18 brilliant suggestions to resurrect the Canucks’ struggling powerplay

The Vancouver Canucks’ powerplay is in a state of disarray. It’s been 9 games now since they scored with the man advantage.

Yes, the unit did create a goal Tuesday versus the Blue Jackets, but the goal came after the Columbus player exited the box, meaning Vancouver’s worst powerplay drought in 10 years continues.

We simply can’t allow it to. It’s time for some bold thinking to get off the schneid. It’s time for some new ideas. That in mind, we here at PITB have done some serious brainstorming and put together a list of brash, innovative suggestions that could kickstart the Canucks’ flagging man advantage. We offer them freely to Newell Brown and the rest of the Canucks’ coaching staff. Gentlemen, brace yourselves for genius:

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I Find This Photo Odd: Cory Schneider finally snaps

Just how much more can Cory Schneider take?

Two years after the Canucks used their first round draft pick on Schneider in 2004, Dave Nonis traded for Roberto Luongo. Seven years later and Schneider still hasn’t surpassed Luongo on the depth chart. Nearly nine years ago, he was drafted to be the Canucks’ goaltender of the future and that future still hasn’t quite arrived yet.

It seemed all but certain that Schneider had taken over the Canucks’ net permanently when he was named the starter for game three of the 2012 playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings. Schneider was superb in all three games he played, making 97 saves on 101 shots, including 43 in the Canucks’ only win of the series. Luongo reportedly requested a trade and the speculation on his destination began.

Only, Luongo didn’t go anywhere. And now, after outplaying Schneider so far this season, Luongo looks likely to take back the number one job, or at least 1A, demoting Schneider to the dreaded 1B.

Would anyone be surprised if he just lost it? Actually, it looks like he already has.

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Pros and cons of Alain Vigneault: a way better list than the lame one that other blog did

Some called the Canucks’ visit to Minnesota the biggest game of the season. I guess it was, although it seems silly to call a game where the worst-case scenario was a tie for first place with 24 games remaining all that big. But you can understand how Vancouver fans, who aren’t used to the Canucks even being in a game for first place in the division, might make it out to be a bigger deal than it was. At the halfway point in the season, a dogfight for first in the Northwest is like seeing a shooting star. You want to make a wish on it.

For many, that wish was for the Canucks to put in a dominating performance, which they haven’t done in a while now, and really re-assert their superiority over the Wild. But instead, they hardly showed up.

Who is to blame for this no-show? Alain Vigneault, says the chorus that’s been calling for Vigneault’s head ever since he lost the Stanley Cup Final he coached the team to in 2011 like a sap. He’s bad at his job, they say, which is why he’s yet to win one of those championships he always has his team contending for.

So is it time for a breakup? On Monday, Thomas Drance tackled this question the same way Ross tried to decide between Julie and Rachel in Friends episode “The one with the list”: he made a list, examining Alain Vigneault’s pros and cons. The problem, unfortunately, is that Drance’s list was woefully incomplete. So we’ve decided to make our own:

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Mike Gillis says potential Luongo deal in place; 10 things that might actually mean

It went unnoticed by almost everybody, what with actual hockey being played all weekend, but for a brief moment, all was quiet on the Luongo trade front. It began the moment Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri scored a goal each in the Leafs’ opener and Canuck fans did the math, realized both were on pace for 48-goal seasons, and deduced that Toronto would never trade them now.

Suddenly, all that Funny Bob-to-Toronto chatter went silent. And then the Canucks crapped the bed, so there were more pressing things to speculate about, like whether Roberto Luongo should start the game he was always scheduled to start.

But on Monday night, the Luongo trade frenzy picked right back up when, in an interview with Cam Cole of Pass it to Bulis (and sometimes the Vancouver Sun), Mike Gillis suggested that the team was making some progress in bringing this saga to a close.

“We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have — and it’s not who anybody thinks it is — and so we have to wait,” Gillis said.

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The Canuck headshot awards, starring escaped mental patient Andrew Gordon

Canucks’ training camp opened on Sunday, which means that we are, finally, within days of actual NHL action. But there’s another reason to get exciting about the first gathering of Vancouver’s rosters and prospects of the 2013 campaign: picture day, where the team stockpiles its official headshots for the coming year.

Picture day always lead to unintentional comedy. Most of the guys would rather be anywhere else. Very few actually prepare for it. And, judging from any year’s results, the players are given no direction as to what to do with their faces. Some smile. Some glower. Some lower their head. Some raise it. And some stare past the lens, directly into the soul of anyone who views the photo later on.

Granted, none of the Canucks’ photos can match the weird hippie look Rick “Sunshine King” DiPietro brought to the table, or the full Wookiee that Brent Burns finally achieved this year, but the legendary Jeff Vinnick still managed to snap some pretty good ones. We’d like to highlight a few in our first annual headshot awards.

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From the Archives: Last-minute Canucks Halloween costumes

Originally published on October 31, 2011, this list of last-minute Canucks Halloween costumes holds up remarkably well a year later. It’s also just as useful. Let’s face it: not everyone is as well-prepared for Halloween as Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis, whose adorable Winnie the Pooh costume from several years ago is simply too much cute for most people to handle.

The rest of us, who are half the man Hamhuis is or, in the case of the women, none of the man Hamhuis is, have likely left our Halloween costume ideas to the last minute. While most of the last-minute NHL-themed costumes out there this Halloween will simply involve a team jersey with a picture of a lock over the logo, Pass it to Bulis is here to provide you with some more creative options.

It is a little alarming how many of those options involve shaving your head, however.

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Roberto Luongo’s suspected twitter account provides some suspect pickup lines

One of the major differences between this NHL lockout and the lockouts that occurred in 2004-05 and 1994-95 is the advent of Twitter, giving teams, media, and players a direct conduit to fans. The NHLPA has encouraged their constituents to communicate their frustration with Gary Bettman and the owners through Twitter, to the point that many of the player accounts seem completely homogeneous.

There is one player’s Twitter account, however, that will always be completely and utterly unique: strombone1. The all-but-verified account of a certain French-Italian-Canadian netminder for the Vancouver Canucks is an endless source of bizarre non-sequiturs , love for reality TV, and an obsession for literal toilet humour, generally at his own expense.

No other NHL player would start a hashtag full of terrible pickup lines entirely making fun of himself. The pseudonym’d Roberto Luongo distracted hockey fans nation-wide from the lockout with the #StrombonePickupLines hashtag and the results are ridiculous, hilarious, and frequently filthy. Be forewarned.

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David Booth kills the Forest Spirit, and other creatures of myth

By now, it should be perfectly clear that David Booth doesn’t care what you think. Well, he sort of does. I mean, the other day, he sullenly tweeted, “Every time I tweet I lose followers”, but when several responses explaining the phenomenon came back to him — stop tweeting photos of things you done killed, bro — he chose not to change his spots, like a leopard (and then he probably killed a leopard).

On Thursday, Booth successfully ended the life of yet another beast and saw fit to share it with his squeamish audience. That’s what you’re looking at above.

But what the heck is what you’re looking at? As Roberto Luongo tweeted in response, “Ok NOW you are just making up animals no?” Is that a goat of some kind? A four-legged Appalachian Fearsquatch, as Justin Bourne suggested? The Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke?

The species of the dead thing above may be unclear, but one thing does seem clear: with so much time on his hands, David Booth has grown weary of hunting things that exist and crossed over in the realms of lore. “There’s only one trophy in the world harder to get than this… And I’m getting that next,” said Booth, ominously. Lock up your fictional characters, people, because David Booth will be trying to kill them for as long as the lockout endures. What follows is a preview of what we can expect Booth to tweet in the months to come:

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Alex Burrows, fashion icon and six Canucks fashion disasters

Alex Burrows is apparently a fashion icon. Canadian clothing store RW&Co. targeted the French-Canadian fashion maverick to headline their “Perform At Your Best” campaign, along with So You Think You Can Dance Canada champion Nico Archambault and entrepreneur Jeremy Gutsche.

Burrows reveals the secrets of his imitable style, describing it as “trendy but comfortable” and that he doesn’t “like to wear things that make a statement.”

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What the Canucks will be doing during the lockout

It’s official: the NHL owners have locked out the players. While there’s still time to get a new CBA worked out before the start of the regular season, it’s extremely unlikely that this will happen, meaning that loyal readers of PITB are bound to miss out on a few I Watched This Games.

As a result, numerous NHLers have signed contracts or made commitments with teams overseas. Many Russian players are already signed to temporary contracts in the KHL, while many Europeans are committing to their respective country’s leagues. Even a few North American players are heading across the Atlantic, with Joe Thornton and Logan Couture both signing in Switzerland.

No Canucks have signed in Europe yet, so I looked into it. It turns out that each member of the Canucks already has plans in place during the lockout. In this PITB exclusive, we look at what each of them is planning to do.

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Twenty-five alternate explanations for why Shane Doan chose Phoenix over Vancouver

Despite flirting all summer like Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko in Grease, Shane Doan and the Vancouver Canucks simply weren’t meant to be. The Phoenix Coyotes captain opted for an 18th year in Arizona instead, re-signing with the embattled and permanently ownerless Phoenix Coyotes for $21.2 million over four years.

I’ll admit I don’t understand it. I’ve been to Phoenix. It’s a nice place, and the fact that it has a freeway through the downtown core is a marked improvement on Vancouver’s gridlocked, nigh unnavigable streets. But I can’t imagine loving the city so much that I would put up with what Doan has put up with, let alone make the concessions Doan has made to stay there. Come on, no one loves Phoenix that much.

That in mind, it must be something else. Here are 25 alternate explanations for why Doan chose Phoenix over Vancouver.

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18 silver linings for Canuck fans during the lockout

The optimist says that hockey still might start on time. After all, the soft deadline for hammering out a CBA before the owners lock the players out is September 15th, and that’s still 11 days away. Now, in the grand scheme of things, 11 days is such an inconsequential amount of time the British government didn’t bat an eyelash when they stole that many days from their citizens in switching from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar exactly 260 years ago. But hey, a lot can happen in 11 days. You can watch soccer until you die, for instance.

Of course, hockey fans don’t want to watch soccer until they die. They want hockey, and putting aside the optimism for a moment, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing it for quite awhile. That sucks.

Still, returning to optimism, there are some positives. For instance, yesterday I pointed out that the odds of Shane Doan becoming a Vancouver Canuck become a little shorter the closer we loom to a lockout. And that’s just one. Here are several more.

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Video: I Want a Girl Like Trevor Linden

Normally, when we feature videos on Pass it to Bulis, they are made by other people. Not this one. This is a PITB original. I should clarify: Harrison might want to avoid all association with this video, because it contains a very silly song and Harrison is a very serious person. Not me: I revel in silliness.

You see, when I’m not writing about hockey, I often write comic book-inspired songs under the name Hooray for Gooba about evil twins, dinosaur fighters in space, big-headed supervillains, and time travel shenanigans. This weekend, however, I wrote a different type of song. A love song. A Trevor Linden love song.

And now I want to share it with all of you.

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10 crazy ideas to fix the Canucks powerplay

It’s no surprise to fans that the Canucks powerplay is struggling. After an incredible start to the season that saw the team once again lead the league in powerplay percentage, it crashed and burned in the second half of the season. The powerplay was 4-for-42 in their last 10 games, and that’s just an arbitrary round number of games to select. Other than a 4-for-11 outburst against the Boston Bruins, the Canucks powerplay hasn’t truly been good since December.

On Friday night against the Los Angeles Kings, however, the team’s pwowerplay woes went from troubling to truly disastrous. On two Willie Mitchell holding penalties, the Canucks not only couldn’t score, but also gave up two shorthanded goals to Dustin Brown. It’s gotten to the point that fans everywhere wish the team could just decline the penalty and continue to play 5-on-5, where the Canucks have actually outscored the Kings 4-3 in the first two games.

Considering most people still think of the Canucks as a team that tries to draw penalties and beat you on the powerplay, including the Canucks themselves, it’s not surprising that this power outage has led to an identity crisis in Vancouver. Something needs to change and the Canucks can’t count on the return of Daniel Sedin. According to Kristin Reid, not only will Daniel not be travelling to Los Angeles with the team, he won’t be back for the rest of the series.

The Canucks may need to do something drastic. Here are 10 crazy ideas to fix the powerplay:

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Sixteen legitimate reasons to fire Alain Vigneault

In case you haven’t noticed, Vancouver fans and media can be a fickle bunch. The Canucks’ struggles over the last several weeks have everyone on edge, looking for the slightest provocation to heap scorn and ridicule on the boys in blue and green. (For instance, if your psyche is the least bit frail, I don’t recommend reading Tony Gallagher’s recent columns, as they will likely send you into a funk that is funkier than Bootsy Collins on bass).

For Alain Vigneault, however, the vitriol has been aimed his way all season. According to some fans, Vigneault is hanging on to the Canucks’ coaching job by his fingertips and every single one of his decisions is a foot smashing down on his fingers. According to these fans, if the Canucks don’t make it to the Western Conference Final, Vigneault should be fired. If they don’t make the Stanley Cup Final, Vigneault should be fired. If they don’t win the Stanley Cup, Vigneault should be fired fired fired.

None of these things are legitimate reasons to fire Alain Vigneault, but don’t worry Vigneault-haters: we have 16 legitimate reasons to fire him.

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How to fabricate a successful Canucks trade rumour

With only a month to go until the 2012 NHL trade deadline, you can expect to come across a ton of absurd Canuck-related trade rumours in the next 30 days. Anywhere from most to all of these rumours will not come true. This is because the majority are fabricated by people with no more inside information than you have. They have absolutely no source, and they derive their rumours from either sheer fabrication, simple logic, or an uneasy marriage of both. The best of these rumours are then disseminated as possibilities. Fabricating a Canucks’ trade rumour only takes a few minutes, and if done correctly, can provide untold amusement.

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15 things Canucks and Bruins fans can agree on

You may have noticed over the last few days that fans of the Boston Bruins and fans of the Vancouver Canucks disagree on a lot of things, such as the anatomical location of knees. All this animosity was briefly entertaining, but it has quickly grown tiresome instead as fans on both sides seem to have forgotten basic human decency, such as viewing fans of other teams as human.

That’s why I think it’s time to find some common ground. I’m guessing that Canucks and Bruins fans, being fellow members of the human race, actually have a lot more in common than either group thinks.

Here are 15 things that both Canucks fans and Bruins fans can agree on:

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Sixteen things worse than losing consecutive games to Columbus and Carolina

Let’s be honest: any NHL team can beat any other NHL team on any given night, so there’s no shame in the Canucks losing a one-goal game to either the Columbus Blue Jackets or the Carolina Hurricanes. Granted, the Jackets are no longer the Western Conference’s worst team only by virtue of beating Vancouver, and the Hurricanes remain laughingstock of the Eastern Conference, but league parity allows for one-offs of this sort.

Still, if you can’t beat at least one of these teams in consecutive games, there is a little shame to be had. But it could be worse. Consider the following doomsday scenarios.

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Last night’s game against the Minnesota Wild was absolutely miserable, a nearly unwatchable mess that saw the Canucks give up 45 shots on net, with a large number of them being golden scoring opportunities. After two big wins against the Capitals and Flames, it looked like the Canucks had put their early season struggles behind them, but last night demonstrated that this might not have been the case.

Kevin Bieksa described the game as “one of the worst performances I have been part of in this jersey” and it’s hard to argue with him. Fortunately, that game is over. Seriously. It ended last night. It’s over forever. Stop thinking about it. Tonight is a brand new game against a brand new team. It cannot possibly be as bad at that game.

Want to know why we’re so certain tonight’s game will be better? We have compiled 20 reasons.

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Today is October 31st, which means it’s time for the greatest costume-themed holiday of the year: Halloween! If you don’t have a costume yet, you might be in trouble. You don’t want to be one of those lame people who shows up at a party without a costume, or worse, a nametag with someone else’s name on it or a t-shirt that says “This is my costume.” But, because you’re either lazy or forgetful, you don’t have a lot of time to put a costume together.

Since you’re reading Pass it to Bulis, I’m going to assume a couple things about you: you are a refined person with great taste and you are a Canucks fan. You’re going to need to leave your taste behind temporarily – you don’t have time for it – but since you are a Canucks fan, we’ve created some ideas for last-minute Canucks-themed Halloween costumes.

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The Ottawa Senators are taking advantage of the connection to their fans provided by social media to allow said fans to pick the team’s 2011-12 goal song on Facebook. It’s a fun idea that gives the fans an opportunity to have a say in something that will be a celebratory moment that brings the team and fans together. The goal song can be a galvanizing force for a fanbase: witness the way Blackhawks fans have rallied around “Chelsea Dagger” for instance.

Fans have five options to choose from, all having “a great chorus that fans can chant along to.” The only issue for the Senators is that they left the voting open to anyone who “likes” them on Facebook. Yes, anyone. That of course turned into anyone-who-doesn’t-like-the-Senator-or-at-least-wants-them-to-have-a-terrible-goal-song. So, pretty much everyone.

Nickelback and their song “Burn it to the Ground” currently lead the voting, largely thanks to the non-Senators-fan contingent of the voting public. But personally, I’m disappointed in the selection of songs to choose from. Here are some better options for the Senators:

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Like Neo in the Matrix, Nathan Horton wants his phone call. The Bruins forward is evidently upset that Aaron Rome texted him an apology rather than calling him on the phone. While this could easily be seen as sour grapes, particularly after Horton still won the Stanley Cup, I can understand wanting a slightly more personal apology. What I don’t understand is dragging it out into the open in the media.

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Today in quotes taken out of context: Dallas Stars’ forward Steve Ott observes that his colleagues have been indulging in oversized desserts.

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Daniel Carcillo, Chicago’s newest tough guy, is a stereotypical goon, right down to the fact that he doesn’t quite exude knowledge and wisdom. When asked about the rivalry with the Canucks in his introductory press conference, for instance, he showed that he wasn’t fully caught up on the offseason roster moves of his new nemesis.

But this story has been severely underreported. It turns out that Carcillo made a bevy of other questionable, somewhat misinformed comments at his press conference. Great news, too: we at PITB got our hands on a complete transcript, and we’ve compiled his top 20 quotes right here:

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Some of you may remember the offseason-amplified controversy over Mike Duco’s Twitter account, in which it was learned that the newly-acquired Vancouver winger had made some incendiary tweets regarding the Stanley Cup finalist Canucks prior to being traded to them. In a heel turn of epic proportions, we featured these tweets on the blog, which led to a surge of vitriol directed Mike Duco’s way, which led to the unfortunate deletion of his Twitter account, which, finally, led to a surge of vitriol directed our way.

Much of this vitriol was hilarious, but none moreso than the vendetta against PITB launched by Carolina forward Anthony Stewart, a former teammate of Duco’s with the Rochester Americans. The morning after tweeting, The man had to delete his twitter… #Bringback@Duco87 tell @passittobulis to write that in his blog, Stewart woke up still angry, and proceeded to name July 15, 2011, National don’t pass it to Bulis day, (a holiday we are certain to observe in the coming years). I’d rather dump in on a breakaway than pass it to Bulis, Stewart wrote, then proceeded to use this same basic formula for a lengthy series of scathing tweets.

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