Weird Crafts: this ‘Wizardous Sedinerie’ quilt is the best quilt we’ve seen all day

Weird Crafts is one of our absolute favourite features, but we don’t get a lot of opportunities to use it because neither Daniel nor myself are overly crafty. (Our wives are, though. Note to our wives: be more Canuck-oriented with your craftiness.) That means this feature depends on us going out in search of interesting Canuck crafts on the Internet, or, even better, people sending us cool stuff they made.

We prefer to be sent the crafts, since it involves fewer forays into the bewildering twin River Styxes that are Etsy and Pinterest, with souls reaching out to us from the deep, imploring us to check out their human hair doilies and placenta prints and whatnot. Crafts such as those, while weird, are A) too weird for our tastes, and B) not Canuck-related and therefore, thankfully, not applicable.

(Hmm. I guess if someone did a Canuck-related placenta print, we’d blog about it. Please don’t do that.)

Anyway, here’s a much less disgusting craft: it’s a Canuck-themed quilt, sent to us from Val of Maple Leaf Quilters. It looks downright cozy. Also, it totally says “Wizardous Sedinerie” on it. Not “Sedinery”, which is the usual spelling, but “Sedinerie”, the PITB-specific original alternate spelling. Check it out:

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Minnesota Wild, March 19, 2012

Let us take heart. Tonight was not the worst Vancouver Canucks/Minnesota Wild game ever played. Admittedly, that’s like saying, “This isn’t the most awful Land Before Time sequel ever” or “I’ve seen worse Star Wars prequels,” but still, it’s a little perspective.

So there’s your silver lining, Canuck fans: as low as the entertainment value at the Xcel Energy Center was this evening, as much as this game was to the soul as Coke is to a molar, it could have been far worse: this game could have featured both Ducky the Dinosaur and Jar Jar Binks. Thankfully, it had neither, a fact with which I consoled myself while I watched this game.

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Drance Numbers: The Official PITB Advanced Stat Glossary

Drance Numbers is the silly research wing of PITB. While Messrs. Wagner and Mooney blog nationally and solve mysteries, Drance Numbers will look into the minutiae of quantifiable NHL data and bore you with it every Friday. Today, Drance defines some terms.

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We may never know what’s behind the great Sedin scoring famine of 2012

There has been much consternation about the twin scoring slumps of twin scoring champs Daniel and Henrik Sedin, but it’s worth noting that offensive droughts are an inevitability in professional hockey. Sometimes they just happen. Heck, Aaron Rome once went through a spell during his time in Vancouver in which he only tallied 1 goal in 105 games. Now that’s a slump. He finally got back to his usual scoring self this November with 3 goals in 4 games, but then his luck turned once again and he immediately fell into another prolonged drought. The poor guy only has 1 goal in his last 34 games!

But hey man, that’s just slumping.

Granted, unlike Aaron Rome, the Sedins have been fairly slump-resistant in recent memory (perhaps they carry slump repellant in their utility belts?). Their current drought, while a far cry from the potato famine some are making it out to be, is still the worst in a decade, or, as Henrik Sedin brilliantly put it Saturday night, “Way back then I was a crappy player.”

You can understand why there’s a little unrest about the great Sedin scoring famine of 2012. For the past two seasons, the Sedins have been so automatic that, if they were pointless late in a tied game, you could be confident in the Canucks’ ability to finish on top because their inevitable goal was still forthcoming. Not so over this recent stretch.

So what’s been the issue?

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I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Dallas Stars, March 6, 2012

The Canucks were bad Tuesday night, and not the Michael Jackson kind of Bad, which is good. Rather, they were the Colour Me Badd kind of bad, which is so bad it transcends regular badness and bleeds over into “baddness.” (My wife: do they really spell it with two Ds? Oh, that’s bad. No, honey. It’s badd.)

Versus the Stars, the Canucks were badd. They flubbed passes, left massive defensive gaps, squandered powerplays, and generated next to nothing at even-strength. To make matters worse, they were rewarded zero points for their efforts, which, while an appropriate reward for zero effort, marks the second consecutive game they’ve walked away with nothing. It was the first time they’ve suffered back-to-back regulation losses since November 4th. I remember that game. I watched it. Also, I watched this game.

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Drance Numbers: How much do the Sedins miss Christian Ehrhoff?

With Daniel Sedin on pace for 81 points this season and Henrik Sedin on pace for 83, it looks like the twins will be returning to the point-per game level of production they put up in the four years prior to their consecutive Art Ross championships. And, at 13 and 15 points behind Evgeni Malkin in the points race, it seems likely that they won’t be able to keep the Art Ross in the family this June.

With Buffalo in town for a much anticipated tilt this Saturday night, I figured we’d look into the impact old friend Christian Ehrhoff had in fueling the Sedins’ Art Ross Trophy wins during his two seasons with the Canucks. When Henrik declared in the preseason that the Canucks didn’t lose anything when the speedy German defenseman signed for an absurd 40 million in Buffalo this offseason, was he wrong? Is is possible, in fact, that Christian Ehrhoff’s absence this season is a major reason for the Twins’ regression from 100-point producers back to point-per-game players?

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Drance Numbers: Harry Potter plays soft minutes; the Sedins play optimized minutes

The Canucks blogosphere (lovingly called the Smylosphere by those working within it) has been talking about zone-starts and what they tell us about this team for well over a year now. Lately, however, the conversation has gone mainstream, and articles and broadcast segments about this topic are beginning to appear in places like Hockey Night in Canada and the Vancouver Province. Between the team’s sustained run of success, the uniqueness of their zone-start deployment patterns and, hopefully, several well argued blog-posts on the subject, more people are coming around to the idea that this stuff matters.

But the data remains somewhat problematic, especially for Corsi skeptics. Where shifts begin has a demonstrable impact on possession stats, sure, but what about production? Gabe Desjardins, who runs Behindthenet.ca, suggested that the Sedins benefit from being sheltered to the tune of 7-9 points per season, but that figure was questioned elsewhere.

One of the key things I use zone-starts for when writing about the Canucks is that, if nothing else, they tell a story. If a head coach is relying heavily on a particular skater to start more shifts in his own end when the team is on the road, that’s a pretty good indicator that the coach has a lot of trust in that player’s two-way game.

To put it most simply, zone-starts and quality of competition metrics have improved our understanding of “how NHL players are deployed.” As a result, hockey math nerds have come up with labels over the years to more accurately qualify and describe the roles of certain players. I figured it might be instructive to go through them.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Edmonton Oilers, February 19, 2012

Sunday afternoon, it was announced that the Canucks had topped a poll asking NHLers to name the most overrated team in the league. This was just after Vancouver had pulverized Toronto 6-2 and just prior to making short work of Edmonton, 5-2. One wonders: if the Canucks are truly overrated, then how much worse are these teams than they seemed?

Of course, when it comes to polls of this nature, “overrated” is little more than a synonym for “disliked”, which makes sense: the Canucks are, as we know, loathed throughout Canada, and when you consider that they’re 11-2-1 and just spent the weekend batting Toronto and Edmonton around like a ball of yarn, it’s not difficult to understand why. Canada has one good team right now, a fact of which I would bristle at being reminded, were I not a fan of that team. But I am, so I was as bristle-free as a knitted moustache when I watched this game.

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It would appear the NHL selected its All-Star captains with the Canucks in mind

Those of you that follow that other blog I write for already know my opinions when it comes to naming the captains for the NHL All-Star Game, but here’s a quick summary for the rest: the game is meaningless. The only thing that matters to players is being named to it. That in mind, rather than letting fans vote players into the game, which is far less of an honour than being selected by the league, let fans vote for the team captains.

This is my vision for the future. Unfortunately, the league doesn’t share it, and the captains have once again been hand-picked by the suits. They are: Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins.

Since this is a Canucks blog, you probably want to know what this means for Vancouver’s All-Star game representatives, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Alex Edler. The short answer: nothing, since the game means nothing.

That said, with the two personalities involved, we may have enough information to project that all three Canucks will wind up on the same team.

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Drance Numbers: Bolland is hardly Sedin kryptonite

When Chicago Blackhawks’ defensive ace Dave Bolland referred to the Sedins with the hackneyed “Sisters” moniker this week, he set off a new wave of feeble trash-talk between the Vancouver and the original six club, who are something of a perpetual thorn in the Canucks side.

It was the latest chapter in an increasingly heated rivalry, not just between the two teams, but on an individual level between the Sedin brothers and Dave Bolland as well.

Every protagonist must have a foil, and the Sedins’ foil is undoubtedly Bolland. He’s the Rommel to their Patton, the Prince Joffrey to their Rob Stark. If you listen to Blackhawks fans (which, for the record, I don’t recommend doing), they’ll tell you a tale of how Dave Bolland “has the Sedins’ number” and how the twins “just can’t figure him out.”

Many in the media will probably tell you the same thing.

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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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Was Daniel Sedin’s hat trick versus Colorado the prettiest of his career?

Daniel Sedin’s trio of goals was an obscenely beautiful hat trick. It was so gorgeous that, immediately after the third goal of the suite, I declared it the most beautiful hat trick I’d ever seen.

But this may have been in haste. Immediately after I said it, a number of people countered with the hat trick that Daniel potted versus the Calgary Flames on April 10, 2010. You may recall that that hat trick featured the between-the-legs capper that is widely considered the finest goal in Sedin history. Is it possible that Tuesday’s hat trick wasn’t even the most beautiful of Daniel’s career?

Daniel Sedin has produced two remarkable hat tricks in the last 18 months. Which is lovelier? Let’s investigate.

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Pass it to Comics: the Sedins ride the twin bike

Pass it to Comics is a biweekly collaboration between PITB and cartoonist Chloe Ezra. It will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the season. Today, the Sedins’ other matching dry land equipment.

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We will defend the Sedins against the common accusation that they’re girlymen any day of the week. They’re not soft. That said, this doesn’t mean they don’t occasionally take a hilariously unmasculine photo. Case in point: this pic of Daniel Sedin, bristling at some unwanted attention by the Chicago Blackhawks. One assumes that, if this picture also captured sound, you’d be able to hear Daniel intoning “Doooooooon’t” or “Quiiiiit iiiiiiiit”.

But, while this photo doesn’t exactly make Daniel look tough, anyone that’s observed the way the Chicago Blackhawks play against him knows for a fact that he can take a beating like no other. While Patrick Kane can’t handle a few slashes without complaining about it, Daniel Sedin regularly takes a high-sticking and keeps on ticking, especially when it comes to tilts with the Hawks. They’ve been beating up on him for years. Consider the following five photos.

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The Sedins skate uphill, invoke the 90s

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.

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Drance Numbers is the silly research wing of PITB. While Messrs. Wagner and Mooney blog nationally and solve mysteries, Drance Numbers will look into the minutiae of quantifiable NHL data and bore you with it every Friday. Today, Drance looks at the shooting percentage of Sedin linemates.

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Pass it to Comics: By all means, hit the Sedins

Pass it to Comics is a biweekly collaboration between PITB and cartoonist Chloe Ezra. It will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the season. Today, we look at Daniel Sedin’s unique thought pattern.

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In last night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, the Vancouver Canucks were down by one goal nearing the end of the second period, when Marco Sturm earned a small portion of his $2.25 million contract by forcing an offensive zone faceoff with 24 seconds left. Unsurprisingly, Alain Vigneault sent out his top line of Burrows and the Sedins in hopes of getting a late goal.

Since the Oilers were at home, they had the last change and Tom Renney could send out whoever he wanted. He smartly chose his veteran second line of Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff, and Ryan Jones. Horcoff was the Oilers’ best man in the faceoff circle and took the majority of the defensive zone draws: so far, so good. He then made a baffling decision. For his defensive pair, he sent out his bottom pair of Andy Sutton and Corey Potter. This was not a good idea. Let’s explore why in pictures.

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Last year’s Stanley Cup Final opener was a 6-5 game, a classic barn-burner between two freewheeling offensive clubs, with nets minded by Antti “Just wins” Niemi and Michael “Just waived” Leighton, but anyone hoping for another barn-burner was kidding themselves. The Canucks and the Bruins don’t play that way. Instead, both are built around those two things hockey fans loathe: defensive systems and Vezina-nominated goalies. (Blech. Nothing ruins offense like a commitment to preventing it.) Unsurprisingly, then, the Canucks and Bruins gave us the first 1-0 Game 1 since 1984, with the goal coming after fifty-nine minutes of scoreless hockey. That said, that doesn’t mean this game was unentertaining. Anyone who says that clearly didn’t watch this game. Shun them and listen to me. Unlike them, I watched this game.

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Well…here we are.  On the eve of the biggest game the Vancouver Canucks have played in seventeen years we wait in nervous anticipation.  What will the next two weeks (or less) bring?  Will it be the joy and elation that accompanies a Stanley Cup.  Or will Canucks Nation once again head home empty handed, like [...]

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Though the rest of Canada has been slow to get behind the Canucks during their current playoff run, it’s hardly mattered, as their march towards the Stanley Cup has shone a light on how global Canuck nation has actually become. First, there was a Canuck flag waving proudly at the Royal Wedding. Then there was the surprise that the Canucks have pockets of fans in West Africa, most notably Ghana and Nigeria. Now comes the news that there’s even Canuck support in Austria, as Vienna-based freelance artist Peter Diamond presents The Twins. If you’ve ever thought of the Sedins as damnable warlocks that don’t bleed, but merely leak ichor, and mount the skulls of their victims on bare trees in a heinous forest, Diamond’s got you covered.

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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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Game 7 of the exceedingly stressful Canucks-Blackhawks series goes tonight. With that in mind, PITB looks at seven keys to the Canucks winning this game:

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Welcome to the back half of the Best of the Sedins countdown, the top 5 plays the Canucks’ top line orchestrated this year. Before we go any further, let me say that this list is far from definitive, and I’d be interested to hear your contrary opinions in the comments.

And, if you’re planning to happen by the comments, here’s something for you to ponder: are the Sedins the greatest players in Vancouver Canucks history? I think they are. I watched Pavel Bure; I watched the West Coast Express, too. For me, what the Sedins do night after night simply wins out. The way they move the puck, the meticulous way they break apart a defense, the casual way they do the incredible–it’s unlike and above any other superstars Vancouver has ever had.

You want proof? I submit, for the record, exhibits 5 through 1:

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