious .900 save percentage.
But there are defensive issues as well and two players in particular who have underwhelmed in that regard: Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa. For the first time as a Canuck, Hamhuis is a negative possession player, while Bieksa is making a mess of relatively soft minutes.
Both Hamhuis and Bieksa were expected to bounce back from pedestrian seasons under John Tortorella, returning to a partnership that was extremely fruitful as a shutdown pairing under Alain Vigneault. Instead, they’ve struggled and seen their partnership broken up once again. What’s the problem and how can the Canucks fix it?Continue Reading —›
In his first full season with the Canucks, 2006-07, Kevin Bieksa scored 12 goals, good for second among Canucks defencemen behind Sami Salo. It’s still his career high. He came close two years later, scoring 11 goals, but he hasn’t scored in double digits since 2009. Perhaps he should get more powerplay time: in both those seasons, he led Canucks defencemen in powerplay goals.
That may seem odd to say as Bieksa doesn’t really fit the profile as an ideal pointman on the powerplay. He doesn’t have a heavy slap shot, relying more on his wrist shot to shoot through traffic, and he isn’t known for being a playmaking quarterback, but when he entered the NHL he excelled with the man advantage.
In 2006-07, Bieksa was second among Canucks defencemen in powerplay ice time, and he led all Canucks defencemen in powerplay ice time the next two seasons. But then the Canucks traded for Christian Ehrhoff and Bieksa found himself relegated to the second powerplay unit. Even after Ehrhoff left, Bieksa was fourth among Canucks defencemen in powerplay time behind Alex Edler, Sami Salo, and Dan Hamhuis. Sami Salo left in free agency, but he was replaced by Jason Garrison.
Bieksa doesn’t have a reputation for being good on the powerplay, but he produced goals when he was on the first unit in his first few seasons. With Garrison gone, there’s an opportunity for Bieksa to join Edler on the blue line with the first unit, with Yannick Weber arguably his only competition. While that pairing can be a tire fire at even strength, the powerplay should minimize their weaknesses.
With more time on the powerplay, could Bieksa once again score 10+ goals next season? Maybe. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the four goals he scored last season, just one of which came on the powerplay.Continue Reading —›
It has been well-documented here on PITB that Kevin Bieksa is a funny man. We collected his twenty best quotes during our (ultimately successful) Twitter Needs Juice campaign. Once on Twitter, he owned the medium, photoshopping a disturbing image of a naked Alex Burrows and riffing with Ryan Kesler and Roberto Luongo.
He dropped the phrase “milk hot dogs” seamlessly into an interview to win a bet. He throws gloves and punts helmets. He has, multiple times, called out the hosts at the Jeff O’Neill show for their dumb questions in his interviews with them.
Then there was the highlight of his comedy career: doing an entire interview with Mike Dunsmore of Fox Sports while pretending to be Ryan Kesler.
Now that he’s the captain of Team Canada at the World Championships, don’t expect him to suddenly turn serious. During his first practice as captain, he started off leading stretches with snow angels. Then, before the tournament started, he butted in on an interview with 18-year-old wunderkind Nathan MacKinnon, turning it from a run-of-the-mill interview into something way more awkward and hilarious.Continue Reading —›
There was plenty of consternation to go around on Friday when France stunned Canada in the tournament opener, handing them a 3-2 shootout loss. There’s no getting around it: Canada played poorly, Cristobal Huet did not, and anything can happen once a game gets to the shootout.
You’re not supposed to lose to France. You’re supposed to attack them quickly, occupy their defensive zone, and wait for them to surrender. Yep, jokes about France surrendering. That’s what you get on the weekend.
France looked like a team, while Canada just looked like a collection of players, with many quick to point fingers at the team’s leadership, headed by newly-minted captain Kevin Bieksa. It’s not entirely fair — with 12 players under 25, some early nerves were inevitable — but Bieksa, along with fellow Canucks Jason Garrison and Alex Burrows, are among the few veterans on the team and will bear the brunt of responsibility for any failures.
It also means they’ll take a lot of responsibility for any victories, and all three played a major role in Canada’s bounceback victory over Slovakia.Continue Reading —›
Kevin Bieksa would prefer not to be in Minsk right now.
He’d far rather be in North America, where the NHL postseason is taking place. But the Canucks didn’t earn a ticket to that ride, leaving Bieksa, along with teammates Alex Burrows and Jason Garrison (and former teammate Cody Hodgson — awkward) available to join Team Canada’s squad at the World Championships in Belarus.
Still, as consolation prizes go, this one has been pretty incredible for Bieksa. He didn’t just get a call to represent Team Canada — he got the call for the first time in his pro career. And on Thursday, he also became the first player with no previous international experience to be named Team Canada’s captain.Continue Reading —›
Getting the call from your home country to play in the World Championship has to be a little bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a tremendous honour to play for your country. On the other hand, it means you either missed the playoffs or got eliminated awfully early.
Accordingly, it can be difficult for a player to get excited to suit up for more hockey, having just recently come to grips with the thought of a long off-season. Others may decline the invitation due to lingering injuries that they’re eager to rehab before getting back into training and working out for next season.
Seven Canucks, however, have shaken out the doldrums and disappointment to commit to playing for their various countries: Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, Jannik Hansen, Nicklas Jensen, and Eddie Lack.Continue Reading —›
When Harrison and I first started Pass it to Bulis, the “PITB is famous” tag was a way to joke about how small-time we were by celebrating even the tiniest mention of the blog in the mainstream media. It was astonishing to us when our silliness — scrabble challenges and dumb questions on HNIC After Hours — actually received coverage in the real world.
Now that we occupy the hazy borderlands between mainstream and alternative media, it’s less surprising to see our blog mentioned elsewhere, so that saying “PITB is famous” no longer seems tongue-in-cheek, but instead looks like we’re tooting our own horn. If our horns are to be tooted, we prefer that other people toot them without prompting from us.
Still, there’s one place where we still don’t expect to get our horns tooted: in the mouths of the players. Okay, that came out wrong…
On Tuesday’s game between the Canucks and the Devils at Rogers Arena, the big screen at centre ice showed a short video during one of the TV timeouts where Kevin Bieksa reminisced about his first NHL goal. Unexpectedly, that led to a mention of your favourite Bulis-themed Canucks blog.Continue Reading —›
The 2012-13 season was an unusual one for Kevin Bieksa. By his underlying statistics, it was Bieksa’s worst season in over five years. His usage was similar to that of 2011-12, but his Corsi went from 10.26, which led all Canucks defencemen in 2011-12, to -0.98, ahead of only Andrew Alberts.
Bieksa just wasn’t at his best this past season, but it gets a little more clear why when you look at who he played with for most of the season. Bieksa’s most common defence partner was Alex Edler, which is surprising given how little chemistry they have together. In 2011-12, Bieksa spent the entire season with Dan Hamhuis, whose steadiness is a perfect complement for Bieksa’s more freewheeling nature.
When paired with Edler, Bieksa’s Corsi% was 49.9%, meaning there was about an even split in shot attempts for and against when they were on the ice. Bieksa’s second most common partner was Jason Garrison and the two of them managed a Corsi% of 51.3% together. When paired with Hamhuis, Bieksa’s Corsi% was 50.9%. Bieksa’s worst Corsi% came when he was briefly paired with Andrew Alberts or Keith Ballard.
Long story short, Bieksa is not a player that can carry a defence pairing on his own, but works best as a complementary player with a steady defenceman like Hamhuis or Garrison at his side. If Chris Tanev is ready to step into the top-four and play with Edler at even-strength, then Bieksa should have a return to form while playing the majority of the season with Hamhuis or Garrison.
Even though it wasn’t a great season for Bieksa, he still scored six goals, just two fewer than his previous season. Given the name of this series, we have every one of them.Continue Reading —›
Martin Havlat left Wednesday’s game halfway through the first period for, since it’s the playoffs, undisclosed reasons. It didn’t take long, however, for the reason to become completely disclosed, causing male hockey fans everywhere to cringe in unison.
You see, according to Mike Halford from Pro Hockey Talk and David Pollak from the San Jose Mercury News, Kevin Bieksa speared Havlat in the groin. The NHL Network even has a video of the unfortunate moment, complete with a slow-motion replay.
Halford and Pollak are dead wrong, however. Bieksa definitely did not spear Havlat in the groin. Nope, not in the slightest. He quite clearly slashed him in the groin.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks are on a roll, winning four straight. As a result, the team is feeling pretty loose and relaxed. Want proof? After their victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night, three Canucks engaged in an absurd and ridiculously hilarious conversation on Twitter.
We’re used to Roberto Luongo entertaining Canucks fans and the rest of the hockey world with his self-deprecating humour on his no-longer-alleged Twitter account, @strombone1, but on Sunday night Ryan Kesler (@Ryan_Kesler) and Kevin Bieksa (@kbieksa3) joined in on the fun. The three Canucks riffed on Luongo’s hair, for the most part, but couldn’t resist a couple quips on Burrows’ indecipherability and a couple body blows on Kesler’s nude photo.Continue Reading —›
When the Canucks score 7 goals in a game, it’s tough to know which one to break down. We even had calls on Twitter to break down Henrik Sedin’s gorgeous penalty shot goal or Maxim Lapierre’s slick breakaway marker. As nice as those goals were, it’s more than a little difficult to break down a goal when it’s just one skater and a goalie. It would just be one screen shot with the breathtaking analysis of, “Well, you see, he did something the goalie didn’t expect him to do and the puck…well, it went in.”
It seemed obvious to me which one needed the full Breakdowning treatment: Mason Raymond’s seventh goal of the season, which came on a beautiful passing play that incorporated every single Canucks skater on the ice.Continue Reading —›
Alain Vigneault has the tendency to shuffle his forward lines like a magician shuffles cards: most of it is sleight-of-hand and nothing really changes in the end. He and Rick Bowness have frequently done the same with defence pairings in the past over the last couple seasons, but certain pairings tended to stick together and avoid the juggling.
When Christian Ehrhoff was with the Canucks, he was all-but-inseparable from Alex Edler. At one point, Kevin Bieksa only hit the ice when Willie Mitchell was at his side. Over the last couple seasons, it’s been Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis who have been attached at the hip. Other pairings were malleable, but those pairings were, at the very least, semi-permanent.
Heading into this season, the pairing of Bieksa and Hamhuis, affectionately and disgustingly known as HamJuice, were a given. Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev, who performed well when paired together in the previous season, were assumed to be the bottom pairing. That left the newly-arrive Jason Garrison to play with Edler, something I had been anticipating ever since he signed with the Canucks.
It looked like the defence pairings were about as set in stone as they could possibly be. But it took just 5 games for those stones to be thrown to the ground and broken up like the Ten Commandments.Continue Reading —›
It makes plenty of sense that Zack Kassian would be the enduring story from Wednesday night’s tilt between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames. After all, the winger looked great, scoring a goal, adding the shootout winner, and looking great on the first line with the Sedins. If you were handing out report cards through the Canucks’ first three games, Kassian would likely earn an A, and his game Wednesday was undoubtedly the best of the bunch.
But still, it seems odd to me that no one is mentioning that strange moment when Mikka Kiprusoff latched onto Kevin Bieksa’s leg like a squid or a leech and refused to let go.Continue Reading —›
A couple weeks ago, Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler teamed up with Cabral “Cabbie” Richards for an impromptu street hockey game under the Cambrie Bridge (site of one of the great music videos of our time).
Also, Jason Garrison was there.
TSN waited until last Friday to put up Cabbie’s segment on the game and, this weekend, it finally made it to YouTube.. I’ve been a big fan of Cabbie since his days on The Score. He seems to always be able to get athletes to let down their guard, leading to great interviews and a lot of humour.
This time around, however, Cabbie doesn’t say a word through the entire segment, letting Kesler and Bieksa take the reins. That was either a horrible, horrible mistake or one of the best things he’s ever done, depending on how much you like the unintentional humour of terrible acting. We like it a lot.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 —›
Clearly, picking up a parking ticket hasn’t discouraged Kevin Bieksa from visiting to UBC. Last week, it was announced that he and his Buddies — a team that includes Jannik Hansen, Cory Schneider, Willie Mitchell and some other special guests — would be playing a charity game versus the UBC Thunderbirds on October 17th. Tickets went on sale Saturday morning, and because this market is absolutely starved for Canucks hockey, and because it’s only a 5000-seat stadium, they were sold out by Saturday afternoon.
On Tuesday, Bieksa appeared on Global’s Morning News to discuss the already sold-out event, the lockout and, in a surprise turn, do the weather. This might not come as much of a surprise to you, but Bieksa is a lot better at starting the breakout than he is at forecasting the week.Continue Reading —›
As we have previously pointed out, one of the true tragedies of the NHL lockout is that it prevents players from participating in charitable endeavours through their teams. This is especially tough on charities that rely on the Canucks’ fundraising efforts for a large chunk of the donations they receive. Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, the Canucks Family Education Centre, and the Canucks Autism Network depend on the charitable efforts of the Canucks to provide their services to the community. In many ways, these are the people the lockout hurts the most.
This is why Kevin Bieksa has stepped into the void. Just because the Canucks players are locked out and prevented from doing charity work through the team doesn’t mean they can’t organize it themselves.
Bieksa, along with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Dan Hamhuis, Manny Malhotra, Max Lapierre, Cory Schneider, and Willie Mitchell will be playing a charity hockey game against the UBC Thunderbirds on October 17th, with net proceeds to benefit the three charities above.Continue Reading —›
While searching through the Canucks.com archives for poorly-dressed Canucks, I happened across a great photo of Kevin Bieksa appearing to entertain Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins with some impromptu acapella, using his stick as a microphone. I chuckled to myself and moved on.
But then I found another one, this time using a wireless handheld water bottle.
It turns out that Bieksa simply loves to sing. We should have known: he famously burst out into song during an interview with Scott Oake and he loves playing to a crowd. Now, in the spirit of the many axes of Cory Schneider, PITB takes a look at Kevin Bieksa’s lockout plans, where he’s taking a chance on a new career as a singer.Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.Continue Reading —›
With the NHL lockout in just-short-of-full-swing (bunt?), Canucks players are left with a lot of time on their hands. Some fill that time with hunting wildlife, angering animal lovers, and discussing the merits of sneezing, but Kevin Bieksa is apparently filling that time with silly interviews.
Bieksa once again appeared on 99.3 The Fox’s Jeff O’Neil Show and, knowing Bieksa and his tendency towards quotability, we knew it would be worth a listen. His last appearance on the show yielded such gems as Mason Raymond’s irritability when his face is damaged, tips on manscaping your chest (“It’s 2011, not 1973. You gotta keep things tight.”), and Bieksa flat out calling one of the host’s questions “stupid.”
What gifts did Bieksa have for us in Tuesday’s interview? Take a listen.Continue Reading —›
In case you haven’t heard, the NHL collective bargaining agreement expired at 9pm PST on Saturday night, meaning the second work stoppage in seven years is officially upon us. (Alert status: complete despair.) No games have been canceled yet, but the lockout is already beginning to affect things. On Monday, a handful of Canucks skated at UBC with their practice jerseys turned inside-out. After all, they aren’t employees of the Canucks right now. Horrifying.
And that wasn’t the only tangible impact the lockout had on the Canucks’ unemployed hockey players. With no training staff around to keep an eye on the clock, Kevin Bieksa’s parking meter expired. He returned to his car to discover he’d been busted by officer 300, the Judge Dredd of parking services officers. Bieksa now has until the end of the month to pay the $30 ticket before it doubles to $60. Will this wreak havoc on his lockout preparation fund?
Yeah, he can probably afford it, which means there isn’t much of a story here. It’s a shame his violation was 11b (expired meter), and not, say, violation 13g (nuisance) or violation 7k (counterfeit pass). I mean, that would have at least made things interesting.
But what we lack in one quality parking story we can more than make up for in quantity. This is, after all, just the latest in a long line of parking incidents for members of the Vancouver Canucks. Come with us as we park multiple times on memory lane.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 —›
Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.
Normally, Spitballin’ is used for the above purpose: to quickly run down the many things that have happened in a short space of time. Right now, however, nothing is happening. At all. In fact, there’s so much nothing happening that it boggles the mind, necessitating a Spitballin’ feature to cover it all. Here is all the nothing that is happening right now that you need to know about:Continue Reading —›
The 2011-12 season was a good one for Bieksa. While still playing a shutdown role alongside Dan Hamhuis, he set a career-high in points with the third 40+ point season of his career. In addition, he finally succumbed to PITB’s omnipresent pressure and joined Twitter, giving Canucks fans what would end up being the second best Canuck player Twitter account.
His interviews this season were legendary, such as the Milk Hot Dog Interview and the one in which the interviewer mistook him for Ryan Kesler and Bieksa ran with it. Then there was the time he threw a glove at Cal Clutterbuck. Basically, Bieksa had a hilarious season off the ice that also happened to be highly successful on the ice.
Along the way, he scored 8 goals. When we take a look at all 8, I think you’ll agree: Bieksa Real Good!Continue Reading —›