The Paper Feature: I went on vacation and now everything about the Canucks is different

My Iron Fan streak came to an end this week.

Prior to the Canucks’ visit to New Jersey on the 20th of February, I hadn’t missed a game in nearly two years, putting together an Iron Fan streak of 164 contests. Now, admittedly, it’s not exactly Henrik Sedin going 679 games strong, especially since it’s tough to pick up an injury on the couch in one’s pyjamas, but still — 164 games is a pretty decent little run. If you’ve got me beat, I applaud you.

But on the 20th, I missed my first of four in a row, as the Canucks went on a road trip out east, and I did the same down the California coast, choosing to keep my phone and computer shut down for the duration of my vacation. Good idea, right?

Terrible idea.

Continue Reading —›
Game of the Week: Canucks vs Sharks, March 3rd, 2015

The Canucks have three home games this week after their five-game eastern swing, beginning with a game on Sunday against the St. Louis Blues, one of the top teams in the terrifying Central Division, then facing their Pacific Division rivals, the San Jose Sharks, on Tuesday, then the hapless Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

I don’t like the looks of either the game against the Blues or the game against the Coyotes. The Canucks can certainly compete with the Blues and won their first meeting of the season, but the first home game after a road trip has a tendency to lead to a letdown.

Meanwhile, the Canucks have been playing down to the level of some of their lesser opponents of late, losing to both the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres on their road trip, so the game against the Coyotes makes me nervous as well.

That leaves just one game to pick as game of the week, so fortunately it ought to be a good one. The Sharks are in a tailspin, losing 7 of their last 9 games and falling out of playoff position, but they’re still the Sharks and games between them and the Canucks tend to be entertaining.

Continue Reading —›
Stick in Link: Sedins lead Canucks through injury troubles; trade deadline talk

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

Continue Reading —›
Canucks of the week, starring the immovable Jake Virtanen

Canucks of the Week, written by Kevin Vanstone, examines who and what is keeping hockey in Vancouver interesting these days. That’s right: who and what. It need not only be players. After all, we are all Canucks. All people, places, things, abstract concepts, ideas, emotions — if it’s a noun, proper or common, it’s a Canuck, and it’s eligible to be a Canuck of the week.

Continue Reading —›
Big Numbers: Shawn Matthias scores goals, Chris Higgins doesn’t

Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Big Numbers is a weekly feature on Pass it to Bulis in which we identify the numbers and statistics that really matter or, frequently, the ones that don’t matter at all but are still pretty interesting.

Statistics are gathered from NHL.com, War-on-Ice.com, Puckalytics.com, HockeyAnalysis.com, BehindtheNet.ca, and elsewhere.

Continue Reading —›
I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Sabres 6

That headline isn’t a joke. Nor is it a typo or a bad dream. The Canucks actually surrendered six goals to the Buffalo Sabres. It’s just the first time since November — and only the second time this season — the Sabres have scored five. And it gives Buffalo their first consecutive wins since mid-December. In other words, this shouldn’t have happened. The Canucks just lost to the 2001 Atlanta Thrashers.

But we should have seen it coming, and not just because the Canucks are consistently finding ways to surprise us this season, but because this road trip was never really a road trip. It was a tour of vengeance, like the events of Kill Bill. The Canucks’ only focus was in defeating the teams that had defeated them in a Stanley Cup Final. The Rangers? Done. The Bruins? Done. Even the Islanders’ 1982 win was avenged. But Buffalo, like New Jersey, has no real beef with Vancouver. And so they were spared. I, however, was not when I watched this game.

Continue Reading —›
The Prospector: Jake Virtanen will destroy you and everything you hold dear

The Prospector is a semi-regular feature on Pass it to Bulis where we pan the Canucks prospects pool in search of gold.

In this edition, Jake Virtanen is the destroyer, Jared McCann and Cole Cassels continue to dominate the OHL, Jordan Subban is a record-breaker, Patrick McNally suffers a season-ending injury, Mackenze Stewart scores a goal, and Dane Fox reminds us all that he exists. Whew!

Continue Reading —›
I Watched This Game: Canucks 2, Bruins 1

The Canucks had no business winning this game, so they’re extremely fortunate that the mullet is the official haircut of hockey — it’s not all business; there’s plenty of room for a party. And who on the Canucks do you think of when you hear the word “party”? That’s right: Dan Hamhuis.

Wait, that’s not right: it’s Zack Kassian. He’s clearly the partiest member of the Canucks and he continued his goalscoring streak with his 4th goal in 3 games and also his 4th different goal celebration. The goal stood up as the gamewinner thanks to an incredible performance by Eddie Lack. It’s always a party when the Canucks beat the Bruins.

I listened to Andrew W.K. when I watched this game.

Continue Reading —›
New Van Fan, Season 3 Episode 2: #changeiscoming

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the New Van Fan folks and this episode makes it incredibly clear why, as we’re introduced to the newest Van Fan: Andreas’s tiny, adorable son.

Only, Dan doesn’t find him so adorable. In fact, he suggests that he resembles the absolutely worst possible person a Canucks’ fan could imagine. Is this the end of their friendship? Of New Van Fan?

Continue Reading —›
Stick in Link: Bonino expected to return, Canucks weathering injuries

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ on Miller’s injury, Sestito’s departure, and Henrik’s 8-point week

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.

In this edition, Ryan Miller is out long-term, meaning Eddie Lack needs to step up, Tom Sestito parts ways with the Canucks and Comets, and Henrik Sedin earns second star of the week honours from the NHL.

Continue Reading —›
I Watched This Game: Canucks 4 – Islanders 0

It’s time for another goaltending controversy! No, we’re not going to argue about whether Ryan Miller or Eddie Lack should be the number one goaltender or discuss which goalie might get traded either at the deadline or the draft.

No, this isn’t about Miller versus Lack. This is about Miller or Lack versus Miller and Lack.

Miller was perfect to start the game, but left early in the second period after a collision with Jannik Hansen and Lack stepped in and continued the perfection. The duo combined for a shutout against one of the top-scoring teams in the NHL, so it’s clear what the Canucks need to do going forward: Lack is no longer the backup, he’s the bullpen.

With two goaltenders of seemingly equal ability, it seems like a waste to have one sitting on the bench for the entire game, so it’s definitely time for them to stop splitting starts and begin splitting games. If fatigue is an issue for Miller, have the veteran start the game to set the tone, then bring in Lack’s fresh legs halfway through the second period. It’s a brilliant idea with no possible downsides whatsoever!

One issue: it looks like Miller might be out for quite a while with a knee injury, so they’ll have to wait before putting this perfect plan into action. I watched this game.

Continue Reading —›
Canucks of the Week, in which Ryan Miller is refreshingly honest

Canucks of the Week, written by Kevin Vanstone, examines who and what is keeping hockey in Vancouver interesting these days. That’s right: who and what. It need not only be players. After all, we are all Canucks. All people, places, things, abstract concepts, ideas, emotions — if it’s a noun, proper or common, it’s a Canuck, and it’s eligible to be a Canuck of the week.

Continue Reading —›
The Paper Feature: A guide to rumours at the NHL trade deadline

The NHL trade deadline is just over a week away, which means it’s prime time for trade rumours. But how can you tell which rumours are reliable and who you should listen to? With so many rumours flying about from so many sources, it can be hard to keep track.

Don’t worry: Pass it to Bulis is here to help with our handy-dandy trade rumour guide.

Say you hear the following rumour: “I’m hearing the Vancouver Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning are getting close on a deal that would send Zack Kassian, a prospect, and a first-round pick to the Lightning for Steven Stamkos.” How much credence should you give such a rumour? It would all depend on the source.

Here are 5 possible sources for trade rumours, along with how reliable each of them are.

Continue Reading —›
I Watched This Game: Canucks 2, Devils 4

The saying is, “I hate to say I told you so” but let’s face facts: no one hates saying that. Getting a chance to legitimately say “I told you so” is a rare delight. The only reason people claim to hate saying it is to be humble and not rudely rub their rightness in anyone’s face.

But let’s face it: Canucks fans aren’t exactly known for their polite and reserved nature, so you will hear “I told you so” echoing throughout the province, all across sports talk radio, and cascading down the threads and comments sections of innumerable message boards and blogs.

For in this game, Willie Desjardins placed Zack Kassian on a line with the Sedins and he responded with 2 goals, a game-high 5 shots, and the second best corsi on the team behind Henrik Sedin. Kassian went from a prospective healthy scratch to the first line and, lo and behold, it worked. Tony Gallagher is going to be insufferable for weeks.

I watched this game.

Continue Reading —›
Game of the Week: Canucks vs Islanders, February 22

The Canucks have three stops remaining in their five-game swing through the Northeast: Long Island, Boston, and Buffalo. All three have the potential to be a lot of fun, albeit for very different reasons.

The important thing to keep in mind with the Sabres is that you’re not just watching a bad team. You’re watching a historically bad team. It’s like watching any M. Night Shyamalan movie after Unbreakable. It’s not just bad. It’s so bad, it’s a cultural moment. You shouldn’t watch it as a film buff, but you should watch it as a member of the culture. You want to be able to say you saw it. Same goes for these Sabres. Tune in.

But they’re not the team I’m most excited to see.

Continue Reading —›
Real Good Tweets, starring classic @DarrylDyck photo, ‘Canucks in Chaos’

You folks made some good tweets last week. Some real good tweets.

Continue Reading —›
I Watched This Game: Canucks 5 – Rangers 4 (SO)

On February 14th, against the Arizona Coyotes of Phoenix in Glendale, Alain Vigneault won his 500th career game as an NHL head coach, becoming the 21st in league history to do so. He added one more win on the Rangers’ road trip, then came back to new York. This was his first home game since accomplishing the feat and the Rangers had a brief tribute to Vigneault during the first period.

It seemed only fitting that a convenient convergence of events brought the Vancouver Canucks, with whom Vigneault recorded 313 of those wins, to Madison Square Gardens to be a part of that moment. It was pretty neat.

It was also pretty neat that the Canucks prevented Vigneault from getting his 502nd career win when I watched this game.

Continue Reading —›
Stick in Link: Burrows calls Horvat a young Toews; Kenins’ journey to the NHL

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

Continue Reading —›
Big Numbers: Canucks could make playoffs with .500 hockey; more loser points, please

Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Big Numbers is a weekly feature on Pass it to Bulis in which we identify the numbers and statistics that really matter or, frequently, the ones that don’t matter at all but are still pretty interesting.

Continue Reading —›
Did the Canucks fail to follow concussion protocol with Chris Tanev?

With Alex Edler already out for who-knows-how-long, the last thing the Canucks need is the other half of their top pair to miss any significant time with an injury. Of course, since it’s the Canucks, the last thing they need is exactly what they got.

Chris Tanev has already missed one game and isn’t accompanying the Canucks on their current road trip, which suggests he’ll be out for at least five more games unless he joins them mid-trip.

This is both surprising and worrisome, as Tanev practiced with the team on Monday after his head crashed into the post on Saturday, and looked to be good to go against the Wild, but was a late scratch, forcing Alex Biega into the game. While that worked out all right for the Canucks, you have to wonder what changed for Tanev.

Jim Benning said in an interview during the game against the Wild that Tanev “didn’t feel good after” the morning skate, so here’s where the speculation begins. Concussion symptoms can take days to appear and it’s hard to avoid jumping to a concussion conclusion after seeing a player hit his head, appear fine, then suddenly miss a whole bunch of games because he doesn’t “feel good.”

That raises the question: why didn’t Chris Tanev go to the quiet room and undergo the NHL’s concussion protocol after hitting his head on Saturday?

Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ on Alex Biega’s shot, and Zack Kassian’s latest inexplicable scratch

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 —›
Bo Horvat lives in front of the net

Bo Horvat is on quite the run offensively in February. He’s currently on a 4-game point streak and has 4 goals and 8 points in his last 10 games. With his boost in production has come a boost in playing time, to the point that it’s safe to call him the third-line centre.

It helps Horvat’s case for more ice time that two centres ahead of him on the depth chart, Brad Richardson and Nick Bonino, are currently injured, but Horvat has earned it as well, with his underlying possession statistics also steadily improving over the last couple months. It wouldn’t even be surprising to see him retain the third-line role once Richardson and Bonino return, with Bonino slotting back in on the second line and Richardson moving to the fourth, allowing Linden Vey and Shawn Matthias to go back to the wings.

What is most encouraging is that most of Horvat’s goals have come from the kind of thankless hard work that you might not expect from a rookie. The majority of his goals have come from going hard to the net, staying there and accepting punishment, and depositing a rebound.

Continue Reading —›
I Find This Photo Odd: Zack Kassian stars in an unflattering sign

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that we can’t resist a good fan sign. Nor can we resist chuckling or getting all huffy about a bad fan sign.

But we’re not quite sure how to feel about this sign, from Monday night’s game versus the Minnesota Wild. Is it good or bad? We’ll let you decide.

Continue Reading —›
Stick in Link: Show Chris Tanev the money (then give him a bunch); Sedins as mentors

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Continue Reading —›