Video: Alain Vigneault talks playoff goalies, gigglefest, and the Presidents’ Trophy on After Hours

Alain Vigneault was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday, and you have to think the timing was just right. With the regular season coming to a close, the Canucks having just clinched their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy, and AV’s inevitable transition into his dry, unforthcoming, and short “playoff mode” on the other side of a good night’s sleep , he was in a particularly chipper mood.

Keep that in mind when watching the interview. It isn’t the most compelling of the recent Canuck appearances on After Hours, but it’s AV at his breeziest, and that’s something we likely won’t see again for quite some time. Not long after this segment, the clock struck midnight and the Vancouver head coach turned into a grumpy pumpkin. But for one more night, at least, he was all rosy cheeks and chuckles. Enjoy.

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Video: Chris Higgins talks staph infections, Amex line, abs on After Hours

Chris Higgins was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday, marking the third consecutive week that a Canuck has occupied the chair to Scott Oake’s right. March has already given us interviews with Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa, and Higgins’s turn in Oake’s awkward hot seat falls somewhere between the two, neither as wacky as Bieksa’s mug-and-quip-fest, nor as dry as the Hamhuis interview.

For the most part, the talk covers ground with which the majority of Canuck fans should already be familiar: Higgins’s service family, which includes his police officer brother and his firefighter father, the American Express line being good, and Higgins’s staph infection and subsequent struggles last January. But do not dismay, Canuck fans, because if there’s one thing that sets 10 minutes with Scott Oake apart from your standard hockey interview, it’s that Oake asks the questions you’re typically not supposed to ask. In this case, that means Higgins’s After Hours clip features a solid five minutes on his crazy abs.

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Video: Dan Hamhuis talks fear of hipchecks and stolen Christmas trees on After Hours

Dan Hamhuis was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday night.

The Canucks haven’t been on HNIC a whole lot this season, which, when you think about it, sort of makes sense. Between their surprise Presidents’ Trophy win and the Stanley Cup run, they got a lot of screentime last year. You can understand why the CBC would want to spread the coverage around a bit during the regular season, especially since it seems likely that the Canucks will be the only Canadian team to talk to once the playoffs reach the second round — unless they underachieve or Ottawa, Winnipeg or Calgary overachieves.

(For what it’s worth, this new equity of coverage policy would be a lot easier to stomach if the Leafs didn’t remain exempt from it. But I digress.)

But Hamhuis’s appearance on the postgame chat program made it two weeks in a row for Vancouver players after Kevin Bieksa took to the chair last week. The back-to-back appearances for the two members of the Canucks’ top shutdown pairing made for a stark contrast. Where a fancily-dressed Bieksa mugged, smirked, quipped, and gum-chewed his way through nearly twenty minutes of awkwardly hilarious airtime, a sleepy-eyed Hamhuis respectfully gave mumbled, measured, straightforward answers to questions.

But, while the entertainment value may have dipped, there’s still some pretty good stuff in here.

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PITB is famous: Kevin Bieksa thinks we’re Jan Bulis

Kevin Bieksa and Zack Kassian were Saturday night’s guests on After Hours, the interview segment of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast that, under Scott Oake’s watchful eye, touches briefly on hockey then hastily devolves into shenanigans. In Bieksa’s case, between joining Twitter, the Bieksa family golf tournament, milk hot dogs, “Angry Bieksa”, and the glove-throwing incident, that meant there was a lot of ground to cover. Seriously, Scott Oake could have just prepared for this interview by clicking the “Bieksa” tag on Pass it to Bulis.

Heck, he might have, since we got a whole lot of love during the segment. At 13:50 of the clip, the topic turned to Bieksa’s Twitter account and the controversy over who deserves credit for convincing him to sign up for it. Was it Ryan Kesler, who no doubt has the inside track here, or was PITB’s highly-persuasive and tightly-run “Twitter Needs Juice” campaign? Oake took the opportunity to do some serious investigative journalism on the matter.

Sadly, Bieksa dismissed our influence. “I don’t succumb to peer pressure,” he said. “It wasn’t this Bulis guy. It was Kes that got me.” Of course, then he claims that Kesler “got” him by promising fans the account would tweet once it had 10,000 followers. So, we’re considered peer pressure, but 10,000 expectant fans isn’t? Clearly, we have underestimated our power. Let it be known that Kevin Bieksa finds us threatening.

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Alex Burrows just got Keslurked

We’ve been a little spoiled by the level to which Ryan Kesler has taken the Keslurking meme of late, what with the Canucks’ centre going meta and victimizing his own interviews and family photos. With the level to which our expectations have risen, it stands to reason that an old-school, subtle Keslurk — the sort in which the man is hardly noticeable — might go unnoticed.

That’s what happened last night, during Alex Burrows’s Hockey Night in Canada postgame interview. Rather than dominating the frame, Kesler’s interview bomb involves little else but a barely perceptible peer from behind a curtain.

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During the second intermission of game 6 between the Vancouver Canucks and the Nashville Predators, HNIC sportscaster Scott Oake queried Kevin Bieksa as to what would be needed in the third period in order to close out the series. Bieksa, who is awesome, wryly responded, “Shots shots shots shots shots. Shots.”

It was an intentional reference to LMFAO crunk megahit “Shots”, because apparently, Kevin Bieksa is really crunk or something. But, while a handful of viewers at home chuckled at Juice’s response, Oake didn’t seem catch it. Probably understandable. He might be the most uncrunk member of the CBC team (after Kevin Weekes). But what if this experience changed him?

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