Beauty takes on many forms

Don't ya think?


Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?

Ever seen a grown man cry? I was close, I'll admit it. Tears of rage really. And it wasn't so much the fact the Canucks lost 2-0 (believe me, this year, I can expect these things in advance).

It was being subjected to the Boston play by play guy refer to Bieksa as "Beeska" ALL NIGHT LONG. I gave him one or two mistakes as a courtesy, but the game got longer and longer every time that mouthbreather had to share the fact he missed the media guide with us by dropping such wonderful gems as "The puck squirts around the board and there's Beeska to retrieve and start the rush out of the Vancouver zone." Thank god we only see them once every 72 years under Bettman's schedule.

Bring on the Blue Jackets. Let’s see how they can embarrass this squad to round out another memorable road trip. Hell, the Wild beat Luongo on their first shot and Boston shut 'em out, so Hitchcock will have to get crafty to keep the great Vancouver suck going. How about an Anson Carter natural hat trick before the game is two minutes old and Federov beats up Matt Cooke and breaks his jaw with a nasty uppercut?


Sabourin In Net Means Free Shots (maybe)!

A rare trip east (maybe the closest they get to the NYC metro region in fact...and I can't go because I need to find a damn xmas tree. Ugh) brings the Canucks face to face with the wily Bruins. Both teams are quite similar: each 'reloaded' in the offseason (Chara/Luongo respectively), both are 5th in their respective divisions and both are on the outside looking in towards the playoffs. In contrast, both are coming off of different outings; the Wild smacked the Canucks around to the tune of 5-2 while Boston kicked Ottawa around 7-2.

Three things stand out to me for this evening:

  1. Marco Sturm is on fire and, as Yahoo! tells me, “has 12 goals and 24 points -- both career highs against any opponent -- in 30 lifetime games against the Canucks.” That’s just so damn typical…someone go find me someone on Boston who’s worst point production comes against Vancouver. For that matter, is there ANY player who falls into that category?!
  2. Boston is 38-7-0 with seven ties at home all-time against Vancouver. Well fuck…
  3. Bruins powerplay is top 5 in the league (although their PK sucks). It would be just super if the Canucks could stay out of the box tonight. Especially considering that…
  4. The Sun says Luongo is starting, but the Team1040 and the wacky CDC says Sabourin.

Seeing how Boston may light up Slippery Sabby (did VCOE/C&B ever come up with a name for him?), I'm going to just forgo an actual prediction and, rather, suggest tips for how to treat your bartender with care so you can get nice and liquored up to the point where you can't actually decipher the numbers on the scoreboard (and that, my friends, quite possibly is a good thing).


A wild second round

So…it did go in. So what? As Lui said, Todd White kicked one in during the previous matchup, so chalk it up to fate. Besides, do you know how many bounces didn’t go this team’s way in November?!? It’s about time something did!

As for tonight, I think the Canucks can take this home and home and that’s huge going into two more road games before the middle finger that is the xmas holiday barrels down on them. Call it a 3-2 win for Vancouver…goals from Bieska, Naslund and Daniel.


History Is Fun!

There are only three "legion of dooms" I know of - one was Superfriends related, one was two hilarious looking wrestlers in the WWF and the last (one that was, you know, REAL) was the name of the top Flyer line during the short-lived period of the 90's when the Flyers were great. Their LOD included the manchild Lindros centering John LeClair and Mikael Renberg which existed a bit longer then the politically incorrect "twin tower era" of Lindros and Primeau, but at any rate, they were great line of guys all more or less in their prime.

Unfortunately, the Flyers LOD never lead them to the Promised Land. So what of them now?

Eric "Lex Luthor" Lindros - A couple concussions + a collapsed lung / daddy yelling at trainers = Bob Clarke wants you dead. And by dead, he wants you to suffer in the purgatory known then as the Rangers. Lindros briefly flourished when he centered a fun line with Theo "One for the Road" Fleury but he got another concussion eventually and was told to retire. And by retire, that meant go to Toronto where Lindros would be permitted to extend his time in purgatory while keeping his injury streak going with a phantom wrist injury. He was last seen somewhere in Texas where that wonky streak of his just keeps going.

Mikael "Sinestro" Renberg - The soft cuddly one of the three, Mikael had the dubious honor of being moved for perennial underachiever Chris Gratton before coming back two years later with little success. He would eventually be traded to Phoenix for Rick "SnakeEyes" Tocchet before stopping over in Toronto for a three year layoff before his return to Sweden where he is today (local legend says if you say his name three times in the mirror at the stroke of midnight, he appears behind you with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk).

John "Black Manta" LeClair – The longest to stay on the Flyers, LeClair was a rock until the lockout and the new CBA saw teams shed excess salary and old players as a nice way of saying “hey thanks now off to old folks home with you”. LeClair, not one to take such evil words lightly, responded by signing cross state rival the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sadly, LeClair had no idea that the Pens still had one more giant year of megasuck in them before turning the corner so LeClair’s stock didn’t exactly skyrocket. In fact, it’s plummeted to the point where any GM, for the low low price of 125 one dollar bills, can now have a LeClair all to themselves!

I don’t know if LeClair is that bad anymore, but I have to assume he is if that’s the going rate now. I would have suggested the Canucks take a run at him for scoring purposes, but it looks like they’ve turned a slight corner in recent games.

As for tonight…who is this Iginla character people keep falling over themselves about? Never heard of him…sounds like a flash in the pan. A one and none kind of guy. No need to worry about him. And Kiprusoff? Sounds like a fabric cleaner. Another guy riding some sort of hot streak? Bah, nothing for the likes of the vaunted Bulis and shapeshifting Sedins to worry about. The media won’t talk about it, but you heard it here…the Sedins can bend time with their mind. However, being Swedish, they know better than to abuse this power. We could all learn from their example.

Oh yeah? A prediction? 3-2 Canucks. The Flames come on strong at the end, but Luongo closes the door and Daniel, Bieska, and Kesler do the rest.


Smithers...are they booing me? Uh, no sir, they're saying "Boo-urns!"

They wanted Anson Carter to come back, but Anson wanted the money. When Anson came back, he was deservingly booed like the money-first guy that he is. Similarly, they wanted Ed Jovanovski to come back, but in this new era of a salary cap and on the heels of a failed season, it simply couldn’t be done. Jovo got his 7 million a year down in the desert and the Canucks eventually got Luongo for a bit cheaper.

Tonight, the second uncomfortable reunion will take place this year as Jovocop returns as an opponent to GM Place. I can’t imagine the Canuck faithful will boo him since, unlike Carter, Jovo gave the fans some kickass, strange, and energetic memories for many seasons. Despite his frequent defensive gaffes, he was the rockstar of the Vancouver defense for six seasons. So don’t boo the man, please.

In fact, if you HAVE to boo, the Coyotes give you the perfect guy for that: Jeremy Roenick. Here’s a cheatsheet for you:

  1. His best season was back in 1994. The top music in 1994 included auditory assaults from Sheryl Crow, Boys II Men, Gloria Estefan, and Ace of Base. So nothing made sense that year; see that season’s Stanley Cup finals for more information.
  2. His website has an incredibly annoying audio loop on the main page.
  3. I don’t know what this is, but it annoys me too. Stop it.
  4. Why?
  5. He abuses dogs. At least the middle one. Do those look like happy eyes to you?
  6. Other career highlights include: getting out-trashed talked by Patrick Roy, asked “spoiled” fans to “kiss his ass” during the lockout (out of context or not), claims the American Olympic committee blackballed him, and publicly declared wanting to play in Canada before signing with the Coyotes. Clearly, it’s tough being JR.
  7. He currently has six points this season. So does Alex Burrows.

(Note: I am kidding about #5. All the rest is true.)

Prediction: Canucks 4-1. If two games are any indication, the Canucks are kinda…sorta…maybe…learning how to score more then two a game. I assume if they can beat up Ward and Kipper then a tired Cujo shouldn’t be that tall a chore for them. Dave Scatchard will score because he’s an ex-Canuck with at least one noteworthy story on his resume. Daniel Sedin, Naslund, Morrison, and Tremblay will get the rest.

An aside: This is terrible. Honestly, I don’t know much about Kessel; I’ve seen him on the TV twice this year and he was invisible. But that doesn’t matter, I hope gets better quicker then anyone can imagine. A guy with his future certainly doesn’t deserve this. None of us do.


Do it for Wiggles

To Cam Ward:

We recognize you live and work in the hilarious Southeast, so you may not be aware of the how bad it's getting up here. Simply stated, we can't score. We're quite close to a full on 'suck' actually.

So, due to our current offensive ineptitude, I regret to inform you that we've kidnapped this kid (nicknamed him Wiggles). We didn't want to do this, but it's getting bad and, besides, Ohlund's summer job is human trafficking so you go with what you know right?

If you care about Wiggles (and as the Conn Smythe cup winner rookie that you are you have a reputation to uphold), all we ask in return you take a mental hiccup a few times on Friday and let our forwards put some shots past you. I have Dan Cloutier's cell if you need some assistance on how to properly suck and let in 50 foot slap shots.

So what if you got embarrassed passing through Alberta? We do that a few times a year whereas you get to travel down to Florida and smack Alex Auld around every other week. And need I remind you that it was I, Master Nonis, who removed Luongo and gave you Auld to smack around? Where's my xmas card for that huh? Not even a meatlog??

Look, screw the card. I have my job to worry about. So let's be clear here: we'll give the baby back if you let us score a goal. If you let us score two, we'll stop kidnapping babies all together for the rest of the year (2006 that is). If you let us win, we'll trade Bulis to Florida so he can put you on the powerplay more often thereby allowing you to further destroy Auld's save percentage ok?

I do want that meatlog though. Seriously. A boy's gotta snack.

- David Nonis


Bartender, we'll need a few more over here...

Team 1040 just reported that Pyatt is gone for 2-4 weeks with a partially torn ligament in his shoulder. I missed Rypien's injury but it sounded like a slight groin tear which is closer to 8 weeks. Salo is looking more like a 7-10 day injury.

The Pyatt and Rypien injury are just complete punches in the gut consider one can actually score and the other can actually fight.

So now Santala and Chouinard will get plenty of ice time! That'll solve all of the problems...no? OK, how is that farm team support looking now? No good? Oh, well, we can always trade for some help...right? Oh, we can't do that either? OK...

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the gutter...



Truth is stranger then fiction:

Winners of one straight and two of their last three, the Canucks can tonight claim top spot in hockey's goofiest division with a victory over Edmonton. - Vancouver Sun

Well, ok then! Here's hoping the boys can win over the Smyth-less Oil and enjoy the NW penthouse for a whopping 24 hours before it changes again.

It's great to see Rypien come up and immediately provide a spark in Saturday's win (it's nice to be remotely accurate sometimes). Here's hoping Lui's play stays steady and the Canucks can score more then two goals. Slow and steady...


Fist? Meet Wall.

I often find myself so annoyed at someone or something that I simply cannot cognitively process the information and condition my vocal chords to emit a sound in the accepted enunciation of curse words fast enough to adequately exemplify the accurate level of my anger.

You follow that? Sweet.

Anyway, the latest reason there's a hole in my apartment wall (hi neighbor!) is this authorless gem of an article reviewing the NHL off-season. Let's review their take on the two Vancouver acquisitions they deem are ‘in limbo’:

Luongo has lacked consistency, while Bertuzzi's back is wonky. Krajicek vs. Allen is a wash.

I can accept Krajicek & Allen, but if the entire point of this article is to see who the early winners/losers of the off-season are, how is this not a slam dunk for the Canucks? We can assume Bertuzzi was going to be injured wherever he was and the idea of the same Cloutier-backed Vancouver squad without Bert seems awful in the ultra-competitive Northwest division. So the fact Luongo has played 25 games (over three times as many as Bert) would suggest to me that Vancouver has won this trade…completely…at this moment…period! Not to mention that Luongo is 12-11-1 which would suggest that, aside from a blowout here and there, he's consistent at keeping Vancouver in most games; they’re near .500 because they can’t score, not because of Luongo’s play. Go find me a GM who would rather have Bert on the sidelines for what could be half the season instead of the option of using Luongo for 60 minutes every game.

Pyatt has scored goals when on a line with the Sedin twins, but where would he play in Buffalo?

This could be the worst reasoning I've seen a long time. Pyatt is on pace for a career year; he has more goals now then he did all of last season and is tied for the lead in team power play goals. Outside of the Sedins and Naslund, he's been one of the few offensive threats. But the Pyatt acquisition is ‘in limbo’ because Buffalo is stacked? Pyatt would still be 10th in scoring on the Sabres now (!); you think Regier would rather be icing Stafford or Mair ($675,000) if they could add another scoring body like Pyatt for $700,000? Well, shit, if that's your logic you better go back and review every single off-season acquisition: Shanahan is doing great in New York but Detroit has a better record so that acquisition is in limbo. Besides, Detroit has a youth movement on their hands and Zetterburg, Holmstrom and Maltby are at LW so where would Shanny play anyway? If that makes any sense to you, then fine, Pyatt's in limbo.

Under their ‘loser’ moves, they do score some points by noting Cloutier is basically terrible and that Carter would be better almost anywhere except the Blue Jackets fourth line (something Hitchcock recognized between servings of buffalo wings), but they seem to be perfectly happy with both the Bulis and Chouinard signings. Christ, at least Carter plays whereas we're paying a million dollars plus for Chouinard to warm a seat (or miss beautiful 2-on-1 passes a la the Anaheim game). And Bulis, at this point in the season, defines "bust": He was bought in to replace Carter on the Sedin line, then he played with Naslund, then he played with Morrison, then he played with Vigneault's kittens, then he got free happy meal coupons and still nothing. Bulis has the same amount of points as Carter and, yet, Carter makes the loser list?


What's HBO showing tonight?

To whom it may concern (by which I mean Allah, Yahweh, Elohim, the entire Holy Trinity, Deus, Igzi'abihier, Jah, Ngai, Niskam, Bhagavan, Baquan, the current incarnation of the Buddha, Anami Purush, Ahura Mazda, and Shang Ti…thank you Wikipedia):

Have Mercy. Let’s keep it respectable, eh? If you require virgin sacrifice, just give us a signal.


The Vancouver Canucks Team, Coaching Staff and fans of various ages


Wanted: Large, Angry Hockey Player. (Teeth Optional)

Practically every time the Canucks pushed into the Columbus zone last night, someone was beating them up. And if they weren't beating them up, they were laying them out. Naslund, with his head down, got laid out by Klesla in a hit that resembled the great Steve Moore hit of 2004. Klesla did it again to Morrison in the third.

OK, I can deal with the lack of scoring (for now...or at least until the Ducks blank us 45-0 on Thursday). I can deal with the lack of cohesive lines that pose a consistent threat for the opposing netminder. I can deal with the fact we have no back up goalie (c'mon, did we ever?). I can deal with the fact that our D, while solid, still loves to take magnificently stupid penalties. I can even deal with most games this season being almost as exciting as watching a Julia Roberts movie while trapped in economy on a transatlantic flight.

But I can't stomach the fact that Vancouver is way way way too soft.

I know it's not exactly a barnburner statement. And I know their new work ethic certainly doesn't make them complete pushovers. But seriously, this is still hockey (just barely, right?) and we do need players who can put the fear of biblical rapture-esque pain in opposing players who squash, oh I don't know, your captain?!? Just recently Tucker took out Chara in a big hit and, while Chara was fine and can more then take care of himself, Mara answered for Zdeno by fulfilling a dream of many a fan and pounded Tucker's face for a bit.

Who do we have again? Cooke? Kesler? Bieska? Burrows? Sure, these guys can bump and smash guys in the corners with the best of them, but when a guy like the Ducks' O'Brien (here this Thursday mind you) or mongoloids like Barnaby or Avery or even (shudder the thought) Boogaard take liberties with our guys, who in the hell is there to answer the call? Besides that, what if we just need a massive hit to spark the team and tilt the advantage in Vancouver's favor?

The Canucks could look towards Manitoba, but for who? Lee Goren? He'd be fun for three seconds until he takes a hooking penalty because he can't skate. Marc-Andre Bernier? Hmm, not yet. Tyler Bouck (who may as well be called up just to sit and irk Bulis)? Rick Rypien would be a nice Cooke-like addition. Nathan Smith? Hahaha, just kidding on that last one.

I wish there was an answer somewhere out there. Maybe the sad truth is that it's just another reality for Vancouver fandom that, on top of everything else, we get to watch our players get manhandled. It's funny that I can tolerate so many other vital aspects of the game going poorly, but lacking the more minor element of sheer size, brawn and fists annoys me. Because, at this rate, this team would be in another concentric circle of hell if someone lays out Naslund badly and no one answers the bell.


Schultz = Superman without the goofy tights

So...the Jesse Schultz experiment version two-point-oh begins tonight as the shifty winger will see his first NHL action of the season in hopes that someone on this team can remember how to properly and efficiently put the puck into the net on a regular basis of some sort. Hopefully Schultz will gel with someone on the team and provide a spark. You get the idea the Canucks need just some semblance of a spark to kickstart some other guys and get them on a roll. Or maybe I've been breathing in the fumes too deeply near the Lincoln Tunnel every morning. It would explain a great deal.

Prediction: 3-1 Canucks. I don't care what butterball Hitchcock does with his lines, the Canucks need yet another ego boost victory here and the worst team in the league isn't a bad place to start. Kesler, Naslund and Pyatt put this one away and Luongo is solid again.

Give him hell

My two cents: it's logical and utterly sane to hate what Chris Pronger did to the Oilers. Does it still really matter why he left? Yes, it actually does because the last time I checked it was the Edmonton fans who, after suffering like the rest of us through a lockout so the owners could get their heads out of their asses, helped pay for Chris to have the pleasure of a job on that team. You think a team that plays with no paying fan base for home games - like, ironically, the Blues? - would be committing a large chunk of their cap for multiple years to just anyone? This isn’t baseball where this sort of thing is tolerated.

Someone needs to explain to Chris that NHL players do not have their responsibilities start and stop with the game buzzer. I'm not talking about community outreach stuff, more like an unspoken agreement that the marquee guys, who command these massive salaries, owe a bit more to the team that employs them because the fans are arguably the stakeholders who in great part fund them. If a player wants to leave, explain yourself like the professional you are and leave. Fans can accept that sort of thing because even if we hate the reason. But if you're not going to explain yourself and, instead, hide behind a sense of ill-deserved privilege, you deserve every syllable of venom raining down on you and every rumor that connects you to everything from boning TV reporters to causing global warming.

What do I mean by ill-deserved privilege? Something like this:

"I'm not going to degrade myself and my family and substantiate or deny any rumors," Pronger said. "It's not what's going to happen here." He made no apologies. Asked if he should have canceled a long-planned Mexican vacation to stay in town and explain his request, he said he had no regrets over his actions. He said he had hoped the matter would stay quiet and saw no reason to change his plans. "I've got a life to live," he said. - LA Times

I read this as him basically saying “Yeah, to all you people who supported me by buying tickets and jerseys, by being nice to me when you saw me in town and generally supported me for the year I was here and now want a reason why I just up and left with no reason? You don’t deserve one. I owe you nothing.” Hey Chris, fuck you. You can't have it both ways by getting the opportunity to hold a honored slot on a team and act like a selfish child without giving a good reason at the same time. You skipped town, you permitted the rumors to fly about by your own actions, and you're the one hiding behind a facade of being a family man now? Please.

The point of my rant being this: it's a bad day when Pavel Bure shows more of a spine sulking out of Vancouver then Pronger did escaping during the night from Edmonton. So, for one night (and one night only!), I'm an Oilers fan. Go Oil and make his night a living hell.


A vote is like a kiss on the cheek

In case everyone in Canuckland missed it - considering the complete thrashings at the hands of the Preds and Avs in the past couple of games - there is this site to keep you occupied. And confused. And perhaps tearful and sad for the future of humanity.


Bad cars and extinct cats make the week longer

Things to ponder for this evening in Motor City

1. Will they continue their excellent penalty kill (currently fifth best in the league)?

2. Will their powerplay ever ever EVER turn around (currently fourth worse in the league)? A small note: I don't think the dump in works as well as they think. They need to think of something else.

3. Will baby jesus cry if Luongo gets shelled and pulled?

4. If Jan Bulis takes a boneheaded penalty leading to a goal, will Zarnstorm's “I Hate Bulis” Meter go into uncharted territory? (short answer: absolutely)

5. Will Lidstrom shoot from center ice just for shits and giggles? If he does, can someone strike him? In the groin? With a sledgehammer?

6. Will Kesler pick a fight just so he can score a goal?

7. Why is Chelios still playing? Can’t we, as a league of fans, do something to make him retire? Where’s Messier’s leadership on this topic?!

Things to ponder for Thursday night in Naaaaaaaashville

1. Is it a cosmic delight for anyone else that, after knocking Mitchell out, Arnott will get to sit his ass until 2007 because of a knee injury?

2. Seeing how Dany Sabourin will get the nod against the Preds, is it possible he won't let in the first two shots? If not, does that mean Mika Noronen will be laughing his freezing arse off over in the motherland?

3. Repeat #4 from above.

4. Is it possible that Patrick Coulombe’s secret hockey weapon is that he plays while totally stoned (as suggested by his kick ass Canucks.com picture)?


Vegas bookies punching walls - Canucks win again

This picture is wonderful for a few reasons:

  1. It denotes that, as I had hoped previously, the general anger at losing most of the past two weeks has made the lads an ornery bunch. Which I like. A lot.
  2. Pyatt, although he didn’t score against the ‘Hawks, has done much to make the team forget Anson Carter almost entirely.
  3. Since this blog is becoming a huge fan of Pyatt, it’s nice to see him beating someone who, in this case, is the cousin of my ex-girlfriend who, ironically, lives in Coquitlam. I wonder who she roots for in this case. I’ll have to ask.
  4. Since it is the holiday season and all, let’s propose that everytime a professional NHL hockey player gets his ass handed to him by another professional NHL hockey player with a MySpace page, an angel gets his/her wings.

Up next are the Red Wings on Wednesday. In the meantime, it feels good to see a meager winning streak again.


Blue is the color of pain

The Midwest is fun for things like donut hamburgers, random large crosses (I actually drove by this one as I was escaping Arkansas) and museums that chronicle the rich history of torturing crazies. In the hockey world it’s a great place to visit since teams often have to suffer through downing the tequila shot Detroit Red Wings before getting to embrace the soothing lime chaser that is the Blackhawks, Blue Jackets or Blues.

Despite beating the Canucks four times last year (jeebus christ), the Blues were still the worst team in the league. Over the summer, John Davidson jumped at the opportunity to lead the “new” Blues in lieu of hanging around MSG and staring at Sam Rosen’s nose night in and night out for another season. JD, to his credit, put together a lineup that were it a few years ago would be awesome to watch every night. But if you fast forward to the present year, guys like Tkachuk, Guerin, Rucinsky (good for nothing!), Dvorak & Weight don’t really put the fear of God in anyone. And their goalies aren’t much better considering I don’t think Manny Legace’s own mother likes him and Curtis Sanford is painfully ordinary (that is, unless, he’s playing Vancouver at which point he becomes the second coming of Ken Dryden).

Prediction: Canucks 10-0. Yes. One-Zero for Vancouver, none for the Tkachuk-uerin-cinkys. Because, in my head, I’d like to think that the growing level of anger I have watching the Canucks fail will spill over into their cognitive processes and make them, if just for one night, play as a group possessed and unstoppable. Daniel and Markus get hat tricks, Kesler adds two, and hell Luongo fires one in when Legace wanders out of his crease to get a new supply of tissues. Even if it’s not 10-0, I’ll take a 1-0 victory. Anything but another loss.

Your ‘WTF’ moment of the week: The new Mark Messier Leadership craptacular award. I can’t say I’m shocked that a Ranger won it the first time around. This award proves the NHL is hellbent on redefining traits to fit their PR since they are ignoring the last decade of Messier’s career. I’m not saying he was not a special player and deserving of great praise, but to use his name as the de facto barometer of leadership when he spent a decade making failed promises and leading - as captain mind you - multiple teams to staggeringly embarrassing losing seasons seems to dilute his precious leadership capabilities. In his last decade of playing, Messier captained three of his ten teams into the playoffs (just for fun, consider Yzerman as captain of the Wings lead his team 18 times into the playoffs, including 15 straight since 1990. But who’s counting?). He promised a cup in Vancouver. Result: failed. He promised a cup in his return to NY. Result: failed. When that whole cup promise seemed out of reach, he flipped to promising a return to the playoffs for the Rangers. Result: failed. By my count, that makes him one for four in promises.

So I eagerly await other NHL-inspired awards like The Sean Burke Domestic Tranquility Award or The Edward Belfour Back Seat Negotiation Award. One for the ladies? OK, how about the Janet 'Domino Motherfucker!' Jones Award? Maybe this can spread out to other leagues too. How about The John Rocker Multicultural Award or the Roger Clemens Gentlemanly Award for MLB? For the NFL, we'll definitely need a Randy Moss Team Spirit Award and The Ray Carruth Family-First Award.


Make 'em hot please. And more beer would be fantastic.

The Red Wings come into tonight as they have been for years; namely, they are dominant even though I can't figure out why aside from any guy not named Datsyuk or Lidstrom. They are 11-4-1 and are doing their thing once again in the Central Division. Then, well, we have Vancouver. It's somewhat comical that a few weeks ago the city loved this team and now they're resorted to wanting Luongo to give part of his salary back for some soft goals. Oh well, it is what it is. Canucks need a win to crawl back to .500, but it won't be easy. And hell, that should be the new marketing slogan. Maybe a frumpy Bulis with “it won’t be easy’ under it? At least it would be honest.

What to look for: Secondary scoring. I feel this trait isn't even worth denoting 'something to look for' anymore and one more game of a pathetically anemic effort and I'm changing the header to "what to fear". But, trying as I may to eye that silver lining, just about everyone needs to break their slumps and start putting some pucks behind the opposing goalie. That includes Naslund, the Sedins and now perennial dog house occupants Morrison and Bulis. Oh yeah, Kesler? You too…buck up buttercup. Vancouver played well enough against the Flames but couldn't find that extra goal which is more of a liability now then their depleted D line. And, honestly, Hasek is the damn crypt keeper with a wonky groin and we have shifty players with quick wrist shots. Do the math and applicable geometric diagrams and figure out a way to make his night long and annoying (you know, like other teams have made the past few home games for the Canucks that we've all suffered through).

Prediction: Wings 3-1. Assuming the poor play trend continues, I can see the Canucks getting the first goal (Pyatt) and then coughing up two in the second frame. Lidstrom or Chelios will add an empty netter from center ice just so I will be tempted to through my TV out the damn window. Although if I do that and I end up killing my next door 'I love throbbing house music at 2:00 AM' neighbor who is entering the side door of my building, then all's well that ends well.

Random Hilarity: OK, pretend you are Paul Holmgren staring at the shitbox in front of you known as the Flyers. Your team is a mess, can barely score, cannot play defense and is now getting tagged with injuries. You are running out of options, you're getting texts from Bobby Clarke giving you the middle finger (from a beach chair in the Caribbean surrounded by scantily clad 18 year old ladies nonetheless), your wife is threatening to leave you (sure, why not?) and you can't cry in public because then Don Cherry will murder you. So how do you right the sinking ship? Why, you snatch up a guy who just had his face broken at the hands of the missing link. Sure, NOW you’re back in the game!



It’s fun to think of three years ago when Vancouver was the best Canadian team and Calgary came out of no where, beat them in the playoffs, and ran almost all the way to a cup victory. Then last year Calgary was the team to beat, Vancouver was admirable and while the latter fell off the planet the Flames couldn’t make it out of the first round and the Edmonton was the man for the post season.

And now, the Flames and Canucks seem to be tangoing together in a dance of the suck twins (although at the moment they look like they'll beat Anaheim, so they suck a bit less). Both teams have marquee goalies who play in front of teams that can’t score and new coaches who can’t figure it out yet. That recipe has brought more success (albeit marginal) to Vancouver then Calgary so far this season, but why split hairs? The Flames have scored three fewer goals then the Canucks but the Canucks have let more goals in (and Vancouver has played three more games as well). Both powerplays are terrible but the Canucks penalty kill has fared much better early in the season. Lastly, like Vancouver, the Flames get their meager production from a few core guys like Iginla, Langkow, Lombardi & Phaneuf (occasionally that Tanguay guy shows up). So, clearly, both teams need some help and need some wins which suggests (I hope) they’ll beat the snot out of each other Saturday night.

What to look forA pulse. After the great Duck rape on Thursday, Vigneault challenged the Canucks character. You know, show us some backbone or at least some micron of pride in the damn uniform you have the privilege of wearing for far too much money every few nights a week. It’s useless criticizing the D since they have some problems on their own but it’s the offense that needs a swift kick in their collective fat ass. Naslund, Pyatt and the Sedins need to lead the charge whether they feel like it or not because clearly guys like Bulis, Morrison, Kesler et all are not quite up to speed yet on that whole puck in the net thing. Luongo needs to be put the Duck game behind him and recognize he’s going to need to start stealing some games. As a group, this team needs to go back to square one (like opening night in Detroit when the entire planet expected them to fail) and use their lot in life as motivation. Sink or swim together, but the lethargic and anemic efforts have to stop because this isn’t the Crawford’s team anymore.

Vigneault has a little over a day to get this team acting and playing differently. Not a ton of time, but then again, this is what Alain is paid for. And last I checked the rabid Vancouver fan base, in part, helps pay that salary. We’re all going to work today. So should you.

Lingering Anger: How in the name of holy hell does Chouinard, who sits more then plays, end up tied for worst plus/minus on the team? That’s a good amount of salary cap space getting a nice seat at games isn’t it? Surely a team like Phoenix or Philly is getting desperate so let the guy start playing if just to get some stats so we can move him. And if guys like Bulis and Cooke don’t feel like putting solid shifts together night in and night out, let them start parking their ass next to Chouinard and bring up Rypien or Bouck instead.

Prediction: I have none since I don’t know what the hell version of the Canucks is going to show up. If the early October version wants to take the ice, then I do feel Vancouver can beat a struggling Calgary team to the tune of about 3-2 or 4-3. However, if the lackluster version that entertained Minny and Anaheim is even seen in the parking lot much less on the ice, then Calgary should by all means win 10-0. My guess would be it’s somewhere in the middle, so let’s say it goes to a shootout and flip a coin to decide it.


A Lofty Query For You

Question: When a 6th defenseman who often in the past few games makes some very boneheaded plays that resulted in odd man rushes, poorly timed penalties and/or elevated blood pressure levels for all viewers goes down for a month and then some with an injury…does it make a sound?

Answer #1: Yes…especially when your team has no blueline.
Answer #2: No…because Roberto Luongo is the second coming of Christ and the baby Buddha rolled into one.
Answer #3: Wait, isn’t Fitzpatrick’s a beer?

The Ducks is a terrible name for any professional team

I'm sad I can't rip on the formerly-painful Disney connection to that team (seriously, has anyone seen those movies? Hang you head in shame if you saw the second. And if you went to the theater to see the third throw yourself in front of a train please).

Part of me hates the Ducks because, well, I hate almost all teams in the west. That's part of my agreement on being a Vancouver fan. The larger side of me hates them because of Burke who I really did enjoy as a GM and, nothing against Nonis, but I miss the surly old guy. He’s always fun at a press conference and looks like he'd steal candy from a baby and have no ethical dilemma with it whatsoever. I appreciate that, we need more like him.

But a smaller side of me hates the Ducks because they're just so damn stacked on D and Vancouver, sadly, is close to icing Fin in the 6th slot. Seriously, the idea of countering Niedermeyer and Pronger with (assuming Mitchell and Salo are out) Ohlund and Bieska is beyond comical. Their top two D-men are friggin tied with Selanne for the team lead in points and they also get great scoring support from the likes of Kunitz, Perry, McDonald & Getzlaf. Chuck in a nice goalie tandem and you can recognize why no one has beaten the Ducks in regulation this year so far.

That’s where my handjob for the Ducks stops. In fact, let’s be clear: I vehemently dislike Pronger for flipping off Edmonton like he did, McDonald snorts crack off the backs of disadvantaged midgets and Selanne wears girlie underwear and owns every J-Lo album which he listens to while he crochets on the team bus (I have spies in Anaheim, so these are all impeccable claims, deal with it). Seriously, when a team is that good what can you really say other then pick on the smaller things? Although midget abuse is just wrong, you heard it here.

What to look for Protecting that lead. The Ducks have had 10 one goal games and the Canucks have had 12. I’m not suggesting the Ducks have similar scoring issues that Vancouver currently has (they can’t considering they lead the conference in goals scored), but it seems to me the likelihood of a single goal deciding the victor is quite possible. Assuming the Canucks don’t implode like they did at San Jose and in Minnesota last week, it could very well come down to a game of protecting the lead (something, again, the Canucks aren’t exactly the model for). If the Canucks can grab the lead, look for a complete mess in the neutral zone and Vigneault possibly turning purple pleading for the D to not take a dumb penalty. It’s going to get messy and it wouldn’t shock me if the refs’ whistles decide this thing.

Prediction: Canucks win 4-3. I know, four goals from this team? Nutty! But I’m going to assume the Ducks and Canucks go back and forth a bit with the Canucks getting some late heroics from Luongo. Pyatt’s too easy a call to end it, so let’s say The Emulator comes up huge here.

Post-game Update: Woah, was I off! Insert humiliation right...about...HERE.


His MySpace traffic must be skyrocketing

Bertuzzi’s out with back surgery and Carter’s on the fourth line in Ohio? Oh yeah, Pyatt is a rock. Bring those Ducks on!

By the way, I hope all the good people in Vancouver are drying out. That's some fun rain for this time of year, huh??


At least Belfour isn't a Canuck

We all know the story already (in his defense, getting drunk in Long Island is required to stomach the knowledge of where you actually are) and despite his plea that it was simply a water bottle mishap (doesn't that sound like Janet Jackson's "wardrobe mishap" from the Superbowl a few years ago?) no one is ever going to believe poor Eddie.

And, making matters worse, is that some media outlets don't even have solid pictures of the Eagle to post along with this hilarious story. Sportsnet reports on the allegations by using this picture of him:

I mean, c'mon! He has won damn near 500 games in his career and this is best image they could use? On his belly, out of the crease, as Satan (an Islander of all teams!) puts a puck a blind man could slam home? I'm shocked they didn't use an animated gif of the entire sequence since I'm curious as hell how Belfour ended up in that position to begin with.

And I'm dying to see a picture of Auld's stitched up eye from this water mishap. Anyone have that? Another thought: you think Auld wonders if he's just cursed to be saddled with questionable NHL goalie veterans no matter where he goes?

In other news, the Canucks lost to the Predators last night. I watched the first period and went to bed since I didn't have the effort to watch two more periods if they can't show up for the first one. It reminded me too much of the Crawford version of the Canucks and I see little reason to enervate myself like that anymore; I leave that for Kings fans now.


D.C.'s Capital Dome looks like a giant boob

The lads finally get to come home and stick around for a little while now. The whole city, at least according to the Sun/Province, seems to be gaa-gaa over Ovechkin's mere presence within the city boundaries. While having not seen much of the Caps play this year (or the past few seasons for that matter) I think the teams are fairly even with the overall tilt going to Vancouver because of their goaltending and talent on the top two lines: basically the Sedins, Nazzy, Morrison, Pyatt and Kesler (or the interchangeable Bulis if he hasn't pissed off Vigneault again by the time the puck drops) verse Ovechkin, Zubrus, Clark, Semin, Sutherby and Zednik. I forgot the Caps have my boy Brashear too but, honestly, I have no real comment to add on that other then he'll win if any Canuck really feels like scrapping. As for Kolzig and Luongo? With all apologies to the German state, I'll side with the latter.

Barring a complete change in the Canucks style of play, this game could come down to special teams (which isn't a terribly great sign for Vancouver). I'm willing to guess the powerplay will click again tonight and that could be the deciding factor.

Predicted Score: 3-2 Canucks. One of the Sedins scores and Kesler gets his first too. Bulis has a better game and stays out of the box which results in him getting a large colorful lollipop and a gentle pat on the head from Nonis, not unlike the same gesture one would give a puppy for not pissing on the new rug.

Pithy Thought: Why has no reporter (and maybe one did and I missed it) stood right in the face of the ever clownish Janne Niinimaa and ask something like "So Janne, about that prediction of beating the Sabres on Monday…you lost 4-1 and you, specifically, were a complete and utter non-factor. To speak nothing of your career stats that are steadily going into the toilet and your mighty single point for this season which pales a bit in contrast with Mike Ribeiro’s start…oh, Ribeiro? You were traded for him a few weeks ago. I know, huge laugher for the Stars huh? Anyway, all things considered, does it concern you that your career has become virtually irrelevant and at this point you’d be a better contributor to your team if you resigned and sold Hab Christmas trinkets from a paper bag outside the stadium parking lot?”


Blow up the outside world

I'm not a fan of Sean Avery. I truly dislike him and the fact that he happens to get a fat paycheck for piss poor play while whoring himself across the LA basin is enough to make me both jealous and furious. I eagerly look forward to him getting checked through the stratosphere by the likes of anyone from Derek Boogaard to Brian Gionta.

But, that said, I will applaud Avery's opinion of arena music. I care not what sales figures, radioplay and your average teenager thinks, Nickelback and Kelly Clarkson do royally suck.

Texans wear capri pants

Last night was frustrating...frustrating...frustrating. Canucks should have won but the bounces simply did not go their way. They owned that second period and even the Dallas broadcasters were damn near laughing at the fact they couldn't believe how many odd man rushes Vancouver was generating through (…brace yourself…) Vancouver's forechecking and overall work ethic. So, if such a thing as a good loss exists, last night could be it. Dallas is off to their best start ever and Vancouver kept them in check for the majority of the game. If Luongo could have that fluke goal back, that was a Canuck victory. (But hey, Luongo did play very well regardless and at least he wasn't pulled after getting shelled like both Cloutier and Auld were last night. Not that I'm paying attention to that at all.)

On the plus side, players like Bieska and Krajicek are still playing well despite the occasional bad penalty. And a big shout out for Alexandre Burrows who tried to spark his team by running at both Barnaby (which resulted in a fight) and even Lindros which is a monumental mismatch for Burrows unless he was going to swat him in the head with a lead pipe. That's great effort and the type of play Vancouver sorely needs in tight games.

Let's see if the Canucks can end this road trip on a positive note by putting a few more Blackhawks in the infirmary on Wednesday. No no, that's just mean. And, besides, they already took out McKee.


Clarke to pump gas or flip burgers now?

I would be lying if I said this bothered me, but in light of how the Kesler situation has backed Vancouver into a financial corner, it's somewhat endearing to see Bobby Clarke - finally - admit complete and total failure as a GM.

Paybacks ARE quite the bitch
, huh?

The next best thing would be he ends up in the asylum that is the Islanders organization. Just for fun.


Former 'nucks in faraway lands

Who knew I'd get bored with only two days off between games? Thanks to my NHL Center Ice package though, I've been checking out some the teams that are now icing former Canuck players who were supposed to have taken this team to the promised land and beyond. So, enough talk of Luongo, the Sedins and "Mr. 301" Naslund for now, let's take a look at how this early NHL season is treating:

Alex Auld
At 3-1-1, Auldy is playing as we Vancouver fans likely guessed he would. He's a good goalie but, like Cloutier (who we'll get to shortly), was prone to mental hiccups, giant rebounds and the occasional boneheaded play that would make you punch a wall. Sadly, my first real view of Auld this season came last night as Semin and the Caps just abused him for four first period goals before he got yanked for Ed "shit he's still playing?" Belfour. Auld's poor game lowered his GAA to 3.10, or rather 24th in the league. So Auld is still doing his thing...almost unbeatable in Toronto last week and Swiss cheese this week.

Dan Cloutier
Speaking of Swiss cheese, Cloutier has a new mask, a new team and the same coach down in the land of fake breasts and mudslides. Sadly for Cloutier, at least Auld has some semblance of a team in front of him; the Kings, rather, have Blake, rookie rockstar Kopitar, Visnovsky, Frolov...and purple uniforms. That can't bode well for a goalie like Dan who is known to implode with little to no warning. So far, Dan is 1-3-1 on the year with a GAA of 3.02 (that's 23rd in the league, right next to Auld. Aww, sweet irony). It's going to be a long year for the Kings (to speak nothing of the fact they are fighting for Cali bragging rights with the likes of the Sharks and Ducks) so Dan may want to start eyeing a backup career in his free time and, as a former inhabitant of LA, my suggestion would be porn. Danny Cloutier in "A Goalie and 5 Holes"? Great, I'm going to hell now...

Ed Jovanovski
Down in the desert, the 2-4-0 Phoenix Dogs are likely still smarting from a rather comical 9-2 blowout to the Red Wings last week. But Jovo has two goals and two assists and, shockingly, is +2 on the season with just 6 PIMs. I was willing to bet, before I looked, that he would have been -10 by now but maybe he's learning (or injured, you can never tell). Some really smart pundits out there thought Phoenix would be a dark horse to watch this year and they very well still could be, but it's been a rough start so far and they have two key injuries (Reinprecht & Ballard) already so whenever the perennial Jovocop injury comes around it'll only hamper them more.

Bryan Allen
Being one of the defensive rocks in front of Auld, Allen is currently tied for the most Panther PIM's (guess who he's tied with...c'mon, just guess), but his offense has been limited to a single assist and he's -3 early on. But hey, Salei, Bouwmeester, Mezei and Jackman are all suffering in the plus/minus category as well so Allen's keeping with the Panther defensive concept that Luongo was used to for years; namely "we have a goalie back there so quit worrying so much".

Nolan Baumgartner
Oye...the Philly braintrust and local papers talked this guy up like he was a great first round pick (wait, he was a first rounder. Never mind) all summer. But $1.2 million is a bit steep for a guy with one assist and a whopping 21 PIM's (maybe it's that stat which led Clarke, despite trying to shake him loose on waivers, to keep him around should no team take him). The Flyers are tied for the worst team in the league right now and who knows what's going to happen night to night, so it's a safe assumption that Nolan may just miss his evenings manning the powerplay with Ohlund. Who knows.

Jarkko Ruutu
The Penguins have a really fun team with Crosby and Malkin and, if someone is going to take a run at either star, they'll have to deal with our favor former superpest. Jarkko has one goal and one assist on the season and 10 PIM's so he's doing about what I'm sure the Pens expected of him. When watching the Devils/Pens game last night, during a strange moment of silence, Mike Emerick noted that Ruutu has many enemies around the league. And he wasn't even on the ice! See? That's why I miss Ruutu. Hilarious.

Anson Carter
This entire summer was spent seeing where the hell Carter would end up and, in a shocker, he ended up in Columbus who, sadly, have far more depth at forward then the Canucks do. That's where the praise for Carter ends; Zherdev's return from the Siberian coal mines pushed the former Sedin linemate down to the third line and likely reduced icetime. Carter so far has a single goal and is -1 with four PIM's. And I don't care what he or the Sedins say, the three of them would be better off having another season together. I can't say I'm crushed to see Carter toiling on the Blue Jackets third line...he can have his millions and I'll take schadenfreude.

Todd Bertuzzi
Last, but certainly not least, is big Bert or, as the media took the summer explaining again and again, "that guy who hit that other guy and seemed really moody ever since so he probably needs a fresh start in a state with lots of sun and the occasional CAT 5 hurricane". Bert’s had a great start with seven points (one goal, six assists) which is second best on the team. On the flip side, he's -4 so far (that's second worst) and tied with Allen for the most PIM's. Oddly, Bert also only has eight shots on net (the same as the vaunted sniper Salei does) so teams must be doing a great job of shutting him down. In last night's game Bertuzzi lost a battle for a puck the corner that allowed Matt Bradley to beat Belfour on the first shot he faced. So early reports would indicate Todd is still good ol’ #44.


487 ways to cry

I was hoping the hysterical minds at Divealanche.com would be all over this - and I think they will be at some point - but my morning musings brought me the news that Colorado, once the team that joined Detroit as THE teams to hate in the West, are not only shadows of their former dominant selves but now the fans have realized it to the point where their vaunted sell out streak came to a quiet end at 487.

Cue the sad music...like some Yanni or, if you're suicidal, K-Fed. The only downside to this is it actually gives Terry Frei more opportunity to get on his soapbox for the Denver Post.


Oil helps my car work

So it seems the Canucks, as anticipated, got shredded up a bit by a deeper San Jose squad in their opener last week. They get a chance at redemption tonight against Northwest rival Edmonton. Now, in years gone by, I would look favorably at an Oilers/Canucks because even if Vancouver lost it would be a fun game. This year it's a bit different as the Canucks are "retooling" while the Oilers are, well, "reloading". It could still be a good game though and here's why:

What to watch for #1: Secondary scoring. AGAIN. It's obvious this is going to dog Vancouver all year long. Guys like Morrison, Bulis, Kesler (and that is your second line tonight folks) & Cooke need to get cracking and support that top line. The Oilers won't have a similar problem with the likes of Sykora, Smyth, Hemsky (who is my favorite Oiler) and Horcoff buzzing around and I'm not even referencing guys like Torres, Pisani or Lupul. Getting Salo back will help Mitchell and Ohlund try and shut these guys down.

What to watch for #2: Goalie A'Reboundin. Luongo looked painfully human (close to Auld-esque) against the Sharks but we can blame the new pads he never used before the game. Or blame Al Qaeda and re-runs of Saved By The Bell on Saturday mornings. Did you know Screech is in a sex video? Seriously, someone tagged Screech. I wonder what he paid; honestly, the guy is a car wreck. Anyway, Luongo will need to get his game back against the Oilers since he'll see plenty of them this year and he'll likely be needed to steal a bunch of these games against Northwest opponents.

What to watch for #3: Home and home. If the Canucks implode tonight, look for Vigneault to kick a puppy and smack a school girl out of sheer anger at a third straight loss. If the Canucks take tonight, look for the Oilers to be pissed and come out swinging tomorrow night. The next six periods of Canucks hockey will be a great test to see if this team can become the cohesive unit Nonis envisioned when he dismantled the squad over the summer.

Who’s going to win? The Oilers tonight and Vancouver tomorrow. The Oil don't have a problem scoring and have a good winning streak going for them now. Granted they'll be a bit fatigued from Saturday night, but (and I don't know why) they will have more energy and vigor at the drop of the puck tonight. Assuming the Canucks keep it close, I see the Oilers winning 4-2. But, on the heels of that, Vancouver takes tomorrow's game by adopting some changes, staying out of the box, and frustrating them in the neutral zone. 3-1 Canucks on Tuesday.

Need something to get angry at? Keep in mind that if the Canucks drop both games to the Oilers, they'll likely be in last place in the division and it would propel the Oilers into a tie for first with the Wild who are currently one of two undefeated teams left in the league. Damn it all.


Whales & Sharks

The boys finally get a home game and a chance to let the locals get a rink side view of Luongo and, well, the rest of them. Sadly it comes with a revoltingly strong San Jose Shark squad visiting GM Place, but they will be playing their third game in five nights whereas Vancouver has been off since losing to the Wild in a shootout Tuesday night.

What to watch for #1: Secondary scoring. The Sharks top line of Smith, Thornton and Cheechoo have the luxury of taking a night off since their second line of Marleau, Michalek and Bernier can get the job done. Vancouver can't say the same; outside of the Sedin/Naslund line (you're on crack if you think I'm calling that the Ikea line) the likes of Morrison, Pyatt, Bulis, Kesler, Cooke et all have not truly got going yet (unless you count untimely netural zone penalties). Could tonight be that night? Something tells me no, but let's pretend the home crowd gives someone an extra reason to get pissed and productive.

What to watch for #2: The battered D line. Sami Salo has subscribed to the long list of guys who get wonky groins early in the season, so he'll be sitting tonight. The thin blueline just got a bit thinner and now has no choice but to point rely very heavily on Kevin Bieksa and rookie Luc Bourdon. Insert your favorite curse word here (bonus points if you can couple in a family member in the process and create an entirely new curse phrase: "father fucker", "uncle shitface", "cousin shittybitchhead". It's fun for the whole family, honestly).

What to watch for #3: Goalies. Roberto Luongo is clearly the man after four games. He has yet to be beaten in those oh so fun clear and unobstructed ways that Dan Cloutier’s GAA seems to suggest he is still excelling at. However, the Sharks can counter with not just one #1 goalie but two in Toskala and Nabakov. The latter got torn apart by the Oilers last night though so assume Toskala will be in net.

Who’s going to win? The Sharks. I will admit this is partly due to the fact I’m still used to the Canucks letting me down and this season they seem to be correcting that reflex. However, even a tired Sharks team is a formidable opponent and the Canucks scoring thus far has relied on their top line, seizing on opportunities during line changes or defensive mistakes by the other team. Vancouver’s D will be busy all night (Bourdon? Are you familiar with the phrase “trial by fire”?) so it’s imperative the Luongo plays out of his mind again while the defensemen have no mental hiccups. Vancouver only wins this game if all four lines contribute…by which I mean at least two or three lines contribute far more then the vague “team effort” contribution and, rather, put some pucks in the net and get on the scoresheet. Assuming the team concept is still a work in progress, I’ll give the edge to the Sharks.

Need something to get angry at? The damn Vancouver newspapers. I recognize sports columnists and sports radio (I work in radio, trust me) beat minor issues to death because content is content. But, seriously, this whole trap thing discussion is boring me. Is this what passes for fine editorial copy: stating the obvious? Of course the Canucks are going to trap from time to time and far more frequently then they used to. So what? If it works, then shut up. If it doesn’t, they’ll figure something else out. But claiming it gives you (or rather the collective ‘we’) a poor product is piss poor reasoning and proof that some people, clearly, can’t accept change.

If you want a run and gun game and that’s it, then please by all means go cover the Kings. They have Crawford, they have Cloutier, they have young fast rookies & they’ll play that game all year long. From what I can see, they have a staggering three more goals then the so called boring Canucks. I also seem to every playoff bound team past the first round last year had some sort of defensive-minded system over a cherry picking Pavel Bure mentality. So accept the winds of change (that’s right, I invoked a Scorpions song. I hope the chorus gets stuck in your head and you start inadvertently singing it) and move on.



...we've had a Taylor Pyatt sighting. I repeat, we've had a Taylor Pyatt sighting...he was last seen parking his arse in front of the net and scoring...you did not dream that...it actually happened...with one period left it's quite possible the other Goonie, Jan Bulis, will make an appearance...but breath = not held.

Update: Kesler got punished in the corner towards the end of the second frame and did his best 'boxer with the jimmy legs' impersonation trying to get off the ice. It would suck to lose him this early in the season, so hopefully he just had the wind smacked out of him, worst case would be a Lindros, er, concussion.

Final Update: Canucks cough it up in the shootout. Salo also went down with the dreaded strained G...R...O...I...N. We had a brief Jan Bulis sighting but it was only to fire the puck directly at Fernandez in the shootout. I wasn't aware Jan can actually fire the puck through goaltenders, who knew? The boys took 5 of 8 points on the road and now have to deal with the damn Sharks in their home opener on Friday. Christ...


Oh my...

Ummm...judging by the blonde in the stands on the left, I think Todd will really learn to love the South Florida lifestyle. As we all should...

Drunkblog: Canucks V Carter

Let's see...whiskey? Check. Coke? Check. NHL Center Ice? Check. Food? En route.

OK, it's time then. I just was subjected to the strange Blue Jackets (called henceforth BJ...snicker snicker) mascot skating around as their team was announced. I tuned out honestly...the puck drops shortly and drinking needs to be done.

7:14 PM - the lady singing the anthems is interesting. At first glance I thought she was hot. But then they zoomed in on her...I take it all back. Man, I made my drink strong. That or my standards are dropping. Either is a fair bet.

7:19 PM - Bieska takes an early penalty. And they score in three seconds. All the joy from last night is gone. I have to drink more now.

Now Luongo stops a two on one and then stones Carter who was all alone in front. I can't handle Carter scoring and listening to this crowd cheer. If Carter scores, I may need to kill something. Canucks look terrible right now.

7:33 PM - I think, as a public service, I need to start grading American broadcasters. These BJ guys are questionable, but not terrible just yet. The play by play guy I feel like is overselling almost everything to the point where I'm laughing every time his tone changes, which is quite frequent. And sadly that's the best part of the game so far. Canucks STILL look terrible. Luongo is the man, this game could be 3-0 at this point without him.

7:40 PM - The color commentator chimes in now with a gem, "The fastest pads in the NHL belong to LeClaire". My, that seems a bit much. Jan Bulis takes a penalty. He's on my shit list...in just two games. Clearly, it doesn't take much.

7:51 PM - The period finally ends. The Canucks looked a lot better towards the end of the period, but still, nothing to write home about just yet. Gallant, the BJ coach, looks like he should be a wrestler. I don't know why, but he looks like he'd be a surly drunk which I assume makes a good wrestler. Speaking of surly drunk, I'm getting there...

8:14 PM - Start of the second now. Honestly, I think the broadcasters are paid to hype these BJ lads. Both the color and play by play guy are pimping LeClaire like he's the ugly girlfriend at a dance and you have to explain to your friends why you picked a horse to show up in public with. It's getting sort of retarded. The Canucks need to score on this guy so I can hear how these announcers sell it. 'Nucks look far better this period.

8:18 PM - I see Bertuzzi scored a PP goal. Good for him. And Auld seems to be doing ok...oh, right back to the game I'm getting tanked too. The announcers just called LeClaire Luongo...maybe they're drunk blogging too. It's an epidemic! Look what Vancouver Canucks OpEd started! Canucks are badly outshooting the BJ's this period, something has to snake in. Or a well-timed PP for Vancouver would be nice too.

I recognize I'm harping on these announcers, but the game is just plodding along so I have no choice. Anyway, he just Bieska "Bleeska". That's it, they are drunk too. Perhaps more, I feel I have to exert myself more. OK, shots for everytime Bulis and Pyatt anger me. (I'll be dead by the third period)

8:30 PM - I just realized the Yankees are playing, which explains the noises coming from my neighbors. I see the Big Unit is pitching for them....I LOVE that nickname. That's solid as fuck (which, yes, is very solid). It's a shame Chara couldn't grab that nickname...he's intimidating enough, but with that name, he'd be unstoppable.

BJ's take a penalty. Canucks need to score on Luongo, er, LeClaire.

8:35 PM - Canucks powerplay looked, generally, terrible. They have dominated this period but not one player seems to be standing out nor does any one guy seem to be a legit threat in the offensive zone. I do think the different lines are still learning the nuances of their linemates, but seriously, this is getting depressing. Canucks need a spark or a swift kick to the crotch.

8:43 PM - Fuck. Three straight penalties leads to a rather long 5-on-3 and, SHOCK, the BJ's score on a flukey goal. The announcers, at this point, I think are giving each other hand jobs every time LeClaire's name is mentioned. That or they are on some strange sales plan where they get a free taco for every mention of him. But anyway, the second period is over and the Canucks seem they don't have a clue. Every criticism of the team, seemingly erased for one evening thanks to kicking Detroit's ass, is spot on now. No one can score, too many penalities, and Luongo can only do so much. Someone...ANYONE...needs to lead this team in the third period. The BJ's aren't that amazing, it's just that Canucks are just that poor so far. MORE BOOZE MORE BOOZE MORE BOOZE...

9:00 PM - Yankees losing = good. Panthers winning = OK I guess. Auld still let up two. I've resorted to putting on my old Brashear #8 jersey and my Canucks knit hat. Fuck, I'm doing this and it's the second game. I'm willing to do this if it means we score once. Just once...please?

I feel like I should explain my hatred for Ohio. It's not the people really, but one person. And I don't know his name. But a few years ago this one guy got up on some stage in Columbus and proceeded to shoot Dimebag Darrell, guitarist for Pantera and at the time of his death DamagePlan, and that still angers me. I am a drummer and grew up on, amongst other bands, Pantera one of the great thrash bands of my youth. Darrell was a killer guitarist and I fear I have no choice but to hate the entire state for the acts of one man. Forgive me.

9:10 PM - Canucks still can't get much going. They are controlling the play in the neutral zone, but can't mount any semblance of a solid attack. Shit, did I just use the word semblance? I'm not drinking enough or I get rather verbose when I am tanked. Either or, I'm slowly getting very pissed. It's starting to feel like last year and that feeling annoys me. I blame Carter.

9:19 PM - Fuck, my sweater worked! Salo...or Kesler...or some Canuck just scored on the man advantage. To quote Dumb & Dumber..."Sooo....you're saying I have a chance? YEEEEES!" For the record, the announcers could only say that their best friend LeClaire had no chance on that shot. I should have guessed that. Time for shots!

9:30 PM - MORE SHOTS!!!! D. SEDIN!!! H. SEDIN!!! MY JERSEY!!!! DRUNK BLOGGING!!!! LUUUUUONGO....FUCK YEAH!!!! My dog just gave me a strange look and walked out of the room. Can a dog give its owner attitude? Is that permitted?

9:33 PM - Spank my bottom, I had no idea they'd come back and get a point for their hard work. A giant difference from last year's team that would have laid over and died...the Canucks kept coming. Fanfuckingtastic. By the by, Malhotra has been my favorite BJ player so far. That guy can fly and makes me nervous everytime he's on the ice. Time for OT...let's roll 'Nucks!

9:36 PM - Daniel Sedin wins it! Are you shitting me? Did I just watch a Canucks team fight back in the third and win in OT? Are you seriously fucking kidding me? Honestly, what a great ending. They started poorly but played their team-first concept all the way to OT and the Twins basically win the game. Luongo, again, is worth every penny.

Drunk blogging rocks. I don't even know if any of this made sense. But before I forget, my grade for the Columbus broadcasters is a straight C. They are entertaining in their inability to pronounce names and also for their shameless bias...but I can't blame them much since they have to sell hockey to a midwestern audience. That said though...less booze next time boys and perhaps don't call LeClaire the second coming of christ when the game is halfway through. Just a thought.


Luuuuuongo....fuck yeah!

Remember a time when this very picture was reversed? By which I mean it was the Red Wings swarming around a cage-masked Dan Cloutier who was looking around feverishly for the puck only to find it in the net already? Ahhh...good times.

Canucks played very well last night, although in hindsight I don't remember anyone really standing out other then Luongo who was just as solid in net as billed all summer long. My god it was nice to know, when Detroit was pressing, I didn't have that "please don't shoot it" mentality in my mind that Cloutier/Auld/whoever else created for me after years and years. Besides Naslund and the Sedins cycling like madmen, I thought Bieksa (whom I feel like I never really saw under the Crawford regime) was pretty solid in his own zone, but probably needs to work on those points shots (I believe Salo can help him on that).

What concerns me a bit are players I really did not see at all (Pyatt), injured players flying around and slamming into objects and fellow human beings (Morrison) and players who really need to gel a bit better with their linemates so they know not to go offside. Twice. In a row. In the opening minutes (Bulis).

Overall it was a solid effort from a new team-first Canucks squad (damn that sounds strange). Protecting leads and playing well defensively was such a strange thing to see, but I can get used to it with results like this.

In the spirit of the Vancouver Canucks OpEd's drunken live blogs from last years Stanley Cup run, I'm thinking (since I'm a rookie at this entire blog thing anyway) I'm going to give it a whirl tonight. It also helps that:

1. I have little money to go out anyway thanks to going balls to the walls last Sunday for football
2. I hate Ohio
3. I extremely dislike Anson Carter
4. I extremely like Nikolai Zherdev (Yes I do. Sue me.)
5. My roommate is gone so I can act like a complete idiot and not reminded of it

By the way, James Mirtle loves Luongo as a Canuck. Something tells me that trend is going to continue if he plays like this everynight. I wonder how Panthers fans feel seeing last night's game...

(Picture courtesy of the Detroit News)


A funny thing happened on my way to the internet...

My pre-coffee morning visit to the Vancouver Sun gave me this to look at:

...with NO warning! I feel bad for those who live in Vancouver who are minding their own business, walking to work, thinking life is great, and then are thrown into an epileptic seizure with this. Good god. Actually, it begs the question of who is uglier: the Sun cover lady or the mutant in bed with Peter Forsberg in the new NHL commercials?

But as I reeled back from this lady's mug, I took a quick look at the NHL scores last night and saw, to my heart's delight, that the Avs managed to pull a third period indicative of the, oh, 2005-06 Canuck squad and lose in OT. Theodore here has that Dan "oh crap" Cloutier look in his eyes.

So the universe and cosmos is level once again.